Saturday, 12 May 2012


Went to a movie last night.
Well - a "film", cos after all - I AM British!

Such a small thing. But felt so good.
He was off at a ski teachers' end-of-another-season drinking party and I really couldn't face another dinner with Okaasan. Not on a Friday evening.

Our local park gets into spring.

Brrrrrrrr!!!! at 8 am.

My favorite tree .

Thursday was slightly better, because his customer cancelled and he came home early enough for family dinner - I got home at 7.30pm and we could sit there across the table from Okaasan doing the double act of chat for her to participate in when she wanted to.
But last night was MY time.

Okaasan saw enough of us during the day I think: in the morning in the kitchen as we were getting ready for work, and I prepped her lunch and left the flasks on the table; and then again late afternoon I came home to...wash up her lunch things.... feed cats... and prep more food for Okaasan - this time I left flat fish already cooked, and soup part-heated, and rice and Japanese spring veggies on the table.

She went out walking at 6 pm - for 2 weeks now she has been completely fixed in the local Seiyu and Macdonalds walk. I don't think she's been downtown by subway at all - every single day she has walked to the Seiyu shopping center 15 mins from home - and this week has managed to come home again without getting lost - does she remember my instructions: "Turn left at the traffic signals, NOT the park entrance" ?
We've talked - well mainly of course I have talked - endlessly about cherry blossoms in the city parks...but Okaasan hasn't gone to see any of them. Every day she just walked down to the shopping center and back again. The absolute routine.

Anyway, the movie and a quick dinner out was good - I feel my mood lift as soon as I get to the subway station and get on the train. I saw The Artist, the black and white, silent film about old Hollywood stars of the silent era - the real star of the film is the Jack Russell dog actor - who reminded me of Dad and Jane's dogs.

I got home about 9.45 pm. Okaasan was still awake and we just did basic chat in the kitchen, she didn't ask where I'd been, but the fish was mostly eaten and the rest too. So all ok. I am glad that we can still leave her like this with food prepped, that she can just about heat it and serve it and eat it herself.

And this weekend? Oh joy! It is Mother's Day tomorrow and we are planning a Family Trip out to a department store to help Okaasan buy summer clothes and shoes.
Dementia robs you of the ability to look and decide, and look again and shopping is a looooong process.
I will report from the front line soon. :-)


  1. Hi Amanda
    My name is Venus and I've been following your blog for a while. My granny is 91 yrs old and has dementia. Im not her main carer but I feel everythg you wrote abt it. I just think you are such a kind-hearted n lovely lady. I don't believe everybody can do what u do even to their own parents. So dun feel bad or blame yourself for some grievances. You are defo doing a GREAT job :)
    PS. Im fr Hong Kong, have studied n lived in the uk, came bk HK abt 3 yrs ago and I love travelling to Hokkaido!

  2. Hi Venus!
    Nice to "meet" you - and I connect on all those different points: dementia/Britain/Hokkaido :-))

    Next time you are in Hokkaido let me know and let's meet up for yummy Hokkaido food :-))))

    is your mum looking after your granny? I think it must be hard to do that when you knew what the person was before. I never really knew Okaasan it is easier in a way for me...sometimes...

  3. No, my parents divorced and my dad hasn’t remarried.
    My granny is living with my uncle and my dad. My aunt who lives pretty close to them takes turns to look after her.
    I think my granny forgot most of her adult life as she now acts like a very youngster, sometimes very grumpy and unreasonable, sometimes moody too. Everybody simply bears with her. Her sons are just a bit worried that she may outlive them and they can’t have their 20- yr-old home refurbished :)
    Yeh I love food in Hokkaido! Im hoping to visit Hokkaido during the red leaves season this year and it’d be lovely for us to meet up and have some nice sushi :)