Season 2 Episode 38: Frances on the Art of Aging

Welcome to Tea, Toast and Trivia.  

Thank you for listening in. 

A few weeks ago, my mother,  Frances, and I were discussing the aging process, something that we all have in common.  I think of the quote by Andy Rooney: “It’s paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn’t appeal to anyone.”

There are many self-help books and articles that promise ways in which we can age gracefully and provide tips on how to stay sharp and look amazing.  When Frances suggested that, for her, it was books that added joy to the aging process,   I asked whether she would share her thoughts on a short podcast.  Since we were on our mobile phones, rather than in-person, we did not know whether the audio would have enough clarity.  Thanks to our techie, we have a short discussion about books, life and embracing who we are at any age.

So put the kettle on and add to this discussion. We would love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you for joining Frances and me on Tea Toast and Trivia.

Until next time, dear friends, keep safe and be well.

Klausbernd Vollmar on Ugliness Tea. Toast. & Trivia.

S3 E8: Klausbernd Vollmar on Ugliness Welcome to Tea Toast & Trivia. Thank you for listening in. I am travelling over 7,500 kilometers to Cley-Next-The-Sea, an idyllic artists’ village situated on the River Glaven in Norfolk, England. I am meeting up once again with my dear blogger friend, and professional author, Klausbernd Vollmar, who is an authority on colour theory and in the language of symbols in dreams and art.   In our last podcast, we explored the idea of beauty. Klausbernd has come back for another riveting conversation on the concept of “ugly” and ugliness. This promises to be an extraordinary discussion. So, put the kettle on and add to your thoughts on Tea Toast & Trivia. Klausbernd Vollmar graduated with a (MA) in German and Nordic literature, philosophy, geology, and linguistics at the University of Bochum/Germany. In Finland and Germany, he worked as assistant professor specializing in symbol systems. Winning a postgraduate scholarship by the Canada Council, he came to Canada and worked for four years as lecturer at the McGill University, Montreal. He was an editor of several magazines in Germany, Canada, and Greece. Klausbernd studied and graduated in general and clinical psychology at the Ruhr-University/Germany. Working in Germany and England in a private practice, his writing specialized on colour and symbolism.  His website is Thank you, Klausbernd, for sharing your knowledge on ugliness and how it influences our lives an choices.  I appreciate our friendship that has evolved over the past years and the many conversations that are yet to come. You continue to inspire me and foster a compassionate community spirit. Dear listeners, thank you for joining Klausbernd and me on Tea Toast & Trivia. I know you will enjoy following the extraordinary adventures of The Fab Four of Cley – Klausbernd, Hanne, Siri and Selma on their blog, The World According to Dina.  You are only an internet click away from a vibrant discussion that opens new avenues of exploration. Until next time, stay safe, be well.
  1. Klausbernd Vollmar on Ugliness
  2. Paul Andruss Reading Jack Hughes & Thomas the Rhymer
  3. The Trio on the 2021 Book Challenge
  4. Elisabeth Van Der Meer & Dave Astor on Why Should We Read the Books We Do Not Want to Read
  5. Celebrating Robert Burns with Address to a Haggis


  1. Mary Jo Malo says:

    I love Frances’ reading choices 🙂 One of the joys of retirement is all the time we have for reading and enriching our knowledge. It truly is a privilege to have so many options and opportunities, and I’m always so happy to know other families enjoy sharing and discussing what books mean to them. I look forward to more on this topic…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I am so glad that you joined our conversation, Mary Jo. A few years ago when I was contemplating an ending of a career and the beginning of something new and unknown, I read Mary Catherine Bateson, Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom.” The premise was that we have more time than previous generations. What would we do with the extra 15-20 years? As well, family structures had changed. Her main premise was: meaning would come with our willingness to learn, to accept diversity, to actively participate. In other words – to show up. I enjoyed her discussion. This is the thought that resonated with me, at the time, knowing that with aging, it would become ever more relevant.

      “… as we age we have not only to readdress earlier developmental crises but also somehow to find the way to three affirmations that may seem to conflict. … We have to affirm our own life. We have to affirm our own death. And we have to affirm love, both given and received.”

      Hugs – thank you again for adding depth and breath to this conversation.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Mary Jo Malo says:


        Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed your conversation with your mother on reading. As she aged, my mother became an avid reader, and always wanted me to read what she had just read so that she could discuss the book with me. I couldn’t keep up with her! I remember there was one book in particular (although I don’t remember which one it was) that she wanted the English teacher analysis, which struck me kind of funny, but I obliged her. I agree with Frances that reading is indeed a privilege, and one that I have never taken for granted. In fact, when I was very little, I thought reading was such a privilege and so wondrous that only grownups were allowed to do it.

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    1. Clanmother says:

      I can imagine the animated discussions between you and your mother, Liz. What great memories you have to sustain you on your journey forward. I laughed out loud when I read that you thought that reading was only for adults. You reminded me of my childhood experience. I was 5 years old when I met someone my age who could understand the markings on paper. How was this possible, I wondered? And that was the moment that reading entered my life. Reading was an essential part of our family experience. When we moved, the books were the priority over anything else. Mary Jo Malo recommended Lynn Austin’s books for Frances to read, which she has enjoyed over the past few months of isolation. When you are with a book, you are in good company.


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