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The Undefeated

aluminium all-oo-ne-umb – lightweight metal

I suggested it sounded like a spaghetti Western, half expecting it to feature Clint Eastwood as a hired gun. Had that ring to it. "The Undefeated". But Mary Ann was quite sure. It was a movie about Alaska’s Governor and Presidential hopeful Sarah Palin. Released a month or two ago. Without trace. In Alaska the silence is always deafening.


I’d met Mary Ann – the English spelling she’d assured me – working in a small bookshop in Palmer. I’d wandered in a little before closing time, looking for maps. Born in Japan, she’d grown up in California but had tired of the encroaching San Francisco suburbs and the smog. Choosing to seek clean air and space. Which Alaska has in spades.

I was quite envious of her. She’d be canal boating. Admittedly to Leeds, but it’s all too easy to inadvertently wander into Yorkshire. Something I always wanted to do, but never quite got around to. Thought it really needed a decent sized group of friends, the sort who got on in a confined space. Mary Ann suggested four was a good number, some of the locks pretty hard work. I favoured being the navigator.



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