My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Quebec my country mon pays

It’s November 26th – my father’s birthday; he would have been 94 today. Perhaps that’s one reason for my sadness of late. I have much to be grateful for today, especially that my friends are such generous, thoughtful people. After the mewling of the last post, boo hoo, I’m so sad,  kind readers responded. A student friend wrote, I hope you know how much you have enriched my life as a writer and as a retired person searching for purpose. And you have given me that, by being the strong, gifted, eloquent and inspirational teacher that you are.

Oh thank you, CB, I needed that! And dear Lynn wrote from Montpellier, First of all, you know that you are a fabulous writer- so that should be one less reason to be depressed. The fact that you can’t get your memoir to work like you’d like to is just normal writer’s slump. And you know that too. So that’s another reason not to be depressed. Unfortunately I cannot offer any relief from Donald Trump being the president elect. I cannot do anything about the Canadian winter either. Too bad you’re not here. We could go shopping together. Then we could go for a nice dinner at the Entrecote and go to a movie. Also it is the Fete des Vignes here- so you’d get to do a lot of wine tasting.

Bella, I’m on my way.

So really, I just mewl periodically so people have to write me nice things. And it works. On the other hand, there’s Ken, with whom I saw a documentary yesterday. Afterwards, over dinner at Paupers Pub across the street (half-price entrees before six!) I told him I was depressed because I’m a lousy writer and should just quit. He beamed at me. “Oh I just love it, ” he said, “when I go on a depressing tear like that. And how’s it working out for you?”

No pity there, just an old friend’s honesty and good cheer, which will simply have to do. We saw the excellent Quebec, My Country, Mon Pays, an anglo’s story of his family’s deep roots in Quebec and how torn they feel about the hostile political environment, so many anglo’s leaving, the difficulties and loyalties of those that stay. It recapped the terrible years of the FLQ, the death of Pierre Laporte – and when I got home, I watched two of CNN’s documentaries The Seventies, including one about the terrorism of that time. We forget how much there was then, most of it on the left – the Baader-Meinhoff gang, the Red Brigade, the IRA, the absurd Symbionese Liberation Army and its famous heiress … Angry young people wanting to smash things, like today. But the most chilling, still, was a young Iranian woman telling the cameras that she was willing to face death with pleasure because there is no death in Islam; Muslim martyrs do not die. That was in 1979.

The sun came out this morning, and I did my favourite Saturday morning jaunt by bike to the market, for Empire apples, coffee, sourdough bread, a roast for tonight – my grandson is coming for a sleepover, let’s eat! Got 12 bottles of good red on sale at the LCBO and managed to carry them home on my back or in my arms. I’m stocked up for winter, but it’s really mild out there today.

So gloom over, all is well chez moi, and I will try not to think, for awhile, about the state of the world. Thank you again for your words of encouragement. For a final jolt of joy, here are the grandkids on their last visit, and the Xmas celebrations in Cabbagetown which were launched today.

Merry November 26th.

PS. A friend just stopped by – I’d sent him a note of gratitude last week for all he does for the neighbourhood, and he brought me flowers. “I remembered that you like ranunculus,” he said. And I do.

My cup runneth etc.



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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.

Theresa Kishkan
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.


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