New Year’s Day 2020

Okay, this is a hard one! So much to say! The account of New Year’s Day is of necessity aligned with an account of New Year’s Eve – the one insinuates the other, affording a sense of recovery both emotional and social and sometimes physical and spiritual. So many things have transpired since 5:00 PM yesterday afternoon – New Year’s Eve – when Diana greeted us at her front door radiant in a midnight blue gown remarkably without competing jewellery, welcoming us to her’s and Ziggy’s cocktail party.

Within minutes we were joined by our e-Harmony couple, respectively tall and thin, athletic and intellectual, both kind and generous, astute to a fault. The foil and epée began instantly disclosing extraordinary intelligence and stimulating variety. The gossip and stories blended effortlessly one with the other, coming from every angle of the drawing room, boiling over, infusing our minds and raising our spirits. Ziggy heartened the discourse with the aroma of sports, sparking an incidence of olympic talent spanning the continent. And then in a flash it was suddenly at an end. The middle couple had a dinner engagement. We were strict to observe the limitation of the cocktail hour (though already we had surpassed the allotted time – on balance a good sign).

Jump ahead to the advent of New Year’s Day 2020! Early this morning, eight o’clock. The precise start of the New Year 2020! There’s something magical about the year 2020! The sun was shining brilliantly – outside the bedroom window the mixture of green palm fronds, the blue water of Sarasota Bay and white yachts moored in the slip. Who would dare deny the utter perfection! As I later quipped with Johnnie, at our age – when our siblings and friends have children approaching 40 years of age – we are mad not to rejoice at our mere survival!

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Denis skilfully proposed that we break the fast today out of the apartment. This ingenuity I hadn’t anticipated. But it didn’t derail me; I was open to provocation this splendid day! We decided after some discussion and debate to go to Main Street in Sarasota.

Once there the place was bustling, the commotion of the morning-after, the hype of the New Year, one of the last days of the public holidays. The maître d’ at First Watch told us we’d have to wait 30 minutes before being seated. We moved along. But not far along, just steps away to the Green Zebra, a vegan restaurant. The hostess could seat us immediately but because one of the chefs failed to show this morning we’d have to wait 30 minutes for our food to be prepared. We accepted the invitation, we could sip cappuccino and take in the not insubstantial scenery. The wait was definitely worth it! I can’t report the precise plates we ordered but the avocado purée was beyond description – and I as much as told the chefs so to their patent delight.

While awaiting our meal to arrive, between selective scans of the other patrons and the formulation of deft conclusions about them one inevitably makes, I emailed Anna and told her of the Polish connection with our acquaintances at the cocktail party last evening. Diana’s parents had escaped the Holocaust, removed themselves to Canada and subsequently her father joined the American forces in the World War II. I omitted to mention that after the party last evening I had investigated the awarding of the Distinguished Service Order by King George VI to my late father following his survival of an aircraft combat with a German submarine in the North Atlantic.

The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the Commonwealth, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat.

Anna asked me to send photos of my day. She sent some of hers.

Straddling the boundary between Canada and the United States of America entails a regular diversion of natural portraits, many of the northern ones capturing the traditional images of Christmas. My afternoon bicycle ride enabled me to take photos which I don’t normally pursue, side views, scenes other than the usual.

I am obliged to state that this morning my erstwhile physician emailed me from the emergency ward of the hospital all the while imparting brief detail of an upcoming cruise in the Bahamas and island-skipping, precedent to his arrival on Siesta Key in a couple of weeks.

Under a wholly blue sky I returned home on my bicycle and prepared to go to the pool for a short swim. It is impossible to improve upon this tale of idyllic nothingness.