Farewell tribute. Long lost cousins. Maze driving for lunch.

We rose quite early this morning (Melbourne time zone that is) so that we could get ourselves ready for the funeral service.  My brother (Steven) was picking us up just after 8.00am and we wanted to make sure we ate and collected our thoughts before we set off for the service.

We walked the short distance to the pick up point and waited for a short while for Steven, Casey (his partner) and their friend Heather to arrive.  Heather had kindly offered to drive us all to the service.

Thankfully we were travelling against the morning peak hour traffic so it didn’t take us too long to get to the outer suburb of Ringwood and to the chapel where the service was being held.

We arrived with plenty of time to spare so we were able to spend some time catching up with family before we took the opportunity to say goodbye to Nan.

Nan looked very much at peace and she even seemed to have a little smile on her face!  It was wonderful to be able to say our last goodbye before the service started.

The service was very respectfully conducted and I was able to deliver my eulogy without any tears.  My sister (Julie) and one of my cousins (Jenny) also delivered tributes and my niece, Erin and young nephew (Jack) had some words to say too.  It was a lovely way to farewell a beautiful lady that lived a very long life.

After the service we caught up with my three cousins and their families.  I had not seen some of my cousins for over 20 years so it was nice to be able to spend some time with them.  The Princess enjoyed talking to my cousin Wendy and her husband Wayne.

We left the chapel around midday and caught a lift with my Dad and step-Mum to the venue they had chosen for lunch.  We were able to find the venue OK but being able to get into it by car proved to be a challenge.  The roads had all be re-routed over the past two years so we had to drive around a few times before we were able to find the entrance!  I am glad we weren’t driving.

We enjoyed a very pleasant lunch (some lovely risotto) at the Coach and Horses with some of the extended family.  We shared our memories of Nan and enjoyed some laughs whilst recalling some of the things she used to do and say.  It was a nice way to wind down after the service.

We rejoined Heather, Steve and Casey in Heather’s car for the trip back to the city and they dropped us off near the hotel around 3.00pm.

Our early start, yesterday’s walking tour and the trip down from Hong Kong had started to catch up with us so we returned to the hotel room and had a lie down for a couple of hours.  Our eyes didn’t need too much convincing to close.

We rose around 6.30pm and prepared ourselves for supper.  I told The Princess about this wonderful Mongolian restaurant called The Khan Mongolian BBQ.  I had eaten there about 30 years ago with my Mum and I remembered the wonderful food and atmosphere.  The bonus for us was that its proximity to the hotel (about 5 min utes walking).

We enjoyed a pre-dinner drink before taking the short stroll to the restaurant.  The decor is simple but the food is wonderful.  You select your ingredients and place them all in the one bowl then cover them with a selection of sauces and toppings.  After you bowl is full you pass them to the chef and he BBQ’s them on what looks like a huge inverted copper tub (the BBQ).  The whole process takes less than a minute and the huge contents of the bowl is reduced to a fraction of the original size.  The taste is something to experience.  Indeed, The Princess returned to the BBQ more than me – she was sold!!.

After supper we returned to the hotel and settled into bed around 10.30pm.

A sad but respectful day and a nice opportunity to meet up with family, friends and cousins.

Be at peace beautiful Nan – say hello to Mum and Pete for us.

Roey and The Princess

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