Well - it looks like a happy scene...but dinner in the garden with Okaasan...I am not sure I want to do that too often!
It was a hot, wonderful day so we thought about using some of the quality burgers we'd bought - but Okaasan doesn't eat hamburgers or mincemeat.
So we thought to cook chicken/rice/soup/salad for her - and burgers for us.
THEN it didn't seem worth firing up a BBQ just for 4 burgers. So we cooked it all inside, and just took it all out to eat under the stars in the cool night air.
We used to do this a lot. When we were just us. Sit out with dinner and wine or beer, chat, listen to music. Relax. Feed the cat bits.
Hmm.....not sure I want to repeat this experience. Not really Okaasan's scene. And we'd have more fun without her.
First she panicked a little about sitting on a big cushion that was on the conceret steps...she wanted to put newspaper down under the cushion! Then she was plagued by every little insect in south Sapporo. Two different dinners was a lot to take outside. Then some guys across the way were doing some noisy late night construction work. And...I don't know. It just felt all wrong.
I guess we are like those couples who try to go camping and hiking with babies/kids - "cos that's what we did before we were parents" - and then they find that carrying diapers, nose wipes, teddie, midge cream etc etc and trying to fit in toilet stops, meal times etc just isn't condusive to getting Away From It All.
Sitting out under the stars for dinner with a few beers just isn't what a 78 year-old Japanese lady does. We should feed her first in the kitchen and then lie and say we have friends coming round to BBQ dead cows.....
Anyway. More importantly.
The news from England really isn't good. My step-mum now has ANOTHER attack of Clostridium Difficile and has been moved to an isolation room. This is known as a Super Bug in England and is scarily common in hospitals. It comes from bad hygiene and lurks waiting to attack (and sometimes kill) the weak. Jane had it 2 years ago in a different hospital and nearly died. She's got this attack at the worst possible time.
Poor Jane. Poor dad.
Someone said the other day: "How is your father's wife?". Technically that is what a step-mother is. But Jane is MUCH more than my step-mother. My parents divorced when I was 3 or 4, I can't actually remember a time in my life when Jane wasn't around. (In fact in MY TV drama-style family history she actually brought me into the world - she was my mother's doctor !!!So I guess you could say: she saw ME before my own mother even saw me!!!).
Jane being sick is like my mother being sick all over again. And losing her is going to be like losing my mum all over again.