Reflections…

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Algy hopped up onto the massive stone wall which ran along one edge of the pier, and leaned back against another cold, hard thing, which had been placed there for some reason which remained obscure. Gazing out across the bay, he was astonished by the brilliant rainbow effect in the water, created by the reflections of the humans’ painted buildings. Algy had never seen such colours in the sea before; in fact, he had never seen such colours anywhere before. Even the strange objects which the humans used to transport themselves about the place seemed to have been coloured in order to blend in with the rest of the scene…

Algy hopes that you will all have a brightly coloured and happy weekend 😀

Indecision…

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Algy leaned back against the cold, hard bollard, and wondered what he ought to do next. It was almost Easter, and he could not decide whether to return home for Easter Day, or whether to stay in this strange environment for the holiday weekend. It was certainly a fascinating place, and quite unlike his usual surroundings… There would undoubtedly be many more interesting things to discover if he explored a wee bit further… Algy pondered, and wondered, and thought, and considered, and hummed and hawed, debating the matter this way and that with himself until he was totally confused, but still he couldn’t make up his mind…

Algy hopes that whatever you are doing this Easter you will have a joyful, peaceful and relaxing time – and if you have not yet made up your mind how to spend the weekend, he hopes you will be able to reach a decision soon 😀

He thought he saw…

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As the fishermen who were mending their nets at the end of the wharf kept on looking at him, Algy came to the conclusion that his presence must be making them a wee bit nervous. He certainly didn’t want to distract them from their work, or cause them any alarm, so he turned away and moved to the further side of a large bollard near the edge of the quayside, to make it clear that he was no longer watching them. The hard surfaces of these man-made structures were not at all congenial to perch upon or lean against, but Algy was so fascinated by the strange new environment he had discovered that he resolved to put up with the discomfort a little longer. As he tried to make sense of the confusing jumble of objects on the pier, and reflected upon the odd activities of the humans he had seen, he was reminded of some well-known verses by Lewis Carroll. So Algy started to sing quietly to himself:

He thought he saw an Elephant,
That practised on a fife:
He looked again, and found it was
A letter from his wife.
“At length I realise,” he said,
“The bitterness of Life!”

He thought he saw a Buffalo
Upon the chimney-piece:
He looked again, and found it was
His Sister’s Husband’s Niece.
“Unless you leave this house,” he said,
“I’ll send for the Police!”

He thought he saw a Rattlesnake
That questioned him in Greek:
He looked again, and found it was
The Middle of Next Week.
“The one thing I regret,” he said,
“Is that it cannot speak!”

He thought he saw a Banker’s Clerk
Descending from the bus:
He looked again, and found it was
A Hippopotamus
“If this should stay to dine,” he said,
“There won’t be much for us!”

[Algy is quoting some of the verses from The Mad Gardener’s Song, which appear scattered at intervals in chapters of Syvie and Bruno by the 19th century English writer and logician, Lewis Carroll.]

Fishermen’s Pier

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Algy selected a spot conveniently close to a life-saving device, just in case he should experience a mishap while studying what was going on in the water below, and leaned back on the hard stone wharf in the sunshine. Looking around he thought that he had never seen such a jumble of odd-looking stuff of uncertain purpose; it was piled up higgledy-piggledy all over the place, and Algy reflected that humans were undoubtedly a great deal untidier than Nature…

[Algy says that if you were unable to spot him in yesterday’s post, this one should help you locate him 😀 ]

Men at Work…

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From the far end of the bay, Algy could see several brightly coloured boats fastened by ropes to a stone pier which jutted out into the water, and he decided to fly over to investigate.

There was a certain amount of leisurely but busy human activity concentrated around the boats, and a couple of men were mending long nets which had been strung out along the wharf. All kinds of odd objects were piled up here and there, or suspended over the sides of things, and the whole scene conveyed an impression of carefully arranged muddle and confusion.

Algy was intrigued, so he perched quietly on the edge of the quay, as unobtrusively as possible, and started to watch what was going on. From time to time the men glanced at him with slightly puzzled expressions on their faces, but without pausing in their activities. However, they seemed to pay no attention at all to the various large, shrieking seabirds which swooped round the boats and landed on the pier from time to time, so Algy guessed that the humans were quite accustomed to avian activity in general, and were simply unsure whether he was a new species which they had not met before…

[Algy says that if you find it difficult to see him in this photo, blow it up and look again 😀 He can assure you that he is definitely there.]

Tobermory

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When Algy had rested sufficiently to recover from the after-effects of his unnatural mode of transport across the sea, he hopped back into the air and flew across to the far side of the small bay. Finding a supportive if not entirely comfortable perch in an odd bush, he studied the scene in front of him. Although it was not far from his own home, as the seabird flies, it bore little resemblance to the environment he was used to. Algy was accustomed to seeing the hard, block-like structures in which the humans lived, but the ones he knew were either a naturally dirty white, like himself, or built out of plain stone, and they were dotted about the landscape more or less at random. Here, however, the humans had clustered their structures densely together for some reason, and had decorated them with all the colours of the rainbow. The result was most striking. Not only did it brighten up the dull, early spring landscape considerably, but the colours were reflected in the water too, creating a very pretty effect.

At the extreme end of the far side of the bay, Algy noticed the odd contraption which had conveyed him to the island. It was motionless now, and he wondered whether it was waiting to take him home again. But if that was the case, it would just have to wait! He wasn’t ready to leave this strange new place yet – not by any means…

Algy wishes you all a wonderfully bright and colourful Sunday, and if you should happen to be travelling by ferry boat, Algy hopes that it will wait for you…😁

A Picture Postcard

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And so, finally, the ferry boat ground to a halt, and after some protracted rumbling and shaking, the din of the many noises it made subsided too. Looking down towards the lower deck, Algy saw that the crew member who had beckoned to him on the other side of the water was waving at him again, apparently now wishing him to disembark. Algy fluttered unsteadily off the boat, and landed as soon as possible on the concrete slipway, feeling decidedly wobbly.

Looking around, he discovered that he had arrived at one side of a very pretty circular bay. He could see at once that there was much to discover and explore, but he felt rather peculiar, and decided that perhaps he should take a wee bit of time to steady himself first, as the ground seemed to be going up and down beneath him in a most unusual way. Getting to his feet, Algy tested his wings carefully, to make sure that he could fly in a reasonably straight line, then lifted himself slowly into the air and rose a short distance up the hillside which climbed very steeply above the water. Flying vertically upwards seemed to be much more of an effort than usual, so he stopped at the earliest opporunity, alighting on a low, ivy-covered wall which seemed to provide both a comfortable perch and a fine view of the bay. Settling himself down to rest, Algy gazed out at the scene in front of him. Apparently he had arrived in a picture postcard…

No Entry, Crew Only…

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The ferry was beginning to make the same strange noises that it had made when it set off, with a great deal of beeping and wailing and flashing of lights as well as a much increased rumbling sound which seemed to cause its entire structure to shudder and shake. Algy guessed that this meant it was preparing to come to a halt, but although he tried several different viewpoints, he still could not see around the corner of the headland and into the bay. He wondered whether he would get a better view from the extreme end of the boat, but when he approached it he found a notice which stated NO ENTRY CREW ONLY in no uncertain terms. Algy pondered for a moment, considering whether this would apply to fluffy birds as well as other kinds of passengers, but eventually decided that he had better not take any chances, or he might get into trouble. Resolved to be patient just a wee bit longer, Algy jumped up and down on the edge of one of the collapsing perches until it obligingly collapsed, and then leaped upon it quickly before it changed its mind, pressing his body downwards as firmly as he could to prevent it folding itself up around him again…

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lament…

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Suddenly, Algy caught sight of a bright, white lighthouse, built on a small, low spit of land projecting from the coast of the island. Being used to a very much larger lighthouse, which dominated a mass of highly exposed and very dangerous rocks, Algy was amused by this tame and modest version, though he guessed that the humans must have had some reason he could not perceive for putting it there. As he gazed at the neat little lighthouse while the ferry boat chugged on towards the land, Algy chuckled to himself, remembering a poem he had once read:

Oh what is the bane of a lightkeeper’s life
That causes him worry, struggle and strife,
That makes him use cuss words, and beat his wife?
It’s Brasswork.

What makes him look ghastly consumptive and thin,
What robs him of health, of vigor and vim,
And causes despair and drives him to sin?
It’s Brasswork.

The devil himself could never invent,
A material causing more world wide lament,
And in Uncle Sam’s service about ninety percent
Is Brasswork.

The lamp in the tower, reflector and shade,
The tools and accessories pass in parade,
As a matter of fact the whole outfit is made
Of Brasswork…

[Algy is quoting the first four verses of the poem It’s Brasswork: The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lament written by Frederick W. Morong, an American lighthouse keeper in the early 20th century.]

What Lies Ahead?

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Before very long, the boat began to swing round towards the sun, and Algy could see that it was approaching the large island which lay across the water from his home. Leaving the safety of his temporary nest in the ferry’s lifeboat, he perched precariously on the top of one of the collapsing perches provided for the “comfort” of passengers on the upper deck, and gazed at his destination. At first sight it did not seem particularly exciting, but it looked as though a hidden bay might lie ahead…