Last evening we went to bed early enough that the next morning Nature’s signal to awaken and arise shortly after 8:00 am was tolerably well received. I twisted about in bed for another moment, attempting to inflict a chiropractic crack in my lower spine, while recalling the weather forecast that today would be the last for at least the next several days that we could bicycle on dry roads. Environment Canada had issued a serious Snowfall warning for Eastern Lanark County.
The bicycle ride
Stoic devotion overtook me. I gargled Listerine and splashed water on my face. I then fussed with my hair, increasingly shaggy, a casualty of COVID restraint. Without showering I donned my regular gear; viz., thin grey cotton sweat pants, black Merino wool socks, layers beginning with a black long-sleeved dry-fit shirt followed by a white Polo shirt, charcoal hoodie, Patagonia fleece, silk scarf and finally a deep-pocketed Columbia waterproof jacket. My perpetually aching neuropathic feet have resisted adjustment to winter footwear. Instead of heavy leather boots I persist to wear my wonderfully patinated brown leather SAS boat shoes. I remembered to gulp down my eight o’clock painkillers and to strap on my Apple watch. Without so much as a coffee we pushed off.
Apart from the redemption of exercise and fresh air the ritual jaunt was uninspiring. The foggy atmosphere was damp and forlorn. Directly but without spontaneity we wended our way along Country Street, Rae Road and back home – 11.60 kms in all. The duty was accomplished by ten o’clock.
Breakfast has forever been my favourite meal of the day. Even when years ago recovering from alcoholic immoderation and garlic impregnated fettuccine I succeeded to revive myself with bacon, eggs and sausage. This morning’s menu by contrast was freshly made apple sauce, toasted bagel, Portneuf soft surface ripened cheese and black tea.
My provisions were essentially in good order but I needed English cucumber, cherry tomatoes, salmon and more apples. When parking the car at the grocery store, the vehicle abruptly stopped and astonishingly shifted from Drive to Park as I dangerously approached a cement light standard. It was a strategic ceremony I had never before experienced, leaving me marvelling once again at the technology.
I collected my items (but there was no salmon), adding bagels and more cheese for abundance in the event we were interminably snowbound. As I waited in line to pay, the owner of the store conversed with me. Though not positive, I suspect he was discreetly inspecting my cache in deference to his retail instincts. The young girl at the checkout counter was competent, knotting the plastic bags to protect the articles from falling out. I thanked her for her efficiency.
When leaving the garage earlier this morning my neighbour – after having curiously enquired about my impending agenda – recommended a new butchery in town. I decided to investigate to fulfill my now infrequent preference for red meat.
The display counter had about five filets mignons. I instructed the young salt-and-pepper haired server (who perhaps was the owner but I didn’t ask, resisting my customary chattiness) that I would take them all. To this I added homemade soup and chilli.
After unloading my trove of goods at the apartment I launched my habitual tour to the car wash but not without first having attempted to update the software in the vehicle. I am plagued by an apparent glitch for the operation of the iPhone to unlock the doors. As I sat in the driveway outside our apartment, employing the WiFi to enable the download, the computer screen on the dashboard kept spinning and spinning. I gave up and moved on without changing the screen process, imagining that somewhere in the city I’d connect with another WiFi as I knew from previously examining the Lincoln Way App had occurred. After washing the car in the gas station I discovered that my speculation had been correct. The software report was up-to-date. More importantly the iPhone worked to lock and unlock the doors. I was thrilled! I hate being defeated by technology.
The subsequent ride to Campbell Road in Arnprior and back along Blakeney Road through the Village of Rosebank in the dim light of late afternoon was as always an unqualified treasure. I elaborated my technological craving by having previously filtered my Apple music library and creating a new Playlist which to my entire gratification worked precisely as it should! I was completely buoyed by the accomplishment!
At home once again I greedily embraced the suggestion to have a triple espresso while watching the latest casualties of the Trump administration on cable TV.
America is seemingly descending into civil war between its so-called far right conservative faction (now percolating as unconcealed white supremacists) and the intellectual left. Washington DC looks like a war zone with more troops than the combined total sent to Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a huge and worrisome embarrassment which as yet has not fully crystallized. Americans are cautiously poised to watch the outcome of the Biden/Harris inauguration. Trump as usual threatens further to contaminate the political scene by proposing an interruptive military send-off while continuing to ignore the pandemic. Thankfully his personal possessions are being carted out of the White House amid allegations of incivility and criminality of craven Republicans, his own family and lawyer.
I sense the explosive determination of thinking Americans to contradict Trump’s poison and insanity. Trump is being hammered by America’s business elite who at last are exercising their persuasive force to subjugate him where it hurts. The utterly stupid and deceitful Republican sycophants – including not only the likes of Jim Jordan, Matt (aka “Rick”) Gaetz and Devin Nunez but also the profiteering Mitch McConnell – are on their way to the American gallows. The entire Republican party risks internal revolt not to mention the disavowal of the American public.
It is refreshing beyond belief to witness the incremental and relentless demise of the Trump administration. It is an outcome long predicted but surprisingly unfathomed until now when its obvious disease is at last manifest. “Trumpty Dumbty” has become a mockery of truth. His entire pretence and incompetence for the past four years (and reverberating as well upon his historical snake oil performances) has been revealed. The deliberate exploitation of his clown activity by both his opportunistic party and sham “base” has been laid bare. The evangelist supporters have been characteristically and expectedly ignorant. The unfolding of these mirthless and shameful beings is truly a divine revelation! By comparison the opposing forces are intelligent and moral.
What a day! Exercise, uplifting coffee, retail therapy, restrained meals (including the subsequent dinner), technological buzz, mechanical precision and intellectual authentication. It is an unprecedented release from the net of anxiety on many levels.
The term Orwellian, used correctly, is a shorthand for the perversion of language to mask truth and defend the indefensible, the most concise example of which is the government’s mantra in Orwell’s “1984”: “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” “1984,” in addition to being an indictment of totalitarianism, is also an indictment of the displacement of plain truth with political doublespeak. It’s a warning of the societal danger of rewriting insurrection, sedition and violence as patriotism and protest.