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In the village where I have chosen to sit out lockdown, two hills lour over me. They’re part of a larger mountain range, and my house is situated at the foot of the closest one. It’s called Slangkop, and I assume it’s named after the snakes that make it their home. Occasional cobras glide through my garden on inscrutable missions. On top of the hill squats the remains of Cobra Camp, a radar station built during the 1940s to look out for German submarines.

The meagre information I’ve tracked down suggests Cobra Camp was mostly manned by women, which shows you how much work the English language still has to do to catch up with its changing reality...

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