So. Here I am. It's six in the morning, and I've got the whole big, windy country to myself. All its hills and motorways, and the valleys and the high rises. All asleep, quiescent in the bird-noisy grey of predawn. Red lights on the pylons still, and the whirr of the milk-freight, and it all belongs to the few still awake. A living picture of possibility. Pastel and promise. The aerials are all pointing north atop their houses, sentinel cranes waiting for a monstrous call to migration. I'm on top of the world, Ma Earth. Colour has weird depth at this time, this nullspace of first light. Each shade hints at deeper layers of tint beneath, each patch of tone is not a shape but a well into a dimension filled with teal, with scorched orange, with deep purple-grey. The birdsong is not a delicate counterpoint. It is a cacophany of tiny winged demons, all shouting their little bastard hearts out because WINTER IS DEAD. Nor are the still cars steel beetles. My country when it sleeps is not the land of cliché. They are capsules; tiny sealed rooms of mobile and limited opulence. The wind brings the news. Blowing no good, perhaps, but it's motion and knowledge from Another Place. It's on the move. It cuts through flesh and bullshit, chilling me to the core. The first routine car engine coughs alive and the commuters begin to move. And my country is theirs again, till the end of the day.