Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book and Rant

I have added Rant to the title because I might hold forth in the new year rather than start a new blog.

I HAVE NEWS. I had an e-mail from my publisher two days before Christmas informing me that some of their e-books will be going into print in 2012. They will be printing my time travel romance, RING AROUND THE MOON. the new print books will be available on the publisher's web site first and then offered to Amazon.com and three other retailers. I shall keep you informed when all this happens. I am pleased to have another book in print.

A VERY DIFFICULT MAN is available as an e-book but is also available in trade paperback. Check my web site for synopses and covers. All my books are available at Amazon.com and at Jasmine-Jade Enterprises.

It is a dreary overcast day in Victoria with a little rain. I got out for a walk earlier and missed the rain. I am feeling rather witless right now because I have task to do and would like to put it off but honour calls. Must bear down on the task and get it done.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Anita Birt's Note Book

The wanderer returns. Life is getting in my way. I am neglecting my writing, my blog, my memoirs, my everything. I think it is the slow lost of light as we move on through Christmas to the winter solstice - is that right? Here on the Vancouver Island we have had grey skies and little sun. No snow, praise the Lord. Victoria is never ready for snow and few drivers have snow tires. Few drivers know how to drive in snow or ice so it makes for lots of accidents. If it snows, I stay put.

I am not flying to visit my family at Christmas in the Toronto area. Overcrowded airports are hard on this old dear and it's difficult to get help even when my travel agent asks for it. Enough of that. My family has sent me a large box full of presents. I am not opening it until Christmas morning. Opening it before December 25 would spoil the fun.

My publisher tells me they have made some change to my time travel, RING AROUND THE MOON. If you haven't purchased it yet, try it. It's an unusual time travel story. My hero comes from two hundred years in the past to the present time. Figuring out how to get him a modern identity was difficult, but I did. A great love story awaits you.

I have become a fan of the Jack Reacher mystery/murder novels. I've started on the earlier books and enjoying them immensely. The author is Lee Stone. They are available as e-books.

I bid you goodnight. Sleep well and greet the morning with a smile


Monday, December 12, 2011

Anita Birt's Note Book

I should hide my head in shame about neglecting this blog. My intentions are good but my life gets in the way. Still have not a good title for this blog when I switch over to a Wordy Blog. Who is interested in words and their use thereof? Day after day I come across bad grammar, incorrect word usage and wonder how it can get any worse. Tweeting and texting will be the ruin of our wonderful English language. Who will know right from wrong when all we old folk pass on?

I do have hope. There are young people writing books, fiction and non-fiction, penning articles about interesting and challenging subjects. All is not lost. Is there a young person out there who will comment? Someone between the ages of  25 - 50. That is young to me! Tell me what you are writing or planning to write or thinking about a subject you'd like to tackle.

My son has been visiting for the past five days and keeping me on my toes. This evening I introduced him to one of my friends. Muriel was ninety-six years old on her birthday two weeks ago. Asked how she was, she replied. "I got this walker for my birthday but I'd rather have a car."

She is bright as a silver dollar and has a great sense of humour. Another friend had her ninetieth birthday to day. She is attractive with a sharp wit and plays excellent duplicate bridge. Having said all that I am heading for bed and shall turn on my Kindle and continue reading a Jack Reacher novel.

Check out my books at: www.anitabirt.com, buy one or two and enjoy a good read.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Anita Birt's Note Cook

I m stuck trying to find the right title for this blog when I change the name.

"It's about being old..."  A friend suggested "Aging Achers," but I'm afraid that will not work. How about "Aging Acres," indicating where we live?

I'd like to say, "It's about being old stupid," but that's rude

To revert to this day. We've had wild winds blowing in from the east with the waves on the sea rocking and rolling in deep, deep troughs. About five o'clock rain lashed against my window (I face the sea) The wind had shifted to the west and came roaring in. I did not venture outside the door to-day.

Life is peaceful. It's Martin's birthday to-day. Martin is my best beloved son. He hopes to come out to see me in early December. I am not flying to Toronto for Christmas! Snow might fall and wreck travel arrangements. And the airports are too much for me to cope with this time of year.

I have a lot of material to go into the new blog so my thoughts are drifting in that direction. I shall let you know when I change the title of the blog so you can find me - if you so desire.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Anita Birt's Note Book

November 19 and I am still struggling to find a name for my new blog. As you recall it's about getting old, really old, and hanging in there.

But before I go on, my five books, A Very Difficult Man, Isabelle's Diary, Isabelle's Story, Ring Around the Moo and Too Young To Die are selling for .99 cents a copy! You can't beat that for price so head to Amazon.com or Ellora's Cave Publishing and buy my books. Download them to your e-reader and enjoy five good reads.

My new blog is about being eighty and what to do to keep life interesting and challenging. Any bright ideas you have for a title is appreciated. What do you think about: "Being eighty - And then what?" I can't use "Over the hill gang," it's used by organizations all over the world.

The world here on the west coast of Canada is getting cold. No Anna's humming birds to be seen. They are usually here for the winter (don't ask when they could stay in California) I'm wondering if condo dwellers with balconies have stopped feeding them. I shall buy a feeder and lure them to my balcony. I did see a Bewick's wren this morning  hopping along a low fence searching for little spiders and other tasty treats.

How are your brain cells? Are you keeping them alive and well by exercising and eating a healthy diet?

My frog collection is on display in the lobby of this building. They make people smile because they are rather silly.

I hope all is well where you are and you are enjoying life.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Anita Birt's Note Book

I am going slightly balmy trying to create a new blog.There must be a secret password or some other tricky business of which I know nothing. According to the Google information it's easy. Takes four minutes! Whatever software they use refuses the title I want to use or they ask for information I don't have. Sigh.

We have  had a wild storm on the Strait to-day. Great heaving seas with white caps tipping the waves. Unbelievable. I didn't venture out in case I'd be blown off my feet and tossed into the sea. As evening closed in the sea calmed and all is quiet.

We, who are over eight years old, are aghast at the poor grammar we run across daily - I think I ranted about this on my last post so I shall cease and desist. And the misuse of few and less. Or who and whom.

Shall I step into a minefield and comment about the Occupiers? They sit on their bums or open their laptops and moan about the state of our country - Canada in my case. I think of Steve Jobs and what he accomplished during his short life. He didn't sit under a tent he shoved up his sleeves and changed the way we use technology to connect with family friends, companies, etc. How the Occupiers expect to change the federal system under which we live by sitting under tents baffles me. And that is all I have to say on that subject. Send them all home.

I am old and cannot keep up with the changes going on around me. It's all fascinating. I'm tempted to buy an iPhone just for the helluva it. I don't need one and may torment my brain trying to work out all the features.

I wish my creative writing brain would return and stimulate me into writing stories. Not romance, as in the past, write about living through the good and the difficult times and how to enjoy life. Create a character who lives as well as she can and dearly likes to interfere in other people's lives. What fun. I shall tuck the idea in my head and let it sit awhile.

Keep buying my books through Amazon.com or my publisher, Ellora's Cave.

Send a comment. I know you are out there lurking in the shadows.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Anita Bit's Note Book

This will be short and sweet. I shall be starting a new blog, "The Over The Hill Gang." To post on the blog you have to be eighty years old and older. We will make one or two exceptions and allow enthusiastic seventy years old men and women to post on the blog.

The blog will have a rant component to allow frustrated bloggers to air their grievances about bad grammar and the like. All of us attended schools where grammar was hammered into our heads, penmanship made us write legibly, and English Composition taught how to write coherent paragraphs with accurate punctuation.

Move over to the new blog when I figure out how to set it up.  In the meantime, check my web site www.anitabirt.com for lists of my books and see if one or more of them tickle your fancy.

Anita Birt

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

I shall be starting a new blog within a few days after I gather specific material. Tentative title: Join the company of The Over The Hill Gang. A group of women, all over eighty who have decided to raise their voices, so to speak, regarding the appalling grammar featured in the daily press, magazines or heard on television or radio.

Or ill manners. We can rant with the best of them and enjoy ourselves doing it. I am the blogger. My partners in this venture are Ruth, Win and Jean but anyone over eighty, male or female may add their voices by leaving comments.

Do drop in when I get this new venture started. I shall announce it on this blog.

Have a look at my books listed on my web site. Cozy up to them and enjoy a good read.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Anita Birt's Notebook

I never quit, do I?  No comments on my blog yet I persist on blogging. It's like an illness or a compulsion, something interesting to fill an hour or two a day. I'm not doing creative writing but my fingers itch to tap away on the keyboard. So.....To entertain myself and, hopefully, find buyers for my books I shall post the first few pages of my book, TOO YOUNG TO DIE. I own the Copyright to all my books, including Too Young To Die.


"Keep singing, lady."

The armed man sitting across from Ellie in the nursery casually pointed his assault rifle at her. She cuddled the whimpering baby and tried, unsuccesfully, to stay cool and remember the words of the old nursery rhyme.
 "Rock-a-Bye baby on the ..." Her voice cracked on the first line.
 "Sing," he demanded.

"Can't sing. Can't breathe. Throat's too dry. Can I get a drink of water from the bathroom?'
 He shambled to his fee. "Don't move. I don't hurt ladies and babies."
"Then what the hell are you doing here?" Ellie shifted Nicki from one arm to the other and gulped air into her oxygen-deprived lungs.

"Don't give me that crap, you're up to your next in this same as the rest." He slung the weapon under his arm. "Sing to the kid while I get you a drink."
"I can't."
"Do it and keep the kid quiet." He lowered his brows. His eyes sank into the folds of scar tissue. "Sing about the mocking bird. You sang it before."
Ellie cleared her tense throat. "Hush little baby, don't say a word...that one?"
He nodded and propped his beefy shoulder against the door. "My old lady used to sing it to my little sister."
The gorilla had a human mother. Hard to believe he hadn't come fully formed from the lab of a mad scientist.
"Please get me some water. I'll sing it and a couple more."
If she escaped from the house alive, she'd never answer another advertisement for a nanny. Magda and Stefan Blesnicoff had seemed such a nice couple. They'd sent their chauffeur to drive her from Seattle to their estate in the Cascades. She'd been with them a week and tonight she might die, blown away in a hail of bullets.
She choked back a sob. She was too young to die. So was Nicki. He squirmed and screwed up his face. "It's all right, Sweetie." She found back her panic. Stay calm. Stick to a routine. She held him against her shoulder and patted his back. "
"You're hungry aren't you?"
"You'd better feed him I won't look."
A sheepish grin spread across his beat-up face. "It's not respectful to watch a lady feeding her baby. That's private."
A light dawned inside Ellie's terror-stricken brain. "He isn't my baby. I'm his nanny. You'll have to get his bottle from the fridge and warm it."

That's all for today. If you want more, leave a comment - or buy the book. It's a page turner with guns, bad guys and Ellie escaping into the woods with the baby in the middle of the night. There's a hero, of course.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Anita Birt's Diary

Help! Someone has stolen access to my blog. I can't get in to write some of my deathless prose. I have a glass of sherry at my elbow to soothe  my shattered nerves. Who controls the blogs? I am bewildered and that reminds me. I was dining with friends two nights ago and we started talking about words that being with "be". i.e. bedraggled ( the way I look when I fall out of bed in the morning) Bewildered. Bereft. Begone. Beware. Bewitched. Bespoke (a favourite of mine)

There are lots more. Add a few more when you comment on my blog. Remember to buy my books for your e-reader, Find then at my web site; www.anitabirt.com. I am begone until next time..

Anita Birt's Diary

Friday, October 28, 2011


I left you when I was feeling abandoned, without money to pay train fare to South Wales. It's September 1944. I was directed to a nearby hostel to spend the night. My husband was "somewhere in England," and I didn't have a clue where he was. I couldn't telephone his mother because phones were few and very far between in South Wales.

I spoke with others stranded in Liverpool but they expected to be picked up the next day. A young lad who had sailed on one of the Royal Navy ships told me the ship behind the Ariguani had been torpedoed and gone down, that accounted for the explosion that had rocked our ship.

As I pondered my fate I sank into a hot bath, "a shallow hot bath". A ring had been painted around the tub showing how much water a bather could use. Tired, I went to bed and could not sleep. I was frozen, could not get warm. I learned later about "damp beds" a phenomenon because of unheated houses and perishing cold bedrooms.

A brilliant thought filtered into my head during the night. One of Bill's fellow officers, Tom Ellis, whom I knew well, his wife, Norah, lived in Liverpool. I remembered her address, 32 Chalfont Rd.

With the help of kindly tram conductors, I found my way to the address and knocked on the door. "Are you Norah Ellis?" I asked. Before she could reply, I blurted out my name. "I'm Anita Birt and i don't know where Bill is. He was supposed to have money waiting for me but didn't." I don't remembered crying but Norah put her arms around me and invited me into the house.

"Come in, I'll put the kettle and make some tea." She turned to me. "I know where Tom is and he'll know where Bill is. I'll telephone him while the kettle boils."

For the first time since I'd stepped on to British soil, I relaxed. Tom was summoned. I spoke with him as tears trickled down my cheeks. Tom knew where Bill was and in short order tracked him down. Oh joy, Bill telephoned. Was horrified to learn I'd been left without money. A screw-up somewhere.

Bill was stationed close to Hereford and arranged to have a day off to meet me in there. Norah loaned me five pounds. We returned to the hostel, picked up my enormous suitcase and she escorted me to the railway station. I had never seen a five pound note. It was large and seemed more like tissue paper than proper paper money. Norah had to sign her name on the note before purchasing my ticket. She gave me the change. Of course, I promised to pay her and did.

She saw me off on the train. I felt as if I was in an English movie on this funny little English train. The whistle peeped, the conductor blew his whistle an off we went. During the war all the train station signs had been removed to fool German paratroopers should they land in the area and needed to know where they were.

I introduced myself to the three passengers in my little carriage and they kindly told me the names of the stations as the train sped along the track.

"Hereford is the next station." I gathered up my suitcase and purse. As the train slowed and stopped there was my wonderful husband waiting for me.

It was wonderful to be safely in his arms. I shall pass over the following twenty-four hours before he had to return to his base. He gave me explicit instructions when and where to change trains. He had wired news of my arrival in Britain to his mother and the train I'd be on.

I boarded the train and headed off to Pontypool Road. Change train to go to Hengoed High Level and change again to Hengoed Low Level and catch the train going up the Rhymney Valley.

Praise the Lord for my wonderful fellow passengers who kept me company and made sure I got off the train at Pontypool Road. I vaguely remember the train crossing a long, long trestle bridge over a steep valley. At Hengoed High Level Bill's sisters waited for me with open arms.

I had made it. Crossed the Atlantic Ocean during war time, came close to being blown out of the water, had found Norah Ellis, a wonderful friend in Liverpool, met Bill, had taken trains half way across England to South Wales and was safe with his family.

How did I end up somewhat like Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol, toiling over accounts in pounds shillings and pence, with a wonky typewriter for a weekly wage of one pound, six shillings and sixpence?

But before i went to work in the Goods Office at Pengam railway station, I met Bill's uncles, aunts and cousins, the elderly spinsters who ran the local post office in Penpedairheol and Mrs. Walters, the shop and the Evans family who were fish mongers, many of them characters right out of Dylan Thomas, a Child's Christmas in Wales.

If you like I shall return. Remember my books are for sale. Check my web site for names, covers and short synopses. www.anitabirt.com

I'd love to hear from you. Comments please. I hope this wasn't too dull.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

The time is late August 1944 and the Ariguani is part of the second largest convoy to cross the Atlantic during the war. Our convoy proceeds slowly as we zigzag across the cold Atlantic. Many of the ships are Liberty ships built in a hurry to carry food to Britain. Liberty ships were not built for speed so the convoy had to move slowly lest they be left behind, as sitting ducks, so to speak for lurking U-Boats.

Because I am writing this from the top of my head without editing, I recall information I should have mentioned earlier. We were told not to carry a lot of cash with us. Between the lines I assumed if we foundered we'd lose the money in the unforgiving water. We were informed the RAF would arrange for our husbands to have money waiting for us when we landed.

First day out of Halifax I felt queasy. The ship's doctor told me to stay out on deck in the fresh air and eat soda crackers. I recovered.

Return to the convoy. On we steamed. The sun shone. The sea behaving. The convoy split as we approached northern Ireland. My part proceeded to the north and the remainder went south. All was calm and peaceful until five thirty one morning a huge explosion lifted me right up off my mattress! I jumped out of bed, dragged on my warm clothes, shoes, stockings, coat and life jacket and headed for the saloon. (We had been ordered to meet there if there was an emergency)

Mothers with children and babies were frightened and tried to be brave not to scare the children even more. The senior steward greeted us in his dress whites as if this was a regular meeting. "What's happening?" we asked. The ship had steadied after the first explosion.

Smaller explosions continued. "Do not worry," said the steward, "it's the navy boys practicing dropping depth charges." Of course we believed him. He was an authority figure. Someone asked to go out on deck to have a look.

"No one is allowed on deck. We are not in danger. Remain calm."

Assured all was well, we sat around and chatted until breakfast. Forbidden to go up on deck, some of us went to our cabins, others stayed together in the saloon for comfort. By the next morning we were allowed up on deck. Lo and behold we were approaching Liverpool docks. I felt like shouting, "land ahoy." wW'd been at sea for fourteen days. The sun had tanned my face.

With much and forth with tugboats nudging us in, the ship tied up and three RAF officers came aboard. We lined up to receive the money sent by our husbands. On and on names were called out but 'Anita Birt', me, was not on the list.

"But I have no money," I pleaded, "what am I supposed to do?" They offered me no help. "But there has been a mistake. My husband promised me money."

The men shook their heads. "I am sorry, we can't help."

Abandoned, almost penniless, what am I to do? I didn't have enough money to pay for a train ticket to south Wales where I was to stay with my mother-in-law and two sisters-in-law in Cwmyrallt, Penpedairheol.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

I have given you background information on who I happened to be crossing the Atlantic during wartime. I shall continue. The Ariguani, one of Ffyffe's banana boats had been seconded to take passengers across stormy seas. I was in Halifax awaiting orders to proceed. Posters everywhere. LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS.

On a bright sunny morning I, and several other woman were told to proceed to the dock area. As we were escorted through a shed I was dismayed to see a small ship tied up at the pier. It looked about the size of the ferries that chugged across Toronto harbour during my childhood. Surely this small vessel wasn't fit to brave the stormy ocean.

A white coated steward greeted us at the bottom of the gangplank. I asked if the ship was safe. "Yes, Madam. It's a fine ship so you have no fear sailing on the Ariguani.

Okay, but I had my doubts. On board, another steward assigned us our cabins. Before setting us free to find our cabins, the head steward gathered us in the saloon and gave us our instructions for the voyage.

Carry your life jacket with you at all times and keep it beside your bed at night. Mothers with children had to make sure their little ones wore their life jackets at all times during the day and close by at night. Wear warm clothes and keep your warm clothing next to your bed at night. Keep your cabin door hooked open at night. Do not go on deck after dark.

We had been instructed before we left Canada not to carry much cash. We had to have a current passport. (I still have mine, dated 1944.) After settling into my cabin I walked up on deck in time to see our ship ease away from the pier. Within hours we became part of a small convoy of thirty ships heading out to sea. We were a motley crew of ships, some large some small. As we proceeded from Halifax harbour we were joined by Royal Canadian navy ships who were to shepherd us out to sea.

Within days our convoy sailed into thick fog. Imagine the noise. Fog horns going day and night. We could not see another ship. This was before radar peaked.It seemed we would be fog bound forever until we cleared the fog into bright sunshine and were now part of a huge convoy. It truly was an amazing sight. From horizon to horizon were long lines of ships. Signals flashed. Navy ships of various sizes sailed up and around the convoy. Protecting us. A comforting sight.

Some days our Ariguani would head up the third line, next day we'd be second on the first line and so it went as we zigzagged our slow way across the Atlantic.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

I am taking a short break from my blog. When I return, watch for my story about crossing the Atlantic during war time and what happened off the coast of northern Ireland!


Monday, October 3, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

In spite of the snowy beginning, our marriage lasted 65 years until my husband passed away.

Travelling to England in wartime was an adventure I did not want to miss. I sailed on one of Ffyse's banana boats diverted from bananas to civilian use. There's a story to tell before I set foot on board the Ariguani in August, 1944. It was docked at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. "Loose lips sink ships."

During the Second World War, the Commonwealth Air Training Scheme was created to train pilots, navigators, air gunners and ground crew in Canada. Men came from every corner of the Commonwealth. New Zealand, Australia, India, South Africa, England, Ireland and Scotland. In Canada's wide open spaces training facilities were built from Ontario west to Vancouver Island.

My husband trained as a navigator and was retained in Canada as an instructor. In May 1944 he and several other young officers were sent back to England to go on active service, my husband among them. Bill was in the Royal Air Force.

Because the war in the Atlantic was winding down RAF dependents had the opportunity to sail to England. We paid our way! I still have my 1944 Canadian passport. I sailed to England on the banana boat with other women, some with small children. I was twenty-one and didn't fear dying in the North Atlantic if worst came to worst. I was adventurous and looked forward to meeting with my husband in England. I didn't have a clue where he was. He was "somewhere in England." When I landed in England I planned to travel to Wales to stay with my mother-in-law and my two sisters-in-law.

"The best laid plans of mice and men..." Murphy's Law fell into place. What ever could go wrong, did go wrong.If you want to read the rest of my story, please leave comments - many comments to encourage me.

And think of buying my five romance novels. Go to www.anitabirt.com to view covers and synopses.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

Second time around to write about my wedding day. March 6, 1943, Toronto, Canada.
Think Snow. Lots of snow. It began falling in the night. When I wakened in the morning it was almost knee deep. I had spent the night at the home of my sister and her husband, with me was my maid of honour, Joyce Baxter. The question floating at the front of my mind; would we get to the church on time, if at all.

My sister was hugely pregnant with her first child and decided to miss the actual wedding. With the assistance of my sister and Joyce I was dressed in my wedding gown, small veil and white satin sandals, great for walking in the snow. I wore a lovely long cape borrowed from a friend of my mother to keep me warm. The taxi arrived on time. My brother-in-law dug a path to the car but the snow swirled around my ankles and toes. Joyce assisted me into the cab and off we went to the church, St, Paul's Presbyterian Church ob Bathurst Street.

I was relieved to find my parents, my Uncle John and his thirteen year old daughter, Gladys, my junior bridesmaid. Bill and his best man were already in the church. As the wedding march rang out I walked down the aisle on may father's arm. It was beautiful. So far, so good. Taxis waited outside to take us to the reception at the Park Plaza Hotel.

It passed like a blur. Bill and I taxied to my sister's home where I changed into my "going away clothes." My suitcases were packed. Bill had a small case. I had two very large suitcases! I was twenty years old and not a seasoned traveller. We were going to spend a week at a Niagara Falls hotel and I had packed very thing I owned!

Bill had ordered seats on the club car, when we arrived at the railway station, there was no club car, instead we were seated in an ancient wooden, Canada coach, a relic of bygone days. No food available. Hard wood seats. The snow had snarled the railway.
We planned to spend the night at the Royal Connaught Hotel in Hamilton. A brilliant plan but traffic was snarled and there were no taxis at the station. We trudged through the snow to the local street car stop, Bill staggering under the weight of one of my huge suitcases. I staggered with the other one. Years later he told me, he almost cancelled the marriage then and there but noble soul that he was he forgave me. We never did forget those monstrous suitcases. One of them travelled to England with me when I crossed the Atlantic during the war, but that's another story.

We arrived at the hotel, tired, feet and ankles damp and we were starving. At our reception in Toronto we had been so busy greeting and chatting we had scarcely had a bite to eat. The coffee shop at the hotel was closing but we persuaded the man on duty to make us ham sandwiches and pour a couple of cups of coffee. We survived but it was a close call.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

Well I'll be damned. I wrote about my wedding day on March, 6, 1943, Toronto. And it snowed and snowed and we did get to the church on time but it was a close call. I can't find what I wrote. Help! It is late and I am too tired to search my computer for the missing blog. I know it was published so where can it be?

I shall return.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

I have returned after taking time to think about this blog. Right off the top I am advertising two of my romance novels that need a push to find readers.

Isabelle's Diary is a contemporary romance set in Llandrindod Wells in mid Wales when my heroine sees a ghost in broad daylight - or did she? There are twists and turns in my story until the very end. There is a hero, of course. What would a romance novel be without a hero and a love affair? My book is available in e-format at Amazon.com and Elora's Cave.

Isabelle's Story is set in 1899/1900. Isabelle is the girl who wrote the diary and may have been the ghost seen by my heroine in the present time. Are ghostly sightings possible? Why do they happen?

Isabelle's world falls apart when she believes her lover has abandoned her and she is thrown out of her family home without money or a place to stay. She is ready to die alone up in the Welsh hills when an old shepherd rescues her and takes her to his cottage.

My book is available at Amazon.com or Elora's Cave in e-format. Both were well reviewed.

Next blog! Something completely new. I'm going to write about my wedding day. March 6, 1943 in Toronto, Canada.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

Anita is giving up on this blog - unless someone comments on something she has written.

I am unable to think of a subject of interest to blog readers. I mean who is interested in the on-line meanderings of an eighty eight year old woman, long past her prime and slowly sliding down into old age.

What is old age these days? What do I know? I'm old and that's about it. My creative muse has taken a long holiday. I think she has gone on a ROUND THE WORLD CRUISE and is experimenting with her libido on some young hunk on a warm island in the south Pacific.

That sounds like a song coming up. Tales of the South Pacific with songs to warm the hardest hearts. "One Enchanted Evening." Has to be one of the loveliest love songs ever written. Well, that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

I have a new television and the Blue Jays are playing out here on the west coast. I'd rather watch them than bore you with my bletherings. My Scottish grandmother always said, blethering, not blathering as some English would have it.

Remember! I have written five romance novels and I really want to sell them. So they were published a few years ago, that doesn't make them unreadable. Try one of them. Try Isabelle's Diary, a fabulous contemporary story with a fascinating twist at the end. Trust me

Visit www.anitabirt.com


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

The pictures of the dreadful famine in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya are heart rending. The women and children are suffering. Pity the women with a babies in slings at their backs and holding the hands of toddlers. These women did not make babies on their own, there were men involved. It's past time the men stopped impregnating the women and leaving them to fend for themselves and their sad little children.

There is never a word in the television coverage that the men should take responsibility and be held accountable for their actions. Where are they?
Can women refuse to have sex or is rape the order of the day? Is casual sex part of the culture?

I never see clusters of families with parents caring for the children and themselves. We can keep them from starving only to have more babies appearing. I can't see a way out of the mess. Too many people scratching a living from the poor soil; a desperate situation to add to the other desperate situations plaguing the world.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

Poor blog, neglected again. Here's a question. How far back can you remember? I have a memory of when I was four or five and vivid memories of living on the Caribbean Island, St.Vincent when I was six. After that certain memories stand out but to my mind, those early memories are much more interesting. I can conjure up exact scenes and what I was thinking at the time.

I remember getting a pair of black patent leather shoes with SHINY SILVER buckles. I think I was seven. About the same time I inherited a dress from one of my sister's friends. A pink silk dress with ruffles. Talk about glamour! I was IT in my young mind.

My St. Vincent memories may bore you (If there is a "you" out there) If you'd care to read them, please let me know.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

No comments about my book, The House at Bridal Veil. When my husband first met and became acquainted with the Franciscan Sisters of The Eucharist he thought they could run the world and make it a better place. Not to be. They already had more than enough work to keep them busy for years.

This blog is boring. With no comments I have to conclude there isn't much use in maintaining it. If I had a brilliant thought about aging and could toss my brilliant opinions to the wide world I might get a comment. The topic of aging is getting a lot of press. Seems we old folks are living too long and costing our health care system too much money. (Canadian health care!)I don't know how our nearest neighbour, The United States, copes with an aging population.

I become narky when I read yet another article about the burden we old folks cost the system. I'm still paying my taxes to keep it going and for eighty-seven years I had never been a hospital patient! Never had a serious illness. Never had surgery of any kind. It's payback time I reckon. That's my rant for this evening.

I'd drop this blog if a creative plot stirred my writing brain into action. Write about what? I fancy an old lady who solve crimes. Been done many times already. How about an elderly scam artist? That appeals to me. Must give it a thought. She'd be brazen without a shred of human kindness in her heart. Or would she?

I love the writing of Alexander McCall Smith. His gentle humanity shines though his writing. Even the few wicked characters in his books do not last long. A friend told me he had retired from writing. Must see if I can find out. He would never tolerate a character with a hard heart. So, my elderly scam artist must have some redeeming qualities.

Enough already. If you have purchased and read any of my books please let me know. If you hated them, please mute your comments so I won't feel the pain.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

I have returned! The weather on southern Vancouver Island has returned to cold spring weather. Summer has gone somewhere after tempting us with four days of sunny warmish weather. What to do but grin and try to bear it. In the meantime I decided to introduce you to my non-fiction book, The House at Bridal Veil. It was published in 1992 by Binford and Mort, Portland, Oregon.

How did I, a Canadian, come to write the story of the Villa at Bridal Veil? It's a longish story so I urge you to buy a copy of my book, used of course, from Amazon.com or ABEbooks. Four intrepid nuns belonging to The Franciscan Sisters of The Eucharist were looking for a large house to accommodate their small community with potential to grow.

By a small miracle they found a rundown, rat ridden, roof leaking old mansion overlooking the Columbia River at Bridal Veil, a tiny village about a half drive east of Portland.

Check my web site, www.anitabirt.com to read a short summary of my book, the cover and a map. It's a heart warming story of courage and plain hard work by a few determined women to restore the mansion to make it livable and to create a small farm with goats, chickens, ducks and peacocks.

While all that was going on Mother Francine Cardew and Mother Mary Michael founded The Franciscan Montessori Earth School in Portland. Nothing daunted these Sisters.

Mother Mary Michael passed away in early July this year missing a party to celebrate her ninety-fifth birthday. She loved a party. Mother Margaret, the kitchen guru, beloved by all who knew her, died several years ago. My grandchildren adored her during our many visits to Bridal Veil when they were young.

A second hand copy of The House at Bridal Veil should be easy o find. Enjoy it.


PS. Sales of my romance novels have picked up. I am pleased readers are enjoying my books.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

I have had visitors for the past few days and have been out and about doing this and that with my grandson and his girlfriend. They both live and work in London and Arundel, England. So to resume. What shall my topic be for this day. Aging? Again? A friend who lives in Market Rasen, Lincoln, sent me a book called, "Crazy Age," Thoughts on Being Old, by Jane Miller. It's also in e-book format for those of you with e-readers. I haven't had time to read it but shall dive in this evening unless I go to bed early.

I came across an interesting article in Report on Business in The Globe and Mail. It was about Maxwell House Coffee new advertising campaign "cultivating optimism." Some posters have been made and I'd love to have them to use in the in house-newsletter three friends and I are creating here in our retirement residence.




I shall try and track down the advertising company and beg for the posters to cheer us on our aging way.

Being happy, becoming happy, learning how to be happy, seems to be the favourite topic in books and articles I have been reading. So, are you happy? Were you a happy child? Are you an optimistic person? If so, how did you get that way?

Make me even happier by buying my books! They are all available at Amazon.com. Check my web site for titles and cover art.


A VERY DIFFICULT MAN, a historical romance set in 1854.
ISABELLE'S DIARY, a contemporary romance.
ISABELLE'S STORY, historical romance. set in 1895/1900
RING AROUND THE MOON, a time travel romance set in the present time
TOO YOUNG TO DIE, a murder/mystery set in the present time

I decided to push my books on my blog and see if my books sales increase. I am not writing fiction at the present time but am conjuring up a plot involving an innocent looking grandmotherly scam artist. Say no more.

I'd love to hear from you if you are out there and reading my blog.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

I have made a momentous decision. I shall start a new blog about growing old and I need a catchy title, i.e. "Alive, and sort of well, and growing older by the minute."
Or, "Living graciously with aches and pains." Or "The Joy of Aging." I rather like that last one but its probably already been done.

Inspire me, please, and suggest eye catching titles for my blog. Or, maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree! Who wants to read about getting old? It's going to happen, like it or not. Books are written about getting old. There are organizations supporting the aspirations of aged people. What is left except to live it?

Well! I think I have persuaded myself not to try such a blog. If there is someone out there with a brilliant thought, please let me know.

I shall leave you now to write a short essay about a cat named Murphy - a true story. Murphy was saved from an abusive home and came to live with Ruth a friend of mine and her husband. Al. Ruth was using a walker after back and hip surgery (yes she was and is aging!)

Murphy loved his new home and became a well behaved cat and thought it was fine to have a harness and a lead to go walking with Ruth. When he became tired he jumped into the basket on her walker to rest.

Out for a walk on a fine summer morning, a woman approached Ruth. The woman had a kind of mesh sling on her chest and inside the sling Ruth spied two birds shifting around trying to stretch their wings.

The woman stopped in front of Ruth. "You're walking your cat," she said, "I'm walking my budgies, Peter and Paul. They like to get out in the fresh air and see the world outside my home."

Friday, June 17, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

Yesterday is now past. Gone forever. I bravely faced drinking the chemically laced water necessary to have a Cat Scan. I drank one complete glass full (plastic glass)but I needed the encouragement of two women in the waiting room to swallow the last two inches of fluid. "Don't use the straw," they urged. "Take off the lid and gulp down the rest." Which I did making me feel very happy - well not quite I had to concentrate on keeping the stuff down!

The actual scan meanes having an IV in my wrist to allow the dye to course through my body, to mark whatever had to be marked. That was the easy part. The drink was the hard part.

Back to happiness. I must read Don Quixote again with a mature mind and paying attention to what the story is all about. It's about ideals and the value of freedom and justice. I'm quoting from a review I came across. Tomorrow I shall credit the person who made the notes. "Don Quixote teaches us about life and brims with generosity, absurd situations, loyalty and imagining heroic deeds of high spirit."

Does that sound like your life? Do you get out of bed ready to face the day whether you feel like it or not. Have you something to look forward to? Meeting your friend for breakfast or that first cup of coffee or tea to start your day. What pleases you about the morning?

I've always been a morning person. If you are a "late in the day" person, is it difficult to feel happy about putting your feet on the floor, standing up and making your way slowly to the bathroom and shower?

Christopher Plummer, a famous Canadian actor, was asked how to be successful. "Get out of bed in the morning. Put your feet on the floor." That's it. Is that a mantra worth following? Add it to the Don Quixote lesson in living. What do you think?

I'm off to listen to the news. I's sickened about what happened in Vancouver on Wednesday night after the hockey game when vandals infected the crowd outside the area with anarchy and mindless violence. It was horrible.

Comments are appreciated.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

Well I'll be damned. I had written a paragraph and started on the second when Norton cut me off to tell me about threats, etc. I was blethering on about happiness and how poorly dictionaries describe it. Is it a feeling? I think I asked that yesterday. It is difficult to describe a feeling.

I am feeling vaguely unhappy about the Cat-scan I have to have tomorrow. The scan is fine, it's the awful chemical tasting water I have to drink! A litre! If I manage to hold down half a litre I'll be doing well.

I'm half listening to the hockey game between the Vancouver Canucks and Boston. Boston is ahead 3 - 0 in the third period so it's over for Vancouver. Poor Vancouver fans they were convinced their team would win the Stanley Cup.

Read a funny story in The Globe and Mail to-day about Druids in Austria. It was in the Social Studies column written by Michael Kesterton. "Austrian officials were the first in the world to hire druids to tackle accident black spots but cancelled the project after three years because of lack of funds."

The arch Druid disagreed. "With our mystical divining rods we discovered negative rays coming from the area and these caused the drivers to have accidents., therefore we decided to erect stones to allow the energy to drain away..." He had proof that the system worked and there were fewer accidents on that stretch of road but the Austrian officials disagreed and cut the funding.

It never occurred to me there were druids for hire to make roads safer. Have you ever heard of them? Does it make you smile to think of druids doing word work? Picture "Road Work ahead," and instead of the men and women in hard hats, safety boots and tough clothing, you see druids in long green robes with their "Mystical Divining Rods" ridding the area of negative influences. It'd make a funny scene in a movie.

And how are you? I heard from an old friend commenting on my last couple of blogs. She had a funny comment about here mother's feet.

(Boston won the game. Three to nothing. Sigh. I live on Vancouver Island. I really wanted our team to win.)

What makes you happy? A feeling of contentment? An easing of pain? The lifting of grief after the loss of a loved one? Life with its ups and downs can break or make us. Do we have a choice?


Monday, June 13, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

I'm on a happiness kick. What is it? Who has it? Is it catching? I have recently come across articles in magazines and newspapers about happiness. In the June 13, 201I edition of The Globe and Mail, Sarah Hampson has a column headed "Happiness." Turns out according to Ms Hampson "that intelligence, not ignorance is bliss."

Books have been written about happiness and scholars have weighed in on the subject. I asked a friend what happiness is and she said, "a house with two bathrooms." So why are some people happy and others are not? Is there a happiness gene inherited by some and not others?

Questions. Questions. Gretchen Rubin wrote a book titled, "The Happiness Project," that became an instant best seller. I have just purchased the e-copy and it now awaits me on my Kindle. My concise Oxford Dictionary has a few very dry comments about Happy - no specific listing for Happiness. "Happy: feeling or showing pleasure or contentment." then "willing to do something. Fortunate and convenient." That sucks. No imagination.

I should get up and go to my desk in the bedroom where my bigger Oxford dictionaries are shelved. Like Scarlet O'hara in Gone With The Wind, "I shall think about that tomorrow."

What makes me happy right this very minute is knowing I have books waiting for me to sit down and read. I have three on the go. "Alone in a Classroom," by Elizabeth Hay, "The Lion and The Unicorn. Gladstone and Disraeli," by Richard Aldous and "Corvus," by Esther Woolfson, A life with Birds.

As you read my blog please think about Happiness. What makes you Happy? Or unhappy. We might as well get in the discussion with the various scholars and non-scholars writing and commenting about Happiness. I need to hear from you; ordinary people like you and me. To begin, Smile! Get your face in the mood.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

Just for fun I'm casting a net and asking if anyone out there attended Huron Street Public School in Toronto between 1933 and 1936. Mr Gilbert was the principal. He had a daughter, June, she was pretty with fair hair.

When we put on the play, Cinderella, June was cast as Cinderella, Zelda Kamman and I were cast as the ugly sisters! We both had straight black hair. The play was put on at a small auditorium owned by a dairy. Can't remember the name. Was it Borden's?

I have a vivid memory of Zelda and me "bringing the house down." We had the audience laughing. Zelda and I were giggling. We thought we were the stars! Broadway here we come. We didn't make it.

I had two best friends. Helvi and Eila Karsikas. I wonder if they are still alive and well. I often played paper dolls with Myra Willinsky.

My thoughts are meandering back in time. My brother, Harry and I used to go to the York Cinema for the Saturday matinees. On the way home we'd stop at a fish and chip shop and buy chips to eat along the way. Delicious and greasy and tangy with vinegar.

Another of our favourite haunts was the Museum, the ROM. Those were the olden days when the skeleton of a huge dinosaur was right there at the entrance. We loved the museum but all has changed and the elegant front entrance in University Avenue has been closed and people have to enter through an ugly entrance on Bloor Street. The mystery of the museum is not the same. For me it has lost its charm.

I won't go on since this is only of interest to me. But it's my blog and I can meander along until whatever audience I have has yawned and headed for bed.

I'm reading a fascinating book called. "The Lion and the Unicorn. Gladstone vs Disraeli," by Richard Aldous. It's a page turner. I have to make myself put it away and go to bed lest in the morning I regret reading so late and find it hard to wake up to greet the new day.

Best wishes to everyone,

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

Behind again. No wonder I can't create a fan base eager to read my blogs. To-day I am blogging about FEET. We are born with a matched pair to take us through life. How often do you think about your feet? Only when they hurt?

They are the unsung heroes of our bodies. When was the last time you gazed fondly at your bare feet and congratulated them on taking care of you through rain, snow, ice, peat bogs (On high moorland in Wales)and blazing summer heat.

Many years ago my husband and I were on a walking holiday in Tuscany. I wore excellent waking shoes. Part way through the holiday I noticed a lump of some kind pressing into my right shoe, at the front. This was the start of a hammer toe which has plagued me ever since. It wants to twist over my big toe. I must never let my guard down or it will twist into an ugly mix of big toe and second toe and hurt. I keep it under control with special padding cut to fit the smaller toe. It's a tiny war I intend to win until I turn up my toes and disappear from this lovely earth.

When I think of the eighty-eight years of service my feet I have my my admiration knows no bounds. A pedicure every three weeks is a treat. If you can't afford a pedicure bathe your feet them gently, towel them dry and soothe with some body lotion. You may, if you feel like it, say a few kind words to your feet and promise to watch over them.

Feet may react to kind words as Price Charles vegetables are alleged to do. Your feet are yours to protect. Take care of them as you would your car, if you have one.

Two good feet are worth a king's ransom. And that is all I shall say about feet. I'd enjoy hearing from you. Do your feet hurt? Are they things of beauty?

I have my sixth chemo therapy next Tuesday, June 7th. That is the last one scheduled.


Why not order by book, "Too Young To Die" if you enjoy a solid well written murder mystery involving a brave young woman striving to save a three month old baby from falling into the hands of a killer determined to take them both down. There's also a love story. My book is available as an e-book.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

Time does go on, does it not? My life is very quiet and I have no great illuminating features with which to tease you. Did I tell you I have a wig? must have since it's the most exciting event in May. How do people create a blog so fascinating that hundreds of people surfing the internet come across it and are hooked?

Who wants to hear from an old lady of eighty-eight who grumbles about this and that to no avail. For instance, fashion. From ads in the paper and other media clothes are for thin, beautiful young woman. Fashions are for the young but women my age have disposable income and we are looking for attractive fashions to suit us. No old ladies dresses please! We crave clothes to make us look good - trying to find such things is close to impossible.

Another minor quibble. Why are models photographed with their legs and bodies in odd positions? Bent backwards or sideways displaying as much leg and breast as passes muster in our "anything goes" society.

Oh hell, I sound like an old grouch. Being eighty-eight does that to me! I shall continue to wend my way through shops with quality merchandise and with a little bit of luck will find a dress, slacks, attractive tops and sandals for old feet. And there I shall leave you. I have my sixth chemotherapy on June 7th.

Drop by my web site and purchase one of my books." A Very Difficult Man" is selling well. It would make a great film. Do any of you know a contact in the film business to whom I could send my book? A script writer, for instance, who may want to write the film script for my book. Am I dreaming?


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

It's a gorgeous sunny day here on the west coast and the wind is not howling over the sea. The grassy area surrounding the walk by the sea was filled with daffodils earlier in the year, now the lovely blue Camas lilies are in bloom surrounded by bright yellow buttercups. A blessing after the miserable cold spring we have had.

But nothing compares with the forest fires devastating Slave Lake, Alberta. Most of the town has been ravaged by the fire. Manitoba is dealing with huge floods. There is something wrong with this picture!

This is a very short blog. I had to tell you about the lilies and the buttercups. Remember to have a look at my web site; www.anitabirt.com and purchase one or two of my books for your e-reader. I am enjoying my Kindle and find it tempting to order more books than I have time to read - both e-books and regular books.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

Whew, I am so far behind I shall never die. I am losing hair owing to the chemo therapy I've had in the past five months so I ordered and purchased a WIG. I am pleased with the result. Compliments are flying my way from my friends here in the retirement residence- that makes me feel comfortable wearing it.

At eighty eight I'm wearing wig. Seems kind of crazy to me but I did not like the look if the big bald spot on the crown of my head. Do we every get over being just a tiny bit conceited about how we look? Or is simply because we like to look our best no matter what.

I had my fifth chemo therapy last Tuesday and am over the uncomfortable third and fourth days after the treatment.

My son and daughter-in-law arrived in London, England to-day to visit their son and his fiance. All is well. Life goes on. One of these days - before I die - I'd like a great grandchild - but we can't hurry these things along.

I've just finished reading The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. It's quite a famous mystery written in the nineteenth century. I loved it. Collins used every trick in the book to keep the mystery moving along. Although I love my Kindle I am still buying books. Who can resist a book store with all those tempting titles on the shelves? I come from a family who read a lot and my present family members are all readers. For me Life would be dull without books around me.

Rain is beating at my window as I write. I know summer will come! We've had a cold spring and I am ready to spring into summer clothes but not yet.

Have a look at my web site, www.anitabirt.com to read about my five romance novels and then purchase them for your e-reader. I promise you won't be disappointed. Every one has had excellent reviews.

I'm not writing fiction for the time being. I may return to it when inspiration strikes and I am ready to put fingers to keyboard and spin a story.

Do leave a comment and make my day. Thanks.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

"God put me on earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I am so far behind, I will never die." (I'll have to look up the quote to find out who said it.)

Life does go on and the days fly by. I'm having by fifth chemo therapy in mid May and the sixth in mid June. I am LOSING MY HAIR slowly but surely. My oncologist suggest I get a wig. I have ordered one! In the meantime I look rather charming in a pretty hat with a ribbon around the brim. I change the ribbon every other day. Because of the ROYAL WEDDING, to-day I used a purple ribbon, a royal colour.

I'm getting up in the middle of the night to watch the ceremony. My adult grand children and my granddaughter's husband, are in London and are heading into the huge crowds just to be there. They haven't a hope in hell of getting close to the royals. There are large video screens in various parts of London showing the wedding - The kids think they'll see if they can find elbow room in Trafalgar Square to view the big screen.

I am doing well. The tumour markers are way down - and that's a good thing. I tire more easily than I used to, probably because of the chemo circulating through my aged body.I have requisitions to have blood work down before the the next chemo treatment. This is standard procedure and no bother.

I'm going to quote a short item I read in a review of The Good Book, a humanist Bible by A.C. Grayling. The review appeared in The Globe and Mail and was written by Charles Lewis.

"Love well, see the good in all things, harm no others, think for yourself, take responsibility, respect nature, do your utmost, be informed, be kind, be courageous: at least sincerely try."

I'd enjoy a comment or two - one would be more than welcome.

April 28, 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

I'm so far behind with my blog I may never catch up. I've been quite sick with a GI ailment making many of us who live here very sick. Management has decided to close the dining room to avoid too many people being too close to another. For the next three days all our meals will be delivered to our suites. We order what we want ahead of time.

I am still running a slight temperature so have to be good to myself for the next little while.

So, stick around. I shall return.

Anita Birt

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

Boo. Hoo. No comments on my blogs. I thought I'd find lovers of Don Marquis wonderful stories about Archie and Mehetebel - Archie the cockroach, a "verse libre" poet and Mehetebel, a cat with rather loose morals, who lives rough in alley ways. Their discussions are priceless.

No one commented about them. So sad. Their stories are timeless. Another topic that failed to raise a comment was my thought that we are living too long and dying, not of old age, but cancer in its various forms. I am a prime example. I am eighty eight. Until November 2009, I had never been a patient in a hospital nor suffered a serious illness. Cancer caught me by surprise.

The women in my family live long. My mother, ninety-nine and my sister, ninety-one. My husband thought we were too mean to die! He was joking, of course. He really was. My husband was born and raised in Wales in a family with a plethora of very humerous uncles. If you read Dylan Thomas about a Christmas in Wales, you'll get a sense of "the uncles."

Cancer - mine. I am doing very well. I look the picture of health but who knows what those wretched little cancer cells are doing. I hope the chemo therapy is working to shrink them.

What are you reading? I'm reading, God's Secretaries. The Making of The King James Bible, by Adam Nicolson. I have a historical novel on my Kindle set in Paris as the revolution erupted and stripped the king of his powers. Within a few pages the king and Marie Antoinette will be dragged out and beheaded. I'm reading a Donna Leon, Inspector Brunetti mystery in bed at night. Three books on the go and three newspapers every day, except Sunday. I like to read! Much more interesting then what appears on television. I can't watch a program with a laugh track. It drives me nuts. Maybe I'm too old to appreciate comedy shows with laugh tracks. A good historical drama is my cup of tea.

Enough rambling about my interests, what about yours?


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

I have a question some of you might want to answer or comment on. Are we living too long? I'm thinking of Canada,my country, but the United States and European union countries might have the same demographic.

When I glance through the obituaries in Canada's two national newspapers, I notice many people in their eighties - cause of death - cancer. Until I was diagnosed with a malignant tumour in my uterus, I had never been a hospital patient in my life! I have never had a serious illness until now. The cancer cells originated in my fallopian tubes. Stage three cancer is not operable. The oncologists can only shrink the cells and keep them from growing. Why now after 88 years of healthy living?

I had my third chemo therapy on Tuesday. One more to go and then my doctor will do some tests and I may require more chemo. We shall see. Nothing I can do about it but eat well, exercise and keep a positive attitude.

Comments please.

To change the subject. I read in the local paper about an author who released his out of print books to e-readers and is making money. My books are still available in e-format so do take a look at them at www.anitabirt.com.

I have a long historical romance and two contemporary romances which I have never tried to sell. I must put my brain to work on editing them and finding out how to post them to e-readers. Does anyone out there know how?

Spring is creeping slowly into Vancouver Island. I had a pleasant walk by the sea but the wind was cold. The local media are stirring us up about a possible earthquake and tsunaumi (sp?)The fault lines just off the coast shift now and again and rattle us a bit but they could create hell. The local authorities have disaster plans in place and we, the people, are supposed to have water, food, cell phone, batteries, candles, etc. to keep us going for three days. Do I? Am I ready?

Sorry about going on so long. Skip the boring parts.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

Well, folks, the test blog went off so I shall write a little more about this and that. I think the Nobel prize should go to the medical scientists who invented anti-nausea drugs. They've worked for me, praise the Lord.I had my third chemo therapy on Tuesday. To-day I feel very tired but that will pass. It's too cold to go out for a walk by the sea. Spring is taking a helluva time coming to Vancouver Island.

How many of you are familiar with the stories of Archie and Mehitebel created by Don Marquis way back in 1916? They are as popular to-day as they were during the following years. Archie is a cockroach. In a previous life he was a verse libre poet died and his soul transmigrated into Archie. Still a poet and a thinker he discovered how to write using a typewriter.

Not easy. He had to climb up the machine and dive headfirst on to the keys but he persisted. He could not use the shift key so all his work is in lower case. Mehitebel is a cat, of somewhat loose morals, who claims she is descended from Cleopatra.

Check out www.DonMarquis.com to find out more about these characters. They are funny and wise and guaranteed to make you smile.


Anita Birt's Note book

I wrote a long and interesting blog yesterday and could not post it. Something is not working so this is a test to see if it will got. I had my third chemo therapy on Tuesday and feel very tired to-day.

Here goes the test to see if this works. If not I shall start a new blog.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

As you might have noticed I am not a blogger of note. Days go by and I don't think much about cancer and have nothing to blog about. Why did I start this blog? To have others join me on my journey - I thought. However, much smarter people than I have written about cancer, sometimes sadly, sometimes upbeat, or just wondering where to go from here.

I have lost about ten pounds since the start of my cancer treatment. I am not on heavy doses if chemo -can't take chances on a woman of my age, eighty eight but my weight has taken a hit. I've never been overweight and never have had to diet so it's a bit of a shock to lose ten pounds. My oncologist wants me to snack between meals. Boo Hoo. I'm not a snacker and don't eat between meals. I am forcing myself to snack. My doctor suggests keeping chocolate handy! I do love chocolate but not in large amounts. I break off bits from chocolate bars and eat those. Delicious. I snack on crackers and cheese and other edible items.

I shall weigh myself tomorrow and see if all this snacking is working.

My next chemo is March 15th. I think I mentioned it on my last entry. We're having bloody awful weather on Vancouver Island. Gale force winds and wild seas. We may have one day with sun and calm winds and then back come the gales. Right now there's
a wild wind blowing in from the east and the sea heaving with with white caps.

Where is spring? Where is warm weather? Where is blue sky and sunshine beaming down?

I shall cease whinging and get back to sorting out my income tax file.

Anita. www.anitabirt.com

Friday, February 4, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

The cancer story, so .. My second chemo therapy is on February 14th. I am feeling fine and looking healthy as a trout. However, I have lost five or six pounds. My bathroom scales are not accurate. I shall be weighed when I see my oncologist on February 11th.

The weather is moderating on Vancouver Island. 8 C. We've had below freezing temperatures - not pleasant for walking. On my walk by the sea this morning, birds were singing. I stopped to listen to the little guy singing his heart out. I think the males are marking their territories ready for the arrival of the females. I'll study my bird book to figure out if the singing birds were members of the finch family or the sparrows,

I have a Kindle and am madly trying to download a couple of books. Not as easy as it looks. There's always a tripping point waiting to give me trouble. I shall try again.

Have a look at the site and be tempted to buy one of my e-books. They are all available and all have had excellent reviews.

Bye for now.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

So I'm on the cancer train and must go where it takes me. My son and daughter-in-law flew out from Toronto to be with me. The nurse charted when I had to take anti-nausea pills. Alana is good with charts but I am not. Martin converted them to print with places for me to tick off when I took my pills. Trouble is they cause constipation. I will not go into that but the pills prescribed for that did work. I felt nauseated but that has passed and I'm feeling more like myself.

Next chemo is on February 14th and will have my dear friend, Helen, with me that day and the following treatment days. I have stage three cancer. Not operable. The object is to shrink the cells wherever they have landed and set up shop. My doctor is hopefull and so am I. I have wonderful friends who keep me cheerful and optimistic.

Spring is finally creeping into Victoria. I look forward to more sunshine and warmer temperatures. We've had wild storms this year with gigantic logs tossed like match sticks on to the shore. It's quite a sight.

I shall report further on my journey with cancer. Please drop into my web site, www.anitabirt.com and purchase an e-book. I have a Kindle that a friend is setting up for me. Seems I need a wifi connection to make it work. So next week I'll get that installed. One damned thing after another.

Leave a comment if your inspired to do so.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

This blog is still open! When I'm in the mood I'll invite you along on my journey with cancer. After 87 years of excellent health -never had a serious illness nor had I ever been a patient in a hospital until January 17,2009 when I had a hysterectomy to remove a malignant tumour in my uterus. The source of the cancer cells was my fallopian tubes!They could not be contained although the doctors washed out the whole area.

So the little suckers roamed around looking for likely targets. Although I have had no symptoms my oncologist went looking and discovered a swelling in my abdomen. I've had a battery of tests. In two hours last week at Victoria General Hospital, I had a mammogram, an ultrasound and a biopsy. I see my doctor on Thursday this week to hear the results. I am slated to start my first round of chemotherapy on January 17 and one a month for the following three months. Unless - something untoward turns up.

I never expected to be a cancer patient. I celebrate my 88th birthday next month. Life is full of surprises, is it not? Comments will please me.

The weather has been unseasonably cold here on the west coast of Canada. We're sinking to zero C. at night. Luckily there was no wind this morning to I had a good walk, all wrapped up with scarves, woolly hat and gloves and my thick winter jacket.

I want spring. Usually there are daffodils in protected pockets but nothing so far, not even a snowdrop to cheer me on.

Do check my web site, www.anitabirt.com and read excerpts from my books and view the covers.

I'll return again.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

I am closing down this blog. I have too much going on in my life to continue while I under go treatment for cancer. Doctor's appointments and chemo starting on January 17 leave my brain spinning from one area to another. Now if I can figure out how to close my blog, I shall do so, ASAP.

Happy New Year from me; www.anitabirt.com

Check my books listed with Amazon.com, Perfect reading for your new e-reader. Make me smile.