My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo


First, a prayer for Nelson Mandela, who’s in serious condition in hospital. Mr. Mandela, we need you on this poor battered earth; please stick around. I know you’re very old and very frail, but we need you. And I have a dinner party to arrange, with you and many other good men.

So stay. As long as possible. Please.

Second, my grandson has reportedly said his first word. What could it be – MAMA? No, he’s a boy. His first word is BALL. That was my son’s, too. Followed by his second and third: MAW SOOP. And his fourth: FUCK. Which referred to those big machines with big wheels that he loved so much.

At 8 a.m. this morning, I took my cereal and coffee and newspaper to the end of the garden, where for nearly a blessed hour, there was no sound except city and birds. And the buzz of sunshine. Perhaps we will have a summer after all. I’ve been busy – walked across town last night to Factory Theatre, to see a workshop of Daniel MacIvor’s new play, “Who killed Spalding Grey?” I have a particular interested in Spalding, as those of you who follow this blog will know. Well – the play is interesting but not yet there. Fascinating to watch a great performer and writer like MacIvor work through something new.

And today, I rode across town to the Bloor Cinema to see a documentary, arriving on Bloor St. to find it a pedestrian mall because of a street fair. Lots of fun, music, food, stuff, but I ploughed through to the cinema. I was there to see “Free the mind,” a documentary about the use of meditation on American army vets and damaged children. The theatre, amazingly, was full on this perfect afternoon. However, I have to say again – interesting but not quite. An extremely important topic and a brave and often moving attempt to deal with it, with the most annoying sound track in recent memory. Still, if you are skeptical about the power of meditation or just generally curious about the brain, go see it. Hot Docs. Go see anything at Hot Docs. Coming up, a doc about B. B. King.

In an hour, it’s the Tony Awards from NYC, which I may or may not watch, as I’m working and excited by the work. The garden blooms, the sun shines, I am grateful to draw breath. Yesterday was my brother’s birthday and we had a long talk. Today is the yahrzeit – the death day – of my great-grandfather the Jewish Shakespeare. I would have lit a yahrzeit candle but I couldn’t find them. Next year.

A few days ago, I posted a rather self-pitying bit about blogging, and yesterday, I received a most welcome reply. Generous Carole from northern England sent this, just when I needed a boost. Thank you, Carole!

Just to let you know that your blogging is not in vain. I regularly read your blog with its comings and goings, family (gorgeous baby) and (exotic well connected) friends, outings and holidays, issues and opinions (my life seems soooo mundane in comparison!)

I love your openness and honesty (something we repressed Brits find quite difficult ) and can empathise with many of your life experiences as we’re about the same age. I have an elderly mother who is in ill health, declining badly, bless her, after a busy,ordinary, but full life. I have also just recently become a grandmother for the first time (twin girls); like you I’m enchanted by their beauty and have the photos to prove it! Ah, the joys of being a grandparent, all the cuddles, smiles and fun and none of the sleepless nights, highly recommended! 

So we’re at about the same rung on the ladder, often contemplating the past , wondering where it all went and, in my case, wondering what the future holds…trying to pack as much as possible in whilst still hale and hearty. A strange time of life,as I can’t quite adjust to the sight of the old crone in the mirror whilst still feeling 25 in my head! How did that happen?!

So please keep blogging Beth about your colourful life in Toronto and beyond, for all of us old crones out there!

Will do, Carole. Who cares about your mirror – you sound 25. 



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.


Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.


I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.


Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


Juliet in Paris, Spain and Beyond
Juliet is a Canadian who’s lived for decades in Paris and writes about her travels and the many things that interest her.