Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Plan M

Some people - who may have been pulling my leg - have told me they miss Read’em & Eats, so I am revivifying my Frankenstein. More correctly my Frankenstein’s monster. See, I’m still a pedant.

I paused the blog because I found myself repeatedly writing about my mother’s decline, amid other personal chaos. In short, I felt that all I was writing about was how to hang on by your fingernails. I grew weary of that and feared you did too, Reader.

Three years later I have a firmer foothold on things. I think.

I scattered my mother’s ashes on the crocus lawn at Golders Green Crematorium. I have no belief in an afterlife, but I do like the gentle symmetry of having taken her home to the London that she loved, to her parents and sister. I don’t believe in “closure”. I do believe in scar tissue. It’s a sign of healing, and it’s tougher than the original. Watching my mother’s grey dust swirl away gave me a bittersweet sense of a task completed as best I could though perhaps to no effect. 

Last October the little dog (best boyfriend EVER) and I moved to Port Hope. This is not what I wanted, worked or hoped for, but that does not not mean it is bad. Politics and life are arts of the possible, or as I repeatedly tell my friends, “it’s all about having a Plan B”.

I’m now on Plan M. I have made it through my first winter, which is when I feared I might die of loneliness. There has been a steady stream of visitors and new friends found. I am unutterably grateful for both.

Now Reader, I know the question you most want answered is, what’s for lunch? Today it is Coronation Chicken Salad, The Hairy Bikers’ Recipe. If I weren’t eating alone I would have it with a rosé. Sunday I’m having some of my new townsfolk for drinks and nibbles. Among the things I will serve is a ricotta, prosciutto, garlic and basil dip that I first made for a long ago boyfriend (two legs, bad).

I hope to resume posting once a month. I’m thinking about things such as how to use up a whole container of buttermilk, my favourite picnics and my very own all Canadian brunch. I welcome suggestions. Now for things to read. . .

A Triumvirate of Titles

When my mum was ill I found it hard to read. I played countless games of solitaire on my iPod. Immediately after the move I found it easier to knit than read (a cardigan, a pullover and and a shawl). Nonetheless I have been reading over the the last three years. These are the three titles that come immediately to mind. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, definitely a desert island book for me - this won lots of awards and was widely reviewed, so I won’t explain further. I gave multiple friends Penelope Lively’s essays on aging Dancing Fish and Ammonites for Christmas a couple of years ago. Iris Origo’s War in Val D’Orcia is a memoir that should be ranked with Robert Graves’ Goodbye to All That.


  1. YAY! So glad you are back to this. And what a beautiful and meaningful sentence is this: "I believe in scar tissue." So true!