– Water Shall Refuse Them –

by Lucie McKnight Hardy

I have very few memories of my childhood. A handful before I was 11, at which point they seem to rush me, as if making up for the previous absence. I think of this often. It’s not right, is it, to have half-a-dozen of my own memories – not those handed down by parents, friends, encased within mementoes, captured in pictures – and nothing else? I regularly pull myself back from the brink of cod-psychology, fearful of what lies beneath.

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– Folk –

by Zoe Gilbert

We are stories. We walk through a narrative of inter-dependent connections, as individuals, outwards to family, community, town, city, county, nation. We move through time at varying speeds, cogs of unimaginable complexity grinding against other cogs of unimaginable complexity. It’s no wonder there are stories, no wonder we create them.

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– Limbo –

by Miracle Mile

If you press play on your car’s CD player as you set off from Chelmsford on a March morning heading north on the A12, Miracle Mile’s Limbo lasts until just north of Darsham. On March 10 every year, I drive to Pakefield, a village Lowestoft swallowed some years ago, to bear witness to an anniversary.

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– On The Beach –

by Nevil Shute

A few days ago, I engaged in some quasi-light-hearted discussion with a friend by text. On the surface it was no more than suggested times and places to meet for a drink, but sub-text being what it is, it evolved into a series of jabs, feints and counter-punches that could be politely summarised as ‘what’s the point of everything?’, specifically relating to the need or otherwise for society to be bound by money. The root of all evil can plummet the sunniest of exchanges south into murkier waters, and this was no exception.

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– Manic Street Preacher –

by Paul Woodgate

You, on a street, in Army-surplus hazmat suit surfing decades of decay, leaving Armstrong-deep footprints in the fallout. Brick-thick scaffolds of vine with pale orange lipstick flowers border broken shop windows, long ago looted by now dead men.

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– Looking For A Day In The Night –

by The Lilac Time

In the early Noughties I bought an album on the strength of the cover art. Black and red, the blurred outline of a face, a hand reaching up or out (to protect, to caress?) and ‘The Lilac Time’ in white text, off-center. Simple. Powerful. Who was this, their music nestled deep in a busy CD rack in HMV, surrounded, with some artistic licence, by Leonard Cohen and Linda Ronstadt?

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