Thursday, July 30, 2015


Hot continues. Today Anna had a meeting with her lawyer, so we met downtown and I took Eli to CBC's kids day. On my way, I passed Ben McNally's beautiful bookstore. Ben is a Toronto hero - somehow, as independent bookstores vanish left and right, he keeps this stunning, tasteful, valuable oasis going. But note how many people are shopping.
I was in a rush and would be out all day so couldn't really shop myself - but I did buy two treats for my daughter and her family - the hilarious "Go the fuck to sleep," which I'd meant to buy when Eli was a baby, and the new Dr. Seuss, "What pet should I buy?" This manuscript was discovered posthumously and has just been published. But it's not like the new Harper Lee, a major disappointment, apparently; I don't know, I haven't read it and won't. It's a true Dr. Seuss book. Another great hero.

Eli and I had lunch, his favourite, sushi. What pleasure to watch this barely 3-year old cramming California roll into his mouth - I who first ate sushi at age 35. The CBC atrium was a zoo with hundreds of kids and parents and camps. We saw some overheated actors dressed up in giant costumes with huge feet and wooly heads - Arthur et al - and played with some Lego. Then a concert began, so we managed to squeeze onto the floor, where Eli promptly climbed into my lap and fell asleep. I managed to protect him for 3/4 of an hour as other kids climbed over his legs and as the musicians clapped and danced and sang. Then a wait and another concert, which he was awake for and nonplussed by. Budget cuts are evident - the idea of a kids' day is great but the performed material was lame. Really lame.

But then - joy of joys - they released hundreds of balloons from the ceiling. Pandemonium.
We stepped over thousands of balloons, got out into the great heat, met Mama and baby brother and had a quiet sit, if such a thing is possible, in the Eaton's Centre.

When I looked in the mirror on my return, I saw that rivulets of the sunscreen I'd put on before leaving home were trapped in the wrinkles on my face. I guess that nearly-65 year old woman in the mirror is me. Ah well. Here's an extremely kind note I just received from my friend Margaret in Vancouver, along with birthday wishes:

A few of the things I’ve learned from Beth. 
  • Make lists. Then make more lists.
  • Donate generously to your friends from your curated Goodwill collection.
  • Respond with alacrity and wit to emails, letters, postcards and phone calls.
  • Make people laugh. 
  • Write entertaining and thought-provoking books.
  • Go on memorable trips with your friends.
  • Write reviews that get to the heart of a painting. Darn it, how do you that?
  • Cook fab meals at all times.
  • Write the best line I’ve heard about our current PM : he with ‘'the timber wolf eyes.”

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