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about privacy and the new kind of grandmother

I’ve just come back from my regular Wednesday runfit class at the Y, or, as it’s better known, Carole’s class. Carole is a remarkable woman who travels all over the world to run marathons. Today there was a lanky girl in the class who’s never been there before; Carole asked her to lead one of the runs, which is an unusual honour for a stranger.

After class, Carole introduced us. “This is my granddaughter,” she said, “the youngest of the three.” Yes, the remarkably fit Carol, in her early sixties, is a grandmother. I thought of my grandmothers – Nettie in New York, who wore shapeless dresses and big black shoes and whose favourite sport was kvetching, and Marion in London in her sensible blouses and skirts and brooches, and laughed. It was unthinkable that those grandmothers would walk fast, let alone run. One of the good ways in which the world has changed.
And back to the weekend, which showed us another good thing: everything taking place on television or on cellphone videos. The events on late Sunday afternoon unfolding on CP24, a channel I usually only watch to see the weather, were amazing – in real time, we watched as the police boxed in that group, let people out only to be arrested, moved them from shelter into the middle of the street to be drenched in the downpour. We heard from some guy called Sammy, who was caught in the middle and sending regular phone reports to the station. And we heard instantly when the ordeal ended; Sammy went directly from his place of detainment to the station, where we got to see him at last, wrapped in a towel and talking to the camera about what it was like. He was so level-headed and reliable throughout, they should offer him a job.
The politicians may have granted the police too much power, but these days, because there is no privacy any more, we are all aware of exactly what that means. Sometimes that lack of privacy feels intrusive and annoying. But on the weekend, it was a godsend for democracy.

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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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