Those terrible afternoons, hot people exploded into

parched-field oblivion, cardigans in heat-waves (some

rooks for company). The encircling council houses are

like cows that kill ramblers. A discovery from the Middle

Ages is made in one, another has articles on Churchill’s

funeral. The trees are sympathetic but won’t get involved –

they have seen the future, which “is going to be boring”.

Extraordinary for a Cambridge professor to live here a year –

research they say, but I saw him rooting through the bin-bags

then sneaking up back-lawns – barbecue detritus, swabs; evidence

on populism’s deadly undergrowth. We shared lager (Peroni for me,

San Miguel for him) in Wetherspoons – and arranged to meet for

breakfast. But I hope he’ll be hit by a car – a non-driver, I’m sure.


Paul Sutton
Illustration Nick Victor

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