My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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the perfect holiday

Much popping and banging – it’s 10 p.m. and the Victoria Day fireworks are going off. There used to be a lovely neighbourhood ritual – many families would gather in the Sprucecourt schoolyard, we’d pool all our fireworks, the dads would let them off in the centre of the field and we’d sit and ooh and aah for at least half an hour – our own personal fireworks extravaganza, perfect for small people who were excited to be up so late. I don’t know if it continues to this day. The small people in my life were camping this weekend at a friend’s place in the country with not even a toilet, brave Anna with two little kids – and apparently it was wonderful.

And I – on this holiday, quiet except for the chatter of my neighbours, so incessant that I put in earplugs – I did nothing but work. I went out once for a brief walk, and the rest of the day, I sat on the deck, editing a piece for So True, sending it back and forth 3 or 4 times, and two pieces by students. But more importantly, I wrote a new chapter, rewrote it twelve times, and edited bits of the rest. My bottom is asleep because I have hardly moved from this chair all day. Unhealthy. But wonderful, a writer’s idea of heaven – a stock of food and wine, a stunning warm day, a quiet garden (once the earplugs were in) and nothing to do except fiddle with words. And fiddle I did.

Right now I love this book, I love moving the words around, I love the stories and the voice. I know, how vain. But it’s good to love it sometimes, because other times, I think it’s a big stinking pile of hooey.

P.S. Here’s a beautiful article in the NYT about “Call the Midwife,” one of the best shows on television, the only program I’ve ever watched that unfailingly brings a tear to my eye, in the best way, with its warmth and truth. This article heaps praise, says it’s better, in some ways, than “Downton.” And I agree.



2 Responses to “the perfect holiday”

  1. Unknown says:

    Call the Midwife has long been one of my favourite shows. The characters are so rich, the acting makes them believable. I started watching it around the time a close friend had died and it gave me great comfort. He was born in post-war London and lived in those environs.

  2. beth says:

    Oddly, Valerie, I too lived in Britain at that time, from 1956 to 1958, and my mother's parents, who were very far from rich, lived in London until the late seventies. So I know the milieu well. It's a superb program- though I wonder if any men watch it at all. Not that that's a problem! I adore it too.

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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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