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Hugh Dunkerley

Return After the vast body of North America, the Atlantic’s four-hour absence, these islands are like a child’s drawing, the patchwork fields, the land worked over and over.

As the plane banks, I hold the South East in my eye: the bulge of Kent, a white cliff somewhere near Hastings, and in the distance, the glistening Thames.

How small it is, this archipelago nudging Europe’s hip, one foot in the Channel, its granite head swimming with memories of the Norse,

Ireland like a deflated football kicked again and again for the sheer hell of it. Dig anywhere and you’ll find something human: musket, handaxe, fibre-optic cable, the numberless bones of the dead. London comes up to meet us sunlight seething off a window,

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