Avoiding the fall – Oronte’s Girona

A preview of things to come

3 months ago by Emerson Oronte

At the moment I’m in Girona, Spain watching an exorbitant amount of precipitation fall on the cobbled city streets. At some point, I’m supposed to ride today. Specifically, I’m supposed to ride one hour; an amount of time that, on days like this, is more of an inconvenience than something worth looking forward to. If the current forecast holds there will be little to no opportunity to make it outside for said ride; that is, of course, unless I want to get really cold and be miserable. I don’t want to do that.

Old town Girona is built against a hill which, when commuting into town, gives it something of a domineering appearance. Back in the day this high ground probably served some purpose, like slowing the marauding hordes, but today the slopes of town are more of an annoyance; a means for adding superfluous cardio to my already cardio-filled life. The street to my current apartment, like many streets in town, requires a short trudge uphill. The slope is gradual and the walk not very long, maybe two minutes, but it’s long enough and steep enough to remind you that gravity exists and you’re very much working against it.

In college I commuted to and from class by bike. One day following an exam, with my mind elsewhere, probably thinking about all the questions I got wrong, I turned a corner only to suddenly be greeted by an unavoidable sheet of ice. Before I knew it, my bike was gone from beneath me. Given the gradient of the road, which was very much downhill, and the length of the ice sheet, which went on for several city blocks, I slid for what felt like forever. My enduring memory of this incident was just how long I spent sliding down the street; so long in fact I had time to contemplate certain questions like ‘how is this STILL happening?’ and ‘I wonder if this is actually faster than riding?’

It has probably been years since I last recalled that story but now, looking down the street of my apartment, the memory comes back as I admire the not-so-subtle sheen the rain has given the cobbles below. Part of me wonders if history will repeat itself. If, upon walking out the front door of the building, I’ll just slide right to the intersecting street at the bottom. It’s an amusing prospect though one that’s obviously unlikely.

Whether it be because of the rain or the risk of sliding off into oblivion, I’ve spent this morning indoors coming to the conclusion that, after a multi-year hiatus, I’m going to make a concerted effort to restart this blog. In the past, this platform served as a means of keeping those who cared informed as to what I was up to or musings on things in my life. The new iteration will probably be very much the same. We obviously live in a time with plenty of divisive content online so hopefully you can find some solace and entertainment with what I have to say. I cannot guarantee updates will be regularly timed but I can promise I’ll make an effort.

In the meantime, here are a few things that have kept me entertained over the past few weeks:

Garrison Keillor hasn’t hosted “A Prairie Home Companion” for a few years now but he is still writing regularly. My brother introduced me to his website a month or ago and it’s been a consistent source of entertainment. For fans of APHC, the writing will feel similar to Keillor’s Lake Wobegon monologues.

One of my current fascinations is with beekeeping and given the ample time I have to sit around post-training the Vino Farm YouTube channel has become quite the rabbit hole. In case you aren’t aware, bees are amazing; and no, that’s not a joke. I encourage you to check this channel out. Plus, this farm is in Western Massachusetts so score one for the home team.

On the music front, I’ve been listening to Brass Against for a few years now but they’ve been a more consistent presence on my playlists lately. Essentially, these guys are the answer to the question “what would a ska version of a Rage Against the Machine song sound like?”

Thanks for reading,

Emerson

(To catch up on Emerson’s latest adventures, visit his blog)