Something for Okaasan to do, physical and mental activity, interaction with other people.
Got her all primed by about 9.20 am and took her one subway station away to the area where my classroom is located.
On the way she showed me (she remembers!) where she fell recently. In fact, not the station entrance area - but a sloped, rough ground pathway under the subway line...now she uses the handrails eachside. I wonder how long she lay there before someone helped her?
At the station it is agony to watch her fumble ever so carefully - somehow those contradictory ideas ARE possible - through her handbag as she searched for money to buy gum, and then put the gum in the bag, and then look again for the subway card, and then look for the gum, and then the card...and...and..
Like a small child who has to fasten her little purse just so, and then look up and focus on the next thing..Okaasan and her bag is a whole performace. There are three pockets in the bag and she hunts thru all of them eachtime.
At Hiragishi subway station I steered her to the closest exit to the community center, and then pointed out to Okaasan loudly and clearly the landmarks - BEHIND the supermarket, PAST my classroom, IN FRONT of the hospital. I hope some of this information will sink in and help her in future.
Because YES - there WILL be a future to this class. :-)
It was perfect.
Only 7 students, mostly middle aged, one friendly teacher. A nice clean, new community center room with toilets handy and a service kitchen area for drinks. I'd forgotten to check that she'd brought a bottle of water, and an umbrella...but I stayed for the first few minutes of the class and came back when they'd finished.
Okaasan became lively and happy. I saw her standing with a classmate at the sink area chatting, standing right next to the woman, elbow to elbow, all animated about weather and stuff. She sometimes stands behind Yujiro at the sink like this, standing closer than is natural, almost joined at the hip to him. She was doing it with the classmate. Good sign.
It fits my schedule too - just before I have a class downtown, so I can take her for the next few weeks, and in winter I could even take her by car.
Of course, the great unknown is how many stressy performance days they have. I recognised one of the classmates from somewhere - so I think there will be some as Japanese groups love to display talent at events. But we'll climb that problem when it comes.
Okaasan seemed to enjoy it and was all enthusiastic.
From my classroom window I saw her heading home later. I followed her as far as the corner, to check if she would locate the subway entrance alone and saw her heading into the supermarket. She ate something there, and bought more food at a convenience store and got home mid-afternoon. Quite a long day for her. But she was happy and wants to go again.
...and...yesterday the local newspaper featured me, yet again, this time as a local Brit who has tickets for the Olympics etc. My double-chin is in glorious techni-color for all of Hokkaido to see.
and then I got home after evening class to find...MY OLYMPIC TICKETS HAD ARRIVED!!!!
I am really going. Really. Going. Soon. JOYYYYYYYYY!