When I got back to the apartment after visiting with John Hawley Kerry on his front doorstep for an hour late this afternoon, Denis gingerly asked, “So how was he?” to which I unhesitatingly replied, “Good. In fact, terrific!” Indeed I reported the same intelligence to His Lordship when he, his daughter Lisa and I foregathered. By way of qualification I mentioned only that John appears to have lost some weight. He confessed by his own account he eats like a bird; and, for the moment we agreed that without an appetite, even a premiere meal is missing a requisite sauce. Otherwise John maintains a sylphlike figure and is as always well turned out. His affection for proper attire is I know a fidelity of deep and everlasting history.
I can’t say that I’ve discredited myself or others for liking and displaying stuff, whether it’s cranberry stemware or nose rings. My reservation about stuff derives from another source. I shall forever recall with a degree of trepidation my late father’s cautionary quip that, “You can’t have money and things!” The deeper but unexpressed notion that pervaded was that, “If you’ve got it, you don’t talk about it!” The one is purely economic; the other is practically a religion. Either way they aren’t what I’d call a green light to flightiness.
The tree-lined pathway of 100 sugar maples along the Ottawa Valley Recreation Trail known as the Almonte Alameda was officially opened Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020.
Almonte artist and businessperson Stephen Brathwaite, who spearheaded the initiative, noted it’s one of the nicest projects he’s been involved with in the town.
Brathwaite, along with Ron Ayling, first approached Lanark County council with the concept back in August 2019 and county council decided to move forward with plans for its design. Brathwaite, Ayling, gardening guru Ed Lawrence and landscaper Allan Goddard, got to work on fundraising. To date, more than $40,000 in community and business donations have been realized with over 180 individuals contributing to the project. Brathwaite thanked corporate donors BML Landscaping, Cooney Construction, Cavanagh Construction, Mother Earth Landscape Materials and Levi Home Hardware for help with soil, mulch and more.
How often it has been said that money and power are chronic bedfellows. It is equally well asserted that those primary social ingredients and politicians are exponentially lascivious. Politicians control the government; and in some instances politicians (acting vicariously for their animators) attempt an autocratic control of that government. The ambition is not guaranteed to be selfless.
We were the first at the golf club this morning for the opening of the patio. On arrival we chatted briefly with Chef Wendy and her assistant. We shared their undisguised enthusiasm for this unostentatious but nonetheless noteworthy recovery from the pandemic lockdown. The catharsis – the relief – was instant when seated at table upon the patio overlooking the greens. Things were at last getting back to normal! A gentleman passed our table and uttered, “Nice to see people gathering again!”
Caps of this type were introduced during the first quarter of the 19th century as cheap and practical workwear for sailors and factory workers in Europe. These were particularly popular in Russia, especially among the urban Jewish community, and later gained the nickname fiddler cap due to their use by Topol as Tevye the Milkman in the film adaptation of Fiddler on the Roof.
The mariner’s theme isn’t long insinuating a bawdy element which historically survives in nautical allusions. I wasn’t however prepared for the epiphany which arose from what I thought at first was a casual FaceTime conversation with my erstwhile undergraduate college, Michael Tweedie (now an acting judge of the Superior Court of Justice in addition to being a published author of civil procedure and liability law). With the aid of Michael’s medieval subconscious, the locker-room smut of sailors getting “blown off shore” acquired an entirely new and quite unpredicted dimension.
This afternoon I spoke on the telephone with a young girl in the kitchen at the Mississippi Golf Club. Beginning this coming Friday the outdoor patio is open for business! This constitutes the first capital social news we’ve had in some time. I cannot imagine a summer without the golf club for breakfast or lunch. The fairways have been open for some time already; but the absence of socializing, eating and drinking is Anathema to a golf club no matter how devoted the members may be to the game per se.
The rude and primitive material of daily life is but a rough-hewn rendition of the sophisticated and classy expositions which so often follow from ignorance with education. That is, we generally improve with time. But we mustn’t ignore the raw material whence it derived. Nor specifically overlook the gritty side of humanity. The earthiness need not be vulgar; perhaps just innocent.
I knew when I awoke from my groggy sleep at 6:00 am this morning that I would linger in bed at most for another hour. My Protestant ethic had percolated and overtaken. Clocks to be wound; habits to be performed; cleansing and purification to attend. In fact it was pushing 7:30 am when I drew back the drapes and announced my ascent. We prepared ourselves for bicycling and were soon on the road. An early Sunday morning. Hot and humid already! Glorious summer weather!
Today is June 5th, what feels to be the true start of summer balminess! It is the first time I’ve worn only a golf shirt (without a sweater) when bicycling. The humidity is palpable; and the expected high is 28°C. The Farmer’s Market was happening today – a Saturday morning ritual in the summer. People were not out in droves on the Ottawa Valley pathway but we passed two or three gaggles of walkers (some with dogs) and we were overtaken by at least four solo cyclists and one swarm of what looked to be amateur racing enthusiasts all wearing exotically coloured synthetics, clustered tightly together like gnats seemingly unaware of anyone else.