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THE SOUTHAMPTON HUNDREDS

78

On New Year’s Eve I chain my bike up near Victoria Coach Station and get the coach down to Wiltshire to visit a new Southampton friend at her parents’ house. ‘You’d probably best keep your jacket on,’ she says at the door, and I sit unsteadily on a pouffe, alert for gaffes. On New Year’s Day we go to Cherhill, where there is a white horse, but since everything is blanketed in snow, it hardly matters. I perch on the bottom step of the decaying and dangerous monument and pack away for the future the absolute silence that is all around.