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sea hippo

Watching a wildlife documentary, my girlfriend said that at the same time as Thomas Hardy was sitting at his desk writing Tess of the D'Urbervilles, a hippo was probably swimming in the waves off the coast of Gabon, unbeknownst to one another.

Earlier in the day, I spent a patch of time trying to piece together my thoughts on three huge circling birds, whether they were some form of urban kestrel brought in to police the local pigeon population, or merely predatory gulls with unusual flight patterns and swagger in their wings.

During the reign of Pharaoh Akhenaten - formerly known as Amenhotep IV, sometimes spelled Echnaton, supposed father of the famous Tut, believed to have married his own sister, known to us only as 'The Younger Lady', though it seems unfair that even to this day no one has made up a name to give to her - there were probably predatory birds wheeling over the wooded glades of what is now called Salford.

Today it's gladeless, though on a clear afternoon the peaks still have you dreaming of whatever landscapes might still mean, timeless as animals doing only what they can, that which comes naturally.

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