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Imagine you’re sitting in the living room 2 Hillside around the wood fire. The year is 1750, give or take a decade or so, the black kettle hanging in the smoke is getting close to the boil, the iron bread oven is still warm from that day’s loaf, the thin doors are shaking from the wind. End of a long day, candles flickering in the cold draft. Fatigue is etched on faces.

The chat moves on from the accident in the cold and wet at the quarry in Little London up the hill, to the news from the American colonies where the local Stroud scarlet clothes the English army, to the low wages at Rooksmoor mill… to the future. Will it get better someone muses staring with watery eyes into the flames. They wonder, what will the future bring?

There’s a flash and a bang…

And there stands Sam, adjusting his laser on its tripod. It shines a perfectly horizontal thin pink line right around the room. He adjusts it to a height of about 18 inches or so below the ceiling. Perfect for positioning our picture rails.

His phone chirps. He checks the text.

Our forebears of 250+ years back look on agog. This is the future?