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The weather has changed, from the threatening promise of frost and fleeting snow, to chill lazy winds* and episodes of rain that comes side ways. But there are periods where the sun is bright and confident, with beautiful sunsets, beneath foreboding banks of rain cloud that hover in the sky like those bloody spaceships from Independence Day.

All this points to spring having shaken off its shroud and crawled from the murky cave where it has slept all this time, since that last almighty, fucked up episode of English climate, that laughable excuse for weather that confounds both the scientist and prophet alike.

But with the promise of better weather came the sad realisation that my answer to domestic security and safety from rampaging bands of vicious fridge hungry penguins is of no more use to me, and I must get a grip once more and find an answer to Fluffy, the 8ft long, 400lb leopard seal I purchased for £1000  a few long months ago.

Its been a rough ride with my new flatmate, sometimes harsh and heavy, other times almost intimate, or as intimate as you can get with a territorial, shallow water predator with all the temperament of a drunk, chainsaw wielding schizophrenic whose jaws that can open to 160 degrees.

For the most part he has lurked, ever ready to ambush those nasty little penguin bastards, in my bathroom, which has forced me to clean my teeth in the kitchen, and visit friends for showers, though I have returned on ten occasions from work to find the wicked beast snuggled up in my bed, and snoring like a broken boiler, and believe me it takes nerves of steel and a very strong mop to dislodge a beast of his size from anywhere if he feels comfortable.

Also worthy of note to any marine biologists that might stumble upon this entry, is the fact that just like the penguins that raided me and made me install such a preventative measure, he also has found out how to open and loot my fridge. A skill I am beginning to believe is inherent in all such aquatic mammals though for the life of me, I can’t understand why or how.

So, yesterday I decided to give him back his freedom, after his diligent service in my flats protection. The roof has been fixed, mostly during the times I was trying to sleep after a night shift, and though the internal hole still gapes in the corridor ceiling, I don’t fear the patter of tiny webbed feet anymore.

It was 5.30am when I managed to leash the beast after a prolonged struggle, accompanied by the cried protests from the people who live beneath me. They’re the classic type of neighbour, who are happy to have gangs of their friends over and torment everyone with karaoke versions of Nolan’s hits, but when it comes to a little noise generated by wrestling a huge mammal into a collar, will gladly protest and curse, the wretch Essex lowlife vermin!

Once Fluffy had been secured I lead him through the still and silent streets towards the seafront and the towns crumbling pier, and for a while I felt at peace. I hate to see those wretched macho wankers out walking their designer dog accessories, usually pit bull terriers. Flat foreheaded cultural retards who think a nasty dog will make them worthy of kudos amongst the mean spirited peons who might take notice, but I have to admit that as me and my seal made our way through the empty town with its sleeping shop windows and lonely traffic lights, I felt like a king.

Fluffy was unusually placid during the trip, as if he too understood that the road ahead would bring him his freedom, and he just had to behave to reach his goal. And beneath the pier with its barnacle encrusted columns and gently lapping water echoes, he was released and freed to make his way to  wherever he wanted. You don’t argue with an animal of that size and nature, and I’m sure that even now he is travelling North, terrorising every living thing he comes across, in his quest to find a new home.

Thanks Fluffy and good luck.

* Lazy wind was a term I heard in South Africa on the Cape. Lazy because instead of going around you, it just goes straight through you.


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