I’m just saying,,,

Last night while slumped in a drawing room chair after dinner watching re-runs of Seinfeld on television I overheard one of the characters say something that caught my ear. To be truthful I was fussing on my iPhone and not really watching the show. But what I heard captured my attention.

Seinfeld is an American sitcom television series created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld. It aired on NBC from July 5, 1989, to May 14, 1998, over nine seasons and 180 episodes. It stars Seinfeld as a fictionalized version of himself and focuses on his personal life with three of his friends: George Costanza (Jason Alexander), former girlfriend Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), and his neighbor from across the hall, Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards). It is set mostly in an apartment building in Manhattan’s Upper West Side in New York City. It has been described as “a show about nothing”, often focusing on the minutiae of daily life.

Somehow I figured out that what had been said was as follows:

Whoso belongs only to his own age, and reverences only its gilt Popinjays or soot-smeared Mumbo-jumbos, must needs die with it.

I reckon it was the word popinjay that glued itself to me.  Let’s face it, it’s not a word one hears frequently. By some circuitous route I learned the author of the adage was Thomas Carlyle:

Thomas Carlyle, (born December 4, 1795, Ecclefechan, Dumfriesshire, Scotland—died February 5, 1881, London, England), Scottish historian and essayist, whose major works include The French Revolution, 3 vol

Turns out (excuse my ignorance) he’s well known for more than one brainy clip among them:

Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.

Writing is a dreadful labor, yet not so dreadful as Idleness.

The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.

He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.

Culture is the process by which a person becomes all that they were created capable of being.

Man is a tool-using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.

Silence is more eloquent than words.

The three great elements of modern civilization, Gun powder, Printing, and the Protestant religion.

Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment.

A well-written life is almost as rare as a well-spent one.

What we become depends on what we read after all of the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books.

Everywhere in life, the true question is not what we gain, but what we do.

Thought is the parent of the deed.

Show me the person you honor, for I know better by that the kind of person you are. For you show me what your idea of humanity is.

History, a distillation of rumour.

This afternoon I cycled to Coligny Beach Park and flew back along the beach towards Sea Pines Beach Club. All the ingredients were ideal today for such an outing – Low Tide at 01:52 PM and a significant 14 km/h wind from the Northeast.  The sun was glistening. Though I was obsessing about my 90-day car wash arrangement – and I kept imagining how I might perfect the arrangement today or within the next two days at the latest – the weather and other beach conditions were just too splendid and serendipitous to ignore.  In a moment of unique insight and personal control I put the car wash dilemma out of my head (or at least side lined it momentarily) and decided instead to recline upon the beach near the dunes. Because the Low Tide extremity was rapidly receding, the shoreline had expanded considerably.

As a result when I got my bike off the shoreline and over the impassable soft white sand to the dunes I was at a long distance from the Ocean. There – observing the faraway, mute travellers – I positioned myself upon the sand, the back of my head against my shoes upon the front bicycle wheel, staring directly into the blazing white sun and fell asleep instantly.  I sleep a lot these days.  Perhaps it’s because I am up and down throughout the night – even though it is often in excess of the usual 8-hours of sleep – and regularly after breakfast I catch myself dozing in front of the computer as though I had been shot with a sedative.  I guess it’s what old people are meant to do.

But I have to say that the sleep on the beach in the sun is special. The wind was blowing and whistling in my left ear (facing Northeasterly). Occasionally I felt – and heard – tiny particles of sand like bits of crystal strike my ear or the side of my face. But the wind was marvellous, pushing every complaint aside, revitalizing my being, uplifting my thoughts to the ether.

The issue about the car wash thing is that my 90-day pass was scheduled to expire March 8th.  They can’t extend it for just another month.  It’s a marketing snag – understandably they only give a good deal if you buy the 90-day pass.  So they told me I’d have to pay-as-you-go thereafter. Well, stupidly on my part, I failed to appreciate that paying à la carte so to speak for another month would cost me vastly more than the 90-day pass.  So today after returning from my sunbathing on the beach – and before settling into my restorative triple espresso coffee – we tootled off to the car wash and summarily asked them to remove my former pass from the windshield and install a new one.  The attendant – a lovely woman, the Manager, with whom I have spoken on other occasions – initially rebelled against removal of my current sticker by saying, “It’s already prepaid…” presumably intending to capture the further observation that there is no rebate for the unused portion.  I dismissed the extravagance out of hand!  “Never mind”, I said, “Just make a new one and remove the old!” The profligacy was a triumph of logic! I am still kicking myself for having taken so long to figure out that simple solution, to overcome the waiting game until March 8th (and ensuring the Manager is available to deal with the matter – which I already knew from previous enquiry with other staff was not assured every day of the week), to put the capacity for cleaning the car at rest (the looming pollen season is not to be ignored, not to mention the sap from those magnificent and ubiquitous sea pines) and overall settling this tiny event in the scheme of things and removing it from my waking consciousness.  The Manager went with us to the car, carrying a bottle of window cleaner and a schmatta, skilfully removed the old pass, cleaned the window, installed the new pass and waved a cordial goodbye!