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recovery and Mr. delicious Darcy

I know you are all breathless with anticipation, one mesmerizing question dangling in the air: “How are your floors?!”

To which I reply, “Fine. Just fine. We have survived the Great Floor Upheaval of 2019, and the floors are a soft, pretty, brown, Canadian hardwood.”

After all that. Ye gods, what a drama queen I am! Embarrassing. Well, in small bits, it looked dull. But all put together, it’s soft and interesting.

As am I.


Yesterday morning, much going on in the old homestead. The tireless electricians were back to finish various jobs and the floor guys were hammering and banging upstairs, so the cacophony was extraordinary – Cantonese on the ground floor and Hungarian on the second. One thing this reno has reminded me, though I did know it already: the value of good men who are good at their jobs. The electrician Weili Wu and his team could not have been better through a difficult, lengthy, complex process. If you need an electrician in Toronto, do not hesitate to get in touch with him, I could not recommend him more highly.

And the floor guys also: Zoltan and his men were fast, skilful, a pleasure to deal with. At the end, he told me, Bad news, we don’t have quite enough wood. We thought he’d have to buy some more and come back. But in the end, he had just enough to finish in one day, used every scrap. A beautiful job. Highly recommended also. Zoltan Zsibok.

In the middle of all that, yesterday morning, while I was still suffering about the floor, I got an email from my downstairs tenant, who had told me, to my great relief, that he wanted to stay till next summer; he’s decided to move out in April instead. The joys of landlady-dom. I won’t complain; it’s what keeps me solvent here.

Sunday, Anna came with the boys. The high point was playing Snakes and Ladders not just with Eli, who loves the game, but with Ben, who has no understanding of throwing the dice and moving that number of spaces. He wanted to go right down to there and up to there and over here – so in the end, they abandoned all the rules and scampered about the board. Ben won. Small for his age, he is fiercely opinionated and has no hesitation about making his wants and opinions known. His tall brother is funny and clever and a bit sly, especially about torturing his mother. And it won’t surprise you to know that they are the finest, handsomest young men in the entire world. I’m sure if you meet them, you’ll think the same.

Speaking of fine, handsome men, Sunday night, a huge pleasure: PBS is replaying BBC’s renowned “Pride and Prejudice” one hour at a time, and that night was the best hour of all: the wet white shirt scene which has become so famous, there was a sculpture put up somewhere in England of Colin Firth wearing his wet white shirt. It’s simply one of the best scenes ever shot – Elizabeth Bennett visiting Pemberley, hearing to her shock what a good, kind man Darcy is and seeing the magnificence of his estate, realizing what she has turned down, and he, a proper, proud aristocrat suffering for love, plunging into his lake, then arriving home dishevelled, hair tousled and damp, his puffy white shirt sticking to his manly chest – INCREDIBLY HANDSOME – and they meet face to face, to their confusion and dismay.

He is inarticulate, rushes in to change, and then out again properly dressed to escort her and her relatives about. We sense his enormous care and love for her, his longing, her changing feelings about him. Will we ever see a better Darcy than Colin Firth? Unimaginable. He is strong, vulnerable, intelligent, besotted – perfect. A dreamboat. Would Jane Austen have been pleased? Maybe she’d have had a crush on him too.

Cinderella, still not feeling well, was at home in her rags, lying on the sofa under a blanket in the plaster dust and rubble, relishing every heavenly moment. Delicious.



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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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