Monday, August 1, 2011

happy moi

7.30 a.m., August 1st, 2011. I am sitting on the deck, now 61. It's a holiday Monday, so quiet in downtown Toronto, it's almost like being in the country. Sparrows squawk, butterflies sail about, the raccoons, who dug holes in the grass overnight, are asleep, and I am drinking in this life, this Canadian life - garden, city, family, friends. Thanks to Facebook and the Internet, birthday greetings have arrived from Los Angeles, London, Provence, New Zealand, Belgium, and all over Canada. My children are coming to help cook, and some fifteen of the dearest people in the world will dine tonight on the pork now marinating in satay sauce (tons of peanut butter, mmm), on salmon and salads, and two Daniel et Daniel cakes waiting in the fridge.

In this family, we must mark every memorable event with large meals and many friends. Celebrate without food and wine and everyone we love? Impossible.

Penny and I watched a documentary on TV last night, about mothers coming to live with their adult daughters. It made clear that the complexities of this most fraught of relationships never abate, say I as a daughter to a mother and a mother to a daughter. Then we watched the new BBC series, "Zen" - fabulous escapism, Rufus Sewell as an Italian detective, the whole thing shot in the dusty gold light of Rome. And then I ploughed on in my current library book, "Let's take the long way home: a memoir of friendship," by Gail Caldwell, such a beautifully written, thoughtful, powerful book. It makes me want to rip up my memoir and start again.


It's the smell I can't get over as I sit here tapping on this lovely new machine in the silence - no, there's a cicada like a buzz saw - the smell, as I've rhapsodized before, of jasmine, lavender, mint, rosemary, basil. Oh, there's a fat raccoon meandering home - a late partier, strolling down my path and climbing straight up the ivy. Just he and I, the cicada and the sparrows and the smell of summer.

I wish a joyful August 1st 2011 to you all.


  1. A very Happy Birthday, Beth. I selfishly celebrate another 366 days (leap year) of fabulous blogging from you, in your honour :)

  2. Thanks for your good wishes, Kathy and other Beth. My love to you both,

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