In the dunes

For what began this morning as a comparatively uneventful day – which on Hilton Head Island I dare say is hardly a misgiving of any sustainable nature – heated up fairly rapidly following my return mid-afternoon to the “villa” (as our estate agent is wont to describe it though I cannot imagine why). Prior to re-attending the apartment – and midway during my constitutional cycle – I had contented myself to repose on the fine white sand adjacent the dunes at the northern end of Sea Pines near Ocean Gate. The bicycle ride today from Coligny Beach Park was another of those endurance outings as I confronted a strong wind from the southwest. Given the qualifications of my rental bicycle, rotating the pedals is not a matter of calculated ease.  Nonetheless I embrace the demand as it affords the necessity to put my back into it, something I conceive will hasten weight loss although to date – in the face of glazed donuts – it has not. By the time I had gone only half-way from Coligny to my goal at Sea Pines Beach Club I succumbed to the allure of reclining on the beach by the dunes.

It will not I am sure come as a surprise that this is something I have done before and which in the process has evolved into a ceremony which I happily repeat on each occasion. The first imperative naturally is to descend from the bicycle and to discharge it from my bilateral grip.  This of course is because there is no bike rack or tree against which to lean it.  More importantly is the fact that I use the front wheel as the base of my headrest.  But first, to get off the bike.  Though this sounds simple, it is not.  In the soft sand, both feet quickly submerge a degree.  This in turn complicates swinging one’s right leg over the seat and rear tire.  It requires the skill of stretching oneself away from the bike (so as effectively to lower the obstruction of the device) then swiftly tossing one’s limbs sufficiently fast and high enough to escape impediment. While I was in luck today, the result is not always assured.

With the bicycle thus now on its own – except naturally for the retention of the left handle bar in one’s hand – the next step is to reverse the slant of the bike away from oneself so as to enable its collapse onto the sand, preferably with the left pedal towards the rear.  The object is to get the front tire flat upon the sand – again, preferably a graduated part of the dunes so that the whole is higher at the top than the portion of the tire where I propose to rest my head.

Once that arrangement is accomplished the next challenge is to get my ample carcass onto the sand – which from my vantage at almost 6 feet above is no insignificant achievement. Generally I just collapse, relying upon the fine soft sand to cushion any indelicacy. When I am at sea level the subsequent dilemma is to twist myself to an upright sitting position, facing the sea naturally. Thence to remove the boat shoes, place them on the tire behind me as a pillow; put the iPhone into my left pant pocket; remove my glasses and store them in a breast pocket of my fleece.  And then I am ready to recline – which thankfully is always towards the sea, overlooking the horizon towards England, generally in a southwesterly direction with the sun blazing directly into my face. What then unfolds is but a minute before I am completely lost in the azure sky.

This composition I willfully retained for about thirty minutes, my accustomed duration.  I then repeated the prior gymnastics though naturally in reverse.  The one further additive before mounting the bike is shaking as much of the fine sand from me as possible. Then I trek across the upper reaches of the beach to the portion closer the shore where the sand is smoother and dryer.  The Low Tide today was around five o’clock which meant that by mid-afternoon it was well underway.

Now comes the unanticipated delights of the day.  The first – which in fact was the second – was a battle with Bell Canada over a ten dollar charge they inadvertently added to our last (December) bill.  I will summarize this tedious matter by reporting only that when I contacted the agent she apologized for the oversight and corrected the account.  I subsequently wrote a heated email to the executive offices of the company reiterating the problem and reminding them that this constitutes what is regrettably an annual occurrence whenever we cross the border from Canada to the United States for the winter.  It is entirely tarsome!

The second – and far happier event – was the arrival of my Theragun mini, a percussive therapeutic device for those of us with sore muscles and joints.

The mini is your pocket-sized partner, giving you Theragun quality muscle treatment with unparalleled portability. Compact but powerful, Theragun mini is the most agile massage device that goes wherever you do.

I cannot begin to proclaim the advantages of this device.  It is Tylenol Express but without the residue of contamination. Since my acquaintance with computers and the internet this is the most remarkable improvement of life known to me. I recommend it to everyone – especially those of my advanced age – for a cheerful indulgence without any guilt.