The problem I find knowing people who contribute to society is that they are as a result partially impenetrable. I mean to say, getting together with a chap and his wife who have so clearly devoted a good deal of time, capital and energy to improvement all ’round, it soon becomes apparent that progress marches on and that nothing happens by accident. I can only speculate that they must have consumed countless hours in the creation, institution and management of their latest projects (both commercial and domestic). This at least was the overall sensation which insinuated our Sunday afternoon foregathering on their exquisite deck overlooking the tranquil, meandering Rideau River and the distant traces of historic architecture across the water in the Village of Merrickville.
While it is all very well to read about the history of England and the webs of relationships among the Royals, I confess it stimulated me no end to have focussed my inquiries instead this afternoon upon direct members of the family with whom I was visiting. Our association goes back many years, indeed approaching forty years I’d say. We have broadened the net of sociability to include the parents, sister and brother of our host; we have known his wife before they were married; I was privileged to be part of the corporate evolution as an erstwhile legal advisor. But what always struck me is an automatic – almost axiomatic – connection between us. We resemble at times mischievous school chums.
Naturally this patent alliance of rascally corruption between us is I have no doubt mildly annoying and sometimes considerably trying for those on the periphery of our coalition. It is one of the few shortcomings frequently suffered by cronies. For my part however it cements the importance of friendship. It is, I am discovering, not to be assumed that human relationships will linger. When those that do, and when the endurance is measured in decades, the characterization of long-standing acquaintance extends well beyond fortuity.
We nourished our bravado and storied exchanges with delightful plates of fresh fruit and local cheese, intercepted by gulps of liquid of variable detail. The Queen arrived unannounced and skilfully settled upon the patio, streaming into the freeway of conversation already in progress. It was all in all a thoroughly pleasant afternoon by the water.