Departing Washington on a clear fall day with a low rising sun and blue sky. The sun at that angle highlights the deciduous woodlands and between them and the placid Potomac, with early morning rowing teams sliding into their day, I am reminded of what a beautiful part of the country this is. The very first hint of colour of fall touches the carpet of beech which stretches as far as the eye can see as we breast high points on the way to Dulles Airport. Every now and then you see a tree in complete “regalia of rouge”, as if it has, on its own decided to give up early. An apple rotten in the barrel and against which the sea of green will stand no chance. On close inspection I decide most of the hint of red is likely the ivy that has crawled into the canopies. We pass a deer lying on the road, knocked over by traffic and I am reminded of the one a saw a week ago, standing on the median strip nonchalantly chewing on a bush while traffic roared past. It was chowing down only about two miles from the White House. As my airport shuttle fiddles around in the suburban traffic attempting to get onto the freeway that will see us to the airport I reflect on what I like about this place so much. Its undercurrents of power and self assuredness can intimidate you if you are not careful. But they are seductive and attractive qualities as well. It has a surprisingly enormous cosmopolitan population. There is a highly visible homeless population but they are visible in the press as well and the local papers carry a running account of what is being done to accommodate and look after them. I watched one man on his regular beat (mainly centred on a hot air vent located in a garden) looked after by regular commuters on their own beats – which just so happened to intersect his. We never get the homeless issue right but there seems to be some honesty here about its existence. Those people live among the wealthy who take up apartments as close to down town as they dare. And the remaining suburbs pretend they are not part of this rarefied and protected part of the union and that they are not so dependent on the Federal Government, though of course they are all secretly glad of the teat on which they suckle. And in a more personal way the town offered up the very pleasant experience of refreshing a friendship made when I was here a little over ten years ago. That a friendship can be so easily picked up as it was over the last week, and the intervening decade slip away as if it had never imposed itself, is testimony to the initial friendship and the sort of character this friend is. Meet Craig, DC born and bred. And proud of it.