Thankyou all kindly for comments about the maiko pictures - it really was a fun thing to do and worth every yen of the Y18,000 it cost for make up/dressing/photo posing inside/photo posing outside and rickshaw ride/undressing and make-up washing.
Yes, walking in the high wooden sandals - called pokuri? - is hard, the bottoms are sloped, so if you lean forward too much the whole balance gets out of whack. Also in kimono you have to take tiny little steps and sit down with care. The photographer had ideas about me sitting on the tatami mats, but with my knee and general all-round inelegance I didn't think it was possible.
Ahh......that was then.....like a dream now! Only a week ago.
Back in my reality we are dealing with Okaasan's fantasies.
Basically she is much better now - been to day care twice, and even joined in the hula dance class at the center. We took her out for a sushi dinner and she walked with me...slowly ...down to the restaurant.
The weather has been crazy with a massive typhoon in Japan, and here we had strong winds and rain and then SNOW in some areas a few hours drive from here! So Okaasan hasn't been out for an independent walk this week.
Yesterday I washed all the clothes that she has piled up permanently on her sofa. About 20 camisoles and 4 pajama jackets.
They still weren't dry by evening, so I thought I should tell her as there was a big gaping clean space on the sofa.
"Oh, those clothes? They were all mixed up, but I think they were all clean!" she said in surprise.
"Um, I don't think they were so clean....they are drying now. They'll be ok tomorrow."
Funny - I guess to her they are things that have just been in the laundry and are waiting to be folded and put away. Only she never puts them away. Ever. She paws thru them and selects one to wear, then when she takes it off she just puts it back in the jumbled mass again. I haven't washed any of these camisoles since early summer...and I know she hasn't.
So. Not so clean then.
And. The Winter Coat Fantasy.
The department store woman in Tokyo who sold me my coat 5 years ago is going to come to Hokkaido and deliver me a new coat, because I ordered one from her.
This fantasy appeared last year when Okaasan's winter coat was split at the back arm seam (her back is so bent, it distorts ordinary clothing). When we talked about buying a new coat she came up with this story of the already-ordered coat from Tokyo.
Dear Son was with Okaasan in that Tokyo department store and he knows that the sales staff was just making polite chat about "oh, you are moving to Hokkaido with your son! oh, Hokkaido, maybe I will come one day! how interesting! etc".
In Okaasan's fantasy this has grown into an actual relationship with that woman. Okaasan has written notes on bits of paper - kind of practice letters - saying "how are you, I'm ok, it is cold in Sapporo now, I look forward to seeing you when you come with my coat...." I've found these bits of paper on her table.
Of course, she doesn't know the woman's name, address of the department store or any other thing. And certainly Tokyo department store staff don't personally deliver single coats to one-off customers!
So. This weekend we will set out as a happy, stressy family to the big department store IN Sapporo to buy a new coat. We planned to do it weeks ago but the whole Leg Pain Can't Walk saga put it on hold.
When we've mentioned this plan to Okaasan she immediately tells us: "Oh, we don't need to buy a coat in Sapporo, I've ordered one from Tokyo!"
Dear Son will tell her directly: "no, that woman in Tokyo never promised to deliver a coat, you are wrong, let's go!" And Okaasan will look confused and constantly question his version of events. It must be so confusing - something you are certain is true. To be told that it didn't happen.
You have to trust the people who are telling you so much. Trust that they may be right. Trust their version of your own life.