Though I had intended to be on my bicycle by mid-morning it was closer to noon before I had drained my restorative cup of java and succeeded to accomplish the prior necessities of a disquieting business matter, preparing and consuming a healthful breakfast (including what is now my passion - honeycomb imbued with the floral aroma of Georgia), washing the bed clothes and cleansing my carcass. But the combination of a grand day and having surmounted a bothersome administrative issue lent the most desirable impetus to my ambition. I swear my chronic arthritic condition is as much a psychological persuasion as physical. While I wasn't exactly boomps-a-daisy I nonetheless felt uncommonly buoyant as I peddled my way purposively to the north gate where I immediately connected to what I consider an unalloyed recreational path along the Gulf of Mexico Drive.
We estimate that the distance between the Blocks (which are demarcated in millennial cycles) on the Gulf of Mexico Drive is in the neighbourhood of one mile. Customarily I cycle no further than the 5000 Block. But today I knew early in my progress that I could well surpass my usual limit. The preliminary views are dominated by the extraordinarily manicured lawns of the numerous compounds which have developed since the 1970s along the Gulf of Mexico.
By the time one reaches the first substantial curve in the road, the Gulf is exposed on one side, Bayfront Park on the other. An exceedingly robust bride in flowing white gown and barefoot was on the beach posing for her photographer while an impatient bride's maid waited on the boardwalk. On the other side of the road (where I later saw the same wedding party congregated for further photographs) the Park overlooked Sarasota Bay without disturbance.
Thereafter the vista translates into a row of estates for private single-family dwellings. Typically there is no evidence of life or humanity other than the ubiquitous grounds-keepers. And perhaps a local bird.
Turning back south toward the apartment I stopped in Bayfront Park where there is a convenient WiFi connection. While sitting there on the park bench I received a telephone call and responded to recent email. The modest relaxation spirited my return venture. The abuse to my buttocks and back is not entirely negligible, a tolerable complaint at 70 years age.
Longboat Key has limited commercial enterprises apart from real estate, golf, sailing and tennis clubs and a sparse number of neighbourhood restaurants, delis and resort wear shops. I discovered a rowing business overlooking the Bay.
Then it was back home to the condominium where I immediately prepared to sunbathe by the pool and take a swim, two further elements of what has become my daily habit. At the pool were two other hardcore sun worshippers, a couple whom I had met briefly several days ago. They hailed from New Jersey (or perhaps they had said just "Jersey" - implying the city not the state) and were here for two weeks. I assume they own their condominium because the minimum rental period is three months.
My acquaintances and I sprawled on the east side of the pool. Traditionally one's conversation in these limited environments is confined to one's health and the weather - niceties which we dutifully exchanged at the outset. When I later returned from a dip in the pool the male party of the duo (a hefty man of 64 years of age - as he subsequently informed me - with pale almost pink skin and a frozen blonde hairdo) shared his envy of my skin colour which he opined afforded the privilege of a healthy tan. This unexpected lapse into the vernacular would alone have been sufficient expansion of my customary social compass but he then observed (rather astonishingly in my opinion) that I had blue eyes, a feature of which even I am normally unaware. I suppose the evident cosmetic vanity of sun worshippers excuses the familiarity. Oddly at this juncture I was reminded of Donald and Jacqueline, the lascivious couple in the British television comedy "Benidorm" about holidaymakers at a Spanish seaside resort.