If I had also got dressed I was patting myself on the back.
Now it seems half the day is lived before 9:00am.
Today by 9 I had:
- Fed, bentoed and hair arranged two kids, made sure they were wearing appropriate shoes (the kinder has gotten used to their unique and often seasonally inappropriate fashion sense but the other day Amy wore snow boots on a rainy day. Her sister's snow boots. Unsurprisingly she found it hard to play and the teacher asked that I check her shoes...) supervised bag packing and driven them to kinder.
- Driven home and picked up bag Meg left in genkan and returned to mollify hysteric Meg.
- Spoken to neighbour to the right about hospital visit to sick father of neighbour across the road to deliver 5,000 yen per immediate neighbour and 1,000 yen per same neighbourhood group neighbour (this was occurring as I shooed the girls out the door, hence the forgotten bag.)
- Driven down the mountain for a third time as I found the 10,000 yen note I had taken to change into a 5,000 yen note , a handful of change and anything-but-a-maple-flavoured-coffee at 7-11. I swear I am going to start pinning 5,000 yen notes to my knickers or something- they must be the most seldom used note around and of course, the note of choice for neighbourly fleecings.
- Delivered the Matsumoto magazine after inserting the three Azusagawa notices inside each of 16 copies. Did this on the kitchen floor and was only slightly concerned someone may get a bonus splodge of porridge...
- Printed out and delivered to the same 16 houses the notice of Neighbourhood Association Annual General Meeting that K had emailed to me while I was out delivering the ruddy magazine. Timing!!
- Run into neighbour to the right again and find out that I should have been checking whether deputy head M was available for hospital visit. Ran up to M's house- nope. Not available. Anyway bad blood between them because of that thing that was said 18 years ago blah blah blah..
- Report said information (minus bad blood bit) to neighbour to the right. Neighbour to the right has been to inform neighbour across the road that we are going to visit his father in hospital and found out that the old man is no longer recognising visitors. She has made the executive decision that it is therefore unnecessary to visit him personally and we can hand our money directly to the neighbour at his genkan. I pushed for following protocol anyway (it's not like he would know me anyway, he's been bedridden since before I arrived here) and was shush shushed.
- Wrote fancy money envelope (but not as fancy as welcome baby one of course, illness being rather less celebratory than birth...) wrapped it in fancy money envelope hiding cloth and met up with other immediate relatives infront of neighbour N's house.
- Bowed profusely, apologised humbly for not visiting in hospital (words got stuck in throat listening to wriggle-out-of-hospital-visit ringleader apologising for it so heartfeltly) handed over money and received three bottles of apple juice, six cans of tomato juice, two daikon and a pickling stone for my troubles. This kind of thank you gift is rather out of the ordinary but then neighbour N has stripped us each of 10,000 yen in the last week...
- Been accosted by a scurrying neighbour (I really do feel nervous when one of my neighbours runs down the road to see me- they're old, it's a steep hill and they're usually wearing vinyl slippers with a bit of heal action. Walk! Please! I'll wait!!) to inform me she won't be at the AGM as it's being held at night. They are always held at night (try getting farmers together during daylight hours) so I'm sure this is not the first meeting she's missed but I duly take her apologies and write it down for K.
- Returnred home.
Phew. All that by 9:00. I hadn't eaten breakfast, drunk any coffee or brushed my teeth but I forgave myself just this once.