Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Technology wonderful!

Well...here I am...tip tapping away at a tiny keyboard...on my new, slim laptop computer.

Supposedly bought for work - that is what the tax office will be told - but actually bought so I can play my addiction all day. My addiction is a Scrabble-like word game called Wordscraper, which I play endlessly via Facebook.

So I love THIS new technology!

And...I love SKYPE, the computer telephone system....which makes calls so cheap.
Two days ago I noticed a line in an e mail from my step-aunt which said that Jane's sister in Canada had spoken to her on the phone...and I suddenly realized that Jane's mobile phone on her bedside table in hospital actually DOES accept international calls!
I'd tried once about a month ago, but got no response. So I just gave up and felt increasingly cut off from what is happening to my step-mum. Her mobile was only for domestic calls...I thought.

But last night? I called her on SKYPE. And it worked.And she was "in" - (got nowhere else to go actually, but "in a state to pick up the phone") - and we chatted and it was GREAT. She sounded good, a bit confused sometimes, but good. It was nice to chat. She said her walking isn't so strong again and she needs the physios there to catch her.
Maybe go home, with nurse, by Xmas? Who knows. She has been in hospital for five months now. This is a lady who was driving all over the place, rushing around in the community and generally so active. It is sad and strange still to think of her in hospital for 5 months and with a whole life change.
One day she went out to drive someone home to the next village and had a car accident. And from that a whole chain of events happened.

Other news:

* We continued our cat loss syndrome by going shopping and buying...big rubber, anti-slip mats for the front door step, blue carpet tiles for our second-floor kitchen area, winter bush wrapping for the peony...
*  We went to the 50th Anniversary of the Sapporo-Portland Sister City event..not because we have any great civic love, but cos Yujiro loves the travel essayist Makoto Shiina who was the guest speaker. It was actually an interesting talk show - and even more fun because one of my friends/past students Kato-san was doing the simultaneous interpretation for the mayors and sister city people - so I got to see her in amazing action. Interpretation is an incredible skill.

And finally....a special section I shall now call:
 An Okaasan Moment.

We had nabe tonight. A big, cook on the table pot of stuff that you help yourself to. Very popular in Japan.
We stuffed ourselves on tofu and fish and veggies.
As we sat back Yujiro casually asked Okaasan if she'd like any more to eat.
She said she'd like RICE...we made a few jokes about how much she eats etc. We were full, but she is a strong old lady etc..
He got rice out of the freezer. Defrosted it.
Put the rice in the remaining nabe soup, added an egg..switched the nabe pot back on.
We waited 3 or 4 minutes for it to heat up.
Okaasan got up from the table to hunt around for her teacup and green tea powder.
"Okaasan, the rice is ready!" said the dear son.
"Rice? I don't need rice!" came the curt reply.
We both froze and glanced at eachother sideways...trying to contain our giggles.

Then the dear son stood up and started ladleing the rice and soup in to a bowl for tomorrow's breakfast.
"You're not going to eat that?" asked Okaasan.

Pure Okaasan. Wonderful.....gotta laugh.

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