I could have sworn that I would never buy a house that was vulnerable to fire - I have a long-standing fire phobia; used to wake up, as a small child, with screaming nightmares about fire; and have a tendency to hyperventilate when near burning logs in a fireplace. I haven't the world's best sense of smell, but I can sniff out the scent of burning at a hundred paces. Yesterday's skies of smoke made me on edge, jumpy. (Yes, I know that I've just co-edited an issue of 19 on "fire," but that's either perversity, or a form of aversion therapy). So why would I ...? Here's the answer: the view from our living room early this morning. It's a trade-off - vulnerability for view - but it's pretty wonderful to have (only) a 10 mile drive to work, with this vista (that bright green spot? The umbrella shading my precious avocado tree is still there ...).