“A strip of muddy grass,” describes so much of Britain seen from the Martian point of view. They are struggling, morning after morning on their tall frail legs, along a strip of muddy grass. Floodwater generates from nowhere, spreads across their path in January and February. Later the ploughland rolls away, curved, corduroy, glutinous. Woods are especially difficult. The Martians group and flock. Signal. “A slope.” “Mud and slopes.” “Slopes and woods.” They are wary of church towers and pylons. So many good comrades lost to electrocution and hysterical conversion. They avoid Milton Keynes. Allotments, railyards, every central reservation an artillery position. By Watford Junction beechwoods take fire at dusk.