there are castles here, and it is green even in the winter, pansies blooming in the city flowerbeds.  things are far older than they are where we live, with medieval fortifications and giant hewn Tudor beams and 300 year old pubs to wither my notion of Canada having any history whatsoever, and yet the place feels way more hip, too…i could take up residence over a Marks & Spencer grocery with its unlimited supply of wee bocconcini salads and organic food options and local roasts and puddings and seriously never cook again.   we climbed the 275 steps of Yorkminster tower this morning, an age ago already, time inflated and bloated by the strange vivid circuitousness of travelling, of watching, of waiting for schedules and rushing for trains.  but from the top of the tower under the low, gray sky, removed from the immediacy of being a sycophantic tourist and holding my trusty pink hat tight to my head, all i wanted to see was over the hills way way west to my boy, and way into the future when we could bring him here and he too would be old enough to find these narrow, winding staircases magical.

and while i was laughing at myself and thinking about how we all seem to want to give our children our own personal versions of a happy childhood, Oscar was at Emergency with his grandmothers with a fever of 102.

he has an ear infection.

and suddenly the pansies just look out of place and out of season, and i am wishing we were home, wishing for the dullness of our small, provincial town where nothing is terribly old or cool, but where a small sick boy has a sore ear and might be wanting his mama.