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warmest Jan. 11 on record – we’ll take it

Toronto weather just broke another record. Jan. 4 was the coldest on record, and today, Jan. 11, was the warmest – over 12 degrees! The temperature jumped 35 degrees in six days – and will be dropping 20 degrees back down on the weekend. Utterly confusing. Today felt like spring, except for the mounds of filthy melting snow.


My U of T class Life Stories II has been cancelled; sorry to anyone who wanted to register, please do so earlier next time. And please write to me if you want advice on what to do instead. As for me – I’m sorry to do without the money, but now I have Tuesday afternoons all to myself. Woo hoo! FYI the Ryerson class True to Life is nearly full.

Tuesday, I went across town to babysit Ben while his mama had her driving lesson. Anyone who’s depressed for any reason should spend time with a two-year old. Everything is interesting. Thomas had brought some long cardboard tubes, and guess what, when you put a little car in one end, it runs right through and COMES OUT THE OTHER SIDE! The most exciting thing ever!!! Ben’s favourite words: NOLIKEIT. For example, frowning at me when I put on my glasses: NOLIKEITGLASSES. I took them off. No messing around with this kid.

And then we picked up Eli from school and went to his first ball hockey class. Eight five-year old boys with sticks – terrifying. Fun. And – ahem – Eli scored the only goal.


The class was at Parkdale Collegiate, and while we walked through the halls – well, we old folks walked, the boys ran at top speed – I saw this:

Is that not fabulous? What would I have thought if that had been on a washroom door in my last high school, Lisgar Collegiate in Ottawa, in 1966? I’d have had absolutely no idea what they were talking about. Nobody would.

Anna’s driving test is next week. Now that’s exciting.

Wednesday, a meeting with my bank manager, whom I’ve known for 15 years and who is like a dear friend – and I’m pretty sure most people, especially freelance writers, don’t feel that way about their bank managers. His first baby is due in a few weeks – a girl – and I’m getting a present ready. He told me I can have a big loan to do my renovation with no problem and at a pretty low interest rate. So – we’re on. (And incidentally, I’ve just written and sent a letter to his boss about how helpful and hardworking he is. We writers must use our superpowers for good.)

Today, a long meeting for the Creative Non-fiction conference – what a compatible group we non-fiction-writers-and-conference-organizers are, a pleasure to work with.

I got embroiled in a FB argument about #MeToo. There’s a level of feminist vitriol in the air that scares me. An American actress responded to Catherine Deneuve and the other French women’s open letter, which says #MeToo is going too far and becoming a witch hunt, by saying their misogynistic self-hatred has taken over their minds. Oh come on.

Now there’s a huge hooha about sexual assault in theatres and creative writing departments. As a longtime veteran of both, I have to say – is there something wrong with me that I was never assaulted in either? Yes, I made terrible mistakes sexually during my youth, but with my eyes open. No one ever importuned me in a way I could not handle. Was I just lucky? Was I so plain that lecherous men were just not interested? This doesn’t mean I’m not sympathetic to women who have been assaulted, not at all. But as I wrote to a furious correspondent on FB, I guess we have different definitions of ‘assault.’

In the good news department, there’s this, and that’s all I need to buoy me on this springlike day. Don’t read it too closely. Just keep the headline close to your heart.
To Improve a Memory, Consider Chocolate
A small study shows that an antioxidant in chocolate appears to improve some memory skills that people lose as they age. 



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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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