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THE SOUTHAMPTON HUNDREDS

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I get an agency job just across Cow Common, packing fire extinguishers. It’s close, easy and friendly but one day I suggest going to the pub at lunchtime. So then a job way over in Sutton, where they make the ingredients for vending machines. Stirring huge vats of sugar and water with a huge paddle, and adding ‘fruit’ flavour concentrate. Emptying sacks of milk powder down a hopper. Plastic cups in the tea room. A yellowing cutting on the noticeboard about the damage to the Cornwall landscape from mining pottery clay. ‘Take that, environmentalists!’ is scrawled across it in biro.