Sunday, July 17, 2011

Yachting on the St. Lawrence and Lunch at the Club!

Admittedly a public boat tour on something resembling a tug is not exactly yachting. Nor is a chicken wrap at a waterside restaurant equivalent to dining on white linen at one’s private club. Nonetheless we managed (without too much effort frankly, and certainly without the commensurate expense) to squeeze sufficient pleasure out of both events to provide the passable sensation at least of doing exactly that.

It bears repeating, as the steward on the Sea Fox told us, that owning a boat is nothing but work. He is a denizen of the local riparian habitations and has owned a boat for years. Interestingly I had made virtually the same observation only a matter of hours earlier though at the time I passed it off merely as sour grapes about having to do anything but the completely necessary at my advanced age (part of the “down-sizing” routine one so often associates with the aging population). Don’t get me started on the subject! In short I am determined to distance myself as far as possible from anything involving maintenance, insurance, supervision, security and any other form of overseeing preoccupation and financial disbursement not incidental to the imperative and immediate pleasures of life. As my 93 year old father is wont to say, “All I want is peace and quiet”. This seemingly transparent and uninviting hobby is however the reward of a select few, be assured. It requires an inordinate amount of time and money to extricate oneself from the web of obsessions and expense which one unwittingly develops over the years. There was, for example, a time when you thought having a swimming pool in your backyard would be a delight (you may have even convinced yourself that the expense paled by comparison to the fees for belonging to the country club). Little did you then imagine that it was you and you alone who would end by having to care for it daily, adding yet another layer of busy-ness to your already busy schedule! And for what? For those – probably your children – who have by now abandoned you for alternative pleasures you prefer not even to imagine!

The luncheon of which I spoke earlier was in fact more glamorous than I suggested. The venue was the Ivy Lea Club, a place which, judging by its bold rocks (and name plate) at the entrance on the Ivy Lea Parkway was in fact up to its initial pretensions. Added to this is the improving intelligence that some rich Russian has apparently recently bought the place intent upon spending vast amounts of money to upgrade it as was readily apparent from the current landscaping changes in progress. We enjoyed a very satisfactory luncheon there, sitting overlooking the boardwalk and water, conveniently sheltered from the blistering sun by an umbrella which the young waiter thankfully provided. Yachts came and went as we lunched. There are appealing cottages located about the resort, all secluded one from the other. I am informed that there is a minimum stay of three nights (to which my only response was that everything depends upon the weather, so it is a gamble).

Motoring homewards we complimented ourselves upon a thoroughly enjoyable day! Small pleasures! As I now relax at the kitchen table, strumming upon my laptop, summarizing the day’s events, sipping my gin martini and munching my hors d’oeuvres in the company of my constant companion and best ever friend, I am perfectly happy to live my life without either a yacht or private club on the seaway.

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