My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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on to the Scarecrow Festival

The book launch on Wednesday evening was wonderful – old friends, new friends, over 20 people which is pretty amazing considering there was almost no publicity. Again, I felt in my talk I was honouring my father. And selling a few books at the same time.

Yesterday the sun finally came out – it was a beautiful day which I spent walking around my old home town. Walked along the harbour which is modern and transformed, along Barrington Street which is a shadow of its former self – once a bustling shopping street, now full of empty windows. I went up and down Spring Garden Road, which is lively and fun, and into the gorgeous Public Gardens where I often walked with my mother as a baby and toddler.  Saw the white building where if I was lucky we stopped to buy me an ice cream cone. It’s still there and it still sells cones, but this time, I was overjoyed to enjoy a superb cappuccino.

And then to Point Pleasant Park where I used to ride my bike in the woods and climb on the cannons looking out to sea. What a lucky lucky girl to have this magnificent park just down the road. The air smells of salt and pine and wind and vista. I loved being there again, with the sea all around.

On the way, I stopped at All Saint’s Cathedral on South Park Street, where my mother insisted, briefly, on bringing me when I was about eleven, mostly I think to drive my atheist father insane. I did not last long as a churchgoer. But I wanted to see the inside, so parked and walked over to the grand stone structure. An older man outside was cutting the grass; when I asked if I could enter, he offered to give me a tour. I told him I’d come here as a child, but while he showed me all around, I felt like an imposter, daughter of an atheist Jew who came to this place so briefly.

At the end he introduced himself and so I did too. “Kaplan,” he said. “Did your father teach at Dal? I took physiology from him.” Of course – this is Halifax! We knew many people in common. Everyone is two degrees of separation from everyone else in this town.

I have pictures of my lovely day but they’re on my camera and I’m not sure yet how to download. But I do have two pictures on my phone. One is of the first two people at my book launch – my beautiful hostess Gay and a motorcycle policeman called Mike, a major, major Beatle fan who escorted Paul McCartney in from the airport when he came to play here and HAD HIS PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN WITH HIM. Paul was charming, friendly and easy-going, he said.

And the other is of the seafood risotto we had for dinner last night at the Bicycle Thief, a great restaurant on the water where I took Gay as a thank you. We went on to an opening at the Studio space of the Neptune, where a friend of mine was the designer, a well-known theatre person was the director, and the play was a Governor-General’s Award winner. And that’s all I’ll say about that.

Today I’m driving down the South Shore to Petite Riviere to stay with old friends in their folk art gallery, the Painted Saltbox. It is dark, cold and raining. I’m going to stop in Mahone Bay to see the Scarecrow Festival, but I wonder how the scarecrows will hold up in the rain. With all my boasting about how good I am at packing, yet again I blew it – nothing in the weather reports I read before coming indicated such cold and wet, and so I am underdressed. But layered. Everything I brought, just about, is on my body. Onward.



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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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