Much to Algy’s surprise, the next morning was full of colour and light. It meant that the wind had returned, of course, but Algy realised that one can’t have everything … There wasn’t any real warmth in the sun at this time of year, but it was cheerful and bright, and the view from the dunes was very fine. A wee bit of sunshine makes such a difference to a bird’s spirits! So Algy got out his book and read his favourite children’s rhyme to the world at large, and especially for Amy, far away in Italy. Algy realises that there might be some places in the world where a rhyme of this kind seems like nonsense, but that is certainly not the case in the West Highlands of Scotland 🙂 He hopes that it will help to lift your spirits too:

          The Man in the Wilderness asked of me
          “How many blackberries grow in the sea?”
           I answered him as I thought good,
          “As many red herrings as grow in the wood.”

          The Man in the Wilderness asked me why
          His hen could swim, and his pig could fly.
          I answered him briskly as I thought best,
         “Because they were born in a cuckoo’s nest.”

         The Man in the Wilderness asked me to tell
         The sands in the sea and I counted them well.
         Says he with a grin, “And not one more?”
         I answered him bravely, “You go and make sure.”

[The author of this old rhyme is anonymous, and its origins are obscure.]


Algy’s old friend needed plenty of cheering up after her stay in hospital, so when Algy got too tired to continue his Happy Loony Dance, he retreated to a rock at a safe distance from the sea and got out his little volume of poetry, to read her this Laughing Song:

          When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy,
          And the dimpling stream runs laughing by;
          When the air does laugh with our merry wit,
          And the green hill laughs with the noise of it;

          When the meadows laugh with lively green,
          And the grasshopper laughs in the merry scene;
          When Mary and Susan and Emily
          With their sweet round mouths sing “Ha, ha he!”

          When the painted birds laugh in the shade,
          Where our table with cherries and nuts is spread:
          Come live, and be merry, and join with me
          To sing the sweet chorus of “Ha, ha, he!”

Algy thinks that lots of his friends may need some cheering up just now, so he says “Come live, and be merry”! Forget the January Blues, and join Algy in singing the sweet chorus of “Ha, ha, he!” 🙂

[Algy is reading Laughing Song by William Blake.]

Today, one of Algy’s Tumblr friends is celebrating her birthday. So he made this special picture to say “Happy Birthday, allthingssoulful”, and to provide a little mid-winter colour to cheer up anyone who is sad or suffering from the February blues. He hopes that the wonderful fragrance of the flowers will reach Romania, and float all around the world 🙂