Did my Oyomesan duty yesterday and took Okaasan downtown for a look at the Christmas lights and a feel of the season.
She hasn't been downtown alone for months - well there was once.
I felt she should get out and enjoy the season with crowds and decorations.
I drove her downtown with a white lie that I had to meet an old student for a few hours - so she could enjoy herself freely and then meet up with me and come home again by car.
Wondered whether I should go round with her - but decided she probably enjoy going back to her old haunts and doing what SHE chose - so arranged to meet her later.
It's always hard to make plans for meeting with Okaasan. I'm never sure whether the information has lodged in her memory or not. LOTS of repeating of the main message: "Here at 5.30 pm. Yes, inside. Here. This coffee shop. 5.30.....5.30....5.30 ..."
I try to keep the information simple - didn't elaborate too much on where I was meeting the old student etc, in case THAT information got into the mix.
Dropped her off outside her favorite coffee shop, and I disappeared to do some shopping and wandering of my own.
The central park of the city - right opposite the coffee shop has winter illuminations and a German-theme Christmas market - so it looked perfectly. Inside the market itself looked slippery because we hadn't had fresh snow for a week - but the scene looked good from across the road.
Came back just before 5.30 pm.
No Okaasan in or out of the coffee shop.
I waited 10 mins. Then called her.
She was 100 m away in the underground shopping area - said she was coming. Waited another 15 mins. More phone calls, I ran around into the shopping area to look for her - thinking "wow! So many people seem to have orange padded winter coats!"...and started to panic...had I lost her? had I over-assumed how much she remembers about being downtown? Thought about asking information desk to make an announcement.
Wondered what Dear Son would say if I lost his mother, or she fell and injured herself. Felt my blood pressure edge upwards.
Went back to the coffee shop and there she was. With coffee and a cake "because it's rude to just order coffee, but no I don't want it...you eat it...."
We sat in comfortable-twosomeness and watched all the customers come and go, people loaded down with Christmas shopping and families out for the lights in the park. There I was in HER favorite coffee shop, where she used to meet the friendly woman etc Okaasan was happy to be back in that place.
It was a good thing to do.
Her walking downtown was actually good. I was pleased and surprised. The parking area was a basement, but she got down about 20 steps holding onto the handrail and didn't seem to complain about leg pains.
Came home and made Okaasan a Korean onepot dish with lots of tofu and veggies. She had just plopped down in front of the TV when it was ready - so I gave it to her there...and I retreated upstairs to finish off the day very healthily...with mulled wine and cheesecake.
Oh - and Christmas cake cupcakes?
From the BBC Food website - VERY good. I've made a batch this afternoon - oh yum.....very yum. Will try them with more alcohol next....