home!

It’s warm in Los Angeles! I was able to start shedding layers tonight as soon as I got home. I’m still running my space heater to take the chill off my room though. Slightly weird to be someplace where the buildings are heated, rather than left to the temperature outside.

Here’s the Flickr album from Saturday though – a walk through Oak Bay, and more photos of the local harbor seal population:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jilliant/sets/1464202/

Did I mention how ridiculously cute my pet seals are? Seriously. I went for lunch with my mommy Saturday at the Oak Bay Marina, and fed the seals afterwards. There’s three of them hanging out at the docks these days, eating frozen fish sold to tourists at the gift shop, as well as the scraps thrown to them by the fishermen gutting their catch.

I also caught the Oak Bay High School Band playing Christmas carols in the Village on Saturday morning, which gave me a chance to catch up quickly with my old band teacher. Who cheerfully informed the kids that I was an alumni of the same Saturday morning Victorian throwback they were participating in.

“Jillian, you used to do this carolling, right? How long ago was that?”

“I graduated in 1995, Mr Campbell.”

The kids all got that “wow. we’ll be that old someday!” look on their faces, and then resumed playing “Hark The Herald Angels Sing.” There’s usually ten of them out there playing, one or two of each instrument, playing traditionalist classics like “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “Joy To The World” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem”. My high school band has always been visible in the community though, as part of a strategy to keep the School Arts Program Cutback Wolves away from the doors of our portable building out back of Oak Bay High. I also marched every year in the Oak Bay Tea Party parade, after which the band would perform at the Tea Party itself, and I played at the Remembrance Day ceremony as part of the brass quartet, and I did the carolling in the Village for the ten days before Christmas break. Being in high school band meant almost as much community participation as being in Girl Guides.

Anyways. The harbor seals are still hanging around off the docks. The high school band program hasn’t been axed, like so many others. Oak Bay is pretty much as I left it, an English village recreated in the Pacific Northwest. And I suppose that’s why houses there have gone up $100,000 in price in the last ten years, because not only is there a ridiculous Coast housing bubble, but people want to live there. I was lucky to be born to Oak Bay, and to be able to call it home, but everyone else has to pay half a million dollars to do the same.

I’m off to get a few hours sleep, but it was good to be back. It made me happy. I like having that home to go back to.

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