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 😀

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.]

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…

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…

A Light Exists in Spring…

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Algy relaxed in the safety of the wee corner he had found, and basked in the unaccustomed warmth of the early spring sunlight. The wind was still icy, but in a sheltered spot it felt comfortably pleasant – as is so often the case in the wild west Highlands of Scotland when the sun deigns to shine…

It was the vernal equinox, and as Algy gazed at the bright colours glowing all around him, he rejoiced at the start of the light half of the year – and remembered some lines from a poem he had read, although he felt that its reference to human nature was a wee bit restrictive…

A light exists in spring
Not present on the year
At any other period.
When March is scarcely here

A color stands abroad
On solitary hills
That silence cannot overtake,
But human nature feels.

Algy wishes all his friends in the northern hemisphere a very Happy Spring!

[Algy is quoting the first two stanzas of a A Light Exists in Spring by the 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson.]

Safety Precautions

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As the ferry moved further out to sea, Algy began to feel a wee bit nervous. Fluffy birds cannot swim – not even a few strokes – and he began to wonder what would happen if his new mode of transport were to sink into the briny deep. Of course fluffy birds can fly, perfectly well, and there was nothing except fear to prevent him from flying back across the waves to the safety of terra firma, if the need should arise.

Nevertheless, Algy felt that it was better to be on the safe side. Paying close attention to the many notices scattered about, in accordance with the instructions which had been broadcast so loudly when the boat had sailed away from the slipway, Algy found his way to the most promising of the various types of emergency equipment provided, and tucked himself happily into a comfortable corner of an exceedingly orange contraption, which was provided with an odd assortment of perches…

An Ideal Perch by the Seaside :)

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The ground was so damp and slimy, not to mention cold, that Algy looked around for another perch nearby, and soon found a splendid seat among a collection of nautical paraphernalia which the humans had left lying about the place. When the wind blew – as it did most of the time – it was almost as good as a swing, and although Algy found it a wee bit tricky to keep his balance and avoid tumbling off when the stronger gusts took him by surprise, he enjoyed himself immensely… until it started to rain again.

Algy hopes that you will all enjoy a colourful, entertaining, and very happy Sunday 🙂

The ground was so damp and slimy, not to mention cold, that Algy looked around for another perch nearby, and soon found a splendid seat among a collection of nautical paraphernalia which the humans had left lying about the place. When the wind blew – as it did most of the time – it was almost as good as a swing, and although Algy found it a wee bit tricky to keep his balance and avoid tumbling off when the stronger gusts took him by surprise, he enjoyed himself immensely… until it started to rain again.

Algy hopes that you will all enjoy a colourful, entertaining, and very happy Sunday 🙂