Like many men his age, fifty-seven year old Wayne has already planned and begun his ‘bucket list’.
Having never been in one before, at the top was to take a helicopter trip – Wayne ticked that off on a sunny day in March.
It was a great day flying over the city of Christchurch, viewing the Brighton Pier from above, and around the coast of Pegasus Bay. It was topped off by lunch, a good strong café latte and a trip to the local transport museum.
Next on the list is a trip on the TranzAlpine railway to the West Coast. But that’s for another day.
Back home with housemates Willie, Matthew and Ralph, all in their 50s, it’s Ralph in charge of tonight’s play list. The housemates think it’s because Ralph gets in first and plays it the loudest.
ABBA is a perennial favourite. But Wayne, brought up on a farm in Leeston and fondly remembering as a boy driving with his dad on the tractor, has a soft spot for Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and country and western classics. He’s also partial to musicals, having travelled to Auckland for Mary Poppins, and has enjoyed dinner theatre while on a trip to Brisbane.
Having recently spent 10 weeks in hospital, Wayne has taken up swimming three times a week to help his rehabilitation, usually while the other housemates continue work placements around the community. He’s feeling much better and, as well the water exercise greatly improving his mobility, Wayne has perfected his signature aquatic move – the floating starfish!
Wayne still takes the rubbish out, sorts his washing and helps around the house, assisting the men to keep to their schedule when they get home every night. Sometimes it’s movies or going out for dinner. A big favourite is fish at the nearby Golden Mile Pub and the guys also pop in sometimes to the local workingman’s club.
Wednesday evening is tenpin pin bowling night and, like with the music, Ralph is Wayne’s biggest competitor!