“Let the shit go down the street!”

Approximately a quarter century ago I had to endure financial hardship.  My income from professional services for an entire year after payment of operating expenses and staff was $750. I wasn’t the only one suffering.  I had clients who for example were either unable for exceedingly long periods to sell properties listed for sale or who had to sell at a substantial loss. Naturally it followed that as a servant to those clients I should be subjected to the same unpleasantry as they. When I chanced to discuss the matter casually with senior counsel I proffered the suggestion that I was mistakenly overcharging for my services to which he unhesitatingly replied, “Let the shit go down the street!” At the time I thought his lapse into the vernacular was no more than a social nicety.  I have since learned otherwise.

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White Christmas

The weather forecast until a moment ago was snow.  It mattered because we’re about to leave for a late afternoon luncheon in the city with friends. But first we must attend upon our cherished pharmacist to collect a five-month supply of prescription drugs for the upcoming winter abroad. We have further arranged a brief pre-Christmas visit with my sister and her husband prior to putting on the nose bag with our dining partners. Though one of our companions had offered to excuse us from the social engagement if the inclement weather prevailed, it is fortuitously no longer a concern. I replied to her worry that my native Canadian being sufficiently overcame any such pusillanimity.

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Winter in the country

The introversion of winter has overtaken me.  Outside looks raw and uninviting. Inside it is cozy and rapturous. I hesitate to detail my prolonged animation this morning.  I lingered sinfully late nestled beneath the feathered duvet without any supervising alert or beaconing command. I am however spared the indignity of indolence by virtue of the drizzly weather. Bicycling is on hold for the moment – indeed perhaps for the remainder of the year as snow and freezing temperatures are forecasted. It is time now to indulge the platitudes of the season; viz., festive music, casual exchanges with family and friends and domestic serenity. As our only Christmas ornament I have taken out of from my desk drawer a tiny Teddy bear with Santa Claus hat and matching red scarf. He is dutifully seated for another interval upon my desk next to the large brass lamp. All the lights throughout the apartment burn yellow and low. The colours of Porto, Cognac and sherry gleam like gems in their crystal decanters.

Ice wine

Not being a wino I haven’t any sovereignty upon the subject of ice wine except what I’ve garnered from an occasional chance encounter. I know it is sweet and exceedingly pleasant, properly considered a dessert wine – though I am pressed to imagine the necessity of wine with dessert much less if there were fruit or Belgium chocolates at hand. I understand it is a rarity (it only comes in microscopic bottles). And it materialises at this time of year which for my purposes makes it an apt metaphor for what is happening in my life. I am also drawn to its celebrity as a paramountly Canadian production.

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Frosty but no snow, man!

Early this morning – the 23rd of November – I figured it was close enough to the 25th of the month to qualify as a tolerable start to the celebration of the upcoming Christmas season. It is for me such a sentimental – though admittedly saccharine- time of the year that I rush to capture as much of its magic as possible because I know how precipitously the enthusiasm fizzles after December 25th.

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An early winter’s day,,,

Today was an astonishingly clear and vigorously fresh wintry day, a strong westerly wind piercing atop the chestnut-coloured rubble of the farmers’ fields and flattening the icy waters of the wending river channels now restored to their darkened veneer from the erstwhile summer glitter. The dryness of the air was inexpressible. The sun shone brilliantly until it precipitously dipped towards the horizon late afternoon altering the blue sky to cobalt.

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The offence of truth

How tarsome is the pursuit of truth!  The hounding is forever corrupted by chicanery and deception – indeed seldom more than obfuscation and subterfuge designed to obscure the result for the ultimate benefit of those engaged in the hanky-panky.

By Jennifer Hassan, The Washington Post
July 13, 2021

LONDON — Jamaica is preparing to request compensation from Britain over its role in the transatlantic slave trade in the 17th and 18th centuries — when at least 600,000 Africans were shipped to the Caribbean as enslaved people — Jamaican officials told Reuters.

Jamaica long served as a key node in a slave trade network that spanned continents, driven by Spain and then Britain.

The country, a former British colony independent since 1962, is set to seek reparations in a petition submitted to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.

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A matter of interpretation,,,

Casting a casual eye about me I see a record of interpretations. The interpretations are paramountly artistic – books, paintings, photographs, hand knotted rugs, furnishings, carvings, statues, toys, seals, crystal, lamps, clocks and walking sticks. Within many of them is a tale of adventure sometimes in turn insinuated by yet another story, another anecdote. What makes them all an interpretation is not so much their particular characteristic but rather their unique meaning to me. Identity is not always from without but often percolates from within.

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Casual reminders

Chapter I. The Messenger

He was the son of an Irish medicus, by a Somersetshire lady in whose veins ran the rover blood of the Frobishers, which may account for a certain wildness that had early manifested itself in his disposition.

Excerpt From
Sabatini, Rafael. “Captain Blood.”

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The evening cocktail

For those of us who instinctively tend to the margins – whether at table or the trough – I suspect the evening cocktail hour presents the occasion for one of the more egregious violations of society’s daily conventions. This speaks to the exceptional attraction of the protocol. Admit it, it’s hard to get too much of a good thing! When the chimes of the grandfather clock ring on the hour at 6:00 pm the old dawgs in the drawing room will habitually expect the first of a series of libations. If the venture were ideal it included a blazing fireplace and robust conversation – but never the interfering annoyance of music no matter how classical or operatic. If were alone by the hearth I found Jane Austen an inspiring addition to the frozen martini.

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