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rain rain go the @#$#@$ away

Please allow me to bitch a little, will you? It’s SUNNY in Toronto. In this godforsaken town, they have not heard of sun. Bright heat does not exist. What exists are cloud, rain clouds, and cold rain. There is bright green moss on everything, including the people. Somewhere out there, through the heavy grey mist, are mountains. Invisible.

Okay, thanks, got that off my chest.

We are having a lovely if quiet time. Yesterday, Margaret took me via Skytrain to the Vancouver Art Gallery, to see the exhibit of the quirky Japanese artist Murakami. Very strange stuff, some of which did not appeal – influence of manga comics, he says, Walt Disney, Star Wars – all over the place. Fun for kids, and some lovely things, especially his flowers. We watched a video of him at work in a huge factory with a staff of scores of young people, filling in his vast computer-generated images with colour. Matisse would have been bewildered but intrigued.

Margaret in a field of Murakami flowers – dear friend since the Seventies.

Love this.

After our lunch in one of the nicest art gallery restaurants anywhere, the sun actually appeared and we sat on the VAG steps and felt that bizarre warmth on our faces for at least eight minutes, before it vanished again and we went home before the rain started.

I took my hosts out for dinner last night – Friday night on Commercial Drive, such a great lively street, at a terrific restaurant called Havana. A long walk there and back past the pretty little houses of east Vancouver, now worth well over a million dollars each, if not two. Margaret and Roy’s children, like mine, will never own a house in their home town.

And then, great fun, we binge-watched Season 3 of the British TV series Broadchurch – four episodes. We’d watched the first two the night before and thought there were only six, that at 12.30 a.m., when we finished episode 6, we’d know who, out of the possible 19 suspects, the serial rapist is – but no! Two more episodes to watch tomorrow. Can’t wait. This time, unlike the first season, the plot was ponderous, but still, great acting, interesting situations, linking adult sexual violence with what teenagers go through with porn on their phones and the pressures of social media. Well done.

It’s a busy weekend here – the Juno awards have shut the downtown, plus there’s a soccer game and two huge protests – against gun violence, along with millions protesting in the U.S. including Macca in NYC, and against the Kinder Morgan oil giant. My friend Patsy marched up Burnaby Mountain last week with chiefs from all over the country and a woman warrior from Standing Rock. “Now that you’re here on the West Coast,” she wrote, “you’d better catch the spirit.”

But I’m not protesting anything today except the rain. I am meeting my friend Judy and her husband at a theatre downtown for a matinee, then back here to cook supper for my hosts and our mutual friends Allison and Monty. An hour ago, I uttered the plaintive cry of the traveller – what the hell am I doing here, far from home? But I know. I’m out of my shell on the raincoast, and this is part of the experience. Learning patience. Enjoying what’s possible to enjoy. And somewhere out there – are mountains.

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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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