Having to be anywhere at eight o’clock in the morning is not part of my routine. I won’t however pout about today’s regime. Though it involved an early morning start it was hardly an imposition. The theme of the day was a visit to Le Spa of Sea Pines for a haircut, manicure and pedicure. My first appointment was at 9:30 am.
Last evening I pondered my assault upon the morrow. The plan was to arise by seven o’clock, shower and dress and then ensure that by no later than 8:30 am I was perched at the counter of Low Country Market Produce & Café for breakfast. And indeed I was. But not before having stripped my bed and stuffed the assortment of cotton into the washer prior to my departure. Today was a day of purification, a ritual cleaning, a new beginning. Coincidentally at precisely 12:01 am this morning an exceedingly loud “ping!” awoke me from my dreamless slumber. It was a text message from Bell Canada. The roaming package for voice and data which I had initiated a month ago had expired. So jolted was I by the sound of the notification that I just got out of bed, sat at my computer, went on-line and renewed the “Travel Pass” for another month, actually both Travel Pass for each of our mobile phones.
Today was my first time at Le Spa. Last year I went to a different place. I chose this new place instead because I prefer the general area and particular layout of the salon. It is also in the same mall as Low Country Market Produce & Café where several weeks ago I had spoken with an employee who had recommended Le Spa to me. The employee is the sister of one of the co-owners of the Café. By coincidence I chatted with him for the first time this morning when awaiting arrival of my breakfast. He told me that business was suffering the repercussions of Hurricane Matthew. Many golfers have cancelled their annual visit. I subsequently heard from another source that a several local golf courses were badly damaged by the Hurricane and that recovery efforts are still in progress.
After a very agreeable breakfast of fish and eggs and cheddar biscuit, I exhausted the remaining time before my appointment by wandering about the mall, investigating the stores. One was reminiscent of an Old Curiosity Shoppe, a refuge of odds and ends including such anachronisms as hardcover books, fancy writing pens, ink and stationery. It was almost with regret that I left the store without having bought anything though the owner (an elderly woman) graciously thanked me for having dropped in.
I sat momentarily by a fountain outside the salon before my appointment. It was a grey cool day. I sat on a grey wooden bench and wore a grey crewneck sweater. When at last I went into the salon, I was received immediately and taken by the stylist to her chair. Judging by the dearth of people in the salon I was the first client of the day. We got down to business without delay, feigning to discuss what was to be done with my hair though naturally I willingly succumbed to whatever the stylist considered appropriate. She was of Italian lineage and from New York City; and I believe she as much as intimated that she once had connections to the construction industry (which may have accounted for her subsequent reference to a Mafia style haircut). Besides I had learned years ago not to presume to tell any stylist what to do; first, because it offends them; second, because I haven’t a clue about how to cut hair. We confined our conversation to a review of her dysfunctional relationship with her siblings; and we both rejoiced that neither of us has either children or real estate.
As soon as the stylist had completed the wash and cut and shown me the back of my head in a hand-held mirror (to which of course I reacted cheerfully), I moved seamlessly to the adjacent station of the manicurist. There I sat in a comfortable black faux leather swivel chair at her work table, my hands spread eagerly before me on the table. In anticipation of this familiarity I had decided not to wear a bracelet and had removed both my signet and pinky rings, an accommodation which turned out to be a needless deprivation since the manicurist didn’t engage in any massage of my hands or wrists supplementary to the manicure itself. When we afterwards removed ourselves to the pedicure station with its pond of warm water for my feet, she performed a foot massage in addition to the pedicure. One never knows. We diverted ourselves with an animated and condensed discussion of her two marriages, spinning tops, automobiles, Yoga, weight lifting and hateful litigation lawyers.
The entire affair (hair, manicure and pedicure) was over by 11:30 am. I was so pleased with the experience that I rebooked a repeat engagement within four weeks just before the New Year.
I then returned home to the condominium. We had chatted yesterday about doing grocery shopping today. On my way back I considered other matters. Early this morning I had attempted to remove a pine needle stuck to the car windshield by some sap. I succeeded to remove the pine needle but not without getting my fingers sticky with the sap which of course couldn’t be removed with a tissue so I had rubbed my hands violently together to attempt to dissipate the sap. The tactic worked partially. As soon as I had parked outside the condominium I went to the apartment to collect the Turtle Wax “Bug & Tar Remover“. I ended using so much of the product to remove sap from all over the car that when I returned to the condominium I announced that we would have to re-visit the automotive supply store to purchase more of Mr. Turtle’s abrasive. Prior to doing so another matter percolated in my mind. I telephoned my local dental office to book a cleaning. They are back-logged as a result of the evacuation precipitated by Hurricane Matthew. My appointment is set for Monday, January 2, 2017. Talk about rejuvenation!
I also reminded myself (on the heels of having dished out a quantity of the stuff at the salon for tips this morning) that we required more cash. We resolved to go to the local ATM (a Toronto-Dominion Bank located near the offices of our estate agent). And of course I announced that a car wash was de rigueur. After we set off in the car I noticed residue of sap still on the car windshield. The suggestion was made to search for the sap remover at a local hardware store rather than the automotive store which was further abroad. The hardware store did in fact stock the product which I bought and then applied in the parking lot preparatory to the car wash.
Though the car wash is located in the same mall as the grocery store, and both are near the hardware store, we detoured on a whim for lunch at nearby Sea Shack. Sea Shack is renowned for its quality fresh blackened fish and Clam Chowder, Shrimp Gumbo and She Crab soup. The weather had suddenly changed for the better, clear blue skies and warm. Accordingly we opted to eat outside the restaurant at one of the three picnic tables. As we awaited our food we chatted with a young lady who manned a podium located at the entrance to the restaurant. Her job is to hook potential customers for the purchase of a timeshare interest. By her own admission her job is not an easy one. I recognized that she was bright (she later disclosed that she had a liberal arts degree) and knowledgeable of human interaction. I assured her that her obvious mental acuity combined with a pleasant disposition would guarantee her success in the long run. She clearly appreciated the approbation which appeared to give her a timely boost. I added to her recitation of fundamental maxims the importance of trusting one’s instincts (which she enthusiastically echoed).
After lunch we gathered our mail from our estate agent’s office then headed to the grocery store. Our provisions collected, it was back to the condominium. We unloaded our stores and put them away. I immediately headed to the pool where I blissfully lounged in the late afternoon sunshine.