Things here were activated by no later than 7:00 am this morning. It was “spa day”, our routine three-week visit for manicures and pedicures. Frankly I am unaccustomed to seeing the sunrise. It was a gleaming pink sky over Sarasota Bay. Except for a glass mug of chilled black coffee and the sliced green apple which I had, there was no breakfast at home today. Instead we had planned as usual to go to the Blue Dolphin after our appointments. Not unexpectedly when we arrived there we ended having to wait at least thirty minutes for a table. No matter, it is always worth the wait. While lingering we amused ourselves by shopping the windows of the little mall. I also sat on a bench and read more of the autobiography of John Stuart Mill (who interestingly was born 1806 not long after Thomas Paine’s writings were making the rounds). While reading I curiously overheard the characteristic chatter between New Yorkers who were also waiting. They were unabashedly loud and intentionally self-congratulatory about all they accounted.
As a diversion after breakfast we drove to Tommy’s Express Car Wash on S Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. It was a picturesque day for a short outing. The free vacuum completed the venture.
It was not long after one o’clock that I succeeded to get onto my bicycle. Because the temperature was cool I contented myself to cycle along Gulf of Mexico Drive rather than heading to Lido Key. Nonetheless when I reached Bayfront Park, after having checked for email, I immediately rode across the road to the beach. It was warm enough to take off my Tide Tables jersey and my Polo shirt, the combination of which I used as a makeshift blanket on which to lay my back. The sand flies were however especially annoying today – perhaps because the wind wasn’t strong enough to blow them away. I alternately propped myself up upon my elbows or sat upright with my legs crossed – either way affording me the facility to throw sand at the disturbing flies. I didn’t allow them to curtail or limit my sunbathing. It was close to 3:30 pm before I left the beach – but not without first having gone into the sea for a swim. While paddling about I performed exercises to stretch my thighs in an attempt to reduce the customary stiffness. The routine caused me to roll about in the water as I handled each limb in turn. I was happy to cool myself in the sea and to feel the salt water once again.
When I returned home His Lordship was conversing with Susan, a recent arrival here (although a regular interloper for the past seven years). We all ended gossiping with one another for about half an hour. Her appearance captivated me. She had expertly painted her face with bright red lipstick and applied a small amount of rouge on her cheeks. The silk scarf about her neck added to the formality, while her silken long cover completed the look. In retrospect I realize I should have asked to photograph her – though I am uncertain what backdrop would have been appropriate.