The rain isn’t forecast to start until 10:00 am.  It’s now 4:51 am.  I’ve been up since two o’clock unable to sleep thanks to neuropathy and whatever other afflictions foster insomnia in old age. I reckon based upon the tweeting of the birds I already hear through the windows ajar in the drawing room, the sun will be up in time for me to undertake a purgative cycle before the rain starts. Meanwhile I have been spared the midnight paucity of creativity by having to download software updates for all my electronic devices – iPad, iPhone, MacBook Pro and Apple Watch. Those updates – like the “new generation” models of each of them – afford one a sense of novelty and accomplishment.  It is easy to become preoccupied with one’s devices with only the tiniest element of intellect. An accidental discovery of yet another feature on any one of them constitutes a minuscule but nonetheless tangible victory.

Whatever the rest of the world is doing to advance the prosperity of humanity, my singular achievement of late is the receipt yesterday from the Renfrew County and District Health Unit of a Covid-19 second dose vaccination appointment towards the end of July in Barry’s Bay where I received my first dose several weeks ago. It is but one clear step in what we continue to believe will be a return to Florida in the late autumn. There is certainly no disadvantage in the broadest of terms to linger in Canada interminably; however, at our advanced stage of life with nothing imperative to confine us to winter it only makes sense that we prefer swimming to snowshoeing.

This past year during the pandemic has been a poor example of whatever opportunity prevails. Like people worldwide we’ve been confined to our digs and sweatpants without the benefit of family or friends. The isolation has percolated into the imagination of what it would have been like in Florida – a comparison which however does little to enhance the mood.  Without the convenience of casual shopping and dining out the social restrictions are equally immuring wherever they exist. Not to mention the overwhelming unfavourability of exposure to infection. By an odd twist the sine qua non when it comes to wintering in the south isn’t the weather; it is overcoming this universal and unpredicted assault. Everything has been rewritten. Small wonder the adjustment is tedious and at times impenetrable. I only hope that the financial greed of insurers is sufficient to allow for private medical coverage. And that the US/Canada border is opened to the public.

Now for the redemption of a bicycle ride!