Friday, October 19, 2018

Simple is good

After battling yesterday with acres of parking and endless retail stores at the astonishingly remote Mall at University Town Centre in Sarasota (Macy's at one end, Saks Fifth Avenue in the middle, Dillards at the other and everything in between) it was a welcome serendipity this morning while going for my untroubled constitutional bicycle ride along the Coast to discover a men's wear clothing boutique in a small shopping centre nearby on Longboat Key.  I had started by looking for a salon (which I also found in the same shopping centre and where I have booked an appointment). I am further informed that our proposed dental office is located not far from the Publix grocery store.  This means that the only obvious exception to the ready fulfillment of what we anticipate to be our customary needs while on Longboat Key is a Lincoln dealership.  Paradoxically I have already located a franchise on a mainland road parallel to my erstwhile physician's winter lodging on nearby Siesta Key.

In fairness to the hardworking people the Mall at University Town Centre there is some advantage to the larger retail outlets.  I did for example only succeed to get a wing collar formal evening shirt at Brooks Brothers (though pointedly the supervisor ended by having to order the appropriate size from their New York City office which will reportedly arrange to deliver the product to the apartment within the next five days). The small boutiques nonetheless stock quite acceptable items even if not the more celebrated labels such as Ralph Lauren, Tommy Bahama, Cartier and the like. The clothier with whom I spoke this morning in the small shopping centre told me she had been in business for 29 years.  She was more than accommodating and I promised to return.  The proximate arrangement is undeniably superlative!  Indeed so breezy was I upon my return bicycle ride that I caught myself speaking in a falsetto tone with the sudden eagerness of a small child.

Our record here has been one victory after another from the moment of arrival. In addition to the agreeable fruit and vegetable produce, first-rate fish, tepid sea water, dreamy swimming pool and the recent shopping triumphs, I have been sleeping unusually well. We've been utterly spoiled with the fine weather for the past week - temperatures exceeding 90℉ every day, glorious sunshine and a soothing rainfall last evening.

Somewhere in the mix I purchased Erik Satie's GymnopĂ©dies which are beyond delight.  I listen to music every day on my Harman Kardon portable speaker while reading or writing. I have been able to exhaust my inherent melancholy without interruption by playing the grand piano in the lobby at the end of the day when the civilized residents here have cloistered themselves for their evening cocktail.  This afternoon I was equally undisturbed while reclining on a chaise longue on the beach overlooking the sea. In the water afterwards it was just I and the pelicans which floated nonchalantly above the incoming waves.  It was a picture which coincided nicely with my reading of Virginia Woolf's "To the Lighthouse".

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