Thursday, February 21, 2019

Martini, Darling?

Five years ago I quipped that upon turning 70 years of age I would recover the erstwhile custom of drinking martinis - and smoking cigars. That milestone has arrived - rather more speedily than I had anticipated. To complicate things we depart Sunday next for Key West, the acme of immoderation. As I don't expect to get any younger over the following several days, the issue has arisen concerning these compelling additives.

To deal first with the matter most readily disposed of - cigars - I am caught in a legal contract called Term Life Insurance, a feature of which is that I am a non-smoker. This affects not only the premiums but more importantly the entitlement to payment.  It is somewhat laughable that I should confound myself with this particular disruption to my life because of course I will never see the advantage of doing otherwise.  The amount of coverage  - a mere $250,000 - further contaminates the psychological necessity of hoping to beat the insurance company at its own game. Be that as it may I am nonetheless persuaded not to violate the terms of the agreement for the simple reason that I have paid premiums faithfully for so many years (since about 1975 I believe). It offends my admittedly shallow pecuniary instincts to snap my fingers at the gamble.

Before entertaining what might be presumed the more abstract conundrum regarding a gin or vodka martini, my mental evaporation is oddly drawn to Sardinia which we visited in the Spring of 2013 (pointedly just prior to the imposition of my resolute intemperance).  We rented a place called Villa Luna overlooking the Mediterranean.

The significance of the timing is that my very acute and desirable memories of that event do not include the romantic persuasion of a chilled martini - either by a fireplace or otherwise. What I do recall about martinis is that the ambrosia was an ephemeral acquaintance - there was in fact nothing immortal about it at all. My only recollection about matters visceral in Sardinia is the extraordinary ham and cheese (which I ritually assembled with eggs for breakfast); and that we were able to pluck fresh rosemary from exuberant hedges just outside the kitchen door.

Meanwhile we have further exhausted our culinary scope by effectively abandoning meat and pecan pie, opting instead primarily for fish and vegetables. This does not however imply that all else is similarly either jettisoned or simplified. Rather we currently find ourselves in a most agreeable state situate next to the Gulf of Mexico.  My day today for example consisted first of a restorative breakfast of steel-cut oats and honeycomb; then a haircut; followed by a bicycle ride to Lido Key; and finally a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon at the beach, swimming in the sea and walking on the shore.

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