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Death of a Naturalist

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Death of a Naturalist– Seamus Heaney All year the flax-dam festered in the heart Of the townland; green and heavy headed Flax had rotted there, weighted down by huge sods. Daily it sweltered in the punishing sun. Bubbles gargled delicately, bluebottles Wove a strong gauze of sound around the smell. There were dragon-flies, spotted butterflies, But best of all was the warm thick slobber Of...

Quito

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In the Mexican Highlands, churches sit atop a bed of clouds and etched faces harbour lifeless eyes. Up here there is a town. Its streets are always clean, washed by the interminable torrents of an unsympathetic sky. Its spires are everywhere, as if God Himself had scattered his seeds and allowed them to fruit in garish colours: yellow, blue, dirty white and grey. In this town there lived a boy...

Civil Rights in the UK

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[Updated 10th March ’09.] It’s hard to get accurate figures on the number of CCTV cameras currently silently watching us in the UK. In any case, it is a question of millions- some say as high as four or five. It’s become a part of our British identity. Only Russia, China and Malaysia, those bastions of liberal democracy, scored lower in a “Surveillance societies” survey comissioned by...

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