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walking around a deserted city of london on a saturday night, burning the hours with no desire to be a stranger among thousands in the bars of shoreditch, I headed for the alleys, dodged the shadows of st paul’s, laid a kind of claim to the place: not of ownership, but of appreciation. just as I’d marvelled at the decade-worn shopfronts and wall adverts in spitalfields, and the heart-shaking churches of hawksmoor. for now, I am much possessed.