Wednesday, November 22, 2017

En plein soleil

The skies were clear this morning. When I perched at the end of the long dining room table to sip my black coffee and eat my succulent Navel orange slices the sun was dazzling across the sea. I consulted the Tide Chart as usual.  And the weather.  The high tide was at 10:08 am and the wind was 6 mph from the northeast. For the next hour I preoccupied myself with perusal of email and the news on BBC and CNN in addition to preparing my customary conglomerate of protein (today it was ham, hamburger, bacon, eggs and American cheese slices).

Contemporaneously I read that the Mediterranean diet is the only one that works.  Other than fish and a "splash" of olive oil and perhaps a glass of red wine, it is primarily plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts.  All my life I have struggled to keep my weight down.  Traditionally it has peaked at the height of my social engagements - such as law school (where I regularly cavorted with colleagues at the Picadilly Tavern) and various periods during my law practice (when entertaining was part of my business promotion).  On the other hand whenever I distance myself from "social" consumption (which means I make my own meals, avoid eating with family and friends and order strictly à la carte when dining in a restaurant), I have had significant success in keeping my weight down. For the record I want to record that my usual evening meal is plain steamed salmon filet along with a bed of chopped fresh cilantro, mini-cucumber, green pepper, cherry tomatoes and Roquefort cheese drenched in lemon juice and a dash of olive oil and white wine vinegar.  And ground salt.  Dessert is blackberries in plain Kéfir. To satisfy a sugar yearning, it's dates (which I prefer to characterize as fiber).

It was just after 11:00 am when I ducked under the subterranean garage door and headed out-of-doors to join S Atlantic Ave to the nearest beach access. My choice of route was southward to Ponce Inlet - directly into the blazing sun next to the glittering Ocean.

The tide was still high and occasionally I had to work to get my bike through the moist sand.  From time to time the surf came up so fast I was obliged to cycle in the water.  I wear rubber Crocs so it is no inconvenience to dip my feet into the water.  Though there were not many people on the beach we were all bound by the relatively narrow path afforded by the high tide.  By the time I got to Ponce Inlet (about 5 miles - which only took about a half hour thanks to the wind at my back) I decided to lay on the beach.  I set the bike on its side then put my Crocs on the front wheel as a pillow.  My Polo shirt was my towel.  As I lay there absorbing the warmth of the sun it was a perpetual battle to keep the annoying flies at bay.  It wasn't long before I capitulated and resolved to get back on my bike.  When however I began to pedal I discovered the chain had come off.  Meanwhile I had succeeded to jam the dislodged chain into the narrow space between the chain guard and the toothed crank-wheel.  With sudden realization of what had happened I uttered a philippic and came to an abrupt halt.  Then followed my less than skillful effort to correct the problem.  My hands became thoroughly black with grease.  Amazingly I was able to relocate the chain.  I then set about trying to clean my hands, first using the soft sand and then going into the Ocean where I dipped my hands into the sea, losing my balance while bending into the receding surf.  Eventually I made my way to the park restroom where I washed my hands in soap.

The return trip (against the wind) was along the sidewalk bordering S Atlantic Ave.  It is a pleasant enough route becasue I always enjoy gawking at the beach houses and coastal condominiums. When at last I regained my own place I stashed the bike and headed to the pool.  There I lounged in the sun for the remainder of the afternoon, interrupting myself for a dip in the hot tub and pool.  Back at the apartment I rejoiced in the latest email communications from our estate agent.  Then followed some tactical communications with people whom we've met over the past several weeks.

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