My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Call the Midwife

I am up early because the stove repairman was here at 7.10 a.m. Two days ago the igniter in my gas stove burners started clicking and wouldn’t stop, so the stove has been turned off at the breaker. Took the guy 2 minutes to repair it, to the tune of $134.

So now I’m sitting looking out at the dismal scene – Toronto still struggling to find a tiny bit of spring. The weather has been reprehensible almost without letup since I returned; yesterday and today, dark and teeming. It’s apocalyptic. I expect Russell Crowe as Noah to appear any minute urging us to get onboard.

Nothing to do but get on with life and work. I’m finishing the next draft of the writing book before a discussion with my publisher on Thursday, making plans for the book launch, doing my best to be a publicist, not my strong point. Spent half an hour yesterday sending word of my book to two Paul McCartney fan websites but have heard nothing back.

But there are the usual great pleasures – eating, drinking, friendship, and two stalwarts, television and books. On Sunday, heaven – the next season of “Call the Midwife,” one of the best series ever. I’ve never watched a television show that is guaranteed to make me cry each episode, but this is it, and I’m not the only one. A gorgeous series dealing with life’s most important issues – on Sunday, the intense love between a girl with Down’s syndrome and a boy with cerebral palsy, a nurse-nun’s loyalty to a dissolute brother, a community’s loyalty to her and much much more. The best.

Followed by a program on exploring Italy that took me straight back to that sublime country from the comfort of my living room.

And then to bed, where I have started Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch.” Thanks to friend Patsy who gave it to me for Xmas, I am now immersed in a vast, delicious novel. I’m glad to be back on the fiction trail. Maybe it’s because my own non-fiction is trembling on a branch in the cold wind of reality – for now, I see the joy in making things up.

Here’s a paragraph from Muriel Spark which explains why I miss my pussycat:

I passed him some very good advice, that if you want to concentrate deeply on some problem, and especially some piece of writing or paper-work, you should acquire a cat. Alone with the cat in the room where you work, I explained, the cat will invariably get up on your desk and settle placidly under the desk-lamp.  The light from a lamp, I explained, gives a cat great satisfaction. The cat will settle down and be serene, with a serenity that passes all understanding. And the tranquility of the cat will gradually come to affect you, sitting there at your desk, so that all the excitable qualities that impede your concentration compose themselves and give your mind back the self-command it has lost. You need not watch the cat all the time. Its presence alone is enough. The effect of a cat on your concentration is remarkable, very mysterious.



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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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