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catching up

A friend just wrote to point out that I have not blogged in days, am I all right? Thank you for your concern – yes, fine this end, just busy and a bit lazy. Summer is winding down – still blasting heat in our faces but there’s cold on the edges. It’s my stern resolution to get to work, and I have done some editing and back-to-school work, but not much of my own – every day, something happens. This week it was a visit from my brother Mike and his nine-year old son, a great visit with family barbecues and get-togethers. Had an interesting discussion with Mike, who says he started to read “All My Loving,” my Sixties memoir – which after all is about our family and he’s a main character, albeit with the pseudonym Dave – and he said it bothered him to read about “Dave,” so he stopped reading. I said I was protecting his privacy and he said privacy is not an issue. So from now on, in my memoirs, he’ll have his own name. I gave him the dictum that any family with a writer in it is doomed – was it Alice Munro who said that? – and he nodded. True.

Two nights ago, dinner in the garden of my dear friend Suzette and her husband Pierre and their fascinating circle of friends, including a neighbour who, it turned out, was the stepbrother of Pete Seeger – royalty! Yesterday Anna, the boys and I went to see “Munsch at Play,” a local production using actors with disabilities – a very funny small man in a power wheelchair and a young woman with Down syndrome – acting out some of Robert Munsch’s famous stories. Ben spent part of it outside with his mother, but Eli enjoyed it so much, he wants to go again.

Another treat – I heard an interview with Anny Scoones on Shelagh Roger’s CBC show, on her new memoir about her mother, the painter Molly Lamb Bobak. Anny was my dresser during a lunatic show in 1977, a quirky, thoughtful young woman who became a dear friend. And when Molly came to visit, she did as well; a watercolour of yellow freesia she painted for me hangs in my living-room. Anny is now a writer (and many other things) living in Victoria; I wrote to tell her I’d ordered her book and we are now reconnected. Her memoir – “Last Dance in Shediac” – is beautiful. I look forward to my next visit out west.

Last night, dinner with my francophone group, always animated and rich. One is a music teacher in a Toronto school who got married to his partner in January; his students celebrated with him. We asked if any of the immigrant kids had trouble with gay marriage, and he said no, they understand the open ethos of the school and they like him, so his being openly gay is not a problem. But he did tell the moving story of a 14-year old girl from Iran who asked his help to come out to her mother. The mother had a hard time understanding and only asked that they make sure the dad never finds out. We then launched into our usual spirited discussion, in French, about issues of the right and left, especially the Islamification of the world, which those on the right in our group speak about with fear and revulsion and those on the left, including me, with more tolerance. Never less than fascinating.

Okay, we’re more or less up to date. Today, lunch and a movie – Barack and Michelle’s first date – with Ken. Bound to be heartwarming. Anna wrote yesterday that she started to read the news and burst into tears. I don’t blame her. So we need all the heartwarming we can get. Body warming, not a problem these days. For a while longer.

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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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