An inestimably fine day, so it was!

Perhaps I am still tottering from yesterday’s unanticipated – though hugely uplifting – brush with coincidence. After struggling for the past week or maybe the last ten days to accommodate within myself the misfortune of an icy communication with another resident, we appear to have fully recovered.  It was more an act of strong-will and mutual ignorance which preserved us both from a wasteful re-enactment of the event. Instead we have continued our restful paddle down life’s winding river, suffering as we must by nature the consequence at once as demanding and as glorious as passage to the City of Prague along Bedrich Smetana’s Má Vlast: Vltava “Die Moldau“.

Fortified as I was by this accidental profit it was with a spring in my step that the day spread before me. The day though was not itself especially inspiring. The sky was grey; the temperature approached freezing; and the weather forecast rain. But suddenly the forecast changed from rain to mere clouds. This mercurial alteration afforded a chance to go cycling. This is important because we’re accustomed to cycling almost every day; and lately our habit has been under siege by mounting threats of ice and snow. We knew too that this window of opportunity may be one of few remaining during the upcoming winter. So after a restorative breakfast of baguette bagel, Camembert cheese, homemade apple sauce and very strong coffee, we layered ourselves in textiles and silk then pushed off on our bicycles. The air was surprisingly dry and not too cold. We were content to drift back and forth among the roads of the subdivisions since the alameda is now covered in the crystals of sleet and snow.

The sequel to this athletic expiation of guilt was for me an equally endearing drive in my automobile. This would have been entirely redeeming were it not for the fact that I couldn’t get my iPhone to connect by Bluetooth to the car. The ceremony is supposed to enable one to open the car by phone so to speak. The obstruction was lessened by Ms. Kimberley Serwin with Customer Service of Lincoln Canada (though she is in Florida). She didn’t resolve the problem but she’s making a terrific effort. I am confident her devotion will translate to success.

By degrees Christmas music and wreaths have brightened the grey December skies. We were treated today to a bag of sugary goodies and our first Christmas card.

The bridge tables were not set out in the garden-room, which entailed a scurry over damp gravel on a black, windy night, but in the little square parlour above her dining-room, where Withers, in the intervals of admitting her guests, was laying out plates of sandwiches and the chocolate cakes, reinforced when the interval for refreshments came with hot soup, whisky and syphons, and a jug of “cup” prepared according to an ancestral and economical recipe, which Miss Mapp had taken a great deal of trouble about. A single bottle of white wine, with suitable additions of ginger, nutmeg, herbs and soda-water, was the mother of a gallon of a drink that seemed aflame with fiery and probably spirituous ingredients. Guests were very careful how they partook of it, so stimulating it seemed.

E. F. Benson, Miss Mapp