Alfred says that the secret to a long life is simply “waking up every morning”. Deep, Alfie, deep. I appreciate waking up every morning too.
It was about 80 years ago when the great-great-grandfather’s sister-in-law handed him a pair of knitting needles and some wool for the first time. She told him to knit a jumper, Alfred recalls, “and that was my first effort — a jumper for my nephew”. Alfred has passed his craft down through three more generations and still knits scarfs for friends and little beanies for premature babies, despite his centenarian hands losing some of their dexterity.
Soon after arriving at an aged-care village on the NSW Central Coast, Alfred was asked if he could put his well-known skills to use. The nurses left Alfred some heavy wool and he was soon ticking away at easy single-rib and double-rib stitch jerseys for the Phillip Island Penguin Foundation
If there’s an oil spill near the penguins colony, wildlife clinic workers put oil-covered birds in sweaters to minimize the amount of oil they ingest while preening themselves. The substance also matts the penguins feathers, preventing its regulation of bodily temperature and reducing the animal’s buoyancy in water. A little jumper fixes that.
Good on ya, Alfie!