My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Total blisserooney – I am home after a spectacular journey. Thank you, universe.

The trip was uneventful. Heathrow, it turns out, is a giant shopping mall. The flight left exactly on time at 6, and there was an empty seat beside me, so though I couldn’t stretch out and try to sleep, I could at least put my feet up. I spent part of the 8 hours watching two films I’d wanted to see. “Saving Mr. Banks” is about the making of the film “Mary Poppins,” and about the childhood of P. L. Travers its author – her love for her romantic alcoholic father, which informs the book. A beautiful film with great performances from Emma Thompson as Travers and Tom Hanks as Walt Disney.

And “Gloria,” about a middle-aged Chilean divorcee who seeks love and learns to love herself. I identified with her – long divorced though amicable with her ex who’s remarried to someone younger; one child in late twenties, one in early thirties and a single parent; even glaucoma, which afflicts her and threatens me. Then her daughter gets pregnant and decides to go live in Sweden with the father, and our ways diverged. How glad I am that my daughter and her son live here.

But mostly, she learns painfully that she doesn’t need a man to be happy. I learned that a very long time ago.

I also watched “Midnight in Paris” again, and found it much weaker on second viewing, when the whimsy isn’t so surprising; all the scenes with poor Rachel McAdam and her parents are one note and boring. The fantasy stuff is still wonderful. But mostly, having just come from Paris, I realized that even the modern scenes of Paris are complete fantasy, as Woody’s characters are mostly alone in the shots, alone at Giverny, at Versailles, on bridges, on streets. Ludicrous, when actually there are four million people everywhere.

But enough movie criticism. I was home by 10 p.m. Toronto time, 3 a.m. my time – and oh my beautiful house, so well-kept by my friend and tenant Carol who’d left an orchid to welcome me home and food in the fridge. I dropped my suitcase and rushed to grab my book. It’s gorgeous, everything I’d hoped for. Thrilling.

And then oh the joy of my own dear bed and things where they should be. Everything today was a marvel – limitless fast internet; blowing up my bike tires and going to the Y; even the poor winter-battered garden. Sad that there was no pussycat.

But mostly – Anna and Eli. He has grown so much. He wasn’t feeling well today, but we went to the farm anyway, and to a restaurant for lunch since there’s nothing in the fridge.

Not even two!

Looking at sheep at the Farm.

Eating ice cubes. As we walked the Cabbagetown streets, we kept running into friends – a young man Anna went to kindergarten with, a mother whose son went to school with Anna too, a former student of mine, and Richard my dear neighbour. Our community.

Later, worked cleaning up the garden with Bill, the faithful family retainer.

So much to do, don’t know where to begin. Not to mention four New Yorkers, a Walrus, a New Quarterly, and newspapers. I finished a great book while travelling: “Old Filth,” by Jane Gardam, an off-putting title (Filth stands for “failed in London try Hong Kong”) and a superb novel. Now I want to read more fiction. But tonight, there’s a documentary on music I want to see on PBS, and if I can stay up that long – though probably can’t – there’s JON STEWART! And peanut butter toast for a bedtime snack, and then there’s a very comfortable bed looking out over the cleaned-up garden to get into. Nothing better than that.



2 Responses to “HOOOOOOME”

  1. Unknown says:

    Welcome Home! What a great trip!! Lovely to follow and to benefit albeit vicariously!!

  2. beth says:

    Thank you for coming with me, Bernard.
    A bientôt,

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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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