Quiet time at the computer after a busy few days.
Yujiro's out shopping. The kittens are almost asleep under the desk lamp.
Okaasan is almost asleep under the table heater.
Been a hectic few days.
We did another family Duty Day on Sunday and took Okaasan to the Sapporo Snow Festival.
She walked about 10 blocks of Odori Park, holding Yujiro's hand in case she slipped and we made sure to stop off along the way for hot wine, hot/sweet sake, snacks, toilets.
She seemed to enjoy it all...chatting to us and looking at the snow statues. Looking at all the people etc. We even found some Hong Kongese students singing on the Mickey Mouse stage.
It was a long day - we went for lunch first in a noodle restaurant near our local station where Okaasan often goes. Then the Snow Festival. Then Mitsukoshi department store for a new hat for Okaasan. My leg was tired...Okaasan seemed fine!
One funny incident: while Yujiro went off to another shop Okaasan and I sat in the department store entrance area and we got approached by a slightly strange old man - he actually came and put out his hand for the toasted almonds I was giving Okaasan!
Anyway he sat and chatted to us...how nice it was to have a foreign Oyomesan etc etc and about travel...but he WAS a bit strange and Okaasan and I locked eyes in agreement about HOW strange he was.
It was a rare moment of she and I bonding on an experience.
Apart from Snow Festival it's been busy - Couch Surfing guests, kittens being so so so CUTE/DEMANDING OF TIME...and work....
I took the kittens to the vets for their vaccinations. Lots of mewling in the car and sheer terror once we got there because a dog was barking and a rough-looking couple burst into the clinic waving a dog calender picture and demanding that their poodle be trimmed in the same style.
I decided to change vets - slightly closer and it is a local vets and not as busy as the popular, high-tech place we visited for years with Bob. He needed their special care and the Head Vet spoke English...but for general care I hope Chichi and Popo don't need a specialist. One of my students recommnded her local vet and he seemed a gentle, kind man.
Last night Yujiro brought home an old friend for dinner. She was in Sapporo for the festival. A woman he used to work with. We had family dinner with her here and I cooked up a Hokkaido spread of salmon, potato, asparagas...she came last year too and at the time I was pretty suspicious as to WHO she was....partially cos Yujiro suddenly announced that she was in-town and would come for dinner.
But actually she is not a female-threat ( I think...) - a cheerful woman in her 40s who used to work in the same department store as Yujiro years ago.
It was good to have someone else to chat at dinner and break up our usual 3-some pattern - and Okaasan enjoyed the woman's chat about the department store and news from Saitama. But she did ask me several times: "WHO is this woman?!!" I noticed recently that Okaasan seems more accepting of her memory loss and even asks me to confirm outside information - it may be a good sign that she is putting me in her Circle of Trust.
But...I did think a little - THIS woman is the kind of person Yujiro should be with probably...she would be so much better with Okaasan than me. She was a warm, friendly lady and was even in Sapporo with HER 79-year old mum (who stayed behind in the hotel onsen and didn't come for dinner)...I wonder why she and Yujiro never got together?
* News from England. My step-mum is having a bad week - water on the lungs? Infection? She is in bed a lot and sounds tired and confused. But she is determined not to go back to hospital....I hope she will be ok. It is a sign of how precarious her general health-condition is.