Some years ago, when I was still exercising on a treadmill at the Meadowmont Wellness Center rather than taking my morning walk, I remarked to my son, Tobias, that even as I ramped up the speed and angle of elevation of my treadmill day by day, I was painfully conscious of the athletic young men and women running on the treadmills next to me at breakneck speed without apparently even working up a sweat. He replied very wisely that I must ignore them and concentrate only on achieving my own personal best.
Well, this morning I decided to circumnavigate the 5th arrondissement, a route I take on occasion for my walk. It always takes me exactly one hour to complete the circuit, but this morning I clocked in at 58 minutes. A personal best.
While I am recording my little triumphs for what passes for posterity in the digital age, let me report this coup: On Thursday, Susie called a friend in the States to chat [international calls are free as part of our FranceTelecom package] and I heard her say to her friend that we were going out less often this trip "because the dinners Bob makes are better than the dinners in the restaurants." Now admittedly we do not patronize up-scale establishments with stars and multiple crossed knives and forks in the Guide Michelin, but still, that is one of the nicest compliments I have ever received, and I thought I would pass it along.