THIS is a Victoria Sponge cake with Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee awesome decorations!
Look! Liz and Phil and the corgis, standing amid the icing sugar, backed by guardsmen and Buck House and even a carriage and some bunting.
Excellent. Many, many thanks to the UK friend who found this piece of royalist frippery. Here is the website that makes them.
It was the centerpiece in my English school Garden Party yesterday - students and friends came to sit in the garden and enjoy a riot of roses, tea, cake, chat and a lot of loud laughter. It was a lot of hard work to prepare, but so worth it to see the smiles and hear the boisterous happiness.
Essential questions included: Why is Shortbread called that? and Prince Philip, who is he? and What is it with the Queen, and corgis?
Okaasanin all this jollity? Exited sharply. As soon as she heard there were guests coming she was out the door. She remembered the time (3 pm) for party start, and 10 minutes later...she was out of her pajamas and into clothes and OUT the door. Gone. No - the idea of chat in Japanese to friendly, mainly middle aged people, with darling son and me, and cake and tea? No. Gone.
Actually easier without her really. But...
Sympathy. For me. The husband of one of my students is a psychiatrist.. and he is offering to help get Okaasan assessed for day care etc - if ONLY I can get Yujiro onto this topic. They came to the tea party with lots of useful leaflets about city services and assessment. Being Japan, there are lots of cute cartoons of confused old people wondering whether they've eaten a meal or why everyone is celebrating on their birthday..
Ahhhh. Sympathy for my plight. People are kind. I know. But the nitty-gritty is that YES, there are all sorts of wonderful, helpful things out there in the community which would make Okaasan and our lives much better...but first, first...I have to get him to want any of that...and take steps to shake up Okaasan's life by getting her accepting of help.
I am going to leave this topic till after I go to London for the Olympics later THIS MONTH = YIPPPPEEE ! - and then, when I come back I will try to choose the best moment and talk to him about this: this winter, Okaasan MUST go to daycare at least once a week. You MUST get the application process for this started, even if we have to get some nice social worker type to come and help us persuade Okaasan on the subject.
It. Will. Happen.
Cheer me on please!
* and in other news...being a sucker for stress I have found a hula dance class near my English classroom. The new community center has a class on Wednesdays at 2 pm for elderly ladies. I even know the teacher, because when I went to find out she recognised me as the kind foreigner who'd helped her a few years ago trying to decipher the lyrics of a hula dance song a friend in Hawaii had given her on CD.
So. Am I brave enough to try yet again to get Okaasan into another dance class?
It's right behind my classroom. 2 pm is a good time for her in the day, after a light lunch. It's near the subway station....the teacher is a friendly woman.
All sounds good. Do I have the energy to try?
Finally...roses. So beautiful this year.
* I may disappear for a while off-blog...my log in details seem to have been bamboozled...is it in connection with the Japanese government websites that are being attacked by anonymous hacker-types protesting about new downloading laws? Not sure why..but I'm worried I won't be able to log in again after this...so there may be a pause in ramblings..