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Botanic Macaroni

Steven Shapin

What made the Vikings tick?

Tom Shippey

In the Lab

Rupert Beale

Will there be a Brexit deal?

Anand Menon

Short Cuts: Under New Management

Rory Scothorne


Bridget Alsdorf

Sarah Moss

Blake Morrison

Poem: ‘Country Music’

Ange Mlinko

On the Trail of Garibaldi

Tim Parks

Art Lessons

Peter Campbell

You’ll like it when you get there

Tom Crewe

Early Kermode

Stefan Collini

‘The Vanishing Half’

Joanna Biggs

At the Movies: ‘The Truth’

Michael Wood

The Suitcase: Part Two

Frances Stonor Saunders

Poem: ‘Siri U’

Jorie Graham

Diary: Getting into Esports

John Lanchester

InterregnumKathleen Jamie

So I’m moving between rooms
with a tray, advertising
McEwan’s, the kind we took sledging
those distant snow-bright afternoons

– or funereal lacquer, with peonies,
or that classic of my mother’s:
a view of Windsor Castle
inside a wicker pale. Whatever

– a tray, and on it:
two glasses of Vouvray, or better:
croissants and cafetière, my lover
outstretched on the duvet:

or – dream on – pizza for one
and Prime Suspect.
No matter, I’m at the door now
looking round wildly,

trying to find someplace
to set the thing down,
looking round madly;
and I realise exactly

how I’ll end up:
one-legged, unbalanced
trying to hold level
this jigsaw, this haggis

this model-to-scale
of the SS Balmoral,
while howking toward me
the so-called ‘occasional’ table,

and swiping it clear
of Spot on the Farm
for the sake of this precious

from the place I’ve just left,
– a clear space
I can’t very well
turn round and reclaim,

because it won’t now exist.
Besides, that’s a trifle
defeatist, besides,
what’s the point of a tray?

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