Saturday, August 2, 2008

beneath the cliffs of doom

There is this gorgeous beach a short walk from our campus. It's at the bottom of some steep bluffs, so you can either take a very sloped, but paved road, or you can walk out to the para-gliding center and clamber down a crumbling, rocky set of stairs that make you feel like you're Indiana Jones. Obviously, we prefer the stairs. The very last bit disintegrates into a sandy slide that you have to take at a jog. If you try to make measured, careful steps, your feet start slipping out from under you.

Stairs or road, either way you get one of those breathtaking and entirely Californian views:

Though, if you take the stairs, you get to pass the Salk Institute, which looks like nothing so much as a place where mad scientists breed nightmare creatures for nefarious ends. It is a gloriously forbidding building made up of cement blocks and very few windows, with turrets and sad patio furniture and signs that say "NO LAB COATS IN THE CAFETERIA".

We've taken Kelly, Mary Anne, and Nalo to the beach. Other times we've just skipped off there on our own and admired the sunset. It's a nice, sandy beach, but it is at the bottom of some cliffs, and one of my favourite things about it are the signs telling you to beware the cliffs that may fall on top of your head.

We went to the beach this morning (down the stairs this time), and then we had some Mexican food, and then I fell asleep on the couch in the middle of reading a story, and now I'm having a think about what I'm going to write for next week. There are little hints of lycanthropy, Victorian circuses, and fairy tales swimming through my head, but nothing solid enough to start writing on yet. Hopefully, I'll find a trail to follow this evening and pick my way along the messy bits that are my first drafts.

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