Had dinner a deux with Okaasan tonight.
Haven't had to do that in a while.
Yujiro is out at a velo taxi drivers' end-of-season-piss-up and so I get the wonderful event of Dinner with Okaasan.
And on Wednesday he's off for a week of annual piss-up in the Tokyo area with old friends...and I will get night after glorious night of....Dinner with Okaasan.
Except I jumped at the chance of two students booking evening classes on Wednesday and Thursday so that's TWO evenings I can escape. Wonder if I could book classes on the other 5 nights too?
There was a brief ray of escape light when I thought Okaasan herself was going to drop dinner plans at 5 pm because she came rushing home in the rainstorm and said she'd slipped in our parking area, fallen and hurt her lip. No blood or anything, but pain.
And the next thing would be: feeling injured/sick...shouldn't eat any dinner......
But no. No such luck.
I cooked spagetti, salad and soup - all easy.
Got Okaasan to the table, fumbled around for a conversation topic and after a few false starts got her onto - Culture Day last week - lots of Japanese kinds of culture - you did flower arranging didn't you - young people don't know how to do it - and tell me everything again and again about your flower arranging classes in Tokyo 50 years ago...and she did over and over again.
The stories got all very mixed up - with cooking classes and flower arranging classes, and who said what and when, and where, and cooking and flowers....
The soup and the salad were sitting on the table while Okaasan waved her choptsticks around and chatted on and on. Finally I stood up and cleared away my dirty plates, washed up the pans, wiped down the kitchen surfaces...and finally remembered the Get Out of Kitchen card - some laundry hanging in the bathroom.
"Ahh this laundry didn't dry, I'd better take it upstairs to the living room heater, excuse me, so sorry!.....".
Laundry is always a good excuse for leaving the table and kitchen, because Okaasan thinks doing laundry is important and good housewifeing.
And so I escaped. 50 minutes of Dinner with Okaasan. Done.
Gonna be a long, long week.
Gonna be a whole lot of moaning here folks.
I fear, and tonight certainly seemed so, that Okaasan's conversation powers have declined since last year. With Yujiro she just sits and listens to him go on and on, making the occasional contribution. With me and my patchy Japanese ability she has to do more of the talking, I can't prattle in Japanese so well - and so I get her onto a topic, ask some innocent questions on her fave topic and let her run with it.
But getting her to eat dinner while running round memory-land is hard!
Gonna be a long week a-coming.