Monday, April 30, 2018

Morality ... Now what?

Since the municipal election in my hometown in 2014 and since the USA election of Trump in 2016 there has been extensive talk about morality.  Some would say the cause is more than evident and thus warranted; others might equally well advance the "plus ├ža change" argument.  Certainly in politics at any level the issues of propriety are never out of focus.  Whether you characterize morality as a distinction between good and bad behaviour or just plain decency, the topic admits to no end of debate.  Inevitably each side discloses some thesis which is founded on the conviction of another higher source.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

New Recipe

When I unexpectedly find a new recipe - which in my case isn't saying anything terribly alarming - I take perhaps uncommon note of it.  The implication is that whatever I can prepare myself in the kitchen has to be simple; I am not known as a cook (though I confess my "Caribbean Pasta" is moderately favourable in the opinion of some whom I consider accomplished chefs). Today's discovery is a reminder as well of the importance of a good meal.  A good meal is one of those small pleasures in life which are far more meaningful than their apparent significance.  The standard by which I measure a good meal is its combined taste and healthfulness.  This evening I came as close to that yardstick as is reasonably possible for someone such as I with a boarding school background and a repeated law school menu of Cheese Whiz and peanut butter on molasses brown bread.

It happens...

In precisely ten minutes it will be 5:00 o'clock am and I will have heard the chimes of the Western Germany Sligh grandfather clock every hour since two o'clock this morning.  This is moderately odd since I can't say that as I lay awake in bed shrouded in my sleeping mask I especially noticed the quarterly chimes (Whittington chime if you care to know). But I certainly recall the hourly peals.  Small wonder I finally gave up the charade of sleep and quit the lair to have a cup of tea. This isn't at all unusual for us, having these early morning vacations.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

A Rainy Saturday

Though we live in an apartment, we're on the top floor of a 3-storey building and therefore can hear the pitter-patter of the rain on the roof and the balcony. I awoke from the early morning melody by listening to Edward Elgar's "Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 36" (popularly known as the "Enigma Variations") composed between October 1898 and February 1899.  It is an orchestral work comprising fourteen variations on an original theme, each of which represents some characteristic of a friend of Elgar (including his wife Alice) or an incident known only to the two of them.  The music and the rain made for an ideal combination.  Given the forecast of rain throughout the day I lingered over breakfast with uncommon torpidity.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

In Limbo

Not exactly certain what "in limbo" means but I'm guessing it implies at least an intermediate or transitional state.  I understand the term alludes to the theological definition; namely, a place outside hell and heaven to which unbaptized infants and the righteous who died before Christ's coming were consigned.  The import though without specific condemnation is not entirely favourable.  It is precisely that characterization which epitomizes my present circumstances - nothing particularly wrong, just everything in limbo.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Nowhere to go, Nothing to do

It's mildly intellectually embarrassing to me that I so rarely capitalize on the weather and my health - that is, without seeking to adorn those outwardly mundane themes with distracting and frequently irrelevant preoccupations. Put another way, it's the failure to rise above the endless importance of life and to observe the bountiful stuff that is already there and often unnoticed, just sitting back with one's feet up on a nice day and feeling good. Given my admitted obsessions for precision and detail - and my shameful lack of patience generally - I am reluctant to pretend that this current euphoria amounts to anything approaching an epiphany. Rather the circumstances are favourable enough for the moment to inspire me towards an unconventional view of the universe.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

A Sweet Day All Considered!

I won't pretend that our early morning attendance upon an orthodontist in Ottawa was an endearing exploit (though naturally it felt good to get the matter taken care of). Paradoxically the mechanical exercise lent an air of serendipity to the late afternoon when we again found ourselves tooling into the City for another more favourable though quite unpredicted adventure. Not long after we returned home from our morning meeting with the Gum Doc I received a telephone call from my jeweller. He advised that the custom piece about which we had been communicating for the past several months was complete and ready to be collected.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The best mask for a treacherous heart is an honest face!

It is far easier to become clouded by a treacherous heart than one would expect.  In my case the reasons are two fold. First, I see nothing wrong with someone's gold digging (for example) if I am similarly engaged in my own reciprocal expropriation (which may even include just enjoying the exploit for whatever reason). Second, I acknowledge that I am a sucker for flattery (even though it always surprises me that I was so utterly unaware of its ulterior purpose at the outset). Both elements of treachery - whether selfish pursuit or calculated honeyed words - ultimately betray the cunning of the operative.  Oddly the recognition of the perfidy does little more than temper the favour of the response.  At least that is the ideal result; namely, that knowing the undependable nature of the person one is better enabled to assess (and adapt to) the true nature of the faithless behaviour.  I won't however go so far as to suggest that true love is ever the result after such a revelation.  Cautious admiration at best.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Wintry Blast

Though we have managed to escape the perils of winter for most of the season, it never fails that upon our return to Canada in April we inevitably encounter a final blast of freezing rain and snow.  Today was such a day.  Normally this would not have been of any consequence; except that today we were awake at five o'clock this morning preparing ourselves for an important visit to the Heart Institute on Ruskin Street in Ottawa.  At four o'clock this morning - as I lay awake anxiously contemplating the upcoming day - I heard the snowplow clearing the drive outside our apartment building.  By six o'clock (as we cautiously commenced our travel to the City) the rain had begun and we were being pelted by freezing crystals in addition to wayward ice scraps from the tops of passing vehicles.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Sunday Afternoon Tea Party

Unbeknownst to us the freezing rain began in earnest about three and a half hours after we arrived on Coleman's Island to visit our dear longstanding friend early this afternoon.  We were clearly so engrossed in our scheduled duty of rejigging a used computer - and sipping a very agreeable cup of clear Orange Pekoe tea whilst doing so - that we hadn't any idea of the full extent of the icy precipitation.  No matter.  Our commission was by then at least temporarily complete and the glacial descent did little but annoy us upon the conclusion of an otherwise perfectly profitable sojourn. Invariably it is an uncompromising blessing to tread across the border from the Town onto the Island and to linger there among those who are equally predicted to be singular and topical for one reason or another. The Islanders are notorious for their uniqueness - whether a native baseball team or an indispensable municipal councillor; and they are commensurately proud of their distinguishable location.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Being home again...

I imagine there is no one who doesn't feel the commendatory impact of being back on home territory after a prolonged absence. A palpable subjectivity overwhelms me upon my return home.  It helps that we live in a notoriously prepossessing rural community within the National Capital Region - and one which in particular bustles with undeniably artistic activity. Recently we have heard of local denizens who - to our utter surprise - are even contemplating removal from the territory.  Given the proximity of endless services, professionals and stores it is difficult to understand what more one could possibly want.  There is for example an estimable general hospital, two chartered banks, three pharmacies, schools for people of all ages and religions, an optometrist, two dentists, several lawyers, accountants, chiropractors and massage therapists, three coffee shops (and a coffee roaster), a brewery, a national grocery store, the County land registry office, many churches (though no temples or synagogues), an active and singular retail and restaurant sector, a variety of excellent residential opportunities for both tenants and owners, numerous parks, two hydro-electric generating plants (public and private), a magnificent river passing through the centre of the Town and a nearby 18-hole golf course.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

New Computers

Computers have become as ubiquitous as automobiles - and as necessary as they are common.  Our iPhone Smartphones or MacBook Pro laptop computers are unquestionably among the first things we visit every morning.  And the attention is bound to continue throughout the day, whether to check the time, answer or make a phone call, find the right aisle in the grocery store, send or receive an email, confirm the weather, take a photo, ask Google a question, book an appointment, verify a credit card expense, bank deposit or withdrawal, etc. I flatter myself to tout that I use the devices exclusively for business (as opposed to mere games); that is, they are far from being toys even though I am equally proud to say I have good quality items of choice.

Monday, April 9, 2018

On the road again...

On February 10th last I apparently fell from my bicycle onto the beach near Ponce Inlet.  I say "apparently" because I have no recollection whatsoever of the event. It was today - April 9th (exactly 2 months later) - that I rode a bicycle for the first time since my little episode.  Though I had to walk the bicycle up the exit ramp from the parking garage where I keep the bike stored in a locker (I hadn't the strength to ride the bicycle) I have to say that it was a positive treat to mount the machine at the top of the incline.  And I will admit that I was somewhat wobbly to start - a warning I fully accepted for the remainder of my tour.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Back Home

Though we arrived home shortly after six o'clock in the evening on Thursday it was well after midnight before we at last dragged ourselves to bed.  The groceries we had bought remained undisturbed in the refrigerator.  We hadn't interrupted our mania for unloading and putting away our luggage, reviewing mail, winding clocks and reconnecting devices to have anything to eat. It was a termporary struggle to get the Cannon Pixma printer/scanner connected to the computer and WiFi, an important effort in order to deal with the various T3 statements to send to the accountant. The laundry was in full swing throughout the entire evening. There was more clothing and toiletries to unpack and put away than we recalled having purchased.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Kristen's Birthday

Kristen's Birthday

We’ve long been adriftin’ towards talking about Kristen
To tell her what really we feel. 
To say just how special she’s been since we met her
And how wonderful we've both found her zeal.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter Sunday on Longboat Key

At eight o'clock this morning I was still lying in bed, awake but not terribly energetic.  I hadn't slept especially well last night, lots of silly dreams which naturally I cannot now recall. When at last I had the vigour to draw back the draperies I could see that, as my dear mother has so often advanced, the sun always dances on Easter morning!  It was another brilliant day on Longboat Key.  I subsequently heard from the athlete in the family - he who returned from an early morning walk up Longboat Club Road and afterwards a brawny production in the fitness room - that things were well underway around the resort for a Easter egg hunt for the children.  This was the first of many indicia I later saw throughout the day that the family undertaking of foregathering on Easter was in full swing.  Everywhere for example there were people carrying colourful paper bags obviously laden with gifts of one description or another; there were scores of seniors - all appropriately dressed for Matins and Easter brunch; the car park was stuffed beyond the designated spaces; and the beach was extraordinarily crowded with families of young parents and their children (many of whom were playing in the Gulf, swimmining, water boarding and kiyaking).