Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Sapphire Blue

When I awoke shortly before 7:00 o'clock this morning the sun was shining brilliantly and the sky was patently crystal clear. I know this because I keep the shades of the bedroom window partially open (though I wear a mask to counter unwanted light when I sleep). It requires extraordinary effort to resist such pleasing daylight motivation! Though I momentarily attempted to bury myself below the duvet it was mere seconds before I succumbed to the better ambition.  I reasoned that it was early enough to appropriate the communal laundry facility to conduct my weekly cleanse of the bed clothes.  We inhabit one of those '70s condominiums built with shared washers and dryers on each floor. It's the only feature of the building which I find remotely annoying (though oddly reminiscent of my first apartment - then considered terribly modern - at Pestalozzi College in Ottawa after graduating from law school).

Starting my day's performance with such gusto meant that conducting both the wash and my customary breakfast (which this morning was sliced green apple, raw walnuts, 2 crab cakes, American cheese and cold black coffee) were fully complete - including remaking the bed - by no later than 9:30 am. I still had ample time without feeling pressured to capture the day to sip the remainder of my coffee and read a scrap of Fox-Davies' "Complete Guide to Heraldry" (1909). It's another of those books which are beyond copyright and therefore available gratuitously on the internet (in this instance the Project Gutenberg EBook which I've encountered previously). There are the added attractions that Arthur Charles Fox-Davies was a Barrister-at-Law of Lincoln's Inn; and that the science of heraldry and armory are the "shorthand of history".

There was slight hesitation to start the engines too quickly as the air was moderately cooler than might be preferred. The expected high was 76℉ but initially it was lower. I was determined not to wear a light sweater over my Polo shirt when I went for my constitutional bike ride. When at last I collected my Sun "Drifter" bicycle from the main floor locker and headed though the front gate onto the path, there was as usual an immediate sigh of contentment - another spectacular day!

My first stop was at Bayfront Park overlooking Sarasota Bay. This location is approximately 4000 Block which is about half-way along the Gulf of Mexico Drive to the end of Longboat Key where it connects by Longboat Pass bridge to Bradenton Beach. Given the perfection of the day I knew beforehand that I would be compelled to ride the distance (about eight miles) to the bridge.  This I ended doing as anticipated.  I stopped further along the way at a retailer about which I have been curious for some time. I initially thought the store sold commodities for surfing and the like but it turned out to more of a clothing store than one related to hardware.  Nautical devices of almost any description - things such as compasses, barometers, etc. - have always amused me. Recently in the pursuit of similar enquiry I have been captivated by a mechanical timepiece with sapphire accoutrements. There is nothing nautical about it but it captures my crow-like attraction to bling (though I have no doubt its constitution is entirely synthetic in every sense of the word).  It nonetheless pleases me to permit myself to indulge these petty fantasies.

On my way back home I stopped again at Bayfront Park.  I fully suspect I dozed in the warm sunshine for a moment. Several times I tried to watch whether a tiny gecko would alter his position not far from where I sat.  But my eyes kept closing and I was certain he would move without my seeing him.  It wasn't however until a woman passed by with her little dog that the gecko made off - unnoticed I am sure by the woman or her dog.

My mounting lethargy was soon to be satisfied.  Not long afterwards I was wending my way along the shaded corridor to the condominium where I hurriedly parked the bicycle and then changed into my swimming togs. Moments later I was prone on a chaise longue by the pool.  The white light of the late afternoon sun blared in my face. On the opposite side of the sea-grape hedge in front of me the Gulf of Mexico thrashed about in response to the off-shore wind. It was an hour before I awoke and tottered over to the hot tub before dipping into the pool for a swim. There were only the two of us there.

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