My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo

André the Anti-Giant

On with our busy week, my BFF Lynn and I, we have places to go and things to eat. And drink. And drink.

On Tuesday evening, a swim in the divine pool of my other friend Lynn and dinner on her deck – a treat to sit between my two favourite Lynns.

On Wednesday, Sam came over to cook us dinner, Holly and Nicole came to organize the garage sale stuff, and then Lynn and I went to one of my favourite events of the year, Gina Dineen’s Cabbagetown Short Film Festival. Such a grand community occasion, many neighbours and friends packed in, glass of beer or wine in one hand and a free slice of pizza in the other, to watch short films from around the world. One this year was especially moving – André the Anti-Giant, a doc about a man with severe disabilities who became a standup comedian. If you want to see a portrait of courage and humour in the face of almost insurmountable difficulties, see this uplifting, marvellous film. That is, if the director Kim Saltarski can get it launched, and we sure hope he can.

Thursday Lynn went to Hamilton to visit one of her oldest childhood friends, and I to a staff event at U of T, food and drink and many colleagues. And on Friday, after she introduced me to Aquafit at the Y, which I’ve never done and is much more fun than I’d imagined, Lynn and I met our friend Ken at Rebel House for lunch. Sam worked there for years, the owner is a friend, and as we sat, he brought a plate of special hors d’oeuvres, “a gift from Sam.” All of this delicious in so many ways. On the way home, a tiny bit of shopping at Winners, another thing my friend and I do so well, she especially, a discerning Frenchwoman who likes a bargain.

The shock to come was the weather. Wednesday was so incredibly muggy and hot, it was hard to breathe, and by Saturday, at the start of the Cabbagetown Festival, it was freezing. We piled on layer after layer to survive. Holly and Nicole were here by 8 a.m. to get our garage sale set up, and the two marvellous saleswomen spent the day trying to flog my possessions. At one point, I wept; I’m such a sentimental fool and find it hard to see things my relatives left behind, or that I’ve owned for years, out on display being pawed over by strangers. Who didn’t buy much in any case; most of what went were the records. To my dismay, a lot of stuff came back in at the end of the afternoon, though we did leave a lot on the sidewalk, from whence it vanished.

Much fun with my grandsons at the kids’ play area, bouncing in the bouncy castle and drumming and bouncing and face painting and bouncing. Non-stop energy from them, if not from Glamma. And then Wayson came and we had street Thai food for dinner and watched A Monster Calls, a lovely film which made me weep again. Two weeps in one day – exhausted.

This morning, supposed to run the annual 2 k. fundraising mini-marathon, but it was so cold and I so tired that I did not. Another Aquafit class at the Y with my eager friend instead, the two of us bobbing about like mermaids in the little warm Y pool. Anna and family came back for more bouncing and street food, and then Lynn and I had aperitif with Monique and much talk in French.

Next week busier than ever before my friend leaves on Sunday. I have not done any writing work for days. Weeks, really, if I’m honest. But I will get back to it as soon as I can. I will.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.


Juliet in Paris, Spain and Beyond
Juliet is a Canadian who’s lived for decades in Paris and writes about her travels and the many things that interest her.