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Greenbelt scandal fallout – good riddance!

Extreme heat here — right now, 32 feeling like 41. It’ll drop some on Thursday. For the first time this summer, I’ve had the AC on all day, am huddled inside on the ground floor, because the second floor, even with all the blinds drawn, is suffocating.

My daughter came back from the family wedding sad to have left so many loved ones behind. Most of her father’s family, Anna’s cousins and their children, live in Vernon or in Winnipeg. Now her sights have turned from needing regular visits to Nova Scotia, where her best friend lives, to going out west, taking her boys to meet all those blood relatives, including a bunch of kids their age. Family! Too bad this country is so @#$@# big.

Anna with her cousin Scott, her dad’s younger brother Dave’s younger son. He used to be called Scooter but he was smaller then. She told me she was drinking vodka, orange juice, and soda which brings a sparkle to her eye.

Sunday night was a feast of PBS TV, the return of three series: Professor T., Unforgotten, and Van der Volk, all three the usual British murder mysteries — everyone in England must have been murdered at least once — with the usual flawed, complicated investigators. But all three so well produced, written, shot, acted, as always – three hours of Brit TV. Fine with me.

On Labour Day I zipped to the Art Gallery of Ontario, to catch the last day of the exhibit on two impressionist painters, Canadian Helen McNicoll and the better known American Mary Cassatt. It’s astonishing that I, a seventy-plus Canadian with a keen interest in the arts, had never heard of the talented McNicoll, who was successful and admired. Both women had to battle the repressive sexist forces of their time; it’s amazing they accomplished what they did, especially McNicoll who was deaf. It helped that both women came from wealth, perhaps the only way they could have remained unmarried and living in France. Beautiful work, especially of mothers and children. I loved this one of Cassatt’s, “Breakfast in Bed,” from 1897, how she captures the love of the mother but also the resigned sense that she could have used another hour or two of sleep.

Haven’t we all been there?

Today, first day of school. Anna asked the boys how it was. “Fine,” they said. She hopes to pry more out of them eventually. “No Frills full of happy parents!” she texted me. She and I have been texting about how the Greenbelt scandal is playing out here, this corrupt government’s shady dealings exposed by keen-eyed journalists, especially from the Toronto Star. As Anna sneered, “Conservative governments, the gift that keeps on giving.” A cabinet minister resigned yesterday, though we all agree “too little too late.” It’s good to know idiots can be held to account. Democracy!

Speaking of which, two of the convoy organizers go on trial in Ottawa today. Hope they’re nailed too. We’re living in a world where millions say night is day, and if contradicted with proof and reality, will scream persecution. A friend sent a terrific article from the CNN website about the allure of Trump, how skilfully he manipulates people’s sense of victimization and grievance. He appeals especially to less educated whites who are now convinced the system is stacked against them and it’s the fault of the government, elites, immigrants, gays, people of colour, and now, trans people. They really believe they’re the most marginalised, persecuted people on earth.

As I used to say in my youth, Give me a break. Give me a giant break.

And now, dinner: rosé, corn, and peaches. Maybe I can rustle up a little protein, a piece of cheese or an egg. Maybe I’ll just dare to eat a peach. Or four. Summer!

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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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