Friday, 12 October 2007

Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain
There are ants on the move in my kitchen. Thousands of the buggers - omnivores - in regiments an inch wide, marching in from outside, through the ant-traps I've left out, up cupboard doors, across the kitchen bench, and into the pantry. Until I wipe everything down with eucalyptus oil - that sorts out the officers from the enlisted men.
I remember Dace telling me decades ago that Latvians reckon when ants are marching like that, there's a change coming in the weather. Rain, in particular. So keep on walking, wee ones - just not across my kitchen, please.

:: These are among the many hundreds of Halloween costumes you can buy at Target:
There are racks and racks and racks of them - and you should see the bulk lollies, all at the front of the store near here in Encinitas. Two-pound bags, three-pound bags - and special receptacles for your little trick-or-treaters to carry from door to door to collect their goodies. It's h-u-g-e.
And when you've got your family's costumes all ready and waiting to go, you can turn your attention to Fido:

:: The Hallmark shop has had its Christmas stuff out since late July - incredible, yes? - and I noticed today that our local hardware store was also looking a bit yo-ho-ho. But before we all start wallowing in Yule, we've got not just Halloween but also Thanksgiving to keep us entertained, and 'fall' to inspire our decorating moods.
Unfortunately, we don't have much sense of the autumn here in SoCal, especially on days when the Santa Ana winds blow and the temperatures rise again.
To compensate, our local city authority has planted liquidambars everywhere in our neighbourhood ...

... to give us a change of leaf colour and trick us into thinking we live somewhere cool and northern. This is the liquidambar forest in the lovely park just round the corner from our street:
I love all trees, but these are among my least favourite. They're fleshy of leaf, scrappy of shape, not very tall, not shady enough. In a word, lacking. And because we don't live somewhere cool and northern, the leaves turn an unappetising brown instead of the outrageous fluoro-reds and coppers and yellows of their more flamboyant relatives.

:: The posts have been a bit pedestrian this week - sorry - but I've been flat out with some editing for the Bondi, plus a lovely 80,000-word manuscript to work on, plus all the usual family and doggy stuff. On top of that, I've only just recovered completely from the cough, headaches and all-round listlessness after the dreadful cold that hit me almost two weeks ago. Not good.
Onwards and ever upwards!

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