We sat on a bench outside The Cutter taking in the view of the River Great Ouse that flows through Ely. David had a light lager – a chilled rose for me, which David doesn’t understand. Between the weeping willows we could see the old train bridge, its beams forming a series of Xs. The occasional commuter or freight train whizzed or chugged along. As one freight train started to come through, perhaps I suspected that it was going to be a long one – I started counting the containers as they went passed a certain point. Maersk, Hanjin, another Maersk, several unnamed – or too far to see with middle-aged eyes – Italia and a few more Hanjin and Maersk before it was all over. Thirty-three containers transported the stuffs of the world through our little town that evening.

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