My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Oscars, the tooth fairy, Betty White

I’ll take a day like today – cold with bright hot sun – over mild but grey and wet, any time. I’m a plant. I needs me some sun.

So much going on. Yes, I watched the Oscars though also watching Call the Midwife and Sanditon at the same time, so missed some. Did not miss the slap, however. There you have it, America – hit someone in the face and then weep about peace and love. I dislike the nasty jokes people like Chris Rock and Ricky Gervais crack about their peers, but actors who make many millions of dollars doing their very visible work have to put up with it. The whole event was a textbook example of how important it is to have a sense of humour and some humility. I give the best of the night award to Amy Schumer when she came back. “I was changing. Did I miss anything?”

It was a family weekend; the boys were over for a last sleepover with their dad in the basement suite. I saw how wonderful it would be in a multi-generational home; they ran up and down from him to me, soccer and ice cream upstairs, archery and pancakes down. Ben ran up, very excited, to show me how he’d just pulled out his second tooth. Took a shot to send to his mama.

The tooth fairy left $5! Inflation. 

Eli and I are reading J. K. Rowling’s The Christmas Pig, four chapters or so at a time. He nestles beside me, often with his head on my shoulder. Rowling’s mesmerizing skill creates a world that’s imaginative and intriguing but also filled with genuine danger and fear. I mean, Harry Potter confronts Death Eaters. It doesn’t get scarier than that.

Later, Sam and I went for a bite to eat at our favourite pub a block away, the House on Parliament. It was full – servers in masks, everyone seated bare faced, fabulous. We’re returning to life. I know, the virus is still out there wreaking havoc, but at least, triple vaxxed, we feel safer. I do anyway. Tonight I’m going to the theatre with Ruth. The theatre! Be still my beating heart.

Last night, a documentary about Betty White. What a charmed life, an only child of loving parents, a show biz career she enjoyed and was skilled at from a young age, an independent successful woman who eventually found her soulmate and beloved. Still working at 99. In all the takes, her glee and sweetness seem absolutely genuine. Ryan Reynolds told a story: that after finishing her scenes in a film with him, she turned to everyone as she left and said, “That was the most fun I’ve ever had. (pause) Standing up.”

What a gift. No one like her. 

Sam loves old family artefacts and lore. I gave him my British grandfather’s billiards medals – Percy Harold Leadbeater, champion, 1921-22. I think the chain is a watch fob; he always wore a waistcoat with a pocket watch. On it are two pierced sixpences, one from 1842 and another 1858. 

How I cherish these links to the past, and how grateful I am that someone in the family does too. 

Oh yes, one more thing in the Blowing Own Horn department: more nice words about the essays. A friend who’s in a difficult legal situation wrote: Every time I see anything related to that damn mess I start to cry. So I read about YOUR life and find that people go through great stuff and awful stuff and all I need to do is get through this and see it in the rear view mirror. You are a gifted writer, Beth. Know that many who read your work, come away with much to think about.

A blog friend wrote about “Correspondence”: Such a beautifully written  memoir and also beautifully illustrated. I read the piece aloud to absorb each word. May your rich  correspondence continue for many years, not only with Babs’s sister  but with so many of us, your readers from around the world.

And another about “Correspondence”: Very moving, Beth. I felt the fragility of your friend in her letters; iyour deeply compassionate style of writing, you describe not only her fragility, but yours and everyone’s, too. Wonderful to revive these letters for such an affecting story. 

Thank you, friends. It’s beyond heartening to hear from you this way. Onward.



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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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