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reading the paper

So now, on this record-breaking mild if rainy day, I’m doing what everyone else in Toronto is doing – fighting a cold and feeling the onslaught of Christmas. The Cabbagetown Christmas tree man is back at Parliament and Spruce, in his little trailer, as he has been for sixty some years.

All is stable in Ottawa – Mum getting better, confused sometimes but often all there and eating well. Eli getting better too. My son, on the other hand, is over here feeling miserable and spewing germs into the air. I bought two large bottles of hand sanitizer, one solely for him and one for the house, and have been squirting it every five minutes not just on me but on the phone, the TV remote, the microwave – wherever a hungry young man lingers. Hoping to stave off infection, because I’m teaching twice this week and going to see Leonard Cohen tomorrow. I’ve cancelled this coming weekend’s planned trip to Ottawa. I’ve travelled there 11 times since July and need a break.

Now, unfortunately, I can take time to read the newspaper – to see my city the laughing stock of the world with this buffoon of a mayor, not to mention his brother and his football team which melts in the rain and needs big busses to protect it. And to read about Canada joining 7 major nations, including  Panama and Pulau – Pulau?? – in voting against limited U.N. participation for Palestine. Another international embarrassment – more than that, a tragedy. My country, hijacked by the cold steely-eyed helmet-haired one and his horrible minions.

Today, reading that CIDA, a government aid NGO which helps reduce poverty in third world countries, is now going to follow a corporate agenda and advance Canada’s business interests first. And that every single Tory MP voted against a bill that would speed the delivery of more low-cost generic drugs to African countries.


Maybe better not to read the paper. Except bad news is hard to escape. Ran into a fundraiser for TVO today. No, I hadn’t heard that 2 million dollars had been cut from your budget; I’ll give what I can. Turned on the TV the other day – a documentary called Why Poverty? explaining how the world financial situation got so bad, starting with American tax cuts, and showing the many billionaires who all live at one address on Park Avenue. A former doorman for the building was interviewed, saying that one of the billionaire Koch brothers lives there – the one who funds right-wing think tanks and anti-Obama campaigns. He never speaks to staff or says thank you and gives out cheques for $50, for Christmas.

Okay, enough of this, it’s gloomy enough outside without dwelling on these depressing things. What’s good about today? My loved ones are healthy – well, the boy is hacking, but he’ll get better. My friend Chris turns 65 today, visiting a cheetah farm in South Africa. Tomorrow, I’ll hear the 78 year old Mr. Cohen croon just to me, and I will want, just like Suzanne did, to feed him tea and oranges. Instead, I’ll feed them to my son.



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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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