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Greetings, my forty readers

You’re out there, readers, you’re really out there! To paraphrase Sally Fields.

Bruce, my own personal organiser and techno-geek, is visiting from Vancouver, and the other day he set up Google Analytics on my website. We waited 24 hours, then clicked on it and wow, I found out that about 40 people a day are actually reading what I write here. Terrifying. Mostly from Canada, but also from the Netherlands, Switzerland, England, France, the U.S. and one unnamed country. Gazanfer in Turkey, maybe? Anita in Finland? Hello! Welcome! Come on in, grab a coffee, let’s chat.
Milk? Sugar? Hmmm. What should we talk about? Suddenly I feel shy. Writing into a void was fine. Writing to 40 expectant readers is different. No, no it isn’t, get over it, on we go. Though I’d love to know who you are and what you’re doing right now. How’s things in Switzerland these days?
Right now I’m in my office surrounded by files and papers, but in a good way. As he always does, Brucie has forced me to get organised, and this time we tackled my office. Unlike my friend Mr. Choy, who works in a rabbit warren stacked ceiling-high with papers, books, collectibles and souvenirs, I work better in relative emptiness, hence the joy of the serene Paris apartment which contained almost nothing. Here, through the years, my hoarding nature has led me to open countless files – Books to Read, Articles of Interest, Great Writing to Keep, Nice Postcards to Look At Again in 40 Years, etc. I’m drowning in files and papers to file and things to read, including two bulging files entitled Papers to File and Things to Read.
Bruce and I reduced the mountain into recognisable piles and then moved most of them to another room, where I don’t have to look at them. “But, ” I protested, “I should sort them out first, read them or whatever.”
“You’re never going to do it,” said Bruce, “so let’s just put the stuff where it won’t make you feel guilty.”
And you know, he’s right. It’s in another room, stacked neatly in labelled boxes, and perhaps one day, who knows, after my prefrontal lobotomy when I need something mindless to do, I’ll sort it all. Until then, I don’t have to look at it and can get on with my work. Though Bruce left yesterday for Stratford and I unearthed more paper which is now spread on every surface, waiting for a decision. When Bruce gets back today, I’ll let him bundle it up and move it on out. Hooray for Bruce! I’m cooking him a pork roast and sweet potatoes, right now, as a reward.
It’s cold out there. The weather switched so fast, it was bewildering – one minute hot sun and t-shirts, the next blistering wind and freezing rain and hauling the heavy jackets up from the basement. That’s Canada. I love Canada. I have never loved Canada more than now, right after my long stay in Europe. Brucie has just reappeared from Stratford with a box of Rheo Thompson chocolates for me, wonderful man. “Let’s have one right now,” he said.
“No,” I replied. “In France you have chocolate after a meal, with coffee.”
“I hate France!” said Bruce, but of course he doesn’t mean it. We both love France but are happy to live in Canada where you can eat chocolate at any time of the day or night.
Except, even if you’ve put in a Herculean effort in the office, when you’re visiting me.



4 Responses to “Greetings, my forty readers”

  1. Carolyn says:

    Forty readers? That's impressive
    and probably disconcerting.

    Bruce is organizing your office? Interesting. I'm suspicious when he says the only time anyone's allowed in his apartment is during the annual fireworks display. I imagine all kinds of disorganization.

    I hope the pork roast has crackling. Hi Bruce!

  2. beth says:

    No crackling. But I did marinate the roast overnight in soy sauce and honey, as instructed by Lynn in France.

    Ah, the prophet without honour in his own land. You mean Bruce's own apartment is not a masterpiece of organisation and order? I'm shattered.

  3. Unknown says:

    I don't know you or Bruce but I love the image of him, piling, compiling, roasting, installing. He is full of gerunds and interesting tidbits of information and special talents. I mean, who is the keeper of the fireworks home?
    I just landed here looking for things to use in a memoir unit I am working on. Thanks for a lovely read!

  4. Rose says:

    This is the indispensable writer's detrius that follows us like a snail trail through the garden of our writing lives. We don't dare throw all of it out but we must prune and clip or we'll be forced to buy a second house just for the storage. I am eyeing next door as I live in the end of an attached Victorian row. (BTW I wrote a comment before resigning up for google. Now I'm anxious to see if that will also come through, making me appear way, way too wordy in my appreciation of your take on something I am about to do myself, i.e. sort all those papers. Perhaps it is a fall writer's thing?) Rose DeShaw

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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