Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Tried to think of a clever and original way of saying 'I'm back!' but... well, that's already obvious isn't it?

Also obvious is that The Story is nearing the end... or the middle... and it's sort of looming out there. I can feel it when I try and write things and the words get very strained and stilted. But I'll do my best, bear with me, we're nearly there.


I don't much like sea gulls. They're quite nice from a distance I suppose - particularly in flight or when the sunset catches them in just the right light. But up close they're bold, usually fairly grubby, and very, very rude. They're base survivors are gulls - if there's food to be gotten they'll find it, and no niceties about please and thank you. I know for some people they really symbolize the ocean, but to me it's more the parking-lot dumpster of the beach-side Taco Bell.

But there is a little shore bird I absolutely love. We saw them first in Oregon. They're quite small, little white things with brown markings and terribly fragile little legs - extremely pretty.

They make their living right at the boundary between water and land. As each wave comes in they dash frantically up the sand ahead of the foam, and then turn and chase just as hard after it when it rushes out again. In the tiny interval in-between they dip their beaks down and rummage busily for whatever tasty scrap they can find. I have no idea what they look for - tiny crabs maybe, or little shell fish. It's the constant motion of their little legs as they race back and forth with every wave that I like so much.

Maybe that's where we were - too used to constant motion, used to the rush and the scrabble of chaos. But it wasn't only that.

There were other people at Kirk's job who were unhappy. It was the end of the dot com era. The culture of extreme reward for extreme effort was over - at least half of it was. There had been... let me see now... three major lay-offs while Kirk was there, and that left everyone feeling edgy and uncertain. You were aware that people watched to see when you came in and when you left - aware that looking busy and productive was more important than anything, even than actually being productive. It wasn't a place that inspired great loyalty because during the boom time it didn't have to. Now people worked out of fear rather than passion or belief.

Most of our friends were at least thinking about finding other work - it was stupid not to really given the circumstances. So Kirk wasn't alone. He was just alone in looking for work in the Balkans.

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