I've managed a week without too much Okaasan interaction - three evening classes and one night out with Yujiro and friends - so could kid myself that I DON'T live with an old lady and her underpants.
But I do.
Tonight is the annual, big fireworks display in Sapporo and we have a major plan to take Okaasan. Last night after work we held a planning meeting and weighed up all the possible combinations of car/taxi/subway/bike taxi vs the different firework viewing locations and their access to decent toilets...and the pros and cons of dinner in different locales, and times...and ...and...
So, I am in charge of taking Okaasan from the house and going by subway to meet Yujiro downtown...taking some garden chairs and snacks. Then the three of us will go (by bike taxi!) and find a space by the river, in the park and near the toilets.....
I think this means I will have about 30 mins of woman to woman time with Okaasan....unless we have another mess-up like the park festival and Yujiro gets held up at work and leaves me to cope alone.
And so: On Duty.
;-( Yesterday was my Dad's birthday. I couldn't think how to mark the occasion at all, but think about past years when there would always be a big lunch out for major eating. And probably a present of colourful socks. Two years ago he died. Sometimes...many times...it doesn't seem at all real.
This is obviously because I am living overseas and I don't have the painful reality of his physical absence from my life. But the date July 28th came up and bit me.
I saw an interesting movie at the weekend: Life in a Day. It's a documentary, putting together many thousands of You Tube videos sent in by people on July 24 2010, all over the world....the happiness, the sadness, the crazy, the ordinary.
Made me think. Made me grateful for the comfortable life I lead with electricity, water, money and food and love.
Also made me think: what was I doing? what was happening July 24th last year? Getting fatter for sure, because I joined Curves gym around then and didn't know yet about my ovaries...and my step-mum was alive and in hospital, and I was wondering about a holiday in Hawaii.
And that week we took Okaasan to see the city fireworks.
No change there then.