Category Archives: General

Brilliance

It is no accomplishment to descend into a paroxysm of mockery concerning certain retail productions. The cause of the sarcasm is commonly directed more at the article’s appearance than its functionality. The miscalculation does however seldom belittle the exponent of the product. The hard truth is there are some who prefer the publicity and who are at the same time capable to assess and discern quality notwithstanding a presumed vulgarity. The champions are thus left with a satisfaction of both design and manufacture.

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Au coin du jardin

The consequence of diminishment is not merely a lessening of size or things; it is also a detraction of prestige. In the process of down-sizing there is inevitable diversion from the resplendence of the patio umbrella; the aura of the carriage lamps on the brick entrance posts; the singularity of the Steinway salon grand; and the amazement of the number of rooms and salons. For the most part transitioning from full-throttled existence to one more economical or functional is no hardship. But there are ramifications. Certainly the lawns needn’t be attended; nor the garden cultivated; nor the removal of the snow in the winter; nor the repair of the windows or the roof in the summer. What however ought to be replaced is one’s private corner.

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Death in Venice

The chilling similarity is just too obvious to ignore. It appears as well that ignorance is what is driving the infection rate and deaths as people remain unvaccinated and proclaim their constitutional freedom by refusing to wear a mask in public. Other people bent upon reactivation of a normal life have chosen to disregard or brush off the warnings from government, senior medical advisors and the World Health Organization. The commercial and retail interests are regularly attempting to buoy themselves through innocence or lack of enlightenment.

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Looking forward,,,

When I was practicing law it was common for me, at the end of the day and the beginning of the cocktail hour, to look back upon things. Normally it was just a humdrum and wildly abbreviated recapitulation of the business transactions of my clients to confirm that everything was organized; perhaps to remind myself of an outstanding issue to pursue with my legal assistants or the other law office involved in the deal. Given that the process was conducted either over the kitchen counter or while pouring myself a highball, it hardly qualified as a critical examination of events but it nonetheless satisfied the percolating psychotic necessity to summarize and restate the main points. Thus sated I was at liberty to remove myself from the kitchen into the drawing room where Jane Austen and I as regularly convened to muse upon life’s ambitions and fates over the frozen rim and before the blazing hearth. My French bulldog Monroe – likely having been served his monotonous evening meal – reposed contentedly upon a nearby sofa. Life was good! And I was happy!

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How exactly did they get there?

“With Castelmaine (Roger Palmer, Earl of Castelmaine in Ireland) was allied one of the most favoured of his wife’s hundred lovers, Henry Jermyn, whom James had lately created a peer by the title of Lord Dover. Jermyn had been distinguished more than twenty years before by his vagrant amours and his desperate duels. He was now ruined by play, and was eager to retrieve his fallen fortunes by means of lucrative posts from which the laws excluded him. To the same party belonged an intriguing pushing Irishman named White, who had been much abroad, who had served the House of Austria as something between an envoy and a spy, and who had been rewarded for his services with the title of Marquess of Albeville.

Excerpt From: Thomas Babington Macaulay Macaulay. “The History of England, from the Accession of James II — Volume 2.”

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Long pants – ugh!

Today I addressed a mounting handicap – pants, long pants in particular.  A blustery wind, the flutter of a leaf and the looming arrival of autumn and winter have spirited this couture necessity. After almost a decade of wintering in sub-tropical climes my trousseau of long pants is seriously depleted.  I refuse to descend to the ignominy of mentioning waist sizes; but I can tell you that I need something new to enlist for this coming season. The option of wearing either shorts (with fashionably appropriate Merino woollen socks) or “pedal pushers” is right out – though I can tell you that I had actively canvassed the possibility. I find this deprivation regrettable because, like a young boy, I am partial to short pants.

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The aim for perfection!

The sports world is one within which – if you overlook the occasional report of drug enhancement – impeccability is a product of nothing more than hard work and steady application.  One hears for example of early morning habits of swimmers engaging themselves relentlessly in solitary and unimaginable lengths of an Olympic sized pool. Even the popular television show “American Ninja Warrior” routinely illustrates the adherence of the candidates to practice and strengthening. It is small wonder the athletic precisionist draws such regular absorption. Theirs is a natural and legitimate expression of perfection. The immediacy and complication of athletic prowess is based upon diligence only. There is no amount of pretence, fraud or deceit (such as seen in “World Wide Wrestling” featuring the likes of “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan) that contaminates the perfection purely for entertainment.

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Meanwhile…

From the moment in March, 2020 when we heard the staggering news of COVID-19 our trajectory has been one of recalculation. The data was always changing. Indeed the outlook is no more unshaken. The perpetual fickleness – especially when added to the evaporation of every travel proposal ventilated along the way –  has naturally made us apprehensive and exhausted our enthusiasm. My instinct to “get up and go!” has instead become to “wait it out!” Patience was never my strong suit; but in this I feel the draw.

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Looking westward!

By unanticipated stroke of genius yesterday the vision of Vancouver Island suddenly caught my eye as a temperate alternative to wintering in Florida. I consider it brilliance because it goes a long way to overcome the Canada/USA border closure; it revitalizes the opportunity to crow about our own country; the exchange rate of 30 – 45% is appreciatively avoided; we can use our Canadian credit and bank cards, travel without concern for time limits between one residence and another and generally feel what is currently minor profit from the reduced infection rate of citizens in Canada. It is as well a serendipitous collision with the erstwhile favourites sunbathing and exercise, both of which at our advanced ages should only be undertaken cautiously in any event. We would certainly retain the option to bicycle throughout the winter. And I am convinced we’d have ample opportunity to absorb sufficient Vitamin D without having to disrobe dramatically (if at all). The allure of the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean (and any interruptive “Red Tide”) is a deprivation easily surmounted by swimming in an Olympic pool.

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Cool morning air!

Last night we slept with most of the apartment windows open. The uncommonly arid and cool air this morning was a shock as we hastily prepared for our customary bicycle ride. The venture was however annoyingly curtailed for me when I discovered another flat tyre, the fourth in as many months. No matter. Our trusty confidant Bill Barrie, owner of Almonte Bicycle Works the “special place in the heart of cycling country to the west of Ottawa” is but a stone’s throw from our place. I spoke with Bill Barrie; he sees nothing nefarious about these latest punctures.  At some length he reviewed with me the types of tyres available (we have subsequently agreed that he will order “puncture proof” tyres for installation). I left it in his capable hands – which is to say I obscured myself from the matter and told him I awaited his call.  One other little thing, he saw no reason to get a new bike. Apparently the one I currently have (an Electra) meets his expectations.

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