Another fresh day, cool temperatures below 65ºF, crystal blue sky and a pleasant breeze. It made me think of an early autumn day up north. I was thankfully not delayed long in my enjoyment of the day. I say this because I had to do some grocery shopping. I wanted to get it out of the way sooner than later, rather than having it hanging over my head and rather than having to deal with the packing, unpacking, cleaning and storage of the provisions late in the day when I am customarily exhausted and the preparation of dinner is already on the agenda. So I went as soon as I had finished breakfast. In spite of the fact that at the grocery store I ran into and gossiped with a fellow Canadian who had just arrived last evening, it was only slightly past noon that I got onto my bicycle.
My energy level was however lacking. As I approached Bay Isles Parkway my devotion to exercise seriously waned. I decided instead to spend the remainder of the day lounging in the sun by the pool. The rays were too beguiling to ignore. I am a hopeless addict of the sun. The effect of it upon my carcass is invariably stimulating to an Olympic degree. Besides at my age it affords me the only cosmetic of any beneficial influence, a small compliment I concede but still a palpable advantage.
Though perhaps I should now be conditioned to the pusillanimity of people here when challenged by the most moderate temperature drop, it nonetheless surprised me that there was no one by the pool. I therefore secured my preferred chaise longue at the far end of the pool facing directly into the sun over the palm trees. Within seconds I was lying prone and dreamily listening to Ludovico Einaudi’s Royal Albert Hall concert performance. During my entire time by pool no one else appeared to claim a perch. It was only later when I went swimming (another astonishment in these circumstances by Floridian standards) that passers-by amusingly noted my industry by hooting in my direction and cheerfully laughing. They were clad in heavy sweaters and parkas en route to the bench overlooking Sarasota Bay at the end of the boat slip.
The highlight of my day arose at the end of the afternoon when I visited our neighbours George and Bobbie. My intention was merely to enquire their availability for a meal together prior to their anticipated removal to new digs for the remainder of the winter. We ended engaged in an animated discourse which only concluded far beyond what was socially acceptable. Our conversation was however so agreeable that no book of etiquette was violated.
More as a post scriptum than anything else I wish to record that today marked the success of having overcome two significant technical difficulties, one concerning the upload of photographs, the other regarding the manipulation of the size of the photographs. Coincidentally with the achievement of those two dilemmas I was also able to enlarge upon the toolbar control. All these matters facilitate what I have lately described to others as my evening cocktail – that is, the catharsis of writing a “blog” (what historically was a “diary” and what with more distinction may be called a “web journal”). Whatever it is called it is nothing short of a critical almost medical observation, having nothing whatever to do with mere pleasantry or metaphor. The combination of healthful food, cycling, sunshine, writing, photography and modern technology is to me the height of life-style ingredients.