Monday, 21 March 2016

A women's weekend

That title conjures up images of fluffy towels, bottles of champers, masseurs-on-tap and a stripper.

But in fact it was just 3 days of me and Okaasan co-existing on different floors of the same house and coming together briefly for what needed to be done.

Dear Son is away for the final gulp of ski teaching work. The weather was foul. I spent Saturday in my pajamas and took Marie Kondo's decluttering advice to my overflowing bookcases. Sorted out piles of stuff - old teaching materials I once cut up and laminated...and then haven't used in years. Endless little notebook presents....I don't have enough thoughts to fill all these little pads of paper that students and friends give me. Four bags of trash at the end and a much more organised book case.

Meals with Okaasan. Pretty silent. She doesn't talk much. Even when prompted. Conversation flickers around the food, the flowers in the vase, the cat on my knee.

I tried to spike some interest in the topic of spicy food - Korean - food - Korean restaurants - that Korean place in Ikebukuro station you used to go to...

Zilch. That memory has vanished. Permanently probably. Used to be one of her stock stories about going to the Korean restaurant at the top of the department store, before getting the train to the suburbs. How it was so popular lines of people sat at tables.

Now I could be telling my OWN story. She listened to my words and had no reaction to them. Nothing in what I said sounded familiar.

So, pretty silent meals.

Okaasan sits or lays on the carpet in front of the TV a lot. Often what is on TV is a topic that she can't be interested in: making cabinets for a garage or economists discussing the price of oil...but she just watches it. I wonder how much she is understanding now. If I notice it is the shopping or weather channel I switch it onto something more entertaining.

But on Sunday afternoon she responded to my prompts and accepted a lift in the car to the subway station. Disappeared alone downtown for about 3 hours. Came home safely - well, confusing the station staff as usual with a rail pass/ticket combination. Had no memory of what she had done downtown. Handbag receipts told the story of going to her usual coffee shop and eating a cake.

All pretty boring. Sorry. this blog IS boring now......I wonder if  I should stop?

I started it in the expectation that Okaasan would only live a few years, that her decline into dementia would be sharper....that our struggles to care for her would make interesting reading. we are. 7 years on.


  1. Don't stop! I've been reading your blog for many years, and I would miss it. It's nice to get glimpses of your daily life in Japan.

  2. Please don't stop blogging! It is good that things have settled down into a predictable pattern for the time being, which I am sure you are grateful for. I enjoy reading about your outings and cats, so keep us updated, please!

  3. I don't want you to stop! I love reading your Okaasan stories and comparing to my Otoosan's progress!

  4. Actually your writing is never boring. It is just life. I see the same thing going on with my in-laws. So please update when you have time. Thank you for sharing.

  5. I have enjoyed reading your blog for years now. It's this little look into someone's life in a different place. Connects me to another human and REALLY makes me want to visit Sapporo and couch surf in your classroom some day. ^_^

    1. Hey! Come!!!! I might even wash the of my Couch Surfers a year or two back was also areader, it was very strange to meet a stranger but know she knew about me pissing in a trash box and other sneaky deeds....haven't done so much Couch Surfing recently as I had foreign friends staying and needing care...but maybe this year more.