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Night AirThere's a heady feel to it as I crane my neck and lean out of my bedroom window. The cool air brushes against my bare arms, making me shiver, but I only lean further into the nothingness. I remember doing this before, at the house of some long-forgotten family friend. The night there was endless in front of the window melding with the North Sea, and only when I leaned out from the waist-up could I see the lights of a city or town south of the river. The air was fresh, clear of pollution, but had a salty tang to it that was addictive and made me want to draw even more of that air into my lungs.
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The air here is polluted, tainted by factories and peat bogs, but it is green. It's green because it smells of fields and forests, of fresh-cut grass and perfumed pine trees. Sometimes it smells like the metallic spice of factories, whenever the pixie dust of the industial estate is blown in the right direction. In the summer it is foul and reeks of the peat that farmers spread on their fields. I