By the pool – “the narcissism of small differences”, Ernest Crawley

The pool is not my preferred stopping place.  It has the advantage of a chaise longue to defeat the perceived inconvenience of laying on the white sandy beach.  And there’s a restroom nearby. Otherwise I would rather linger by the Ocean. But today I needed to escape the routine of pedalling to give my decomposing knees a rest. Cycling about 15 kms almost every day has its consequence. Turns out the cool water in the pool may have done some good.  Not the least of which may include an assault upon the neuropathy. As for the rest, I am tingling from the sunshine. I’ll likely have a stronger, more uncomfortable reaction later in the day.

The world is consumed by the vulgarity of Vladimir Putin’s military abuse of Ukraine. There are those who have dwelled upon the deteriorating condition of democracy. This amounts to suggesting a schoolyard bull is going to overtake the world. Even if he does h will still have to contend with the masses upon whom everything depends contrary to what most historians perpetuate. The operative and speculative politicians are distinguished not by reason but expediency. It would not be the first time the masses have reigned, whether after James II of England was ousted to France in 1688 or after the French Revolution in 1789 when the Bourbon monarchy was beheaded or after the Bolshevik assignations in 1917 of Tzars in Russia. These are significant events not only because they support the weight of the masses but also because democracy has but limited global emergence in so-called western society. The absence of China and other Asian governments is merely part of the existing puzzle.  Let’s face it most people here have no idea where Serbia and Bulgaria are nor whether Moldova is a town or a country.  And don’t even think of mentioning Uzbekistan!

James Il and VIl was King of England and King of Ireland as
James I, and King of Scotland as James VIl from the death
of his elder brother, Charles II, on 6 February 1685. He was
deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. He was the
last Catholic monarch of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
His reign is now remembered primarily for struggles over
religious tolerance, but it also involved struggles over the
principles of absolutism and the divine right of kings.

I am confident the oligarchs and dictators have limited shelf life.  Like Hitler they will be extinguished. They’re all madmen only. China is awakening to so-called western life which inevitably means equality and freedom of behaviour.  Technology – as often as it is condemned for facilitating the poisoning of our cherished values – is likewise affording an exceedingly favourable vehicle to diminish the propaganda of the  Russian government after its attack upon Ukraine. The petty complaint that the internet makes pornography or other social ills available is hardly a reason to defeat the vehicle which facilitates so much more for so many others.

There were only two children at the pool today.  Their presence was immediately noticeable – or, should I say, evident because I first heard their shrill exclamations and clamours. In the background was the voice of their father telling Ryan not to “carry on” though naturally he did. The children splashed about in the pool.  The elder sister insisted that her brother do as she instructed, “Do like this!”  I doubt he did. Then as suddenly as they had materialized they evaporated, disgruntled grandfather in tow.

Seated not far from where I had stationed myself in an enclave with a table, umbrella and four chairs were two people whom I had difficulty identifying.  He was close to my age and appearance (that is, white hair and overweight); she was big-busted, slender with tattoos on her calves and right arm.  I listened to her voice.  She was succinct and seemingly disinclined to conversation.  He evidently accepted the qualification. Whatever my speculation there was an undeniable authenticity to their relationship whatever it was.

A middle-aged couple went to the far end of the pool which had been in shadow when I arrived earlier but which was now bathed in sunlight.  She suffered the affliction which causes extraordinarily large calves.  Their skin was white to a fault.  Seated not far from them was a skinny woman who clearly preferred tranquility and isolation.  She spent much of her time talking on her smart phone; she spoke with a East European accent. Her clothing reflected a New York City style.