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Out from Minneapolis, last panic with customs behind us (or so we thought, until Canadian customs saw Alex's matrix coat) gravity dissolving into evening sun and the flat bright land dropping away, puddled with water, rivers and lakes flowing across that perfect square-on-square grid like mercury spatter on patchwork. As we get higher, clouds boil across the luminous fields, but the sun stays with us, pacing the plane, a vertical shaft of light dropping a spotlight of golden light on the ground below, wreathed with rainbows where it drops through the hazy clouds. The golden spotlight oozes through lakes and rivers, glinting eye-watering gold back into the hazy sky. It's a world of water, of rivers and pools and interconnected lakes all caught in the torchswing of the evening sun, the furthest of them floating like imagination between earth and heaven, the nearest returning a perfect glass of the sky, the clouds above, and the boiling sun flowing through them, finding every pool, every stream, every rill, scattering the ground with agony-bright sequins, sprinkling glitter over the towns, picking out the white-gold threads of rivers and staring back at me from the great lakes like a wheel of burning fire. My eyes wince green and purple in protest, sunglasses just not dark enough, I'm dazzled, dazzled and close my eyes and say my prayer against migraine. But when I open my eyes I turn them again to the face of the sun travelling alongside us on the unsteady path of the lakes below.

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Back from magical Canadaland trailing blood and bile and beautiful scenery, I am. Dan and Julia married and not a dry eye in the house ... cynicism fails me, I've been broken by mountains and fall colours and little fluffy clouds.

And huge plastic dinosaurs, but that's a tale for another evening.