The dog took me for the usual favourite walk out Berthem way this afternoon. Our habitual circuit passes a number of enigmatic abandoned huts lost in wooded ground. One of them, pictured, particularly intrigued us. We fantasised that a dust-covered Bugatti in pristine condition stood inside or an early model of a Massey Ferguson tractor, driven only once by the farmer and then forgotten. Today we saw that the door had either fallen down or been smashed open. Curiosity got the better of us so we picked our way through the bracken and the briars to take a look. The truth was more prosaic but just as interesting. Somebody – a farm hand or an agricultural labourer – once lived here. There was no water and no electricity. The hut (could it have been a Nissen hut?) had been emptied but the traces of a human life were there. He (clearly a he) must have had a stove of some sort but surely froze in the winter. In the remains of a garden a pit had been dug and was full of empty gin bottles. It seemed straight out of a Michael Frayn novel (I am thinking of this one). And then I got to thinking that two hundred years ago most people lived without running water or constant heating and certainly without electricity and artificial light.