A country Christmas

This morning – amid a dusting of snow – we bicycled 12.93 kms according to my Apple Watch and the resulting Activity Summary on my iPhone. I can think of no reason other than the childish amusement with a toy that I should persist in keeping track of such unimportant detail. Obviously we knew where we had gone and roughly how far. Yet the manufacturers have succeeded to engender a hopeless preoccupation with record and accounting. There are other related averages and totals for workout time and calories none of which sadly has done anything to reduce my protuberant belly. Nonetheless we both agreed that the venture today was invigorating. The horizon for such Olympic endeavour is narrowing as we incrementally approach what will assuredly be a dump of snow that will make any future adventures perilous.

If indeed there is no place like home for the holidays then we’re well positioned to traffic in its elevating ingredients. The deprivation of the erstwhile social conventions of office parties, visits with family and friends, musical outings and travel of almost any stamp is somehow bearable if only for its legitimate purpose of precaution. Of equal weight is the developing preference for tranquillity – unquestionably a product of dotage. The erosion has likewise diminished the need for holiday shopping. Even the facility of electronic money gifts has evaporated with the transition of nieces and nephews to the mark of maturity.

Now that the golf club is closed for the season the most recent place we’ve so-called “dined out” is the Antrim Truck Stop in Arnprior.  It is one of the few restaurants still open for business. The convenience of the venue is that it is remote from urban congestion with a large parking lot and an adjoining bakery. And – not insignificantly – we can attire ourselves in whatever fashion suits us. There is an odd democratic persuasion to popular textile.

The traditional seasonal components of music continues unrestrained. This year – again thanks to Mr. Apple – I have enlarged my library of favourite oratorio and choir through Apple Music, a bountiful resource at the very digestible price of about $15 per month for us both. It is with the fervour akin to bacchanalian gusto that I regularly download whatever piques my interest. I cannot but imagine that the adjustment of the music industry to this model of consumption has in the end proven to be far less disruptive than once expected. The economies of scale alone portend a favourable result.

The wintry scenes which surround us are undeniably stirring. Transitioning from summer to autumn to winter has as well been fervent. The collateral of the evolution is the awakening need for winter clothing – specifically gloves, hats, coats and boots. I resisted the amendment as long as I could but I have at last relented. The one palatable consequence has been the suitability of wearing a silk scarf – by which I mean one in the nature of a rolled square cravat as opposed to a lengthy out-of-doors scarf. It is more than a mere affectation  – admittedly foppish – but it promotes a delicacy to which I have always subscribed. I like too that I have translated the normal superfluity to a base custom. It oddly reminds me of the ways I have historically modified technology from its original purpose to one that accommodates my specific requirements. I flatter myself to conceive the adulteration as tantamount to Darwinian survival.