Louise was an urbanite, she preferred the gut-thrilling sound of an emergency siren slicing through the night to the noise of country birds at dawn. Pub brawls, rackety roadworks, mugged tourists, the badlands on a Saturday night - they all made sense, they were all part of the huge, dirty, torn social fabric. There was a war raging out there in the city and she was part of the fight, but the countryside unsettled her because she didn't know who the enemy was. She had always preferred North and South to Wuthering Heights. All that demented running around the moors, identifying yourself with the scenery, not a good role model for a woman.
In the half-century of his life, a tick on the Doomsday clock, he had borne witness to the most unbelievable technological advances. He had started off listening to an old Bush radio in the corner of the living room and now he had a phone in his hand on which he could pretend to throw a scrunched-up piece of paper into a waste bin. The world had waited a long time for that.