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.

Yesterday we bicycled across Town for the putative purpose of collecting prescription drugs we had ordered. The outing comprised about 10 kilometres, not an unreasonable length for two old fogeys. The ride expiated any guilt I might otherwise have suffered for having failed to get my daily dose of physical activity.  Today however - with the guaranteed rain - I shamelessly abandoned such necessity and indulged myself instead in interior domestic labours which I find equally inspiring - writing, reading, listening to music (and the contemplation of reclining on the green leather couch this afternoon). I greedily entitled myself to an extra cup of green tea ("naturally decaffeinated"). The exhaustion of my erstwhile habit of strong, black - caffeinated - coffee has measurably altered my metabolism and general psychological state for the better.  There is no doubt that coffee (which I regularly punctuated whenever possible with double and triple portions of espresso) was the instrument of activity though not without proportional anxiety.

Nonetheless I have still fashioned what else I should do today as a matter of productivity. Some obsessions are inalterable! Once again it was the predictable rain which cultivated the parameters. First - and perhaps foremost - it invited an automobile drive, one of my openly confessed hobbies.  It is an envious distinction of Lanark County that I never tire of rambling about the countryside and even into the City along the winding highways which interspace the sprawling farms. This is a privilege which we seldom experienced in the eastern United States (except perhaps when approaching the barrier islands on the Atlantic coast or drifting along A1A) since the main roads there are invariably cluttered on either side with endless urban distortions. Frankly over the winter I missed my savoured jaunts in and about Almonte, including I might add my further habit of visiting my elderly mother at her retirement residence on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa.  I intend to repeat that custom today - especially as tomorrow is freakishly threatening snowfall.

A rainy day affords the advantage of lethargy and reminiscence.  Even when the occasional daub of blue sky appears, the roads remain wet and uninviting for cycling and the gloomy grey clouds forbiddingly monopolize the horizon.


Post Scriptum

Once again I am reminded how unpredictable is the future!  I have enjoyed a perfectly amusing afternoon in a manner I had never banked on when I arose from my virginal lair this morning.  After returning from my filial duties in the City I telephoned by girlfriend Jill and - following a moment's consideration - we arranged to meet for coffee at Equator Café in Almonte.  The reunion was one of the first order! Within moments of her arrival we were engaged in profound analysis of all things both public and private. We vaulted our thoughts from personal matters sartorial to judicious and pragmatic consideration of local by-law enforcement by the Municipality.  What a heady congress it was!  Only to be concluded over an hour later by the purposeful acquisition of "O'Keeffe's Working Hands", the soothing hand cream recently recommended by my family physician.

I admit that my gusto for the afternoon assembly was enhanced by three cups of delicious Cappuccino coffee. We were like two old friends in a local pub, full of P&V and an equal measure of bravado and ribaldry.  After a winter of electronic communication we have at last returned to the pleasure of tête-à-tête reporting. It is the advantage of a rainy day that one can brazenly yield to such unrepentant dalliance.

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