My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Ludwig forever

Thanks so much to my helpful friends who’ve been writing to suggest composers of violin concertos – Bruce thought it might be Mendelssohn or Haydn, Chris suggested Sibelius. Nyet. I also tried Brahms and Schubert and others, and then I said, It has GOT to be Beethoven. It was just richly Beethoveny in tone plus it kept building to a crescendo and then not ending, as Beethoven does. So I Googled his violin concerto again – the version I tried before was very slow, just wrong, and I didn’t listen to enough. But with another version – we have a winner. It was indeed the Beethoven Violin Concerto in D Major, and a glorious thing it is too. I’m listening to it again now.

So that was Dad and his violin keeping me company. Yesterday I went to the communal garden at the base of Mum’s apartment building to check out her patch – she had a beautiful bit she tended with lavender, rudbeckia, phlox and daisies, very Mum. Her patch was lovely still, and a bird was singing in a tree right there, a cascade of liquid notes. So I felt my mother there too. It was an emotional day.

Dinner with the Scrabble ladies; my elderly aunt came second in Scrabble, beating a woman decades younger. She is a force of nature. When I took her home, she complained yet again, as she has for a year, that her blinds are broken and she doesn’t know where to get them replaced – to keep heat out in summer and in in winter. At 3 a.m. I awoke. Ikea, I said to myself. Ikea curtains. Just the thing.

This morning I managed to get her away from the Olympics to Ikea where we actually figured out dimensions and chose curtains and marched through sixteen miles of other stuff to get out of there. At home I made a bunch of phone calls and we found a handyman to come tomorrow to put them up. Let’s hope they work, or else I will be to blame, and I will never hear the end of it.

We went out for lunch with my brother and his nine-year old son, and I spent the afternoon showing Do a year’s worth of photos on my computer. Managed to secretly throw out some of the food rotting in her fridge. And then after dinner, I left her poring over the curtain instructions. Ikea instructions! Nothing I’d rather less read.

Once again, all I can say is – I hope I have my Auntie Do’s genes.

Went for a long walk through the park by the river. Britannia Park in the summer is a microcosm of Canada. As I walked, I heard every language except English. It’s a marvellous place.

Finally – a bit of truth – why I’m happily single.



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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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