Monday, April 24, 2017

today's Facts and Arguments

First - good news from France. My French neighbour Monique arrived at my door yesterday - she couldn't bear to watch the returns alone, afraid of a showdown between Le Pen and the far left Melanchon. But it looks like moderate Macron will take it away in two weeks. Let us pray. The fact that a crypto-fascist is running in second place is scary enough, but it has happened before, with her father. Now, as long as the French equivalent of the FBI don't get involved in bringing Macron down and propping Le Pen up ... Apparently the Russians already were and presumably still will be involved in the French campaign. What can be done to stop their worldwide rampage?

Listening right now to Kerry Clare being interviewed on CBC by Shelagh Rogers, about being a blogger: "creating your persona is an exciting thing." I wonder what my persona is here. Cheery adventuress, sentimental, indulgent glamma, self-referential writer obsessed with her own navel.

In fact, I am wondering - again - why I do this. My readership has dropped precipitously over the past year, according to Google analytics. Am I more boring than before? Or is there just much more to read out there? Any thoughts? Should I pack it in? Enough navel-gazing, girlchik, move right along?

However.

A former student, a sublime writer called Mary Jane McPhee, has a gorgeous essay in the Globe today: "When all-natural was all there was." Highly recommended.

So, packing again today for tomorrow's departure, two weeks out west. Taking rainboots this time, but otherwise, mostly the same stuff I took to Europe. A beautiful if cold sunny day here, raining, natch, in Vancouver.  I have a cold and therefore the energy of a sloth, but somehow, I'll get out the door. Onward, for now.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

science march heroes

Happy Earth Day. It was chilly but sunny here, unlike Washington D.C., where my cousin and her husband, both scientists, marched with others against Trump. Proud of her!
I have a cold and also still have jet lag, and so will not be burbling merrily here as I sometimes do. Eli came for a sleepover; we went to the farm to see lambs, kids, and piggies, and especially to throw stones into the pond for some considerable length of time. Came home via the playground where we had to climb everything in sight over and over again. Managed to eat some food, and then my grandson disintegrated and I felt his forehead - hot hot hot. So, a child's Advil, some stories, and bed. Let's hope he sleeps. Hope I do too.

Tomorrow is the first round in the French elections. Last night I watched both John Oliver and Bill Maher. Sheer terror, as we laugh.

weather in Vancouver: wet


Day 
Night
POP 
Rain 
Snow 

Sun
Apr
23

12°C
7°C
90%
~15 mm
-
Mon
Apr
24

14°C
7°C
40%
~1 mm
-
Tue
Apr
25

11°C
8°C
80%
15-20 mm
-
Wed
Apr
26

11°C
7°C
80%
5-10 mm
-
Thu
Apr
27

11°C
7°C
80%
10-15 mm
-
Fri
Apr
28

12°C
7°C
70%
5-10 mm
-
Sat
Apr
29

11°C
5°C
70%
15-20 mm
-
Sun
Apr
30

10°C
4°C
60%
10-15 mm
-
Mon
May
1

12°C
5°C
40%
5-10 mm
-
Tue
May
2

10°C
5°C
60%
~20 mm
-
Wed
May
3

10°C
7°C
60%
10-15 mm
-
Thu
May
4

12°C
6°C
60%
~10 mm
-
Fri
May
5

12°C
5°C
60%
~5 mm
-
Sat
May
6

15°C
8°C
40%

Thursday, April 20, 2017

information on Beth's classes

Both my classes are starting to fill up. Life Stories starts at U of T on Tuesday May 9, running from 12.30 to 3 for eight weeks, and True to Life starts at Ryerson on Wednesday May 10, 6.30 to 9.15, for nine. More information on my website under Teaching.

I had a nice email from Matthew, who took the class two years ago and wrote to say that the students from that class have continued to meet ever since; they are all coming to the next So True on Sunday June 4, and some are going to submit essays for consideration. He wrote:
The writing group has been a wonderful addition to all our lives - both for the on-going practice and support but also for the friendship and little community we have formed. And it all stems back to your class!

Almost all my classes have produced at least a small writer's group - if not the whole class, then a few people who continue to meet and, as Matthew says, support each other in their creative endeavours and in life itself. That makes me happy.

Maudie: must see

A vile day out there - cold, pouring. But I'm in MY HOUSE WHERE IT'S WARM AND DRY. And I know where everything is. I can take food out of the freezer and HEAT IT UP. And I can do laundry ANY TIME I WANT. Does it get better than that?

Still jet-lagged, kind of woozy, but not badly. I'm getting my chores done and had a grand reunion with my family yesterday.
That's Ben ready for bed, wearing his boots - he still wears them at night, though by day, his little feet are perfect. And were in constant motion yesterday, tearing my house apart.

Today was Wayson's 78th birthday, so I made him a big lunch. He is family too. And then I went to see "Maudie." As a Nova Scotian, I've known about this marvellous, odd little folk artist for many years, loved her bright paintings. I look forward to any movie starring Sally Hawkins, an exceptionally fine British actress. And so it's no surprise that I adored this beautiful film, which has an incandescent performance by Hawkins but also Ethan Hawke doing a very good job as her almost brutish husband. It's a story of resilience and dedication, a woman with almost nothing going for her not just surviving but triumphing. She's a kind of Van Gogh, a driven soul who has to paint despite isolation and difficulty, though in the end, unlike him, she achieved recognition if not wealth before she died. Sally Hawkins's courageous and generous performance pays tribute to a courageous and generous artist. Highly recommended.

As I left the screening room, a woman stopped me and said, I saw you were at the film. What did you think? We began to talk; she loved it too. She told me she's from Newfoundland and her cousin Mary was one of the producers. And when she said Mary's name, I realized that her cousin Mary is married to my friend Nigel, whom I've known since high school. By the time I left the Varsity, this woman was another new friend. May this keep happening to me. I like it.