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63 Up: the subject tonight is Love.

Calm before the storm – tonight I’m hosting both my grandsons for a sleepover for the first time. Till now, I’ve not felt ready to handle both bouncing-off-the-wall energizer bunnies on my own – and didn’t even have another bed. But yesterday I bought a mattress and squeezed it into the small spare room, and there they will be tonight, wreaking, undoubtedly, havoc.

On Friday to the Hot Docs cinema to meet Ken, Anne-Marie, and Jim, for 63 Up.  It’s a unique and phenomenal experience to follow the lives of these British people from age 7, every 7 years to now. All of us in the audience were I’m sure considering our own lives in light of theirs. They’ve suffered divorce, ill health, estrangements, the death of parents, and one of them has actually died. But they’re all fine human beings now, extremely likeable, so much wiser than they were. Perhaps many of us are that way? Even Neil, the adorable sparkling 7-year old who was a scabby penniless recluse by 21 and ended up homeless, struggling with mental illness, is now a civic politician and lay preacher who, amazingly, owns a house in France! I loved them all.

We hope for 70 Up, though Michael Apted the director is in his eighties and may not be up for it. I could watch this series forever. A magnificent achievement.

And then to a pub for dinner with three of my dearest friends, where we discovered the Friday special deal of a bottle of wine for $21. Couldn’t pass that up.

Saturday, I happily dispensed with Christmas – took down the tree, put away the wreath and the table coverings and the hooha. Done and done.

Yesterday, to old friend David Rothberg’s end of Hanukkah party. A friend from university days, David became a successful businessman; we lost touch during the busy years but have reconnected with pleasure recently. His house in the Annex is impressive, vast rooms with modern art and unusual furniture, including a fabulous very long wooden table that someone said David made himself. I’m not used to such splendour – a young woman greeting us at the door to take our coats, then inside, caterers carving real Montreal smoked meat for sandwiches, platters of other goodies being passed around including latkes, a bartender serving drinks. And the most interesting people in Toronto – David is connected to the film business, writers, everyone. I ran into Ian Pearson who was an editor at Banff when I was there, then David Macfarlane, the superb writer, and his wife Janice Lindsay. Rick Salutin of the gloomy face wandered in, David Young the playwright appeared with a tray of oysters – it was that kind of party. I felt lucky to be there.

Today my Christmas present to myself arrived. Perhaps you remember the winter coat I wanted to buy at Bloomingdales but the last size Large was snatched from under my nose. Well, I found the same coat in a Boxing Day sale online, and it arrived today. I can give away my second-hand coats; with this one, I will never be cold again. In fact, I’m sorry the weather is so mild right now, I want to try it out and it’s too warm outside! Never did I think I’d be saying that.

Ken gave me a book of poems by the 14th century poet Hafiz and asked me particularly to read this one.
 
   The subject tonight is Love
And for tomorrow night as well,
      As a matter of fact
   I know of no better topic
         For us to discuss
             Until we all
                   Die!

Agreed.

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2 Responses to “63 Up: the subject tonight is Love.”

  1. theresa says:

    Lovely. Enjoy those boys. My daughter once had a Persian boyfriend who gave John and me Hafiz and Rumi collections, telling us that his family used them as a sort of daily divination, like Tarot. They'd open at random and voila…!

  2. beth says:

    Yes, they are very short and lovely poems, I could see reading one a day. Happy New Year to you, dear blogger friend across the 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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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.

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