Things started off lazily enough this morning. For one, I didn’t begin to stir in my lair until after eight o’clock, an hour too late by any standard of decency. Burying my face in the soft down pillow (which fortunately I brought from home), I fought back my accustomed get-up-and-go instinct. But in the end my Protestantism triumphed. The blue sky and sunshine were peeping through the bedroom blinds embarrassing me. In my languid state through a half-opened eye I caught a glimpse of a palm tree and the shimmering sapphire waters of Calibogue Sound in the distance. The thought of “wasting” any part of a sunny day lying in bed is utterly loathsome to me. It was equally useless to countenance any inner argument about well deserved relaxation and having nothing to do for the rest of my life.
To say that I leapt out of bed would be a distortion. My removal from the knot of the duvet, top sheet and bedcover was a strategy requiring determination (admittedly lubricated with a Philippic). The uncomfortable effort was compounded by overall aches and similarly knotted muscles. My reckoning with reality was all the more edgy when I recollected that today, Saturday, is laundry day which meant I had not only to suffer the indignity of effectively crawling out of bed but I then had to stand erect and compose myself sufficiently to remove the bedclothes. This was a talent equivalent to trimming a hedge while standing on stilts. The drudgery naturally competed with the compelling need to void my bladder and the more pressing essential to get a handful of drugs to alleviate the arthritic pain. In the bathroom I ministered to my natural and medicinal needs then flung myself into the shower for what never fails to be a rejuvenating experience. Lather, soap and foam, washing away the insolent traces of existence, like the tide upon the beach. I emerged from the shower ready for the application of my traditional contaminations (creams and lotions). The damp towel, facecloth, hand towel and bath mat were dutifully delivered to the laundry and replaced by fresh ones. The catharsis of the beginning of another day was complete!
After this rude and unforgiving awakening I trudged to the kitchen to commence the ceremony of my morning routine. Coffee. And fresh fruit and a scrambled egg with sautéed mushrooms and baby leeks. Perched in front of my computer I flitted about on-line from one site to another, checking financial matters, email, publications and my personal blog. We also habitually investigate the weather and the tides, first to determine the temperature (so we know what to wear) and second to decide when it will be safe to bicycle on the beach. Today the low tide was scheduled late in the afternoon, something like 3:30 p.m. This instantly afforded us the luxury of hours of idleness. Customarily we cycle from here (at South Beach) to Marker 97 at Burke’s Beach on the north end of the Island. But that normally requires only 1½ hours which would mean that if we started too early we’d miss the opportunity to cycle home on the beach after the tide went out. The facts were incontrovertible.
When I hit this inalterable wall I was temporarily at liberty to indulge myself in whatever slothfulness I preferred, which in my case usually means either writing or playing the piano. I decided to hit the ivories and was soon transporting myself through the ingenuity of the electronic keyboard. It strangely occurred to me that I might share the escapade with my dear friend JHC at home. So I telephoned her. She was there! For the next twenty minutes or so I modelled the keyboard and we chatted aimlessly. Now that was a good way to waste some valuable time!
Thus refreshed and having exhausted the delay required to coordinate our bicycle ride with the Tide Chart, we hastily locked up the condominium and set off on our bicycles. We left the grounds around 1:00 p.m. and did not return until after 4:00 p.m. We both arrived home weary. Once we had resolved to bicycle the usual route there was no way to abbreviate it. It’s one of those voyages which quickly put you just as far out as in so there’s no point turning back. And if, as was the case today, the heat is climbing every minute of the afternoon, then you have to be prepared to endure the elements, relentlessly and unequivocally. On that wide, wide beach there was no escaping the dazzling sunlight, miles and miles of it. And you’re riding directly into it! So much for loafing on Saturday!