My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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hounds on the hunt for blood

Again I say – perspective, people, perspective! I simply cannot understand what is happening in Canada right now, except that the media, even the leftie Star, and the opposition parties smell blood and have set off like bloodhounds on a trail, howling and slavering; it plays well and sells papers. As if this has never happened before, as if Stephen Harper or other prime ministers never put pressure on cabinet members to do their bidding! It’s preposterous. To me, it betrays a lot of schadenfreude, celebration that the arrogant Liberals, and especially their perky boy king, are brought low.

I’ve become the centre, for my friends, of the “Let’s get a grip” faction; people are sending me reports of malfeasance by Wilson-Raybould, pointing out that she is a highly flawed figure herself, though portrayed currently as the saintly saviour of decency and honesty in Canada. I won’t copy what’s been sent, but it’s from credible sources. I have no desire to tarnish an accomplished woman, just to bring a sense of – shall I say it again? – @##@ perspective to this debate.

And to point out that nearly this exact scenario happened in Ontario: voters recoiled in horror when they discovered Kathleen Wynne was – shudder in shock – a politician who wanted to be re-elected – no, say it isn’t so! And a flawed human being who did many good things but also made some bad mistakes. They rushed to vote instead for kind, decent, highly intelligent Doug Ford. Now we’re seeing how well that plays out.

Okay, again, enough. My blood pressure rises.

Last night’s treat – gathering with Pamela, Kirsten, and Cathy, three of the team of six who organized last year’s Creative Nonfiction Conference here, for dinner – next to the fireplace with a view of the frozen lake – at the Brewhouse at Harbourfront, and then to the Taylor Nonfiction Prize event next door, with the five finalists in conversation. We’re all going to Vancouver for this year’s conference in June and will be on board to help if it comes back to Toronto next year. We talked about going to the San Miguel Writer’s conference in February. Mexico in February sounds good.

On the home front, moving right along – seven of eight doors are now on, and knobs are being found that work, a major job. Even more major, it took all three guys to hoist a very heavy ReStore door turned into a window high above the hall and get it into place. Nearly an hour of hoisting and shaving corners and hoisting again, and there we were. Today, trim.

Best of all, the other day friend and neighbour Monique came over to check things out and have a glass or two of wine, our regular treat. On the third floor, an awkward attic space under the eaves with mostly low, sloping ceilings, JM and I have been wrestling with how to fit a mini-fridge and kitchenette along the south wall where it’s possible to stand up. Since we moved in in 1986, the bed has also always been against that wall. Monique took one look and said, “Why don’t you put the bed over there, against the north wall?” It’s a small space now occupied by the dresser, but in fact a queen bed fits tightly but well in there and opens up the rest of the room, which will now feel twice as big.

This is the pleasure not only of having smart friends with taste, but of getting a new pair of eyes on a dilemma that has defeated those of us who can’t see it any more. We’d thought of every configuration in the room but that one, and she saw it instantly.

Friends have written to say they’re glad the reno is nearly over. And I have to say – in yer dreams. So much still to do. But we’re on the move.

  The reason, with a few others, for this whole exhausting, expensive experience: that skylight.



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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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