A fresh start

Typhoons veered away to meet their various ends far from Taiwan. The air, sky, trees, sidewalks, shopfronts scoured fresh by passage of visiting winds and rain.

6am on the kitchen balcony. Just seconds earlier you were shuffling in a reluctant haze in search of that damned alarm. It was in the study. Could easily have sloped back whence you came to drain off another hour of the day amid the pillows and sleeping clansfolk. But seeing your corner of Taipei in the crystal morning brightness woke you in an instant: sunlight slanting off the white tiled office block near the metro station, a sky that is fully bright but not yet fully blue, roads relatively bare of traffic and pedestrians, the wooded hill that backs onto the Grand Hotel looking green and sharp in the middle distance.

Birds are having their morning gossip. In the lane below a dry marmalade-colour alleycat slinks around the tyres of parked SUV. Tree branches lunge and sway in the still vigorous post-typhoon wind.

It’s ALL too BEAUT-ti-FU-u-ul! (sings the Itchycoo Park MP3 in your head)

On the way back from playschool in the pm your daughter says: “I really really REALLY like school!” That’s more like it.


Another gust.

Lunging this way and that

The boughs bend

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