Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Bits 'n pieces.

That beach in Australia...is fading into a holiday memory now.
Real life kicked in finally.
This is actually week with no public holiday - so Monday to Friday work, but nice to finally see my Monday students again. :-)

First snow in the city limits in Sapporo, on top of the local mountain....but still. You can see the white from downtown.

All jogging along at home.
Okaasan eating what we leave out in the kitchen for lunch, sleeping all afternoon and heading out about 5 pm for a little neighborhood walk...usually home by 6.30 pm or 7 pm. She really doesn't go far these days, the Seicomart convenience store or Seiyu supermarket. In Sapporo now it is dusk at 5 pm and cold, but Okaasan isn't tuned into that at all - and off she sets when the best weather has finished. She's on a yogurt-buying-spree at the moment. She buys endless pots of it.

This week she did a little laundry for herself, dropped her favorite rice bowl on the kithen floor and smashed it, giggled about the cats etc. I cooked her old fave food potatoes/cabbage fried up...but it wasn't quite as she does it...so there was endless analyzing of THAT scintillating topic at the dinner table - I am getting better at just gritting my teeth and sitting thru this, but OH MY GOD - really....why do Japanese family members do this to eachother? Why not say: "Oh it's a bit different from usual, but tastes good, thankyou for cooking it....and what did YOU do today?"????
Instead Okaasan, with Yujiro's inevitable encouragement, go on and on...and on and on about "oh this is different, why is different, oh it's different, what is it different.....yadda yadda yadda".
Drives me nuts.
It's potato and cabbage fried in a pan for God's sake! Not centuries old traditional New Year food!!!!

Ahhhhhh. Just need to get that stress out. Thankyou.

I hope Okaasan just drifts in this daily routine for a while, but I often worry that when I come home one day I'll find her in a crises - not sure exactly what of course, but something. Some family accounts in the dementia books tell how the family come home one day to find their dementia sufferer in a huge mess in the toilet, or upturning all the contents of the kitchen or ripping up all the flowers in the garden - and that for some reason unknown the dementia has reached another stage.

Instead the cat gave us stress: we were both working late Monday night (left notes on the table and phoned Okaasan to buy something for dinner at the supermarket)....but the cat? Chichi obviously came home. Found nobody and buggered off again. Until now. Tuesday evening, he came home about 45 minutes ago....I guess he was away in his Hanako alternate reality.
Maybe he needs a cell phone with a GPS function so we can track him too.

Two bits of good news....more to do with me that Okaasan though...

I can now reveal (because she says it is ok), that one of my oldest friends in Japan is MOVING TO SAPPORO FROM TOKYO next year!!! With hubby and baby! Her husband has been offered a job here and they will move in early 2012.
I am so selfishly happy - never ever thought one of my Japanese sisters would actually come and live just along the subway line from me. I am imagining all sorts of fun activities - barbecues! coffee shops! izakiyas! skiing!...oh...she has a tiny baby....well...maybe afternoons on the carpet with toys and nappies then! But it is happy happy news.

And the other is a work thing: I've been introduced as a possible teacher to do examining for the IELTS test, the big international English-ability test that people who want to study in the UK (mainly) have to take. 
I teach it sometimes and now I am taking the first steps to maybe becoming a local examiner for the speaking section of it...or even teaching a short course in it locally. All good professional advancement :-))

Anyway. Tonight dinner is easy - dear kind wonderful generous Tamiko gave me salmon roe - so tonight will be rice and fish eggs and soup and vegetable/salad. I am wondering which part of that I can muck up.
Or maybe we'll have an interesting dinner conversation instead.

P.S. After that amazing giant turd story in a class last week I decided to tell the manager of the class, so that if there are complaints about that student from his classmates - at least the company are forewarned. The manager was supportive about it and said if it gets worse he's call the family....but I'm hoping THAT kind of behaviour doesn't happen again in my class!......I feel for Okaasan's hula dance teacher and classmates because I am sure they had to work around her...but thankfully I am pretty sure she NEVER told a giant turd story in public!!!!!!

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