My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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celebrating green

Allen Gardens – a mass of colour. Better late than never.

As my friend Ken said yesterday, I love long weekends in the city in the summer, so quiet and empty – everyone’s at the cottage. Today, this stunning Sunday morning of the long weekend, my garden, though so far almost untouched after winter, is beautiful, forty-six different shades of green with my own splashes of colour – daffs, tulips, a snowball viburnum with shining white puffs of bloom, further back a flowering dogwood, and on the deck, two bright red geraniums that survived the winter and the reno and are in bloom.

I slept soundly and woke to my sunny, tidy, renewed bedroom. Yes, a few electrical glitches perhaps in the house, a broken appliance or two – Lani wrote yesterday to offer me a gas stove she never uses! –  but things, more than ever before around here, are fixed and in their place. It’s astounding.

And it’s a relief, after months of waiting, to know what’s happening with the memoir. I realize now I was overstepping to send it to the most successful editor in Canada (currently), whose taste, I see in the things he works on, is the opposite of mine. His wording says it all: “beautiful but gentle,” as if these two things cancel each other out. I’m going to reread, see what I can rework, and send out to small presses. I’ve worked on it for 3 or 4 years – what’s another? Onward.

Ken got in touch to say he was sorry to read about the rejection and the on-going struggles in the house and could he take me to lunch? He certainly could. So yesterday, we had our favourite date, a documentary and food. The Biggest Little Farm is about an idealistic couple in California who move from the city to an abandoned 200 acre farm, determined to farm the old way in harmony with nature. As they find out, nature is not harmonious – coyotes massacre their chickens, snails and birds attack the fruit trees, mastitis threatens their prized pig Emma. And then come the wildfires. But they prevail. The husband, who shot and directed, was a wildlife photographer before this venture, so the photography of plants and animals is gorgeous. But there’s an unpleasant air of self-congratulation hanging over the film. Through all the stress, we never see the couple argue, never find out where they get the funds for the massive investments or where the young people who pour in to help them are housed and fed. Many lyrical shots of ladybugs, dogs, pigs, leaves in the sun. But – I am very fond of these things too.

And then lunch with one of my dearest old friends and a bike ride home to work in my own back 40. Happy Victoria Day weekend to you – I hope it’s beautiful but gentle where you are, too.



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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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