There wasn’t frost on the windows when I awoke this morning but there was what I thought to be a disturbing amount of condensation. I accordingly set the windows partly ajar and turned up the heat in an effort to dry them out. The temperature had precipitously dropped overnight to a bracing 42°F and has been sustained there throughout most of the day with an expected high at 6:00 pm of only 50°F.  We’re not predicted to escape this refrigeration until next Saturday, Christmas Day (when highs return to 72°F) although the sunshine will be back bien en evidence on Wednesday next. Nonetheless it is suitably refreshing bearing in mind the inescapable Christmas theme. I too for example am insisting upon listening to whatever traditional Christmas music I can find in Mr. Apple’s library; and, I can tell you, the search thus far has proven highly successful! There’s everything from the customary choirs to a great deal more classical renditions (such as baroque Bach) than I had imagined. I confess that I occasionally interrupt the monotony of Christmas music with the likes of Smooth Classical Jazz just to keep things balanced. But not for long!

With the temperature have fallen near freezing it was time to dig out the sweat pants instead of the shorts for the morning constitutional cycle. I made the mistake of venturing outside without a jacket, relying instead upon my three layers of tops (undershirt, golf shirt and fleece).  I persevered and did what I could to excite my innards and generate heat. I passed at least three young men wearing shorts, no doubt determined to make the best out of their “southern” journey for the holidays.

Whether it were the cold or the lack of sunshine I do not know for certain but I hadn’t my normal enthusiasm for cycling this morning. I am not saying it wasn’t therapeutic to exercise but the titilation was missing. It did however induce me to venture upon those paths in the immediate area of the apartment with which I was unfamiliar. I still managed to complete 10.17 Kms which preserves my sense of industry in the face of what is otherwise unqualified indolence. The routine car wash afterwards cemented my limited agenda. It astonishes me unendingly that I have the privilege of devoted pleasure day after day.

Now for some improving literature! Thomas Babington Macaulay calls!

by Antoine Claudet, photogravure, 1860s