Saturday, October 21, 2017

Solo Flight to Dillards

No doubt as a mark of my declension I was reluctant this morning to undertake a solo trip to Dillards in search of a pair of trunks to use when bicycling.  I confess a degree of trepidation when it comes to navigating the highways in and around Daytona Beach.  I don't suppose I've ever liked wending my way through traffic in any large urban centre.  Many of the roads here are wide and well-marked but if, as is my preference, the smaller back roads are taken instead, there is unquestionably some pressure to ensure the correct turns are taken.  It obviously helps to have the assistance of another pair of eyes in the car.

In any event my plaintive plea for accompaniment went unanswered.  Shortly after noon I was on the road to Dillards, alone.  It turned out that, because we had piloted this identical route only yesterday, I found that I was more comfortable than initially anticipated.  Even so I undershot by a small margin the right turn into Volusia Mall where Dillards is located.  Once I retraced my steps it required no time or effort to correct the error.

Serendipitously when I arrived in the extensive parking lot adjoining Volusia Mall I happened to have parked in front of Sears.  Over its front entrance was an advertisement for a mattress sale. Mattresses had also been a recent topic of conversation in our household. So I decided to answer the fortuity of the event and directed myself to Sears before going to Dillards next door.  Then as luck would have it I found myself wandering through the men's clothing department where I spotted a pair of shorts suitable for bicycling.  I was also able to afford myself the further convenience, privilege and precaution of trying them on to ensure they fit. When paying for the shorts I asked the distracted clerk about the mattress sale and she told me to go to the second floor.  Once there I had the immediate assistance of a more interested though hardly effusive sales clerk who not only answered my questions but also offered to send me an email with further particulars about the mattress he had shown me.

Because I had bought two mattress protectors, I hauled them and my new trunks back to the car before returning to scope Dillards and the other stores in the mall.  I thought I would also look for a hair salon because now that I knew how to get to this mall - and because I liked the spaciousness of the parking lot - it would remove one more item from my checklist.  At first I was having difficulty locating a salon but just as I was turning to leave the mall I spied an Aveda salon on the second floor. I took the escalator and presented myself at the reception.  A male stylist there advised that he was already booked but he referred me to a female colleague who somewhat reluctantly agreed to look after me immediately. In spite of the less than enthusiastic beginning what followed was a very satisfactory service and I left by making another booking in a month's time. The stylist  - who interestingly only worked Friday, Saturdays and Mondays - also recommended a car wash in nearby Ormand Beach along Beachside Boulevard which follows the coast.

After arriving back at the condominium building I proceeded first to the lounge to play the Yamaha grand piano. Only last evening at about the same time the Board of Directors had thrown its Oktoberfest party in the lounge.  The lounge was entirely cleaned up and restored to its original state.  I had quite the workout on the grand piano. For whatever reason I attacked my playing with considerable vigour.  I admit that in my mind the workout on the piano was replacing an improving bicycle ride on the beach.  My reward would be a much-wanted cup of coffee in the apartment - to which I then resorted.

I interrupted my coffee indulgence to remake my bed, putting on the new mattress protector, fresh duvet and pillow cases. My two bath mats were also reclaimed from the laundry and repositioned in the bathroom.

The remainder of the late afternoon and early evening were spent answering emails and telephone communications, all welcome and satisfactory, concluding some outstanding business matters.  The same report card applies to the subsequent meal preparation - salad (bed of chopped cilantro, zucchini spirals, sliced mini cucumber and cherry tomatoes doused in freshly squeezed lemon juice, a splash of olive oil and ground sea salt) and crab cakes, followed up with black berries in K√©fir.

Trotting out these sensibly trifling details no doubt seems hopelessly tiresome.  And yet it is these very simple matters which promote such a feeling of complacency and well-being. I can only rejoice in knowing that the sole imperative on my diary tomorrow is to decide when to cycle on the beach.

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