It was St. Andrew’s Day, so Algy forgot about his crowdfunding activities for a while, and flew up to the highest point on the headland with his wee saltire under his wing. He erected the tiny flag on a cairn of stones which some visitors had constructed over the years, and there he perched, on top of the world, singing Scotland the Brave at the top of his voice…

Algy wishes all the people of Scotland, at home and abroad, a very Happy St. Andrew’s Day :-))

Algy was fascinated by his jigsaw puzzle, and made excellent progess with the central part of the image that showed himself :-)) 

But he seemed to be having a wee bit of difficulty finding the right places to put all the less interesting pieces that made up the background of the picture. Maybe it was because the sun was so low in the sky at this time of year that it was difficult to distinguish the pieces clearly… or perhaps it was  just because it is really rather tricky to manipulate jigsaw pieces accurately with fluffy feathers…

Algy hopes that you are all enjoying a relaxing – and not too frustrating – weekend xoxo

[Algy’s 60-piece jigsaw puzzle for children is available to buy from Algy’s crowdfunding campaign page at Sponsume.]

A Very Happy Thanksgiving to all Algy’s American friends today! Algy hopes that you will all have a truly joyful and peaceful holiday xoxo

As Algy and his assistant perched on a rock by the water’s edge, watching the sea swirl around their toes while the sun sank down behind the clouds, they too gave thanks – for all their amazing and wonderful Tumblr friends who have provided so much encouragement and support for Algy’s fundraising campaign. Algy has been deeply touched by the extraordinary response he has received, by the numerous reblogs on blogs on which he does not normally appear, and by the sweet kindness of those friends who have included his campaign launch post on their own personal photography blogs. Thank you all from the bottom of Algy’s fluffy heart. He sends lots and lots of fluffy hugs to you all xoxoxox

When Algy and his assistant finally managed to launch their crowdfunding campaign for the forthcoming Tales from The Adventures of Algy, they were feeling very happy, but completely exhausted. So they went down to the beach together, to rest on the sand dunes in the golden afternoon light and discuss how the project was going.

It got off to a great start, and Algy and Jenny would like to offer a HUGE THANK YOU and lots and lots of fluffy hugs to everyone who reblogged the campaign launch post, and especially to those very kind friends who have already contributed to the fundraising. All of your efforts and kindness are truly appreciated xoxoxoxo

A Fluffy Hugs page will be published soon :-))

And if you haven’t done so yet, please…

Check out and share Algy’s campaign page at Sponsume – there are lots of nice things there, including some beautiful calendars, cute mugs, and children’s jigsaw puzzles for Christmas gifts :-))

Algy is proud and happy to announce the launch of the crowdfunding campaign for his forthcoming series of children’s books Tales from The Adventures of Algy.

Check out his campaign page at Sponsume – there are lots of nice things there!

Algy has made beautiful calendars, mugs and a children’s jigsaw puzzle for you to buy as gifts, and is also offering some very special “Rewards” to backers who would like to pre-order signed books, limited edition prints, or even a surprisingly fluffy book :-))))

And the image above shows the collectable limited edition campaign postcard :-)) (The Sponsume URL doesn’t appear on the card, of course!)

To avoid confusion, Algy would like to make it clear that the books are not available yet – the point of the campaign is to support their production and meet the up-front costs. The postcard, calendars and other gifts will be despatched within a couple of days of ordering.

Sponsume is a small but highly respectable British crowdfunding site for creative projects. Algy took a look at the big American crowdfunding platforms and was very concerned about the large number of scams and sleazy projects, so he decided to avoid them. But Algy knows that the majority of his friends live overseas, and would like to reassure you that payments can be received from anywhere, and gifts and “rewards” can be shipped to most international destinations (shipping costs are included).

Algy is terrifically excited about the whole project, and about the campaign itself, and he hopes you will be too :-)) He is going to work very, very hard with his assistant to ensure that everything goes smoothly and the books get published more or less on schedule.

Please signal boost – on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, anywhere at all…

Fluffy hugs to you all xoxoxoxo

Once upon a time…

Algy and his assistant met to discuss the production of his long-awaited series of fluffy children’s books, Tales from The Adventures of Algy.

There was just one wee problem: publishing projects cost money, and money is something which is very rarely seen in the West Highlands of Scotland… They agreed that it was essential to find some cash somewhere, to pay for the up-front costs. And so they decided to launch a special kind of rewards-based crowdfunding campaign, which will also act as Algy’s 2014 Christmas Gifts Market.

Algy is just waiting for the campaign to receive moderator approval, and then he will publish the link, so that you can buy his beautiful 2015 calendars, children’s jigsaw puzzles and mugs, as well as the more usual kind of “rewards” associated with funding a publishing project, such as signed copies of books and prints of the illustrations.

In the meantime, here is a sneak preview of Algy’s campaign video…

Algy is terrifically excited about all this, as he has never done anything like it before! He hopes that you will all share in his excitement :-)))

And if you haven’t got any money – or don’t want to spend it – please just wish Algy luck in this exciting new venture. Thank you xoxoxo

[The music included on Algy’s video soundtrack is the first two minutes of the famous Singin’ The Blues, recorded on the 78rpm Okeh label in 1927 by Frankie Trumbauer and his Orchestra, and featuring Bix Beiderbecke. The song was originally composed in 1920 or earlier, with the first known recordings released in 1920.]

Algy was tremendously excited about the plans for his forthcoming series of children’s books, and very keen to help his assistant with as much of the production work as he could. So, when he found an unfinished painting in one of his assistant’s watercolour pads, Algy decided to lend a hand…

This post is dedicated to one of Algy’s very oldest and closest friends, who has just had a minor eye operation and will now see the world in beautiful new colours – and to his sweet friend veganmarley in parched Australia, who wanted to know whether Algy would be helping with the illustrations for the books :-))

How Big is Algy??

First, Algy would like to thank you all very much indeed for your wonderful and heartwarming response to yesterday’s post. Your kindness and enthusiasm are so infectious that Algy and his assistant can hardly contain their own excitement now :-)) Great big fluffy hugs for you all XOXOXO

Algy would also like to thank the very kind Portrait tag editor. It is indeed an honour for a fluffy bird and his raggedy assistant to be recognised in this way. Thank you!

Second, Algy would like to respond to all those friends who remarked upon his size (and the size of his assistant!).

For the avoidance of any further doubt, accurate measurements have now been taken, and Algy can confide that he currently measures 28" (71cm) from the bottom of his feet to the top of his fluffy yellow head feathers, and has a wingspan of 25" (63 cm). But it’s quite possible that he has not yet stopped growing…

Algy’s assistant, on the other hand, measures 63" (160cm) from the bottom of her feet to the top of her head, not including her fluffy auburn head feathers, and has a wingspan of 66" (168cm). It is almost certain that she has stopped growing, although of course one can never be quite sure…

So Algy is not exactly small, and his assistant is not exactly large, but their relative sizes in yesterday’s photo were probably distorted somewhat by the effect of foreshortening or (unintentional) forced perspective, and by the fact that Algy was all fluffed up 🙂

While Algy was relaxing in the sunshine on the moor, a passing raven brought him a message: Algy’s assistant wanted to meet with him to discuss plans for his forthcoming children’s books. So Algy obligingly flew over to her garden, and the two of them spent a busy afternoon exchanging ideas and making notes…

Please stand by… more news about this project will follow at the weekend 🙂

Looking towards the north, there was an unusually clear view of the islands. As Algy leaned back in the heather, he could see the famous ridges of The Cuillin of the Isle of Skye standing out against the sky in the far distance. To the left, the Isles of Eigg and Rum seemed larger and closer than usual, with the Sea of the Hebrides surrounding them with the deep blue of a fine autumn day. Algy couldn’t help humming the well-known “traditional” Scottish song he had learned as a wee chick, many years before he came to know the places it described:

          A far croonin’ is pullin’ me away
          As take I wi’ my cromach to the road.
          The far Cuillins are puttin’ love on me,
          As step I wi’ the sunlight for my load.

          Chorus:
          Sure, by Tummel and Loch Rannoch
          And Lochaber I will go,
          By heather tracks wi’ heaven in their wiles;
          If it’s thinkin’ in your inner heart
          Braggart’s in my step,
          You’ve never smelt the tangle o’ the Isles.
          Oh, the far Cuillins are puttin’ love on me,
          As step I wi’ my cromach to the Isles.

          It’s by ‘Sheil water the track is to the west,
          By Ailort and by Morar to the sea,
          The cool cresses I am thinkin’ o’ for pluck,
          And bracken for a wink on Mother’s knee.

          It’s the blue Islands are pullin’ me away,
          Their laughter puts the leap upon the lame,
          The blue Islands from the Skerries to the Lews,
          Wi’ heather honey taste upon each name.

If you don’t know the song The Road to the Isles, listen to this fine recording by Canon Sydney MacEwan of Glasgow (ignore the introduction), or this one from the earliest archives by the famous Sir Harry Lauder, recorded in 1926.

This same lighthearted song was also played by the famous WWII piper Bill Millin on Sword Beach on D-Day, whose task it was to maintain the morale of troops under heavy fire during the Normandy landings: Piper, give us a tune…