Just as the light is drawing in on one early summer evening, I step outside our back door. The air is damp at the end of a day of showers; a westerly breeze, unexpectedly cold, catches the side of my face. I turn to meet it. From high on the southern slopes of Bath, my view extends across treetops newly touched with green, down the Avon valley, over Bristol and the estuary of the River Severn, to the hills of South Wales. Clouds lie across the sky in parallel lines, all the way to the horizon, alternating dark and light, purple-grey fringed with wispy white, and touches of orange where the dying ...


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