Someone has a car, and although Southampton is an architecturally ravaged remainder of itself, unblemished attractions surround it. Alfred holds up his sword in Winchester. We drive into the New Forest and pick mushroooms that won’t do anything. One day we drive for two hours to Chesil Beach and walk out along the clattering shingle to Portland Bill. It’s all bright and shiny, but cold and windy: we huddle together as if we are on an album cover. On the way back we stop at a pub in the New Forest: the locals stare at us, silent, till we leave .

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