The first time I drank a cup of cappuccino was one morning on the Italian riviera. I was about 17 years old. My sister and I were traveling with our parents on a summer excursion from Stockholm, Sweden where they resided at the time. At the bright and airy bar adjacent the lobby in the hotel where we stayed the smartly outfitted steward served us our morning starter before we headed to the beach. The cubes of brown sugar completed the initiation.
I have forever clung to the attraction of the beach and the sea although I readily confess the riviera is too posh for my liking. We were for example obliged to dress before going through the hotel lobby to get to the beach. When we reached the beach we had to take a cabana where we then undressed for the sea. It was all more fuss than I could willlingly tolerate even then. Now it would be out of the question! Thankfully times have changed in many places throughout the globe. Convenience and comfort are the sole prerequisites. I do however recall a visit not too long ago to Punta Cana in the Dominincan Republic seeing a tall sylphlike woman whom we had met in the First Class bar the night before streaming through the corridors of Secrets Excellence by the magnificently elongated and twisting pool clad in a diaphanous beach outfit. There is I admit something to be saId for appearances. Coincidentally we met her again the following year at another resort in the Caribbean. She and her husband (whom we never met, he was always away on business) were from Germany. Her English was insufficient for us to have a meaningful conversation so I haven’t any detail to report other than we enjoyed her company within limited bounds.
The air today was clear and exceptionally dry. The wind blew from the west at 27 km/h which made it ideal for my return jaunt along the beach from Tower Beach to Sea Pines Beach Club. I passed only one struggling cyclist coming in the opposite direction towards me. He appeared completely drained by the effort. Earlier I had seen others walking their bikes into the wind along the beach having presumably abandoned hope of competing with the gale force wind. From my perspective the wind was not only welcome but also diverting. The raucous waves were uncommonly clamorous and colourful, a mixture of frothing white, emerald green and dark blue. The sun glistened across the water to the distant horizon. The birds flocked madly by the shore.
I am cheered by the completion of the public portion of the US Senate consideration of President Biden’s nomination for appointment to the Supreme Court. It was a process marked by outstanding performances on all sides, good and bad as former President Trump was wont to say. The good approached the ineffable; the bad was so hopelessly characteristic as to constitute boredom and utter insignificance. It was impossible to attack the candidate within the realm of humanity or reality. I cannot imagine anyone who is more likely to restore the confidence of the American people in themselves and their institutions. It all comes at a critical time in the American psyche which I perceive increasingly as one big family in spite of their aggravated differences and alleged irredeemable bilateralism. The Americans are so turned in upon themselves that I suspect they overlook the closeness of their commitment to one another. The navel-gazing is not however unfounded. People like Madam Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson are such an indescribable credit to one’s national family that it would be inexcusable to diminish her importance. She has unwittingly become an international symbol of the superior level at which humans can interact. Her impetus stretches far, far beyond the putative limits of gender or race. She has effectively swung wide open the gate of bigotry. So wide is her step across the erstwhile borders of intolerance that she has diminished it from sight.