Monday, November 28, 2011


It’s late November and already the days are infused with the pervasive exhilaration of “the Season”. It is impossible to take no notice of the swell of influence. It is standard commercial activity to play Christmas carols in shopping centres. It is no accident that this switch in white sound definitively took place precisely upon the expiry of the American Thanksgiving Day holiday. XM radio has an entire channel dedicated to Christmas carols (and oddly that station has for some reason temporarily replaced its “Forties on Four”, a collection of American standards from the 1940s). Last evening I received an invitation to a Hanukkah party, but it was weeks ago that I received two other invitations to similar Christmas house parties. It is nothing to encounter people talking about holidays and family gatherings. My mother has been wringing her hands for weeks about what she will get her granddaughters for Christmas presents (aside that is from the regular cheque which she pointedly mentioned was not indexed). Normal business commitments are being pushed aside until the expiry of the season’s social affairs. In short our mundane daily preoccupations are now overshadowed by this commercial/religious/family flashpoint.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Morning Indolence

Unusually the temperature is expected to reach a high of 11˚C today which at this time of year gives the effect of distortion and lack of resolution. If one were to ignore this supernatural feature of the day, it otherwise offers a further and diminishing opportunity to ride one’s bicycle which for me is the last form of physical exercise (apart from swimming) I am able to undertake painlessly. On balance such manifestly inconsequential considerations as the weather and bicycling are welcome contemplations on a Sunday morning.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Swimming Upstream

Yesterday began robustly enough in the fresh morning air with a sunny bike ride along a nearby country road. This ebullience was however to be a short-lived element of the day.

After our customary ablutions we trekked into the City on a mission to find a tailor to fix the tattered buttonholes of an old handmade sweater of mine. While parked outside the mall, and while I was fussing over my new iPhone 4S, a car pulled up directly beside mine. This instantly bothered me because I deliberately park as far away from other cars as possible; and there were ample vacant parking spots all around me. It further incensed me that this fellow felt the need to park immediately adjacent my car as my driver’s side door was open wide while I pored over the iPhone. The elderly fellow (who I could tell instantly was a nosy Parker) then unloaded himself from his vehicle and proceeded to plant himself like an inspecting policeman directly in front of my car where he pronounced “Nice car!” It was a gratuitous comment as far as I was concerned. His fat wife then likewise removed herself from their car. Apparently imaging that I had not heard her husband’s observation, she repeated it, adding that the car was a nice colour. When I failed to respond to either of them, although they knew I was aware of their presence because I glanced askance at them, the unattractive woman retreated and transformed their former compliments into something less flattering by muttering that “the car is nice but the driver is not Mr. Personality” or something to that effect.