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Eight Days a Week

Please give a sympathetic thought for my daughter, who is camping today with her partner and two small boys – in the rain. Well, it’s gloomy and wet but at least it’s warm. It’s definitely fall, though, the best time of year when we relish the good weather, a day like yesterday, perfect – and the flowers are blooming again in the garden, camellias, roses, the white fall-blooming clematis growing on everything, the scent overwhelming when there’s rain. All this so appreciated, because we know what’s coming.

A busy week, even though I am not at TIFF. I never go to TIFF, it’s too much like work, though I will happily accept an invite if someone asks. But somehow the days fly by even without seeing 46 films in 2 weeks, like some of my friends.

Yesterday, for example, I had to get all around the city which required some planning. So – by bike to the Y at noon for the half-hour weights class, then on to the Miles Nadal JCC for a meeting with Lisa Roy, organizer extraordinaire who has done the power point photos for my talk on November 17, to go over order and what else is needed. Then a ride downtown, leaving my bike chained at Spadina and King, taking the King streetcar west, getting to Eli’s school just as he got out. My schoolboy grandson, so proud of all he’s learning. He rode his scooter, his mama pushed the stroller and we walked north to the Dufferin Mall to buy him shoes – his toes were emerging from his sneakers. And then we bought sushi and had a picnic in Dufferin Park across the street, where there’s a fabulous adventure playground for kids with lots of loose wood, a stream and mud. Eli immediately began feverishly to dig a trench with the other kids, all of whom were digging except one, who was supervising. A supervisor, at 5! He said, at one point, surveying the chaotic jumble of mud-spattered planks, “Well, guys, I think our work here is done.”

Meanwhile, Ben climbed everything in sight, including a picnic table he fell from on my watch. A bit of crying but unhurt. Ye gods, exhausting, I’ve never seen such focus and determination in a baby – not to walk yet, he’s still crawling at 13 months, but to climb. Get that kid into gymnastics, or on the Matterhorn.

They set off home to prepare for their camping trip, and, time pressing, I got a cab back to my bike and rode, zipping smugly through Friday rush hour traffic, to Cineplex, to see – of course – the sold out second showing of “Eight Days a Week,” Ron Howard’s documentary about the Beatles’ touring years. FAB GEAR! Sheer joy. There was nothing in it I didn’t know, but still, it was incredible to see just how insane those years were – the screaming and frenzy! I was a Beatlemaniac but never a lunatic screamer like that. It’s a marvel they weren’t seriously hurt, crushed by adoration.

What comes through most clearly is their wondrous humour and warmth, their incredible musicianship and love of playing and love for each other, the fact that even with all that adulation, they never took it too seriously. There’s a wonderful moment when a pompous interviewer asks Paul about the “culture” they’re promoting and he says something like, “Don’t be daft, it’s not culture, it’s a bit of a laff.”

My one criticism – of course – is that the focus is John-centric and does not highlight Paul’s strengths as much as John’s. For example, in all the concert footage, not a single of Paul’s melt-your-heart ballads. However. You know me, I may not be screaming but I’m a mad fan nonetheless.

The very young woman in the next seat and I were both singing soft harmonies of each song, especially during the added show at the end, a half-hour remix of the famous Shea Stadium concert, the first concert of that magnitude ever for a rock band. At the end, she turned to me – all of 30, if that – and asked if I’d been to any shows. So this wizened crone told her about the concerts in Paris ’65, a tiny clip of which is shown in the film, and my book. I told her about the moment when I heard the music in January 1964 and everything changed. And she said, it was the same for me – it was decades later, but me too, when I heard their music, I knew it was different and better than anything else. A kindred spirit, 35 years younger but just the same.

And then I attached the lights I’d remembered to bring and cycled home at 9.30 p.m., singing “She’s a woman” at the top of my lungs. Happiness is. At home, checked the internet for pix of the opening yesterday – Paul and Ringo, together again, both looking fantastic at 74 and 76.

Today I finished another draft of the kid’s book I’ve been trying to get published and sent it to my friend who is now my agent. Yay! And now to work. So many books to read too, drowning in print, as usual.

More happiness:

Today’s crop – little garlics and tomatoes, but look at those cucumbers! As the giant orange blow-hole would say, YUGE.

Smelling Lots Of Wine Makes Your Brain Alzheimer’s Resistant:

Yes. I can live with that. We were discussing the alcoholism of the elderly at the Thursday class here, and someone described me as a “high-functionning alcoholic.” That was something of a shocker. But I guess I am, if that means that I’d prefer a day with wine to a day without. But only, of course, for the health of my brain.



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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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