Friday, September 24, 2010

The Secret to Happiness

When bounding on my way to the office this morning I chanced to cross paths with His Lordship walking his faithful mixed breed. I was somewhat astonished – though I realize now I never should have been – by his response to my cheerful enquiry whether everything was well in the Best of All Possible Worlds. Though I cannot now recall them, his exact words were less than aflame, the essence being more in keeping with a measured degree of cheerlessness. As I say, this intrigues me and for a couple of reasons. First, I admit to complete unpreparedness for the possible misery of others. This is no doubt the sad product of an unflattering tendency of mine generally to put on the blinkers insofar as the concerns of the world are relevant. Second, I made the mistake no doubt made by many others; viz., to imagine that certain people just haven’t the right to be dejected in view of their perceived abundance. Life of course proves time and again that it is indiscriminate in both its bounty and its deprivation.

Friday, September 17, 2010

End of Week

It's 3:30 a.m. on Friday morning. A half-hour ago it seemed the most appropriate thing in the world to arise from the downy lair and get into the thick of things. There is something persuasive about a Friday, particularly when I know that my current agenda isn't burdensome. I won't say it competes with the anticipation of Christmas morning, but there is unquestionably an element of titillation to a Friday, the end of week.

Frequently I am less than enthusiastic about Fridays. The day is after all seemingly the day of choice for real estate agents to complete residential purchase transactions, a choice which oddly ignores the fact that if there are any serious delays, the delay is compounded by the upcoming weekend when it is quite impossible to do any business. I have never understood this preference for end of week when there are four other perfectly sound days upon which to conclude one's dealings. The only thing worse is the agents' pitiless obsession with a Friday at the end of the month, as though it were somehow necessary to do everything at the last minute, causing maximum stress and strain upon the system generally, not to mention importing the lower class vernacular of tenancy.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fresh Start

While for some the subject of a fresh start is strictly seasonal and best reserved for springtime elucidation when the metaphors of rebirth lend themselves to enlargement upon the topic, it is my personal experience that the theme is relevant at almost any time of the year, though admittedly frequently more à propos rough water than melting snow. It is nevertheless in principle true that a fresh start can be as innocuous as a haircut or as forceful as a divorce. While I won’t of course suggest that there is otherwise no significant difference between the two, the disparity at least illustrates that the thrust of the particular fresh start depends very much upon where one is in life. Let’s face it there are times when all that is required is a bit of remedial work, general housekeeping so to speak, a brushing up; whereas at others a more strategic and even calamitous emendation is of necessity. In either case, the focus is not upon the disproportionate resolve but rather upon the relieving effect of the undertaking.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Oxymoron as a Culinary Device

One wouldn’t imagine being served haute cuisine in a rustic cabin, but I can vouch from first-hand experience that the same is true! Likewise the juxtaposition of seeming opposites normally reserved for the literary vernacular is equally effective in matters of gastronomy and architecture.

On Sunday evening we dined with a mutual friend in nearby Pakenham Township at his quaint cottage situated in a glade immediately adjacent the roaring Indian River. So carefully revitalized is the log cabin that one cannot help but think it part of an idyllic and archaic Hollywood set. Bing Crosby and Holiday Inn have nothing on this place! Everything about the cabin is homey and packed with charm. As with most similar social venues the walls are cluttered with paraphernalia contributed by our host’s many admiring guests who have thought to bring along a memento of one sort or another, often charged with over-lying comic relief. In addition the ancestral atmosphere is thickened by the presence of numerous paintings, sketches and bric-à-brac once belonging to other friends and departed family members no longer whinnying among us. Our host nurtures that peculiarly country custom of dilating upon one’s clan and other close associates, always proving to be a genealogical delight for the astute observer.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ups and Downs

Why it is so I will likely never know, but I find my life goes in cycles, discernible seasons of ups and downs. The pattern mystifies me because on ground level there isn't a great deal of difference in my life one day from another. Mine is very much the life of a working stiff who, to have the things that life has to offer, is obliged to put on the harness five days a week. My evenings, on a good day, consist of a bicycle ride, an improving book and dinner. We seldom escape to the orchestra or theatre for diversion. Our weekends are spent quietly wandering about our immediate universe discovering new places for lunch, hopefully by the water. It would of course be unimaginable that our fortunes would be always favourable, but by and large we haven't much to complain about.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Boonies

When I first came to this picturesque Town in 1976 the most hotly debated topic among me and my peers was whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to live in the country or in the city, the proverbial rural versus urban dichotomy. It’s funny how these things happen. It would be misleading to suggest that my move here was entirely by design. As with most of my adventures and misadventures, I essentially just fell into the scheme without much planning at all. If anything, my progress to the rustic was more noticeable for what I was running from than what I was running towards. When I became disenchanted (such an inoffensive word for such a tortuous reality) with life in the City, I made up my mind that there was nowhere within its caverns that I could escape the haunting recollection of all that then disturbed me. As a result I was determined to project myself as far as reasonably possible from the memory.