アイビーグループ ウィルキンソン吉波アドグルOB会 HPお知らせ [2016年１月更新]
報告 ウィルキンソン先生からのクリスマス・レター [2015.12]
A Merry Christmas and
a Happy New Year!
This year was not an anniversary year like last year, but a very nice birthday picture was taken of me, which I thought would be worth including, to brighten up this letter. It was taken by an old student, who had been coming to me every week for 47 years to brush up his English, but has now decided that he had come to an age when he needed to cut down on his activities, so he no longer comes.
I am thankful to say that I am still able to carry on my regular activities, though I have definitely slowed down in the last few months. Every action these days takes four or five times as long as it used to do in the old days, and, like my friend, I have cut out all unnecessary engagements. Inside the house, when I want to walk around, I cling to one piece of furniture after another to support myself. Apart from shopping, my activities consist of visits to doctors. One visit that I make twice a week is to my “foot doctor” (Japan doesn’t have any real chiropodists or podiatrists), who chips away at hard skin on the bunion under my right little toe, which makes walking painful. In the middle of the year I had to make several visits to the dentist, as my upper plate, which was newly made last year, kept cracking and breaking. I am now using an older plate, reinforced by a metal strip running across it inside. It had been unusable as the front teeth were missing, but he added new ones.
Then a little later I went to see a surgeon, as I had a second recurrence of a hernia on the right side. He looked at it and decided it was not serious, and said he didn’t want to operate on me at my age; I had been keying myself up to face the prospect of going to hospital, and it was a great relief not to have to do it. So I just have to live with my hernia; it doesn’t hurt, and gives me no trouble, and in fact it subsides when I lie down, so it’s no problem really.
There have only been two occasions this year which I could call “events”. The first was in March, when a cousin-once-removed came with his wife from Victoria in Canada on a short visit to Japan. The last time I had seen them was when Joan and I went over there in 2000, so it was a really nostalgic occasion. The other event was in September, when a couple from my old Adviser Group in Aoyama Gakuin returned from a year’s stay in England; he is now a professor in the university, and had been on a sabbatical in Oxford. They are the ones who have in fact been keeping the Adviser Group going as far as they can, and one big event they arranged was my 88th birthday party, which I told you about last year. While in England they met a member of the Asiatic Society, who persuaded them to join, so I can now meet them there regularly.
As before, I am writing the monthly Bulletins for the Asiatic Society, and here I can record one anniversary; as of last May I had been writing the summaries of the meetings for the Bulletins for 40 years. I have also been doing other work for the Society by way of helping to proofread the articles for the annual Transactions, some of which are extremely long.
I don’t think I have been to any of the events of the Japan-British Society this year, and only to two of the Cambridge and Oxford Society. One was the spring party at the Embassy, where I met my old student the Crown Prince once more, and the other was a proper sit-down dinner at the Tokyo Club. And of course I continue to go to church, where we have two very nice pastors, though I only pick up bits of the sermons here and there; I go mainly for the fellowship and for meeting people there.
And now I come to something I have never mentioned before. For some time now I have been working on putting together “My Life Story”, and all the time I keep on thinking of other interesting items I’d like to add. But I think I need to call a halt to it now, so as to have it ready to announce in this letter. The fellow who arranges all the publishing on the Internet for me has opened a page on Facebook for me, and will put this on it. When you enter my name, many different “Hugh Wilkinson” pages will come up together, but you can easily spot mine with my smiling face. As I write this, my story, which runs to some forty odd A4 pages, is almost ready for uploading, and will be in position by the time you search for it; it will also be added to my newly recreated website, https://hughcom.wordpress.com/.
Joan and I write regularly to each other every other week. Usually she has no great events to write about, and I hardly have many either, but I manage to fill my letter (it’s an aerogramme) with odd items of interest, often about my daily life. As I wrote last time, it’s nice to have a letter to look forward to. She often includes sets of stamps, if they’re the kind that will interest me (the last ones were issued to commemorate the Queen’s overtaking Queen Victoria in the length of her reign). And at Christmas I know she will send me a copy of one of her paintings, which she does at a painting class; I think it will be a copy of a view of somewhere in Japan.
As before, I am always in danger walking in the street, but I have managed to survive safely so far, so let’s hope this continues. And I usually write something about the fashions I see; the latest style of hat seems to be close to what I call a “Guy Fawkes hat”, a black hat with a wide floppy brim and high crown, but not quite a witch’s hat.
So there we are. I’m afraid a lot of this letter has been about my state of health, but that’s the way things are these days; let’s only hope I shall still be in a fit state to continue writing next year, which will be my 90th!
With best wishes,