Saturday, June 4, 2016


Tremendous news!

Tom Gowans, Hippo, the blogger who lives in Angola, has written nothing on his blog, A Hippo On The Lawn, since March 18, 2015, almost 15 months ago. (That date happened to be my birthday, but it is completely irrelevant.) Many wondered what had happened to him. All efforts to communicate failed. I think John Gray in Trelawnyd, Wales, may have been alone in being able to contact him once or twice.

Today, however, June 4, 2016, I received, along with several other privileged recipients, a wonderful surprise: An email from Tom! No mention of his leg. No mention of his restaurant. Only the following (I asked for and received permission from Tom to re-publish it here):

Date: Saturday, June 4, 2016 10:47 AM
From: Tom Gowans
To: [List of addressees]
Subject: Je suis Charlie...
Size: 2 MB

I would very much like to have said that her name was chosen as a nod towards tolerance, harmony, freedom of expression and peaceful co-existence regardless of race, creed or colour, 'je vous présente ma fille, Charlie…'

Sadly, given that such is Marcia's fascination with the British Royal family she wanted to name our humble two bedroomed timber cottage, 'Clarence House', I rather suspect Charlotte owes her name to Sky News and its non-stop coverage of the royal birth. Still, I get the last laugh; I can call her Charlie, which I think is a really sweet nickname for a girl, and it also happens to be the name of my dog so there will be an economy of effort when calling them both to heel.

Charlotte Teresa Manuel-Gowans, born 19.33hrs on the 30th May 2016, weighing 3535 grammes to the delight of both parents and her brothers Dominic and Alex. Both Marcia and Charlie are in the best of health.


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