Only 6 people though, so nice and relaxing.
A Japanese friend who lives in England came with her England and Japan family and we cooked and ate and laughed in the late afternoon/early evening.
Okaasan went out at 12.30 immediatly after lunch to avoid the incoming visitors.
By 7.15 pm she still hadn't come home. I felt guilty and worried about her staying out again to escape the social pressure of meeting guests at the house.
I nagged Yujiro into calling her cell phone.
She was at her usual place: the counter of the Seicomart convenience store down the road, eating a riceball.
He coaxed her into coming home.
She looked so tired, poor thing, I steered her straight into the kitchen and fed her raw squid, soup and melon...gave her some friendly chat etc. She looked tired.
I feel we have to be very careful about too many visitors and BBQs here....because she stays out for hours and hours to avoid it all. She is healthy etc for walking, but still - 81 years old and seven hours out. It's a long time.
The friends left. We cleared up the BBQ and went inside, leaving charcoal burner and boxes on the front doorstep.
About 8.30 pm I heard a sound.
Looked out and saw this late visitor!!!
A North Fox in the garden! This is 6 subway stops from central Sapporo.
Obviously drawn in by the smells of meat and burnt marshmallows.
I'd heard from a student that there are foxes in the park near here, and the big cemetary. But never expected to see one on the doorstep.
And then I realized Popo and Chichi - the young stupid cats Who Know No Fear - were down in the garden too. I raced downstairs with Yujiro just in time to see Popo chase the fox....it ran a few steps and then turned round and growled at him. Popo backed up to the lawn in surprise (none of the local dogs do THAT on their walks past the house on leads), Yujiro grabbed the hosepipe and we gave the foxy visitor a wet farewell.