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“Clickety Click 66”

November 21, 2018 November 2018 No Comments

If you had asked me to play Housie on a Saturday afternoon on a gorgeous, spring day in the Lions Den, I would have politely declined. That is until I saw the film Stray.

In Stray Jack , the main character, visits a small rural settlement and sees the lights on at the local Hall. Inside, a game of Housie is in progress. He is persuaded to join in. Memory Lane took me back to my childhood of the fifties when I lived in a similar settlement. In those days, the locals had to make their own entertainment; dances and films, Housie and Beetle nights…in the Tin Shed. Babysitters were practically non-existent so the children were often at these gatherings too. I was among the children who watched the adults enjoying playing Housie. During this scene in the film, I remembered those times with fondness.

When an invitation arrived from The Martinborough Branch of the New Zealand Red Cross to join an afternoon of Housie my childhood memory was stirred again. The floral border of the invitation was pure nostalgia conjuring up images of lace doilies, crossover curtains and of ladies-a-plate afternoon teas served on embroidered or crochet trimmed table cloths using fine china tea services. I was a member of the Junior Red Cross back then and learned to do figure of 8 bandaging and to tie slings. I accepted the invitation.

Val Johns was the Caller- “A House is when you have covered all the numbers on your card. A Line is when you have completed a single line of numbers. Both a House and a Line will see the winners selecting a prize from the Lucky Dip basket”. The calling began; “clickety click 66”, “on Its own number 9…” There was an anticipatory silence as the numbers were called. Some misheard and were disappointed to find they had not won a House or Line after all when asked to read out their covered numbers. As luck would have it, I won a Line much to the chagrin of Maree Roy who has played for many years and “never won a thing”.

The annual New Zealand Red Cross Spring Party and Housie Afternoon is a social service run for people on their own or who are isolated. Maree Roy and Liz Monaghan organised this year’s Party. Thirty -two people from our community were present and clearly enjoyed themselves. Several were in their 90s which made me feel positively youthful. Oh, and by the way, Dawn Hartnell’s feather-light Fielder’s cornflour chocolate sponges were to die for.                                                               



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