Sunday, May 3, 2020


It's 20 degrees - a heavenly day, almost too hot, an explosion of green. I'm listening to Eleanor Wachtel interviewing Hillary Mantel. Just had a book club Zoom meeting about Deirdre Bair's Parisian Lives, which ended up with another discussion about how far memoir can stretch the truth. I have a great deal to say about that, as you can imagine.

Answer: quite far.

Yesterday, during a walk, I ran into a neighbour who said, "Beth, you have the best forsythia in the 'hood!" Another of my many claims to fame.
It should be the Forsythia Festival today, with a parade and a fun fair for the kids, but not this year. This morning's adventure was a quick early trip to the shops on Parliament St., in mask and gloves. Still, after all this time, bizarre. But so great to have avocados, a mango, Quebecois goat cheese, fresh bread.

Some recent viewing: the National Theatre's Twelfth Night, which had the interesting idea of turning the hapless Malvolio into a lesbian called Malvolia, whose cross-garter outfit was beyond preposterous, with yellow twirling things on her nipples. The gay sexual hijinks continued, with men kissing men and women women and a ridiculous scene in a gay bar. Give me a break. I watched because there was lots that was original, but the play's plot is absurd and shockingly cruel. I'm done with Twelfth Night now.

On the other hand, yesterday a documentary about making the series My Brilliant Friend, primarily about the two astounding young stars, one just out of theatre school and the other who had no notion of being an actor at all before being cast. What's especially wonderful is that we see that the two women are almost exactly like Lenu and Lila, the characters they portray. Somehow the casting people saw right through to their souls, their essence. And oh, it's Italy, we see the cast, we see the set and their families and the country.

My daughter's 39th birthday today. Next year I will have a child who's 40. Surely impossible for one so young. And yet true. Happy Birthday to a wonderful human being. Hope to see you soon.

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