Clearing the decks

After taking my usual handful of pills around four o’clock this morning – don’t ask me what they are, I have no idea – I consciously decided to succumb to the reputed soporific effect of one of them. By which I mean, I intended to linger in the virginal lair as long as the analgesic kept me there.  Specifically – and, admittedly, knowing that the weather was forecast to be cloudy – there would be none of the customary urgency to prepare myself for a cycle on the beach; or, as has lately been the inclination, a swim in the pool. Instead today would be a day of quiet repose and inactivity devoted to sipping coffee and continuing to read the History of England as seen through the learned and cultivated eyes of Thomas Babington Macaulay.

But habits die hard.  By 7:30 am I was already in motion.  There was no point returning to bed. Whatever the weather. I would just have to carry on in the usual manner.  So within moments I was showered, shaved, combed, creamed and dressed. With nowhere to go.  So I resolved instead to go to the car wash.  What did it matter that the sky was cloudy, that rain was forecast? I have a 3-month once-a-day car wash pass (actually it’s something attached to the upper interior windshield).  And more to the point I love to drive an automobile. A passenger vehicle.  Not just any vehicle.  I like the “living room on wheels” feature of the modern North American luxury car.  And it is Ford or GM to be more accurate. I’ve driven Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar, Volvo among others.  I like Ford and GM.  After having owned what I reckon to be 25 new Ford and GM models – and not one model from any other manufacturer – I can say my inclination is to Ford and GM.  And lately – that is since my first Lincoln 12 years ago (interrupted by one Cadillac) – my preference is Lincoln. Like my late father, I am happy to drive alone, listening (if desired) to whatever music or radio station I want, opening the windows and landau roof no matter the ambient temperature, enjoying the hum of the engine, the strength of the wheels on a smooth highway, the alignment of the entirety.

The drive from Cutter Court to the car wash and back is hardly the length of a drive I prefer. When for example we are in Canada over the summer I routinely drive from Almonte to Stittsville (where my car wash of choice is) to Arnprior (where the Antrim Truck Stop is with its lovely carrot cake and thick white icing) back through Pakenham along bucolic Hwy. 29 to home. On other occasions we motor to the St. Lawrence Seaway where we’re threatened by Katarina’s Coffee Shop in Prescott or the Ivy Lea Club near Gananoque. A shorter more common outing is to the Mississippi Golf Club in the Village of Appleton.

We have but 10 days remaining on Hilton Head Island. I intend to get what I can from the time that remains. After exhausting the morning rituals of the car wash and breakfast (and reading through and responding to the latest article sent me by my erstwhile physician from the Times), the sky began to clear.  As a devotee to sunbathing I know full well that a scrap of cloud is litte if any obstruction to a good tan; in fact it may even enhance the quality of one’s discolouring.

The Times is a British daily national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register, adopting its current name on 1 January 1788. The Timesand its sister paper The Sunday Times (founded in 1821) are published by Times Newspapers, since 1981 a subsidiary of News UK, in turn wholly owned by News Corp. The Times and The Sunday Times, which do not share editorial staff, were founded independently, and have only had common ownership since 1966. In general, the political position of The Times is considered to be centre-right.

The sky was yet hesitant enough not to break through all the clouds so, as I suspected, activity at the pool was yet minimal.  I walked – if I may yet use that word to describe my bent hobble – from the condominium across the street down Lighthouse Lane a few steps to the pool.  With my stick in hand. I am uncertain it contributes much to improvement of mobility but it at least demonstrably excuses my liability. I forgot to mention that I had preceded this adventure by packing my clothes in anticipation of our departure.  It killed me to do so.  Having to stand upright for as long as it took to complete the packing was an enormous strain upon whatever remains of my lower spine and upon the bottom ribs that I broke on Daytona Beach so precipitously in 2018. My recovery has been abused by arthritis which I can tell you is a very real ailment not as simple as a headache to dismiss. And on the subject of packing I must note that much of what I packed I had never worn.  We always bring too much.  And every year we swear we’re going to cut back.  But apparently we never do.  It’s a good thing we have a roomy trunk in the car! At least this year I didn’t buy a great deal of extra stuff – other than the classic rimless spectacles from Shuron and the Theragun Mini Portable Muscle Massager by Therabody White recommended by the son of my erstwhile physician. I would likely have bought more but walking was such a hindrance and embarrassment that I avoided doing so. My appetite for apparel has waned as well in light of my mounting decrepit appearance and protuberant belly.  Now sitting and a strong coffee are the limits of my digestible ambition. I feekl it is years since I’ve had a butter tart! I suppose like the Tories I not only go up to the trough but get into it! Relentlessly I try to curtail my bad eating habits but seemingly my efforts have been a failure. It is true I continue to order bacon in double orders only; but gone is Key Lime Pie!  And did I mention butter tarts! Thankfully on-line shopping has spared me complete decline. It is so satisfactory to be able to denominate precisely the waist and length of the pants with the flick of a mouse without having to search endlessly through piles of fabric.


In conclusion we’re nearing the end here.  His Lordship has kept the apartment in superlative order, alerting the estate agent to numerous shortcomings, the correction of which only enhances the place. We’ve seriously begun to control whatever food we buy, attempting to fulfil our needs just to the last day – though I imagine we’ll defer to local restaurants for some of the final meals. Our neighbour Janice from New York City may have already taken flight. We’re adjusting to new horizons.