Friday, October 4, 2019

3:00 am

We have a history of arising in the middle of the night, carrying on where we left off basically. The pendulous chimes of the grandfather clock dongs its variable proclamations. We click the buttons of the coffee maker. And carve pieces of crisp apple from Maclaren Orchards in Renfrew. The oak dining table where I position my laptop computer is cluttered with W. H. Bartlett placemat prints and a Crown Darby porcelain plate for the apple slices. We're ready to go!

The first inquisition is the Mississippi Mills weather. Following the latest iPhone software update I have changed the Settings to increase the Text Size and activate the Bold Text.  The appearance of acuity is transformed to utter precision. We have a pleasant day to look forward to, a combination of sun and clouds but cool.  Back to autumnal apparel! I circulate about the living area upon the precious Persians to wind the three clocks. They're remarkably accurate, mechanical pieces all, a Sligh mantle clock, a Sligh grandfather clock and a Henry Birks & Sons (Germany) carriage clock. Chopin on Period Instruments accompanies the tick, tick, tick. We adore our rented residence and wonder why anyone our age would prefer anything else! The real estate porn of Country Life magazine succeeds only to convince me of the propriety of avoiding large residential living. Even the gorgeous yellow flowers in the Lalique vase on the polished mahogany desk where I keep my millefiori and custom made brass paperweight are from Walmart! And a very happy choice they are!

All this exuberance, placidity and exactitude is about to be abandoned - though with confidence.  A remote scene awaits us adjoining Sarasota Bay on Longboat Key, Florida. There our focus will alter from the complacent satisfaction of our present circumstances to that of sea level weather and nautical themes. Already we have it in mind to investigate the adjoining Keys, sinking more deeply into that narrow ambience of casual resort. The oils and crystal safely linger here to restore our native settlement. The calculated production of amusement along the coral reefs of the Florida peninsula is but acknowledgment of the inevitable loss which awaits each of us. We have translated our context to that of Nomads. But I can assure you that I carry with me a baggage of critical items. I have reduced the imperatives to very few but measured necessities. The paramount item is the instinctive tool of absorption.  We become engrossed in our surroundings whether it is the architecture, the sea or sky, the vegetation and the people. Regularly we cross paths with celebrities, occasions which we always preserve with satisfaction but without notice - a writer slipping through the hotel lobby to the elevator or a media personality escaping contradiction while wandering about the pool. The object is the same no matter who you are, no matter where you go. Establishing those goals is the challenge.

And now I'm going back to bed! It's 5:00 am, I need to prepare myself for the relieving bicycle ride when I shall adorn myself with protective textile, vanilla silk scarf and amazing sunglasses! Such deliberation!  Such enthusiasm! Such is life!

The Bicycle Ride

We began this morning's cycling exploit around nine o'clock. The choice we made was to turn right off Church Street onto the bike path along the former railway line towards Carleton Place.  This was perhaps an unfortunate choice. The wind was at our back, always a comfortable start but assured to be a drudging end.  The brisk northerly wind was not sheltered by the vegetation along the old railway line because it blew directly into the right-of-way. This meant that the return ride would be forceful and cold - and it was! Only latterly the sky began to break, revealing light blue shades between the remnant clouds allowing the warming sunshine to disperse.

Along the way we diverted ourselves by regarding the sheep gambolling in the field - and later corralling into their barn for warmth and possibly food. The alpaca with its long, thin neck remained at a distance from the other animals.

In the fields there was a collage of colours, now mostly yellow and jade hues, soft but poignant by contrast. Gone are the verdant greens. The remaining leaves hang on their stems, exhausted of their nutrition, resembling a memory only.

In spite of the effort I unequivocally relish the bicycle ride. Whatever magic it performs internally, I always feel improvement afterwards, the extensions and the lubrications. There is also the undeniable psychological benefit of exercise. At this juncture of my indolent past I need the random advantage of diligence and discharge.

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