It is late afternoon on a snowy day in early December. I’m listening to Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, Op. 71 London Symphony Orchestra & Sir Charles Mackerras (Complete Ballet Score) and gazing idly upon the positively picturesque mirrored river and adjacent snow covered fields.
I haven’t a complaint. My chilled coffee and sliced Granny apple have appeased my seemingly boundless appetite though often I think it no more than a Bohemian fondness of free spirit and hedonism. The once dissolute epicurean model now however is far removed from immoderation. Nor may I add is it a deprivation even though I continue to preserve with alacrity the sherry, the Porto and the VSOP Cognac in decanters on the cellarette. They are the aromas of Yuletide, the green prickly leaves and red berries, the whiff of tourtière from the kitchen and evergreen from the drawing room.
Holly has a history that is significant in the grand tradition of religions and pagan belief systems. Like Christmas songs and trees, its origins can be traced back to northern Europe and was actually first celebrated as a plant of great importance by the Pagans.
- Druids wore it as a ceremonial head wear when they went into the forest.
- Romans used it as a type of offering that was given to the God Saturn during the festival of Saturnalia. It was said that the holly was the sacred plant of Saturn and was thus even more valued by the Romans. All images of Saturn are depicted with him with the holly.
The submission to necessity is always I find a practical capitulation. It ranks among the plausible and indispensable, having a mathematical keenness and indulgent allure of logic. Today for example I exonerated myself of athletic iniquity by tricycling round about the subterranean garage. No gloves. No coat. I cycled for thirty minutes, a calculation accurately recorded on my wrist by my Apple Watch which distinguishes Workout Time 0:30:23 from Elapsed Time 0:44:51. The disparity is, yes, you guessed it, bafflegab. Chitchat in the garage. It competes with Equator Coffee for chinwaggery. First there was my first floor neighbour who shares my immersion with cars (there are a lot of us here come to think on it). He was about to wash his Volvo using the newly installed hose grâce à Jared who always does the right thing. And of course we touched upon upcoming international travels. And rumours of the new booze store in town, reportedly a combined beer, wine and liquor emporium (which he suggested would entail construction of a stand-alone building). I’m guessing my neighbour knows where in the vicinity to purchase the finest collection of alcoholic beverages (or should I say additives).
And then to my astonishment another cheery chap mentioned the word Dungarvon and my ears instantly perked up. It is a building with its singular history both past and present. I haven’t an accurate assessment of the current complexity other than his alarmingly curious notation that he is having a battle with his landlord and “they won’t let me in to get my stuff”. It lends heightened significance to heritage designation and the many limitations that that entails. It was all the more shocking to encounter the intelligence so abruptly and unwittingly. Who would have guessed such communication in a dungeon?
But my uncalcualated acquaintance was yet undiminished! The sound of doors opening (both the folding garage doors and the lift) heralded new arrivals, one a private individual who is always polite but similarly reserved, a golfer; the other a man who epitomizes the valley vernacular for story-telling and all that is good about gossip. His is a dominion connected to the Village of Clayton and the more celebrated sinews of Lanark County. I adore them both!
I withdrew from further correspondence by recalling my own trifling though to me meaningful imperatives. Somewhere in the mix I was alerted to the refreshment of speedier mobility upon the snowy country roadways. And a visit to Destiny who is my very talented hair dresser, she too always does the right thing. She is another of those enchanting young people (she is only 21 years of age) who has demonstrably learned from her mother and father (and commensurately profited). All of which was so charmingly punctuated upon my return home upon receipt of a missive from Amazon (about which I cannot say enough of congratulatory esteem).
My retail adherence – though thankfully estranged from this morning’s wistful unravelings at the Chelsea Clock Company in Massachussetts – continues to insinuate my fibre. It’s Christmas!