For the past three hours I lay asleep upon my green leather couch beneath a light blanket with an eye mask on. There goes the afternoon! I have at least the dignity of knowing that when I said, “I’m tired” it was no idyll conviction. The midday nap is not normally on my map of activity but I confess the little of it I know I like. I am energized by palpable steam! Whatever it is that sleep does, it did it to me! I am now prepared to organize the universe.
Having a breezy Sunday afternoon in the middle of a pandemic lockdown is not what I would have envisioned a year ago when we precipitously – and quite unwillingly I might add -reclaimed terra firma upon return from the shores of Longboat Key on the Gulf of Mexico. Indeed I wonder that I mightn’t have looked so far ahead for any purpose. The postulation is therefore moot. Yet it illustrates the circumference of the compass that is one’s fortune.
In geometry, the circumference (from Latin circumferens, meaning “carrying around”) is the perimeter of a circle or ellipse. That is, the circumference would be the arc length of the circle, as if it were opened up and straightened out to a line segment. More generally, the perimeter is the curve length around any closed figure. Circumference may also refer to the circle itself, that is, the locus corresponding to the edge of a disk.
Lately I’ve been inspired by the quality cheeses from nearby Province de Québec where I was born (Montréal) in 1948. My hysteria is a combination of superlative taste and the very warm feeling knowing it was made in Canada. The Americans and the French aren’t the only overt nationalists! When one can at last get past the daily absorption of educating oneself then putting it into practice, the ascent though not as rocketing goes through the very predictable stages of furnishings, jewellery, art and technology and finally cheese (and wine for those who swill). This rarefied atmosphere translates to a refinement or distillation of one’s sensory being – sight, smell, touch and taste. It eclipses a good deal of trivia which might otherwise threaten a preferred enterprise of delectation.
With the latest imposition of COVID restrictions by the provincial government life’s enchantment has once again narrowed. There is an exceedingly limited scope for diversion. I hadn’t realized until this deprivation how much we counted upon casual outings for breakfast, lunch or dinner; or how regularly we took for granted the daily social conventions at coffee shops and retail stores. Nonetheless it’s not as though my agenda amounts to much in any event; and as further luck would have it, the primary things I like and normally do are attainable. Mine is a predominantly insular life. I am reminded of a former elderly local businessman who all his life had never been to the city a mere 30 kms distant. He was entirely unashamed of his claustral being; indeed I believe there was an underlying pride surrounding the small-town self-sufficiency.
The Ivy Lea Parkway between Brockville and Gananoque along the St. Lawrence River is an expanding drive at any time of the year. Its nautical theme unquestionably draws traffic in the summer. No doubt the autumn is a preferred time of year as well. The summer however offers the Ivy Lea Club which is terrific for a meal in the main lodge or an ice cream in the adjoining studio. Naturally all this – except for takeout – is under wraps at present because of COVID. There isn’t even a public washroom available on site.
We place almost as much if indeed a particle more attention to what another says compared to what is written; yet so often we misinterpret as a result of either communication. Getting it right from another is never as easy as predicted. Clarity is a multi-pronged device. One would think that the written word is easy to follow but we need only recall the myriad of cases taken to the highest courts of the land by the most adept legal practitioners to interpret even one word of legislation. As for the spoken word, there’s deafness and – once again – broad misinterpretation. Curiously it frequently comes as a shock to another to learn that his or her intention in saying what he or she said was completely misconstrued. Small wonder the psychopathologists have made a profession of interpretation! The elucidation is often equated as much with the time spent listening by the psychiatrist as anything else. Listening is an art.
Hop-picking may not be my particular catharsis but getting the first COVID vaccination today is close! Already the Ministry of Health has – with what I can only describe as unpredicted nimbleness – confirmed by email the particulars of my inoculation this morning. I have the bandage on my right deltoid to prove it; viz., Pfizer-Biontech COVID-19 mRNA PB, 0.3ml dose of PFIZER Diluent 0.9% Sodium Chloride by Renfrew County and District Health Unit, Andrea M. Registered Nurse. The expertness and civility of the on-site delivery at the Canadian Legion in Barry’s Bay was nonpareil from beginning to end – the check in, the screening, the injection and the certification.
You wouldn’t think it to look at it but even the best of things comes with inherent provisoes. I speak of my aeronautical device the Lincoln Aviator. The windshield has a smudge. It’s a mostly invisible tiny blur right in my line of vision. Indeed not to put too fine a point on it the smudge excels in the mercurial quality of visibility. The mad particular about it is that, after having identified the ghost of an imprint, I have expended every possible treatment from Windex to windshield wiper fluid to lighter fluid to “Goo Gone” (removes sticky, gummy, gooey messes) but all without success.
Quite alarmingly every day as the late afternoon draws to a close and the florid remains of the evening sun enrich the western sky I marvel at what a busy day I’ve had without being busy at all. I should put it down to regimen – you know, the boring but time consuming repetition of events day after day. I’m a prime candidate for that. I thrive upon routine! Today for example (or just about any day really): out of bed (plus making the bed) and bicycling on la route précise before the clock has struck 9:00 am; followed by the vital shower and accompanying ablutions (including naturally the rinsing of the spectacles, iPhone and Apple Watch); then the standard breakfast of sliced green apples, baguette bagel with Champfleury cheese and steel cut oats; and finally rounded out with a unhurried automobile drive in the country. I mean to say, there goes the day!
- Creamy and unctuous, with a white rind that becomes orange with time and an irresistible fruity taste, Champfleury is the undisputed king of soft cheeses. Champfleury is the creamiest of our soft cheeses. Made in Canada and inspired by the greatest French cheeses, it is made of pasteurized milk and cream.
Louis XIV was known as the Sun King for a reason. He and his court were frequently sought for influence. It may however surprise one to learn that Louis XIV pursued others as well.
The King surrounded himself with a variety of significant political, military, and cultural figures, such as Mazarin, Colbert, Louvois, the Grand Condé, Turenne, Vauban, Boulle, Molière, Racine, Boileau, La Fontaine, Lully, Charpentier, Marais, Le Brun, Rigaud, Bossuet, Le Vau, Mansart, Charles Perrault, Claude Perrault, and Le Nôtre.