Lilac time in Sapporo.
Spring is like this in Hokkaido - it all arrives at once, the skunk cabbages, the cherry, the plum, the forsythia, the daffs, the tulips...and now the lilac.
Odori Park in the center of the city has a Lilac Festival. Most years, the bushes don't flower in time for their own festival and I think city office staff are sent out with hairdryers, under cover of darkness, to fan the buds with hot air so at least one or two bushes near the festival site are in blossom.
But this year it's glorious. All lilac scent and blue sky, and the inevitable eating frenzy at the food stall areas which are a necessity at ANY Japanese festival.
We took Okaasan yesterday. Pretty sure she doesn't take herself to walk in the park and look flowers. She walks round the underground shopping streets and department stores. So we took her down to the city center for lunch and a look in Odori Park.
I've said before: it's hard for Okaasan to choose things. Because she can't remember what she saw first. We walked and looked at the different stalls: kebab, paella, fried noodles, chicken, curry, barbecue lamb, oysters etc....and then finally we sort of suggested paella to Okaasan.
We sat her on a bench while we got the food, and then managed to snag a table so the three of us could finally sit and eat. Okaasan likes festivals and festival food - in her childhood this WAS the entertainment, way before TVs and computer games.
But it was cold - the brisk wind became a freezing gale. Finally we looked at some lilac flowers, used the toilets in a big hotel and took a taxi to a nearby subway station, and went home.
Okaasan had a good time though. Little family day out. Animated and chatty, she enjoys looking at flowers, kids, cute dogs etc. Out in the windy cold it was a bit tiring though.
I notice that when she gets tired, she says random, crazy stuff.
Yesterday, after lunch she pointed to the next block of the park (it's 1 km long and various roads cross the park in the city center) - anyway, she pointed to the next block and said: "is that Nakajima Park?"
That's a park in the south of the city, near where we lived when she first came to Sapporo....the whole Lilac Festival, lunch and day out was all in the city center park Odori. :-(
And then later in the taxi, I pointed out a city center flower bed with a lilac tree in it, and she said again: "that's Nakajima Park, isn't it" - which it patently wasn't. It was a 2 meter by 1 meter flower bed...
I think when Okaasan is tired she says these random things, which are vaguely connected to what's happening now - but really more a phrase or question that her brain is supplying for the moment.
* But in positive news: The other day Okaasan did good House Wifeing by doling out drinks to the painters at home. In fact she went out for a walk EARLY in the afternoon and came home before 3 pm, just so she could dole out the drinks. Amazing that. She usually sits vacant in front of the Tv and only stirs when we come home and the noise in the kitchen stirs her to go out.
The painters are almost done, and the final job will be cleaning out the house heating oil tank and pipes. A workman will have to come in and check the pipes in Okaasan's room and the bathroom. I hope I'm home when they come - I think Okaasan will go into a panic of room cleaning if a strange man is going to come into her room.