Saturday, March 10, 2018

Repeat Affair

I have never considered it an indignity to be repetitive.  In fact on the contrary I fashion repetition - at least of certain conduct - to be a desirable posture.  Repetition is so often conjoined with what is simple but valuable behaviour. Take for example exercise.  There are few if any people who would assert that engaging in repetitive exercise is a failing. Though I won't suggest that I am anything approaching a full-blown athlete I have nonetheless developed the habit of repetitive exercise of one sort or another. As anyone who knows me knows, normally that exercise is cycling - something I began in earnest at age 17 with my first Garlatti speed bike and have subsequently graduated into a semi-recumbent Townie with what I call a "fat ass" seat, baloon tires and high handlebars. Coincidentally this morning I saw a Townie parked by the Sunglow Pier.  It had a wicker basket similar to the wicker baskets one sees on Nantucket (though not to be confused with the so-called "originals" made with scrimshaw).

This morning's ambition was to walk upon the beach, basically to repeat the outing we had done yesterday - going north along the shore to the nearest Life Guard stand at Dunlawton Avenue then back again, about one mile in total. The walk today was no simple matter for me.  Frankly the effort required to march any more than the shortest of distance I find to be quite extraordinary.  I am not a walker by custom.  In fact I normally make it well known that I can bear the deprivation of walking.  But given my current fear of bicycling (following my recent accident) - and the fact that my surgeon has forbidden me to swim - there isn't much alternative. I have happily discovered that walking - at least on these low levels - is quite relieving in the end (though initially I feel rather like a fish out of water).

We began the walk this morning in the same manner as yesterday, that is by wandering down the pathway adjacent the condominium building to the boardwalk leading to the beach.

This pathway (as a method of public access to the beach) is one of many in the immediate area.  If I were on my bicycle I would have taken another further south.  But for purposes of this morning's outing this entrance was ideal.

As I suggested the walk wasn't entirely a cake walk.  Not far from the end-point (Life Guard station) I enquired whether there was a bench upon which I might sit to relax when we got there.  Turns out there is.  The walking wasn't especially hard going but the pain of my broken ribs is constant and there are times I think I might prefer something less energetic (if in fact any such thing exists).  However when we reached the Life Guard station I quickly got myself up the stairs to the bench and we both sat there, I as always in the warm morning sunshine.

Already I was contemplating the return march.  Thankfully I could see the identifying pier (Sunglow Pier) at the end of the jaunt, located just at the edge of our condominium building.  When we finally got there it was my intention once again to lie on a chaise longue by the pool in the sun.  This happened in farily short order and I was much relieved to do so.  I lay in the sun for about an hour by which time the clouds had begun to develop so I retired thereafter once again to the Club Room to play the Yamaha grand piano.  Before doing so however a couple from the building joined me by the pool.  They too were anxious to absorb some Vitamin D (though interestingly I noted they sat in lounge chairs in the shade facing the Ocean rather than in the sun facing the westerly direction).

Lest I leave the impression that my life is but one endless repetition of paltry undertakings (though I confess I am hard pressed to deny the value of any exercise), I hasten to add that upon my return to the apartment (and following a thoroughly enjoyable nap) I recovered by stretching upon the recliner chair in my bedroom with my copy of H. W. Fowler's "A Dictionary of Modern English Usage" (April 22, 1926).  This  - allow me to assure you if by chance you are unfamiliar with the manuscript - is dangerously close to boring. It does however achieve the undeniable advantage of pedagogy and detail which for many people who are so inclined in the literary world is unmatched. I readily admit that my persistence gave way to random searches for topics which I felt for one reason or another would be more apt or stimulating.  To acquaint oneself with the Mr. Fowler's details is to a degree a lost advantage as he himself proclaims the value of usage above method; which is to say that what counts in matters literary as in so many others is the recognition of choice. Some things just don't lend themselves to repetition.

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