Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Paris and Belgravia

Juliet, whose blog is to the left, has posted a livestream video of Paris just a few days ago. Watching it made me ache; I knew exactly where the walker was and could smell that Paris smell - urine, pastry, smoke, gasoline, damp plaster. Age. Perfume. River water. Oh please take me there! 

Not this year, sweetheart.

A writer I don't know asked me for a post for her nonfiction Instagram page, so I wrote one for her. Adventures on the internet. 


A major snowfall last night, much shovelling today - great exercise. The busy sparrows and finches at the feeder being pushed aside by the jays. Last night, watching my friend Gina's film compilation: she produces the Cabbagetown Short Film Festival and for Valentine's Day offered twelve short films about love, films from around the world though a disproportionate number from Spain, and terrific they all were. One was about a grandson who spent a lot of time with his grandmother as a small boy, grew distant from her in adolescence, and goes to visit as a young man for the first time in years. She is very old, shaking with Parkinson's, with still a loving smile and touch for him. "I saw her as the survivor of a shipwreck," he narrates, "clinging to the wreckage, isolated and alone, waiting for a visit every few months." He leaves, but runs back to tell her how much he loves her, that she is the best grandmother he could ever have had. And at the end he tells us he learned how to love, how to express love, from her. 

As you can imagine, it made me cry. Many of the films however were hilarious. A huge treat.

Watched the first episode of Belgravia on CBC Gem, another period British drama from Julian Fellowes, beautifully written and shot. My friend Harriet Walter appears as a dowager countess, and there is a truly magnificent scene between her and the actress Tamsin Greig, a master class in acting, so much understated between the two, two mothers in stiff formal dresses mourning their dead children. Brava.

I've sent out an essay, this one about the lockdown and why it has been a positive experience for me. Am working on another, enjoying the return to the essay format. Like Gina's short films - you can say a lot in few words. Oh, and I bought a new pair of snow boots, half price, which will arrive tomorrow. I've never bought footwear online, but welcome to 2021. Just in time, too.

The garden this morning.
Last August. That's under there somewhere. Spring will come.
Tom Stoppard's travel library. Love it. Thank God Wayson never saw it, he would have wanted six.

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