My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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All Covid all the time around here

What did we used to talk and read about, do you have any idea? There were other crises, remember – the Indigenous blockade, pipelines, refugees in Greece and Turkey, war in Syria, the gilets jaunes protests in France – what is happening, has all that shut down too? Just pandemic pandemonium. Thank God for the CBC – those steady familiar voices talking us through. Thank God for Trudeau and his sensible, calm cabinet.

Yesterday was rough because my son came to visit. He’s a big guy with lots of friends, and though he assured me he’s washing his hands religiously, his idea of sanitation and mine are different. He needed to get out of his small apartment for a bit, and I was very happy to see him, but also not. He’s my son, my blood, and I was a bit … frightened. I’m not sure I want to see my grandsons. This is appalling.

Sam did wash his hands, but Chris FaceTimed us while he was here, and my son put his arm around my shoulders while we talked to Chris. I shuddered. My son is a hugger, a toucher. But now, he’s learning that has to stop.

Everything has to stop. How frightening it is, how vulnerable we feel. We are at war with an unseen enemy that could be lurking anywhere, on anyone. It’s a horror movie. I know, most people who get it recover. But none of us wants to be a statistic.

Sam watched TV; I sat in the kitchen watching the first 2 episodes of BBC’s recent adaptation of Agatha Christie’s And then there were none on my computer. So good! What skill she had. After Sam left, I went around washing what he’d touched, but of course did not get everything. How obsessive is this? And yet – it’s what we have to do. I have other friends who are simply not going anywhere or seeing anyone. But I’d go insane with no socializing at all, and going insane is not good either.

Heard from friend Carol in Ecuador – the same, everyone in masks, distancing, isolation, concern. Again, today, I saw a man walking by bent double under his load of toilet paper. The absurdity of it. But what the hell.

It was sunny but cold again today. Come on, we want to say to the weather gods, give us a break here. But I did my jogette anyway, ran into Ruth with her sons, then Monique next door, who earlier had entertained her nephew; she brought him a chair so he could sit in the parking lot while she sat on her deck, and they talked through her fence.

A brief Zoom meeting with my social media assistant Sophie today. But my head is just not there. Though friend and student Sam has been sending me her invaluable comments on my manuscript, what she likes and what she doesn’t. So I’ll get to work soon, when I stop listening to CBC and checking social media and washing my hands.

Tonight I’ll watch 60 Minutes which will be about – let me guess. Then a panoply of choices. Bruce, who FaceTimed today, says the Met in NYC is showing free operas every night; he has watched six – Eugene Onegin tonight. Antoinette wrote from Edmonton that the Berlin Philharmonic is airing free concerts. There’s so much marvellous stuff online, humorous too, beautiful little films, uplifting articles and commentary.

Today would have been my first full day in Paris, walking around with Lynn, finding a restaurant for a superb lunch, popping into a shop or two, wandering by Notre Dame to see how she’s doing. But I’m in my kitchen instead and overjoyed to be so.

We’ll get through, friends. But it’ll be quite the ride.

If you start feeling sorry for yourself, give this doc that aired this morning on the Sunday Edition a listen and be inspired by a great unsung hero. Just try to imagine what she’s doing through – it’s almost impossible.
All in the family: Justine Kennedy is a very busy young Indigenous woman. At 23 years old, she is the eldest of 14 children. She’s married, and a full-time university student. And now she is raising her seven young brothers — all under the age of 10. Fiercely protective of her siblings, Justine Kennedy is hellbent on keeping the boys together and out of the foster care system — the system in which her sisters grew up. Alisa Siegel‘s documentary is called “What’s One More?”



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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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