Sharing our adventures

2016 - 2017


2016 arrived and the M’Ladies were off and running for another year... our 11th!  After sorting through the many ideas put forward by the members, the program for the year formulated. 


It was very obvious we were around at our first gathering at Bar Beach Bowling Club with our distinctive bags and a room full of M’Ladies chatting and catching up after our break. It was a happy affair and we were served quite efficiently considering the issues the club was experiencing on the day with a major electrical fault the evening before wiping out one of the circuits that affected the cash register, coffee machine and a fridge, which was assumed may have contained the desserts which are usually on offer.  Also during February we attended the Dressmaker at Boolaroo Cinemas and coffee at Pippys on the way home.


The “Transport” themed lunch, hosted by Gwenda, at The Gates Hotel kept everyone entertained in March doing the quiz and construction balsawood cut outs over lunch.   And Three Cheers to Kerry and Kris for the very successful St. Patrick's Day lunch which was very well attended and participation in the fun and fellowship was 100%.  Everyone wore their touch of, or all-over green, took along their best Irish humour and yummy green food, shared their jokes, impromptu limericks and answered Kris’ St Pat’s quiz with great gusto. The leprechaun and assistant certainly  added lots of special touches that made the whole event very  enjoyable and memorable. Catherine was quite chuffed winning her “Princess” hat and there were other prizes as well.


Lunch at the Belmont Yacht Club was a lovely relaxed day which gave us all the opportunity to catch up with each other.  It was a cool day but we were quite cosy seated inside and were so busy chatting we did not notice the weather.

A “Famous Person” activity was lots of fun hosted by Nellie who also arranged the props and encouraged everyone to “perform”.  She herself was Patsy Stone (Joanne Lumley) from the Absolutely Fabulous TV series. As the movie version had been advertised we made a plan to attend once it was released.

Guessing some characters was fairly easy, with one really having us stumped; Rachael Carsons was not someone anyone knew, other than Kerry!  Rachael was an Academic, Environmental Activist, Biologist and Journalist (1907-1964).  Kerry’s scuba outfit really cracked us up!!

Diana was a brilliant Lucille Ball, although we did need just a little prompting.  Her outfit was spot on.

Catherine was Supergirl, the female counterpart to Superman. Her costume was fabulous and she has shared the location of a great costume place at Boolaroo.

Lynn played the part of 3 sporting characters: Golf – Adams Scott and also a tennis and soccer celebrity.  Her sporting outfit covered the lot with some great props.

Robyn fluffed her feathers for her character of Rose from the Golden Girls (Betty White).

Ann had the outfit, props and story line that kept us guessing. We knew it was royalty but the cigarette put us off.  Her Princess Margaret character was real hit.

Rosalynd executed her “Hello Possums” - Dame Edna part, complete with huge glasses and gladies.

Vicki was well armed with an interesting biography, which she executed with aplomb with her natural Italian speaking voice of Sofia Villani Scicolone - Sofia Loren. 

Lexie was a very fashionable Cleopatra with the cleavage to go with it!

Queeni, although looking like another Cleopatra, was really taking off the part of Liz Taylor’s role – a twist was needed as the outfit was rather obvious.

It was a lovely way to spend time catching up and having a good laugh.


Ann and Maureen organised a lovely day at the Hunter Valley Zoo during June and another themed dress-up activity – “P” (to celebrate Rosalynd’s new pensioner status) resulted in yet another great display of outfits.

Everyone again excelled, especially the new Pensioner herself with her fabulous birthday skirt which was signed by all.


Ann and Maureen organised a lovely day at the Hunter Valley Zoo during June and another themed dress-up activity – “P” (to celebrate Rosalynd’s new pensioner status) resulted in yet another great display of outfits.

Everyone again excelled, especially the new Pensioner herself with her fabulous birthday skirt which was signed by all.


Xmas in July was held at the Lake Macquarie Yacht Club and we had another yummy dinner at TAFE. The year was passing fast and we found ourselves discussing Christmas for real! 


Come August we filled a table at Warners at the Bay, hosted by Lexie and spent a few hours chatting and catching up and impressing the staff and patrons with our splash of colour.  Vicki shared her very exciting news – she was going to be a Grandmother! Rosalynd was to be a Great Grandmother for the second time. 


The movie night to see Absolutely Fabulous did eventuate which was also an evening to support the Hunter & Northern Kidney Association (HANKA).  Nellie was suitably dressed in her outfit from our Famous Person activity held earlier in the year.


A picnic at Blackbutt was held on a warm sunny day following some cooler weather on the days previous and before the very stormy day that followed. The picnic table was laid by hostess, Ann with a purple covering, red plates and a chocolate treat for all and a great selection of food. The M’Ladies spent time chatting and eating after which a few took a stroll around the animal enclosures.  The venue had had extensive renovations, with lots of well-designed covered seating areas and the grounds and exhibit areas transformed.  We appreciate how fortunate we are to have such a special place right on our doorstep. 


In September the M’Ladies participated in a Car Rally planned by Nellie and Kerry, leaving from Speers Point after morning tea at Sals and then navigated to Mt Sugarloaf and back.  Armed with our written directions and after just a few back ups, or U-turns, we found ourselves at West Wallsend Workers Club.  After enjoying our round the table discussions over lunch, we headed off on the second leg of the journey that lead to Mt Sugarloaf.  We continued to follow our clues on the return journey until we reached Glendale before heading back to Sals where we completed the fun-filled day with another coffee and chat. Nellie declared us all “winners” and everyone received a gift.

We also added another trip on the train to Woy Woy and caught the ferry to Davistown RSL.  The train and boat ride gave us all time to chat, while the lunch at “The Washtub” at Stockton resulted in everyone driving and not using the ferry.  This occasion was a nice celebration for Queeni’A and the other October birthday gals on the day.


A Christmas Craft day and Op Shop was another fun day.  Lots of Christmas ideas were shared, Xmas trees on Chocolates, small wreaths, and doily angels were created, plus a few other interesting “configurations”. The exchange of items in the Op Shop at times got very competitive, with particular interest in Pauline’s lovely white top. 


For the special milestone of the group’s 10th Anniversary and Xmas we attended a High Tea and Show hosted by Wayne Rogers and his partner at Iona.  This heritage home had been extensively renovated and specially fitted with a theatre area where Wayne performs.  He was once a contestant on Australia’s Got Talent. It was a lovely way to finish off another very busy year.


We tried to incorporate a few new ideas, the Roaming Purses and Travelling Teapots, but the exercise did not take off due to some confusion of the concept! We did enjoy hearing about Pauline’s travels up north.  We also managed to put together a small cook book of a collection of the M’Ladie’s recipes.



Our first activity for 2017, lunch at Wests Cardiff was a great opportunity to catch up and work on our program for the year and we had another morning of chit chat over Morning Tea at Sals.


Kerry hosted another of her great St Patrick events, able assisted by Kris.  The green tones of the day extended not only to outfits and accessories, but also to the food colour.


We travelled to Stockton for a nice lunch at Carrington Place during April and Margaret held her first Dot Art activity with a couple of M’Ladies attending.


In May Vicki hosted an Afternoon tea at Lena’s for Afternoon Tea. As this was the meeting place of our very first gathering it had some sentimental essence to it. 


The Lympy Games activity was great fun from the Torch Bearer’s circle and the lighting of the Cauldron  and throughout the games that followed, until the distinguishing of the “flame”.

The Rules of the games included: No outright Cheating, BUT the showing of initiative was to be expected.

First event was the Croquet Challenge.  Unfortunately Margaret was disqualified for hitting off before the whistle was blown. The autumn leaves on the field did make it a little difficult to determine if everyone passed through all the markers. Eventual winner was Vicki.

Then it was on to the Discus Toss which limbered up the muscles.  After the very hotly contested individual heats and play off, GAIL was the eventual winner. Disqualified participant this time was Pauline.   There were no further disqualified M’Ladies for the rest of the day!!


The Pistol Shooting – longest distance shot was between individuals with 3 shots per M’Lady, with a play off. Final winner was Ann.


There was a short interlude for lunch where we all enjoyed some coffee bought along in thermos’s and nibbles from the shared plates.  Both Pauline and Kris made some goodies from recipes in the M’Ladies Cook book from 2016.  Date and Walnut slice from Pauline and Kris’s much enjoyed Zucchini slice.


Pepper Pig then made her appearance and the M’Ladies threw (and threw) balls aimed at her mouth until they got the momentum going, and both Pauline and Nellie were the tied winners for this event. The String Toss & Roll activity was a little challenging, initially in the comprehending of the concept of the event and then, armed with some understanding, the actual throw and roll.  It was initially assumed that by just throwing it the furthest it would result in a win for that person.  But no! One had to re-roll the ball which resulted in the person who threw it the shortest distance actually rolled an equal amount in the quickest. (For those that were not here I know this concept sounds a little confusing, but no doubt in conversation in the future it will become quite clear!!)


The Crepe Braid was quite a challenge - three rolls of crepe paper that needed to be braided  amongst 2 teams.  AT LAST, someone showed some initiative and shortened the rolls of crepe. 


The Final activity was the ANYTHING GOES event.  This become the Choko Toss.  Margaret had taken some chokos from her garden and Ann became the catcher. She assumed the position of a swaying clown at a show, mouth opened wide and caught the balls in the bucket. Kris managed a win, but by this stage the winners were obvious.  1ST: Vicki 2ND Gail and 3RD Margaret who took home their badges and pot plants for all their very brilliant efforts.


Being a little late for the start of the activities, Ann was given the task of extinguishing the Lympy flame  before we all departed after a fun-filled day. 


Lunch at the Lake Macquarie Yacht Club was most enjoyable and a great chance to catch up with a few M’Ladies who have been absent for some time. There was a great choice on the menu and although it was a cloudy day, we were snug inside with that fabulous view surrounding us.  Rosalynd bought along her latest creation, a delightful rag doll created and dressed from environmental bags. 


And as promised, Queenie carried over one of the games that was not completed at the Lympy Games – unwrap a chocolate wearing oven mitts. There was lots of laugh during this exercise!! 


Pauline reported that it was another very happy fun filled day at Stockrington movies followed by lunch at Minmi Hotel.   It was another very funny movie "What we did on our Holiday" with Billy Conley - with none of his usual language, so there was plenty of laughs. 


The M’Ladies joined the 71 Red hatters from Sydney, Gosford & Kincumber, Newcastle, Maitland, Anna Bay at the multi group luncheon at the Wash Tub at the George Washington Hotel, Stockton. It was a lovely afternoon catching up with other Red hatters and passing a few hours in the company of likeminded women who found lots of reasons to laugh and smile, and of course chat with each other.  Kris bought a tote bag and a delightful fascinator– it was a hard decision between that and a hat. Queenie came away with a tote bag also while Pauline, Kerry and Ann purchased bikini tee shirts.

The Xmas in July Lunch at Awaba House was well represented and the decorated hats looked great.  This is always a pleasing venue. We also enjoyed the company and the great selection of meals at The Beach Hotel during August and in September we had a return visit to the Royal Yacht Club, Toronto hosted by Vicki who was very generous in her contribution of chocolates and her beautiful Spring table décor. 


Our Ferry trip to Tea Gardens was lots of fun as was the luncheon at Palm Court, Maitland. The grandeur of the original Mansfield House, built in 1887 was obvious. We spent a few hours enjoying the ambience of the gardens and the interior and explored the manager’s office and adjoining rooms before we left.  Lunch was delicious also!!

......and then it was December.

We met at Jona's at Nohas Motel overlooking Newcastle Beach and enjoyed a lovely afternoon looking at the wonderful view, sharing much chatter and laughter and the lovely selection off the menu.

It was a nice way to end another year and lovely to welcome our visitors Anne and Trish (& Amelia?).  Everyone got into the spirit of giving and receiving and having fun which is what Red hatting is all about.

We participated in our annual Secret Santa between courses and after more sharing of news of our Xmas plans and for some, future  travel plans, we bid each other all the best for the Festive Season and look forward to gathering again in the New Year.

View the collection of Photos for 2017 on the Gallery.