My day started early, 5:00 a.m. early, when my phone made a bloop to tell me that an update was available for some such something. I have a new phone and I haven’t figured out how to silence it during the nighttime hours, making me susceptible to applications needing updates and Europeans sending texts.
I didn’t actually get up at 5:00 a.m.–that is the stuff of Gods–but my sleep from then onward was fitful and full of non-encouraging dreams.
My scheduled 8:00 a.m. alarm didn’t go off: apparently when I “silenced” the alarm on my new phone yesterday, I mistakenly turned the repeating alarm off. Fortunately my body woke me up all on its own at 8:10 a.m., so the day wasn’t lost.
As I do every day, my first stop was Oliver’s room, where I said good morning and found some clothes for him.
After ablutions and getting dressed myself, I headed downstairs to make us breakfast–cereal and yogurt for me, a bagel with peanut butter for Oliver, just like every weekday–and to make myself coffee.
Before doing this, however, I went outside to move the car so that I could drive it later in the afternoon to visit a friend in Central Queens. Just as I was doing this, Steve Howard arrived to park his electric vehicle in our driveway for the morning session of the Legislative Assembly, so my timing was perfect. I had a brief chat with Steve, and headed back inside, now running a few minutes later even still.
Oliver is more self-contained these days than ever, so I don’t need to make him lunch in the morning, which has left me some extra minutes to do things like scan the back yard for Japanese Knotweed and to check on the tomato plant, but this morning I was running late, so had just enough time to eat, to roust Oliver, and to ready my day before Allie from Stars for Life arrived at our door at 9:30 a.m.
Oliver’s plan for the day was to go fishing (the Province of PEI generously donated fishing licenses to all Stars for Life clients and staff). So we headed out the door together, he toward the fishing hole and me toward The Bookmark.
I was headed to The Bookmark because the “we’re having a sale on fountain pens” klaxon was sounded two days ago:
We wanted to let you know that we’ve made a special purchase of Conklin, Monteverde and Viscounti fountain pens. Models include Duraflex, Omniflex, Rodeo Drive, Monza, Breeze, Mirage and Rembrandt, deals from $10 to $80. Regular prices from $35 to $260. The sale starts tomorrow at 9 am.
I arrived about 9:45 a.m. and I was fountain pen shopper number four. We are nothing if not a fountain pen sale-loving fountain pen community here. There really are some nice pens on offer, at some remarkable prices. After looking them over, and getting a cook’s tour of each from Dan the Pen Merchant, I selected a Conklin Raven in black with a flex nib.
Leaving The Bookmark, I walked down Queen Street to Richmond, and then headed toward the office. As I was passing Receiver Coffee I thought “Receiver Coffee won’t be there the next time I pass if I don’t support Receiver Coffee,”, so I went in and ordered a tea. While I was waiting for it, I got to have a nice chat with Rob Macdonald, who I hadn’t seen since before the pandemic; Rob is recently the Writer in Residence at The Guild, which is, let’s face it, the greatest thing ever. It was good to catch up.
Tea in hand, I headed down Richmond Street again, passing the Row House, where I overheard one of the staff telling a neighbour about the bird that flew into the restaurant earlier this week. Apparently there was some internecine bird-on-bird warfare happening involving crows and other birds, and this was part of a larger campaign. I thought about stopping to do an interview for my podcast, but then remembered that I don’t actually have a podcast (all appearances to the contrary aside).
Walking down Richmond Street I realized that this is the last week that we will truly have the Island to ourselves: because of the lockdown, every single person I saw this morning as I did my loop around the downtown was from here. There is, of course, an uncomfortable ingredient of xenophobia in revelling in that, but there’s also an amount of “this is us,” a sense of solidarity that we are those that are truly here, and not just in for a dip in the ocean. Such is the essential dichotomy of Prince Edward Island.
I got back to the office at 10:26 a.m., Google Home told me when I asked. At 11:00 a.m. I have my weekly called with my Yankee colleagues. Then out to Central Queens for the afternoon, stopping at Leonhard’s on the way to pick up sandwiches. Home for 4:30 to have a drink on the deck with friends (my first overt have-people-over effort in this new era). And then tonight we gather as a family for the weekly Family Fun Night on Zoom, this week’s episode celebrating the 10th wedding anniversary of my Montreal brother and sister-in-law.
I’ve a few minutes now to fill my Raven with ink and see how it writes.
Enjoy your day.