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  • We went for a little walk, our usual path which goes in a circuit round the village, along the river, through the wood and back. (Polderwandeling, it calls itself. I may have got that word wrong. I'm learning Flemish, but no-one would call me proficient)

    Signs of spring were everywhere - cowslips and lambs in abundance, all the willows neatly pollarded on the edges of the flat, flat fields. All this area is several feet below sea level. To see the river, you have to climb the dyke. The whole place is in constant danger of flooding, and the pumps have to work night and day to prevent it.

    All between the fields, marking them out like the lines on a chessboard (to borrow an analogy from Lewis Carroll) are these little ditches, into which I was peering in hopes of frogs and frogspawn. But no - instead I found this: Oceans of Fantasy by Boney M.
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