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Britain and the big no

Woke up to find out that Britain is no longer in the E.U., and felt not just sad, but frightened. Angry white people are in charge now in the western world, and it’s not a pretty sight. Racism and profound, vicious intolerance of all kinds are in the ascendance. And all of this adds up to … Donald Trump.

How could Cameron have made such a fatal mistake as to rip his country apart with this terrible referendum? He deserves to lose his position and his career. The world today feels like a much less safe place than yesterday – and after Orlando and all the other hideous events in the States,  not to mention the rest of the world, it didn’t feel very safe yesterday. A student told me about a mutual friend who’s moving to Oklahoma, and I thought, why would you do that to yourself? Open carry machine guns, just what a nice Canadian boy wants to encounter at the grocery store.

The same friend told me about visiting family in a wealthy enclave north of Boston, where all the upper middle class guests spoke loudly about their loathing for Obama and Hillary and their admiration of Trump. I have spoken before, jokingly, about the end of the world, but this feels closer. The British vote reminds me of what I say about divorce: that when people are unhappy and unfulfilled in a marriage, all they want to do is throw it over and move on. And when they do, certainly, they have left behind the problems of the marriage. What they now encounter, however, are the problems of the divorce, and these can often be worse. This the Brits – and the rest of us too – are about to discover.

I am even more grateful than usual to live in Canada. Photos the other day of Justin paddling the Rouge River in a canoe with his wife and daughter, wearing his father’s fringed jacket – is he real? We are in a bubble of sanity – clarity and open-heartedness – here in Canada. A wonderful article in the Star on the weekend, pointing out that every western country, including the U.S., Britain, France and Germany, has a right-wing anti-immigration party in the ascendancy – except here in Canada.

I wonder if our bubble of generosity and community will last.

Oh it’s good to be able to write to you again, even if I’m feeling apocalyptic!

Moving right along. It’s the most beautiful day of the year so far, a heavenly June day, the air in my garden scented with roses, camellias, jasmine, lavender, mint. Okay, now I need to get serious. I need to write about facial hair. Yes. It seems truly cruel of nature that just as women reach the age when their sexual allure vanishes along with their waistlines, they start to grow moustaches and beards. I spend a good ten minutes a day, at least, with my magnifying mirror and my tweezers and am now considering more invasive treatment. So readers out there who are middle-aged women – what do you do about chin and upper lip hair? Advice please. Nellie Natural here needs to find another solution.

All right, that’s done. Don’t say I never tell you my secrets.

Oh – and the good news: I have heard from Colin Thomas, the editor in Vancouver who’s reading the manuscript. This is what he said: I’m in the final lap with Loose Woman and I’m having an excellent time. It’s going to be a terrific book. There’s already a whole lot to like in this draft and with more focus—a fair bit of cutting and some new material—the next draft is going to be even better.


Yes. Yes, I hope so. I’d like to think so. Perhaps there’s hope. Cutting WHAT? WHAT new material? I can’t wait to find out the specifics. 


On the other hand, also received this, below, about a children’s board book I’ve sent to two publishers. It has taken a year to get two refusals. The nice people at Orca took six months to say no to a manuscript that consists of 200 words. Ah well. Onward. 

Thank you for submitting your manuscript to Orca Book Publishers, but we feel, with regret, that this project is not right for us. 
We receive a tremendous number of submissions every month—far more than we could ever publish. While this work doesn’t suit our present needs, it may well be of interest to another publisher with … bla bla bla. 

I’ll say it again: 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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