Hokkaido disappeared in a snow storm this week.
Typhoon speed winds, snow, rain, snow again.....days of it.
Flights and trains cancelled and roads all over a white out.
Luckily I didn't have to go very far to anywhere: the 9th floor of my Japanese teacher's apartment was shaking and the supermarkets were deserted.
Quite a week of Back to Work really.
Okaasan, of course, was stuck at home.
The day service helper came on Wednesday at the height of the storm, but couldn't/didn't take Okaasan out - just stayed an hour and chatted.
But it meant that Okaasan hadn't got out of the house for 7 days....since I'd taken her to the shrine.
So, on Thursday Dear Son and I both got home from work about 6 pm, fed the cats, and turned right round and went out again with Okaasan in the car to a local big shopping mall.
Walked all over the supermarket and shops, and had dinner at a ramen place on the way home.
Exhausting, but necessary.
DS was home quite a bit recently. "Home" as in into the house around 6 pm, and out again at 6 am. Going to bed by 9 pm, so "home" for 3 hours a day, minus the long time he can spend in the toilet looking at his iphone, in the shower and packing ski stuff into and out of the car. Actual "home and talking time" is probably about one hour. But he was around.
Okaasan was ok. Sort of. Watched Tv and slept her way thru the week. Occasional looked through the bags she has on the carpet around her. Stuffed them with rolled up newspaper. Took the stuffing out. Put it back in again. Giving her some of the bags and removing the rest from sight was a good idea.
But even Okaasan kind of felt she hadn't been out for ages and had cabin fever a-growing. So the shopping mall was a relief.
Big news! I shared this with close Facebook friends now, and I think you blog readers are pretty close too - so here's sharing with you:
I'm going to organise a film screening, plus director Q and A session in Sapporo in May this year!
The film is 毎日がアルツハイマー/Everyday is Alzheimer’ｓ
This is a Japanese documentary by director Yuka Sekiguchi. EIA1 was released a few years ago - and shows the everyday life of Sekiguchi-san's mother Hiroko. EIA2 was made last year, and is about the director's trip to the UK to talk to care givers and managers about Alzheimer's.
If you look on YouTube, you'll find many excerpts from the films. Some with English subtitles.
EIA1 was shown in Sapporo a few years ago at a small theater for a week. I went and was so moved. All around me in the theater darkness were other people being moved too. You could FEEL it in the air. Other, mainly middleaged watchers, seeing their own family situations up there on the screen and realizing they were not alone.
Sekiguchi-san is a wonderful, positive person - I haven't met her yet - but throughout the film you feel her energy and humour. It gave us all renewed energy to go back to our own kitchens and living rooms and be positive with our family members again. The kind of film experience that speaks to your heart.
When I heard EIA2 was made I looked forward to seeing it. Went and asked at local theaters...no answer...no plans....I could see showings in Tokyo and Kobe etc..nothing up here in the northern wilds of Japan's 5th biggest city.
Best way to deal with frustration is to do something yourself.
** Hire a movie theater! Yes!
** Contact the film distribution company! Arrange screening rental!
And by huge, wonderful luck - discover that director Sekiguchi will be in Sapporo in May on other business, and thru Facebook she kindly offers to drop by to my screening event and say "hello and thankyou" to the audience.
I got myself a Film Screening and Director Appearance event.
Everyday is Alzheimer's ONE and TWO are coming to Sapporo!
Very excited. Can't explain how much. Had to sit on this a bit while I was setting it up with the movie theater, the distributor and Sekiguchi-san.
But now everything is officially in place and I can let the lid off my excitement.
That's how I feel!
The movie theater seats over 300 and is right in the center of the city. Comfortable seats. Last year I organised screenings of HAFU at a community center, big success with over 200 people...but the chairs were painfully hard.
This time will be better.
Many things to think about. But the main pleasure for me is knowing that 300 people in Sapporo who live with, or work with, or worry about Alzheimer's can come and share with eachother.
It's a strange, sometimes scary, sometimes funny, often frustrating disease: but the message of these films is that with humor, openheartedness and acceptance it doesn't need to be a grim, daily struggle for carers or sufferers.
It is possible to hunt thru kotatsu garbage and smile. :-)
So. I'm pretty chuffed. (That's British for happy..)