26 October 2007


The hummingbirds were fighting over the backyard fountain this morning. Such territorial little creatures and they were both determined to have a bath.

It was the first indication that the world is trying to right itself.

A real sea breeze this afternoon, and it blew the smoke back to the east. The sky was filled with mare's tails, the air was breathable, and the kids and I walked home from school.

The local news radio reported llamas running loose in the canyons.

Tomorrow, sorting clothing for a family who was less fortunate than we were. Begin the cleanup process outdoors. I dread stirring up more ash; I dread finding the inevitable evidence of how lucky we were.

Then, take the daughter to her best friend's Halloween party, and have a glass of wine with the other parents, and inevitably, discuss the fires.

Where would I rather be? Anywhere but here.

And if I had a choice, I'd rather be in Stockholm.

The daughter and I were talking about our Baltic trip of 2006 tonight. We'll be going back to Europe in 2008, and she is trying to wangle a trip to Cardiff while we're there. Not because she wants to go to Wales so much as she wants to see if she can catch sight of John Barrowman or David Tennant while they're filming Torchwood and Doctor Who, respectively. She is definitely developing the one-track mind of the 10-year-old with a serious crush.

"Oh come on," I told her. "Filming is boring. Remember how much fun we had on our last trip? Remember how cool the Viking Ship Museum was in Oslo? I didn't think I'd ever get you out of there. Remember the Hermitage? I didn't think I'd get you out of there either."

"They probably have museums in Cardiff," she said, primly.

I suppose I should just be grateful that the girl knows where Cardiff is. That she knows where Lapland is (because she's been there, and because she developed a little crush on our delightful guide, who we decided must be the Lapp Orlando Bloom), that she can say that she's visited Helsinki and Estonia and has seen the midnight sun.

If I get my way, our next trip will involve Katla and Hekla, and maybe another rollicking bicycle ride...anywhere but here.

Go listen to some good music: "Carbon" from the album Scarlet's Walk by Tori Amos.

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