My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo

Loose Woman in Zurich

Fun – just got this from my blog friend Alan Millen, a fellow mad Beatle lover and musician I’ve never met who lives in Zurich and sent this from the Odeon, a legendary artists’ café there. 

I guess Zurich isn’t in lockdown. Thanks for the plug, Alan!

I do understand the people who are so frustrated by our current lockdown that they break the rules. It must be unbearable for a small business owner to lock the doors just before the Xmas shopping season. It’s shocking even for me, who all year rarely shopped, to go out and find almost everything closed. The best business these days: delivery trucks. That’s how we’ll save Xmas. Well, at least I won’t be moaning about the saccharine music in stores. 

But it feels hard, especially as now the days are shorter and colder and darkness is descending. We need lots of inner resources to stay afloat. Like my friend Chris, in the blog to the left, who never stops doing stuff. He has been like that his whole life; where we see nothing, he creates something, often laboriously. But most of us do not have that drive and creativity. The winter will be very long. 

I started to read a book praised by my blog friend Theresa, also to the left: Undying: Pain, Vulnerability, Mortality, Medicine, Art, Time, Dreams, Data, Exhaustion, Cancer, and Care, by Anne Boyer, an “extraordinary and furious new memoir,” says the NYT, of her diagnosis with an aggressive breast cancer and the horrible chemo ordeals she went through. I couldn’t finish it and returned it early to the library; I’ll try another time. Right now, I’m sorry, I just can’t read rage, I can’t read disease. Not that I’ll be turning to fluff, but something with a bit more bearable. So, two books – the wonderful 150 Glimpses of the Beatles, a beautifully written tour from the beginning with wry snippets about their lives, their fans, their enemies, like Noel Coward, who loathed them but insisted on meeting them. The book just won a big nonfiction award in England. 

And Sarah Manguso’s Ongoingness: the end of a diary, which explores her 25 years of diary-keeping, a subject close to my own heart. She kept her diaries online though. Mine are in boxes under the bed, muttering away down there. What to do with them? A bonfire? Over my dead body. Which is quite literally what my children might do. 

Tuesday was my beloved friend Ken’s 85th birthday; his family gave him the Cubii he requested so he can exercise through the winter. And yesterday was my Dad’s 98th. Last night I read the short Prologue of the new book about him and Mum to my home class; they liked it a lot. Much-needed encouragement early in the journey.

Yesterday, there was a disappointment; the Vancouver publicist told me happily last month that a local CBC host asked for the book and wanted to interview me. Great! She booked a tentative time for the interview: yesterday at 1.30. But as time went by there was no word from the host; she didn’t reply to emails, and the day went by sans interview. We were ghosted. So far, the media coverage of the memoir has been a short Radio Canada interview in French. 

C’est la vie. 

Today, another disappointment: a guy came to see if I can have a gas fire stove installed and the answer was almost definitely not for various reasons. Later, I’m giving Debra a lesson in voice and comportment for a Zoom webinar. And then maybe as a special treat a few more episodes of The Crown. Delicious. Yesterday was startlingly warm and lovely, a good day for raking; I saw a guy in shorts. Today again is very mild but grey. We’ll take mild.

Go Joe. 

Two images from Chris’s blog, the first something I’d like in my backyard:



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.

Some Blogs I Follow

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.


Juliet in Paris, Spain and Beyond
Juliet is a Canadian who’s lived for decades in Paris and writes about her travels and the many things that interest her.