Week 11: Hoy, cent sale, and inspiring strangers

Helloooooooo week 11. I was looking forward to my new experience this week – attending a Hoy and cent sale afternoon.

Before I delve into the experience, I feel the need to raise a technicality regarding my experience this week. This was not the first time in my life that I have attended a Hoy and cent sale afternoon.

[Pause for effect………………ok, continue on]

When I was 4 or so years old my grandmother took me along, on several occasions, to similar afternoons. However, I am classing this as a new experience as this was the first time I was going to such an afternoon as an adult. Furthermore, given that I hadn’t played the game for 30 years, and the last time my grandmother essentially played it on my behalf as I was too young to be able to play on my own, being responsible for my own game would be a new experience. And most importantly, I am the maker of the rules of this challenge, and I decree this a new experience and hence in keeping with my 52-week challenge. Now that is out of the way we can move on…

I have very fond memories of my afternoons spent with my grandmother playing Hoy with the (generally older) ladies at the CWA (Country Woman’s Association for those not in the know), being spoiled with cakes and winning things in the cent sale. So when I learned that some of the women from my exercise class were hosting a Christmas Hoy and cent sale I was determined to go. And because I had such fond memories from attending when I was a child, I asked my niece if she would like to go with me. She readily agreed.

Off my niece and I trotted on a glorious Sunday afternoon to a hall at the seaside where we were greeted warmly by some lovely ladies who walked us through the process for the day – buy some raffle tickets, buy some tickets for the cent sale, get our game cards, look at the craft that was on sale, find a seat. I also had to work out how to play the game. After all, I had been a child when I played the game the last time, and that was quite some years ago (I don’t like being reminded how many years ago that was!)

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the game of Hoy, it is very similar to that of bingo. But rather than play with balls, the caller uses a deck of playing cards. Each player has at least one sheet with 13 cards marked on it (including the number and suit of each card), and players must mark off all of the cards on their sheet before anyone else and shout “hoy” to be crowned the winner. The game play sounded quite simple and my niece and I were quietly confident that we were ready for the challenge. And then the caller started…

My word the game was fast-paced! And the women in the hall were dab hands at the game. We were having our butts kicked by septuagenarians! It certainly took a lot more concentration than I thought it would and we didn’t win a single game. But we laughed our way through it and enjoyed ourselves nonetheless. The cent sale was also a lot of fun. Effectively a cent sale is a big raffle in which you buy multiple tickets to win a random prize – of which there were at least 40 – some good, and some, well, very funny (2 cans of baked beans was one of the prizes). The ladies were so sweet and asked my niece to be one of the people to hand out the prizes. She loved it and I loved them for asking her. And we even managed to get ourselves a good prize – happy days!

To top the afternoon off we were fed yummy cakes and sandwiches, along with the obligatory cup of tea (and cordial for my niece). Before we knew it 3 hours had gone by. The ladies were truly lovely and both my niece and I had a great time.

I was also randomly surprised with a new experience this week; an experience that I didn’t have to do anything to achieve. Another blogger, someone who I have never met or spoken to in my life, read my blog and was so inspired by it that she started her own personal challenge (you can read all about it here). I was totally blown away by this unexpected event. To know that you have inspired someone who you have never met is such a gift. And knowing that someone else was inspired by my journey in turn inspired me to stick with my own challenge.

Livvy, I wish you all the best for your own personal challenge and look forward to reading all about it. For those who are interested, you can read Livvy’s blog here.  She is an award-winning blogger and her posts are definitely worth a read.

All in all week 11 turned out to be a great week.

A moment of reflection:

So what did I learn this week? I am so glad you asked! I learnt that:

  • Hoy is not as easy as it first appears to be.
  • Septuagenarians are card sharks.
  • Hanging out with a room full of older people can be a whole lot of fun. I get a lot of joy from listening to the stories of older people. Older people have so much to give to society, and it saddens me that Western culture does not recognise that in the way that many Eastern cultures do. We could really learn a lot from the respect that elders receive in other parts of the world. I encourage everyone to take more time to listen to the stories of the older generations, and to spend time in their company. It won’t be time wasted.  
  • My niece and I can have a lot of fun whatever we are doing and wherever we find ourselves – and that is an important thing to be able to do in life. So many people go through life looking at things in a negative light, and never looking for the good and the fun in life. I find that very sad. Despite the sadness that my family has experienced this year, we are still able to get up every day and look for the positives. I am glad that I am able to be part of showing my niece how to look at the bright side of life, and I hope that in years to come she too will demonstrate this to others.
  • You never know when or how your words or actions can inspire someone else.
  • A can of baked beans should never be classed as a prize.

And on that note, I bid you adieu, and leave you with a final thought for the day:

A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.”  ~ Hugh Downs



Posted on April 18, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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