Normally I relish a Saturday because of its historic association with freedom, an escape from mandatory routine. As regularly it heralds the performance of unusual and highly personal activity, like having breakfast at the golf club or shopping for something special. Even though there is now little difference between Saturday or any other day of the week, the festive nature of day persists and frankly I do what I can to preserve it. It is possible that one is tainted by the buoyancy of others who celebrate the liberty but once a week.
Having said that, today was somewhat anomalous. We abandoned for example the prospect of going out for breakfast. Apparently neither of us had the appetite – pardon the pun – for socializing in a public venue. Indeed we may not have had the visceral appetite either since last evening we ate rather heartily and that may have exhausted that important ingredient of any meal. Besides we maintain some consideration of what’s in the ‘fridge and what needs to be eaten. It may constitute petty economy is some instances but throwing out food is never something I’ve cottoned to.
So we ate breakfast at home this morning. It gave us the opportunity to do a small bit of laundry as well. Because we didn’t wallow under the duvet we were afforded the luxury to linger over breakfast. We had the treat of bacon today, in addition to the usual rounds of fresh fruit, English muffins and coffee. But we were propelled by purpose nonetheless. First there was the purchase of another 30-day Travel Pass for our iPhones to off-set the standard roaming charges. And we decided to accelerate by one day the renewal of the Sea Pines visitor’s pass. Both these minor events signal significant milestones in our annual hibernation as they mark the monthly effluxion of time which corresponds to our five-month stay here. As we hurtle forward to March the time threatens to become measured in days rather than months. This doesn’t create any anxiety, it simply instills a sense of marvel. It is foremost a reminder that our time here already spent has dissipated most agreeably. If the sensation promotes anything it is to address a repeat of the events next year.
I noticed when driving the car this morning that the hood was covered in pollen, a clear indication that already Spring has begun to arrive on Hilton Head Island. Only yesterday I remarked the number of bougainvillea which had suddenly appeared along the bicycle paths.
As we were in the vicinity of a car wash when we visited the Sea Pines Welcome Centre to renew our Guest Pass, we nosed the car into the automatic service. There is little value in washing the car except for very temporary relief since we are obliged to park out-of-doors and the car is repeatedly hit by falling sap from the pine trees, not to mention the tumbling pine cones (some of which have be known to do serious damage), the pollen and the general dust stirred up by the ubiquitous leaf blowers. But it is nonetheless a purgation and it fits well with oft-repeated Saturday routine at home.
Our mid-morning detour was to Belk department store where I had spotted two items yesterday which appealed to me. My only reluctance yesterday to buy the items was that I had some difficulty convincing myself of their need. However this morning I usurped rationality and opted instead for whimsy. We’re warming up – literally – to a jaunt to the Florida Keys and I felt it was in order to assemble a few items in anticipation of the event. Given Belk’s notoriety for good deals, it was but an inconsequential indulgence.
Normally my afternoon routine would have entailed a bicycle ride. However my lower back has been annoying me and I am certain that some time away from the same daily exercise is not a bad thing. I therefore retired to the poolside with the intention of reading Memoirs of My Life and Writings by Edward Gibbon. But it was a failed exploit, first because the iPad was illegible in the bright sunshine, and second because I dissolved into slumber within minutes of lying prone on the chaise longue. When this somnolence might once have annoyed me, I now regularly submit on the theory that my taxing athleticism requires it for recuperation. What I hadn’t anticipated was that almost two hours passed before I groaned and revived myself enough to see that the sun was beginning to dip below the canopy of pine and palm trees surrounding the pool. I reasoned it was time to abandon the project; I was feeling the tingling of the sun and I shamefully seldom sport any sunscreen. In any event as stimulating as the chaise longue is initially, it eventually becomes impossible to discover a convenient and comfortable position. The thought of a strong cup of coffee trumped the adventure in the end, so it was time to return to the condominium. Astonishingly it is now approaching six o’clock in the evening. This yawning Saturday is rapidly concluding.