My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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celebrating Andy Murray, awaiting Macca

Rain and gloom in Ottawa. Sorry about that, Sir Paul – but this is better than the scorching sun and humidity of yesterday. I know from seeing Paul in Quebec City that he does a sound check in the afternoon. So at this minute, Paul McCartney is only a few k’s away from here, in a hockey arena in Kanata. Does life get more thrilling than that?

I am surviving this bronchial whatever – still not well, but better. It’s an interesting experience for me, not being able to talk much. Very rare. And yes, my mother is not here, but Auntie Do is, and she’s still doughty and independent, still telling endless stories about our relatives. Yesterday her phone rang, and she answered. Pause. “No, I don’t need anything from Bell, thank you very much.” Pause. “I am a 93-year old lady and that is all. Goodbye.” Slam. “That always works,” she said, turning to me. “It worked last year too, when I was 92.”

Yes indeed. Today, when I left after our lunch to come back to my little b and b for a rest, she said, “I’m exhausted too. I’ve spent the whole week at Wimbledon.” This morning, I was going to take her to Ikea or for an excursion in my air-conditioned rental car, but no, it was the men’s final at Wimbledon. Not only that, but there was the possibility that Andy Murray would bring the Cup back to England for the first time in 77 years. If only my mum had been alive to see the epic battle. She was a die-hard Federer fan, but she was also a Brit, so in a finale match between Fed and Murray, she would have been torn – briefly. Fed would have won out. But today she would have cheered, as did Do and I, for skinny young Murray to come through for Britain, at last.

I’m in a tiny room in an airbnb rental – a bed, a desk and a fan, since there’s no a.c. But the location is ideal, fronting right on Britannia Park, five minutes from Do’s. Yesterday afternoon, in my afternoon break, I walked to the river, skirting the extremely crowded beach – every nationality on earth in the water and barbecuing in the park – and found a bench in the shade. I finished a very good book I’d just bought at Doubletake: “Annie John” by Jamaica Kincaid. A coming of age story like mine, only hers is brutal in its honest portrayal of the selfish ferocity of the writer girl’s need to free herself from home. I’m not quite there in my memories yet. But then, perhaps I never was.



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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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