Festive air!

It is Thursday June 27th, the day before the start of the long weekend.  July 1st Canada Day is on Monday next. The sun is shining brightly and the weekend weather forecast extending into the following week is favourable.  I expect that for many people the holiday weekend starts today. This means leaving work early, pleasing oneself to imagine escaping the brewing holiday kerfuffle which constrains those less fortunate who are bound to wait until Friday afternoon to ignite their gusto. If the bags and trunk of the car are not already packed, that duty will be performed at breakneck speed this afternoon. The ambition is to leave town by 2 o’clock at the latest and head to one’s destination. It is then that the festive spirit fully overtakes one’s sensibilities and the celebratory weekend officially begins. The well-earned sabbatical is time for rejoicing!

This picture is one reminiscent of my own past of lawful employment. However getting away on Thursday before the official start of the long weekend was probably unheard of because so often in the summertime we had real estate transactions closing on Friday (a day in my opinion injudiciously chosen by the real estate agent who maneuvered the deal at the outset). Now in my retirement the advent of a holiday weekend is only one of remote distraction; and frankly we make a point of avoiding involvement in activity on the upcoming weekend because it is assured to be preoccupied by so many others. Yet the enthusiasm for the civic holiday lingers. It succeeds nonetheless to engender a flavour of festivity and celebration.  I remarked while tricycling along the waterfront park earlier this morning that there are plans for barbecue, bouncy castles, face painting, crafts, games, a juggler and food vendors on site, all the ingredients of public merrymaking.

Though this event takes place only shortly after the arrival of summer, it already marks the rapid progress of time. I therefore dutifully explored and absorbed the evaporating bliss of summer by positioning myself in a deck chair on the balcony facing directly into the sun. Though the temperature was only 16°C and there was a blustery wind gust of 40 Km/h it was necessary to hide my iPhone in my pocket and reverse the exposure of my Apple watch face behind my wrist in order to protect the devices from imploding or whatever it is that transpires in the sunshine that blackens their visibility. My own internal mechanism appeared to relent as well to the extraordinarily peaceful and warm environment overlooking the uniformly green fields and the ruffled river surface.

This morning’s cycling outing reacquainted me with a kindly woman whom I have known for the past three decades.  She was walking her very obedient dog (a handsome Golden Retriever).  We stopped along the sidewalk and shared intelligence of her recent property improvements, a deck facing the river. She informed me that they (she and her husband presumably) plan to take a weekend adventure. She too had been seized by the festive spirit of the sunshiny day.

On my way home I encountered a notably athletic woman who lives in the same apartment building as we.  She was managing an electric bicycling. Her object this morning was to join a group of others who regularly cycling in the area.  She did not know the destination today.  She also reported having seen another electric tricycle which I confirmed was probably that of resident of our apartment building.  I had seen him earlier as I left the underground garage.  He too was uncertain of his destination this morning (though I knew he had been to the Village of Blakeney yesterday).

Originally known as Norway Pine Falls, Snedden’s Mills and Rosebank, Blakeney was formally named in 1865.
Once a vibrant community with; sawmills, a gristmill, an inn, a tannery, brewery, flour mill, cheese factory, woollen mill, blacksmith shop, general store, post office and Presbyterian Church all build along the river.

While nothing remains of the early industries, the Blakeney rapids are a popular attraction for visitors looking to explore the Mississippi River. Visitors and locals enjoy swimming, fishing, kayaking, walking the trails and small bridges contributed by volunteers of the Almonte Fish & Game Association.

But now, dear Reader, I must excuse myself from this conviviality to perform my mandatory daily exigencies (the regularity of which I need not repeat for fear of becoming hopelessly tedious). Nonetheless allow me at least to speculate that I shall enjoy a breezy wander along a country road.  And in the meantime I wish you a happy commencement of the holiday weekend and all that that entails!