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THE SOUTHAMPTON HUNDREDS

73

In the bedsit I feel untenable, besieged in my toehold: but outside I can claim what I see. Chiswick High Road, wide-pavemented, travelling, and Turnham Green where I can imagine the Parliament’s army standing around in 1642 while the King’s army stood around a little way off and then went home. Or Kew Gardens, where we can both feel equally cultivated and temperate until the attendant rides his bicycle around at dusk shouting ‘closing time!’. But the bedsit closes in, and as I get into bed she says “Get away from me. You smell.’ and there I am in the armchair.