8.38 am. It starts as a scattering few, a straggle of long-winged gulls crossing the bright morning skies over my tiny garden. It’s Fenland out there, out beyond the city I live in. It’s Wash and it’s flatland, miles and miles of reclaimed marsh and flood-spill turned into perfect squares of monocrop.

Sometimes, when you’re driving in the dusk along the tiny roads between ditched and raised fields, you can almost see the dream of the oceans that were – going back several thousand years of course, before John Clare wrote his own paen to the denuded flats, before industry came, before even the Saxons and ancient Britons built their embankments.

This was edgeland, once. A place where ocean and land mingled. This was the Sea King’s territory, an earthly court where he and his entourage would ripple and run and flood and rush through, again and again, season after season.

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