A New Day and A New Dawn From Marin: News and Views From My Marin County Window; The Nonsense of Dog Walking; Confessions of a Person Uncomfortable With Celebrity Status; The Origins and Meaning Behind If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It; No Lap Swim Yet; Waking Up In a Resort Which is Actually Home; Photo of Me and an Ancient Relative

A previous blog spoke of my mornings in San Francisco – noisy, dirty, depressing – traffic streaming by for months and months although there were no people on the streets except for those walking their dogs. Definitely have opinions about dog walking – do on most topics, in case you have not noticed. Walking dogs seem to give their owners a sense of meaning – it is purposive and, in a way charitable and humanitarian – but in my humble opinion such energies should be spent on people, not animals. An earlier blog spoke of the billions of dollars spent on pets in the USA – it could be better spent educating young people which would be economically feasible and make this country a better place to live. Politicians would never ever suggest giving up you dog for the cause of your country because dog ownership is rampant – the politician espousing such a humanitarian cause would never get elected as the dog owners of America would rally against them. Even more pathetic is this – the politician probably owns a dog. We do know that President-Elect Biden owns a dog as he sustained an injury ‘playing’ with the animal. I guess keeping oneself safe does not extend to one’s pet whose fur almost certainly contains droplets of the coronavirus. This has been confirmed by scientists but such information suppressed. I do suppose things are bad enough for people these days and taking away their dogs would be the straw that broke the camel’s back. By the way Muslim countries have a much better approach to dog ownership. One can own a dog but dogs are not allowed in family residences – rather in the out of doors or in out buildings. It does make a great deal of sense on several levels – walking of the creatures probably not necessary as defecation and urination would take place within the confines of the yard. So the freedom to spend time with children and the family would be assured – not wandering the streets with a leash and a plastic bag in hand. Oops, this may have offended readers – do not particularly care as numbers are gratifying but not comfortable. Wise words from Wise Man just yesterday:
He: You are not comfortable with your fame, with your celebrity status.
Me: You are absolutely correct! So this pandemic, this isolation has been a blessed relief for me in many ways. I do talk to all people about my blog – as it is and has been the core of my identity since its inception almost five years ago. But it is true, no comfort from it.
He: And it is not a money making scheme.
Me: No it is not, quite the opposite. Thought of schemes to make money from the blog but that old adage is true. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It is an informal phrase usedd to say that one should not try to change something that is working well. Who first advised this? “Bert Lance is credited with popularizing the phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, which he was quoted as saying in the May 1977 issue of the magazine Nation’s Business. The expression became widespread, and William Safire wrote that it “has become a source of inspiration to anti-activists.” Who was Bert Lance?? This from Wikipedia: “Thomas Bertram “Bert” Lance (June 3, 1931 – August 15, 2013) was an American businessman who served as director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Jimmy Carter in 1977. He is known mainly for resigning from the Carter administration because of a scandal during his first year in office. However, he was later cleared of all charges.

After a brief detour we are back to mornings. Waking up in Marin is sheer heaven, it is paradise. It is quiet, even deadly quiet which is ‘ok for me”. I roll over in my four poster bed and open the blinds and what do I see before me? A virtual resort – there palm trees grace the swimming pool, large and heated, and the jacuzzi (closed to the pandemic but hopefully re-opened during my lifetime). All of this glory only a few feet from my ground level apartment and patio. People stroll by occasionally, most frequently walking their dogs but occasionally a loner or a mother pushing her baby. It is possible to lap swim in the pool but only by appointment and only two people at a time. Have not participated in this activity for two reasons: 1) my bathing suits not found or unpacked until the day before yesterday. 2) I cannot swim, but sure that it will be possible to get in the pool and do water exercises taught to me by London Personal Trainer Brian during my visits in November and December of 2019. Hi Brian, if you are reading the blog – if you are not, you should be. Hahahaha! After getting dressed (not before), it is a short stroll to Andy’s Market for a latte and yummy pastry served by Antonio who always greets me with enthusiasm and inquires about my health and well-being. Sometimes, make my own coffee using a French press, eating a healthy breakfast of oatmeal or cereal. More recently an egg with spinach as I am supposed to be resembling Popeye the Sailor Man to remedy my slight anemia – those orders from Primary Care Physician. Then back to bed to write the blog, resting my pain filled back and leg on a heating pad and hot water bottle.

This predawn awakening was particularly joyful and I woke to framed art of mixed media surrounding my bed. It was art, and my photography collected and fathered over the years, subsequent photograph featured on the blog will reveal the treasures. Five framed photographs by Alexis, a huge French poster, two original pieces, one a sketch, the other an oil painting, an antique mirror, a small street scene from Paris and a daguerreotype.

Now the daguerreotype has very special meaning to me. Daguerreotypes were the earliest form of photography. My maternal aunt and her devoted husband has possession of an early image of a young child – when they heard of my intense interest in photograph they gifted the steal image to me. History reveals that it must have been made between the 1840’s – early 1860’s. I no longer have contact with my deceased aunt or uncle, not any of their progeny (my cousins). My departure to California in the 1960’s tore apart our fragile bond, though I was to be reunited with the parents in the 1980’s briefly. I had the daguerreotype carefully framed – it fills me with such joy and happiness when I spy it – the kindness and support of my close relatives and the wonder that an ancestor was so important (and cute) that this new technology ‘recorded’ her.
All of the framed art was placed upon my walls by Care Giver, with useful, helpful suggestions made by him. Oh, I forgot, there is a battery operated clock on a wall facing the bed so I cam tell what time it is when I wake up. Bought it at Target the other day, it is perfect.

Two photographs will accompany this blog. One is the wall with the image and antique mirror, the other is me, on the patio dressed in my favourite of Christmas sweaters, a ‘Russian” hat purchased at Primark’s in London and slippers bought in the Cotswold’s. My favourite story about Primark’s will await the next blog.