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warm thoughts on a cold day

The round of Christmas parties has begun, I’m just back from one, and with weeks to go, my pants are too tight already. Drinkies and snackies and merriment – mmmm. And a merry swelling in the waist region to you too.

Saw the new Harry Potter movie a few nights ago. This film is meant for children?! Please do not take a child to see it. It’s about Fascism, the takeover of the world by the dark forces of hatred and the vilest intolerance; good people of whom the authorities do not approve are dragged off for torture and death, lovely Hermione has “mudblood” carved into her flesh like an Auschwitz tattoo … it’s powerful stuff and I love all the actors, but ye gods, it’s not for children.
And continuing in that serious mode – I just watched Paul McCartney on YouTube, singing the original version of “Yesterday,” entitled “Scrambled Eggs,” with Jimmy Fallon on his show. Jimmy Fallon is a comic who used to be goofy and now has his own show and is wearing a very expensive suit – that’s all I know about him. I know a lot about dear old Paul. What I do not know is … why is he doing this stupid @#$#@$? Apparently tomorrow, he’s hosting “Saturday Night Live.” He doesn’t need the money or the exposure, so why?
A wonderful dinner on Wednesday night with some of my oldest friends from university days in the late sixties – and speaking not about myself, of course, but about them – what a vibrant, accomplished, interesting and attractive bunch of women they are. One of life’s great gifts – old friends, people who were there decades ago, who’ve followed you through all those stages, transitions, crazy times and hairdos, and are still, for some incomprehensible reason, there. A blessing.
And speaking of blessings … this week our charming and debonair new mayor was inaugurated by the dignified hockey commentator Don Cherry, who spoke of his love of this city with such depth that I had tears in my eyes, liking especially his warm embrace of the opposition – i.e. the “left-wing pinko weirdos” he mentioned with such tenderness. I hear there are “pinko cyclist” buttons available now. Please, if any of you finds one, send it to me. Send me fifty; I’ll wear them all. Let’s all wear pink from now until this band of barbarians has been sent fleeing back to the outer circle of hell, i.e. Etobicoke, from whence they came.
Speaking of tears in my eyes – I just finished “Must you go,” the book Antonia Fraser published about her extremely happy marriage to Harold Pinter. This is the book of which both Eleanor Wachtel and Michael Ondaatje disapproved but which I thoroughly enjoyed. Two hard-working, well-known Londoners found a very great love in their forties, and lived it to the hilt until his death not long ago. It’s a great joy to read about a rarely happy marriage .
One entry especially hit home with me. Antonia is speaking with an old friend, who has known her since childhood, about the fact that she has fallen in love with Pinter and will leave her husband.
“You have a special problem,” says the friend to Antonia, who is from the British aristocracy, very well-educated and the author of several books. “You are a woman and a strong character, yet you want your husband to be stronger. Women with strong characters who want to dominate are always fine because there are plenty of weak men around. Also plenty of strong men for weak women. But yours is a special problem.”
I understand this problem, and I think my daughter does too, the particular problem of a woman of strong character who would like a mate to be as strong, if not stronger, but not in a domineering way. Hard to find. Lucky Antonia found such a man in Harold Pinter. Who would have thought that the acerbic author of “The Homecoming” could write streams of sweet love poems to his bride?
And finally, with all the bad news, Mayor Ford and Don Cherry, Obama wavering in the wind, Haiti and London exploding, and winter – oh God, winter, bitter and grey, it’s so hard to get out of bed – here’s something amazing: to quote the “Star,” “Another 17 U.S. billionaires have pledged to give away at least half of their fortunes in a philanthropic campaign led by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. A total of 57 billionaires now have joined The Giving Pledge, which was launched in June.”
The Gates, it says, have given away more than 28 billion dollars. Hard to comprehend. 57 billionaires pledged, and the Giving Pledge was only launched in June. Well, in these cold, dark times, if the giving away of billions isn’t a warm light, I don’t know what is.
If you want to send just a tiny bit my way, guys, just the teensiest fraction, I promise to share it with everyone I know. Address on this website.



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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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