Sunday in Olinda Melbourne

This afternoon we went for lunch with Pop and mum, some of the family and 20 of their friends.

The restaurant is called the Cuckoo – it is in Olinda.

This German establishment has been in business since 1958, my parents and ‘us kids’ have been there SO many times over the years I have lost count. It is nestled amongst the beauty and nature of Olinda which is about a 20 minute drive from where I live.

A smorgasbord (buffet) with delights as fresh prawns, seafood salads, cheeses, oysters, pates, breads, salads  and soup – that is your choice for entree.

For mains it’s a variety of about 15 different salads, hot meats – ham, chicken, beef, pork. Then you have your snitzels, potatoes, crumbed seafood, chops, continental sausages, pork ribs, cabbage rolls, chips, sauces, gravies, goulash, sauerkraut…in fact the menu is so extensive I cannot list all that is on offer. Open fire places compliment the ambience and also a floor show with a guy who involves the crowd (he is the one holding the microphone when he gets the woman to sing in the clip).

The band I think are pretty much the original band, this place holds true to the ‘If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it rule’.

The occasion was a thank you from my parents to their friends who have supported and helped them of late, as they don’t entertain anymore with lavish dinners or parties,  this is how they repay the kindness of others.

It wasn’t without incident however, because it was very chilly outside, everyone rugged up and though cosy with the open fires and the heating on, the temperature soared more than expected for one of dad’s friends (also in his 80’s).

George was dressed in a jacket, a jumper and a long sleeve T shirt. He got too hot – he passed out. He recovered but the Ambulance was called ‘just in case’ to give him the once over. Not what the other patrons would have expected to see 3 paramedics coming into a restaurant on a Sunday afternoon I am sure. Thankfully George was ok and he sat quietly with his wife until their son came to take them back home.

My Pop LOVES his food, due to his lack of mobility I sat next to him and was up to forage for his first plate of entree, then up for his first plate of mains (hot meat) he is somewhat of a carnivore my pop. Then up for the 2nd plate of hot meats etc, which he couldn’t get half way through by the way. Yes his eyes are bigger than his belly 🙂

I cut his meat, I poured him a glass of beer, I tucked the napkin across his chest so that if he spilt his food it wouldn’t land on his clean shirt for mum to cast the evil eye telling me I should have tucked the napkin around his collar.

He wanted to stretch his legs after he had eaten, so I held his arm, whilst he stood with his cane. This Restaurant is extremely ‘busy’,  the total areas fit 450 people. I think pop was frightened a little by the commotion around him  which had never previously worried him and he stood transfixed once again, as though his brain couldn’t tell his legs to move. I prompted and encouraged and what would have been a 3 minute meander around the tables took us 20 minutes, ducking and weaving children, waiters and patrons, all the while dad apologising for holding people up.

I got him back and settled once more and at 2.30 all the guests were starting to make their way home. They came up to pop and mum and thanked them for treating them to the afternoon. I sat holding pop’s hand. One woman came up and gave me a hug and said “You are doing a marvellous job, you know that don’t you, we can see how much you love him”.  Yes there were tears, as she finished saying to pop “We want you around for a very long time, you are such a good man and you are so lucky to have such a beautiful daughter”. I gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek and tried to smile my goodbyes to her through my soggy eyelashes before helping pop into the car.

I was sad, I will have sad moments, but I know deep down that I am giving it my ‘all’ to make him as comfortable as I possibly can – and that is what being a daughter is all about.

I hope everyone has had a lovely weekend.

x