Friday, March 29, 2013

Anita Birt's Note Book on STAYING YOUNG

Staying Young? Younger than what? It doesn't bear thinking about. We are born, we live and we eventually grow old. And then? Just when we think we can sit back, rock in a chair and knit socks that nobody wants, we are urged to get up.

Oh bloody hell. Get up and exercise. "But my favourite program is on the telly." Doesn't matter. Forgot daytime television. Exercise makes you feel good. It's good for your brain.

My brain is tired. It needs a rest. I've raised a family. I've had a good marriage. I'm teetering on the brink of ninety!!! A friend is celebrating her one hundredth birthday this month. She does not exercise and her brain is ticking over just fine. Her hearing has gone all to hell and her eyes aren't that wonderful but she is enjoying life.

Then I read about an old gent celebrating his one hundredth birthday by running a marathon. I mean, let's be sensible, running marathons is for those who enjoy suffering. Watch them at the end of a marathon, they lie on the ground writhing and gasping and maybe hoping for a quick death to stop the pain. But no. They are helped to their feet and vow to enter the next bloody race.

Stay young if you can, if not do the next best thing, age gracefully and dispense wisdom to young and old until you bore them to tears and then they'll go away and leave you to be OLD. Not particularly wise. Not particularly pleasant. And no matter how much Botox is used and "work done on your face," there is no way to remove old age wrinkles. Smile and make another one or two.

Have fun. I'm off to write a book. Wish me luck.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Anita Birt's Note Book on AGING

My son visited for five days and has now returned home. I miss him because he is interesting and amusing and a good son. I am blessed.

As I age I realize how important family ties are. Not just immediate children, grandchildren and great grandchildren but nieces, nephews and cousins. A family network. Mine spreads across Canada and into England. It's not as if I'm constantly in touch but knowing they are there is comforting. Because I live on the west coast without freezing temperatures and the daffodils are in full bloom (It's late March) I phone my cousin, Helen, in St. John's, Newfoundland, to ask how she's coping with the latest dump of snow. She copes and is in good spirits. Helen is my age so she is not a spring chicken.

Aging can be a blessing or a terrible trial depending on the state of one's health. I look around me and wonder at the good humor of men and women in poor health, coping with pain, yet they keep on going. Much better than the alternative! They often sit outside on a sunny day and soak up some Vitamin D that does wonders for the spirit. The weather feels like spring to-day. A warm feel to the air. A nice change from the  wild gale force winds and churning sea that's plagued us this spring.

Victoria has been described as "God's Waiting Room," because we keep hanging on past our "best before date."Because I want to finish the book I'm writing and have another ticking over inside my head, I  hope to make it before I disappear from the face of the earth and find myself in the stars.

Speaking of stars.  This is from The Stardust Revolution by Jacob Berkowitz. "Organic chemistry starts back in the stars, where we have a carbon rich environment." This is a quote by the amazing astrochemist, Lucy Ziurys, whose work astounds me because I have to struggle to understand it. I keep turning the pages and little by little I understand more.

 Another facet of my aging, I have a little nap now and then, usually in the morning while I'm reading the newspaper. "Banking crisis in Cyprus." I didn't know their banks provided safe havens for Russian oligarchs  with ill gotten gain to stash away. Best news to-day. Two giant Panda bears have arrived in Canada. They will take up their new home in the Greater Toronto area zoo.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Anita Birt's Note Boook on AGING

Three Days since my last post about aging and I am feeling a little older and a little more tired. My son is visiting, always enjoyable and that means I am out and about more than usual and I am eating out more than usual. I think I have gained two pounds in two days.

Another of my old age symptoms, I tire more easily than I did several years ago. Aging does creep up on silent feet and suddenly I can't do two or three things in one day before feeling tired and having to sit down.

For instance, when I go downtown to shop I do a couple of things that do not require trying on clothes, for instance, and come home. If I am shopping for clothing that requires taking off either my slacks or shirts, one of those is my limit. Undressing and redressing takes more energy than I thought possible. In fact, I never gave it a thought a few years ago.

Buying shoes is fraught with peril for an aging person like me. I'm not difficult to please but shoes that feel good on my aged feet are not easy to find. I will take home a pair and they will feel okay for a week or so and then the right shoe will play hell with my hammer toe.

Hammer toes! All my life I have purchased good shoes that fitted well. Ten years ago My husband I were holidaying Tuscany and walking a lot. I noticed something misshapen on the top of my right shoe. I wore excellent walking shoes but a hammer toe developed! To this day I am quite miffed this happened to me. I had never heard of hammer toes. I gather they are quite common in older folk.

Must leave and return to the novel I am writing. It's keeping my imagination in good shape and I'm enjoying the writing process. Good for my brain too!


Do continue to purchase my books and enjoy good reads. Turning pages is good for your fingers and the story will take you here and there into uncharted territory.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Anita Birt's Note Book on AGING

In my own aging process I have developed some arthritis in my fingers. So many simple actions are now troublesome. I have necklaces with the kind of clasp where one finger keeps one part open and the other hand holds the part that is supposed to slide into the opening.

Ah, there's the problem. The clasp is behind my neck, as I lift the two pieces behind my head, the clasp shuts down! So, I try again. And again and sometimes I can make it work. Years ago my husband gave me a Lalique crystal heart on a gold chain. Mostly I can get the clasps to work but the other day I had to give up. Made me feel sad. I love that heart.

To-day there were advertisements in the local Sunday newspaper describing  how to be more beautiful. "A clear and brilliant idea. Put a stop to early signs of aging." It involves a laser treatment among other things. My question. When does a woman note those early signs? How much does it cost? How long will the treatment last? Comment please at the end of this blog.

Another ad shows a woman before and after a treatment. She is smiling a little in the second photo. Of course she looks better her lips are slightly curved in a smile.  All kinds of treatments are involved. Botox. Resurfacing, whatever that means. Hormone replacement.

Then adding  joy to my Sunday reading the doctor who writes a humorous weekly column chooses hemorrhoids as his subject. I shall leave that since it has nothing to do with changing my face with various treatments and potions. Although the pain of hemorrhoids might add a wrinkle or two. Praise the Lord, I don't have that problem

To return to my subject. The wrinkles are etched on my face. My life is written there for all to see. The best I can do, and possibly you, dear reader, is to exercise and keep your brain ticking over.

I am writing a mystery and that is a challenge!


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Anita Birt's Note Book


A negative headline is eye catching. It's not for the faint of  heart or the elderly eyes reading it. There is more: "Average person lives with decade of disease:study." The article is depressing as it tells us we'll be living that last decade dealing with diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer.

It goes on about daily health care, something I truly believe in. Many years ago when I was a young sprig of sixty I got up at 6:30 every morning, summer and winter, to go for an hour long walk. I set my own pace. I walked quickly then and walk quickly now - not as quick, mind you, but a good pace for a lady in her declining years, so to speak.

Women should be taking calcium in whatever form suits them and Vitamin D. If this sounds like nagging, it is. Get up your butts and get moving as fast or as slowly as feels right for you. Keep your brain exercises by reading and thinking about what you are reading. It's a mental discipline.

Write a poem is you are so inclined. Read poetry of any kind. Doggerel is fun.
Smile and laugh when the spirit moves you. "Laughter is the best medicine."

I can't go out for my walk!!! There's a gale force wind blowing whipping up the sea into foaming waves. However, I did my ironing this morning. Does that count for exercise?

All comments are welcome One tiny comment would be more than welcome.

Have you ordered my two e-published books I mentioned yesterday? Isabelle's Diary and Isabelle's Story. Enjoy two good reads. Available at in Canada and the UK. Also at my publisher, Ellora's Cave Publishing


Friday, March 15, 2013

Anita Birt's Note Book

"Who am I," I asked yesterday but no one commented to give me a clue.  The years are flying by. I thought when I became really old I'd be bored and ready to toss in the towel, so to speak. Instead I am busy, writing mostly, reading books and newspapers and going for lovely walks by the sea. To-day was a two hummer day because the sun had peeped through.

Fog right up to the road in front of where I live this morning and the fog horn was blowing all day. I walked out early afternoon to enjoy the sun and the sea when the fog lifted.

My story is coming along. It's writing itself, more or less. Something turns up adding excitement to the pages. That is all I shall say because the main characters are unusual.


Here's a promo for two of my books I think you will enjoy.

 "Isabelle's Diary," a contemporary romance is available as an e-book. "Isabelle's Story," is historical and tells the story of Isabelle who wrote the diary during the final years of the nineteenth century. It's available as an e-book.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Anita Birt's Note Book

About aging. I'm not the woman I used to be. I went shopping this morning at the Hudson's Bay Store in Victoria. It's no longer called The Bay, but back to the historical name. Same poor service, unfortunately. Not a living soul to ask questions. "Does this fit large or small?" Sounds like a silly question but some sweaters and/or shirts are made in countries where the women are tiny. A "small' would look good on them but not on me. I'm not a large person but I will buy a "large" size depending on where the product was made.

Back to aging. I walked hither and yon in the store looking for this and that and finding what I wanted, no thanks to the staff. Are there staff in The Hudson's Bay store? If I were a shop lifter I could have made off with lots of stuff. I had a big bag with me. So easy to slide things into it. But I have a personal moral code and theft is beyond me.

That reminds me. When you have time read Archy's little dissertation on morality. He would never drop into a near sighted man's soup for a bite to eat. However, if he were starving he might have to eat or starve. Morality is never certain. If I had hungry children at home to-day I might have stolen something to sell in order to buy food.

I digress. I spent an hour shopping at the store and came home weary. As I said at the beginning I'm not the woman I used to be. So who am I?

I did write for a couple of  hours this afternoon on my mystery novel. I used to be able to write four hours at a time. Not now. Two hours is my max. I will finish my book. When?


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Anita Birt's Note Book

Let's talk about aging or getting old or finding a way to navigate a hazardous world you once new like the back of your hand. But the back of your hand is wrinkled and has spots or a small cut that's taking ages to heal.

My skin is not like it was twenty years ago. I heal more slowly and have to be careful with a sharp knife or the edge of a table. Whoever thought table corners would be so wicked? All I have to do is lost my balance every so little and bump the damned corner. And the bruise!

 I could be a poster for an abused Granny.  All I'm missing are cigarette burns to look like the real thing.

But I must leave you and watch the news about the new Pope Francis. God help us all. He is seventy-six years old. An old man taking on a huge task with bits and pieces of the church fragmenting here and there.

Ordain women? Not bloody likely

In the meantime continue to buy my books. I do enjoy my little royalty cheques.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Anita Birt's Note Book

To be or not to be. That is my question. No one reads my blog. Either I shut the damned thing down or start writing about getting old and what that's like. I can tell you one thing, I tire more quickly than I used to. How old is old?

So what else is new? In the Drama class I attend we've been doing a lot of "improv" that is lots of fun. Next class we are to bring in a poem to read and dramatize it. I've decided to do "King John's Christmas," by A.A.Milne. One of my all time favourite poems.

"King John was not a good man,
He had his little ways
And sometimes no one spoke to him
For days and days and days. 

And gentlemen who met him
while walking in the town,
Would cast a supercilious stare,
Or raise their noses in the air.
And poor King John stood humbly
Blushing beneath his crown.

I just wrote that from memory. I might have missed a word.

 I thought about reading something about Archy, a cockroach who waxes eloquently about morality. Unless the listeners know about Archy and Mehetabel they might not get it his references. I especially loved his story about meeting Clarence a ghost. I you want to know the rest of the story leave a COMMENT.