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home in the heat with giant cucumber

It’s so hot out there as to be painful – 33 degrees feeling like 39, unbreathable. On Friday it says it’ll feel like 41. How terrible for those who have nowhere to escape to. I’ve been looking up movie times, just to get into the cool, and I have A.C.! And yet – the upside of the heat is that my tomato crop is phenomenal and my latest cucumber the biggest I’ve ever seen – 19 inches long and thick. Yes, I measured my cucumber. I’m going to make gazpacho.

So glad to be home, as always, but I loved visiting my American family in upstate New York and my British and Canadian family in Ottawa. I’m especially proud of my accomplishment in Ottawa. Aunt Do is a very stubborn 96-year old, and yet I managed to get us to Ikea, to choose curtains, to get the right equipment and find someone to hang them and get them up before I left. It was a miracle. Today she is happy to have shelter from the sun pouring in her windows, though, she says, she also misses her sheer curtains. Next time we’ll have to go back and find a second set, some new sheers to keep her happy. But that’s next time.
Below: last walk in Britannia Park.

 Discovered a fabulous vintage store nearby – Antique Hoarders on Howe St. Full of great stuff, including the Librarian Action Figure. Did not buy her, but was tempted.

Do in the Fiat

and with her dear friend Una, after our lunch out on Monday.

Trip home perfect – the thunderstorms predicted did not materialize. My son who’d kept the garden alive was in residence, commandeering sofa, TV and fridge, as always. He’ll be back to keep watch over house and garden while I’m away next week, at a rented cottage with Anna and the kids. And that’s it for summer travel. That will almost be it for summer 2016. Somewhere out there, athletes are straining. In here, all that matters is that the rosé is chilling.

A very nice woman just sent me this note, below. How welcome it is when people write to writers. Thank you! Fred was one of my favourite students a long time ago, and BPS my first book, a compilation of Globe and CBC essays, designed by my friend Chris and published by Kinko’s. I found an old copy recently too and confess I re-read with pleasure. Some of them are not bad. (A few are reprinted on this blog, under Articles.)

I have been purging and sorting for the past couple of days and came across Back Page Stories.  My friends Fred Reynolds and Angie Hains gave it to me for my 50thbirthday.
It is as fresh and entertaining to read it as it was back in 2000 – thank you once again!
And now that I have signed up for your blog, I can get my Beth-fix on a regular basis!



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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.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.


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Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.


I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.


Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


Juliet in Paris, Spain and Beyond
Juliet is a Canadian who’s lived for decades in Paris and writes about her travels and the many things that interest her.