The rain was approaching rapidly, sweeping across the hills on the other side of the loch like a trailing black sheet in the wind. Algy retreated to his patch of gorse and prepared to get very wet, although he knew that the squall would pass as quickly as it had arrived. Looking out across the loch, Algy was reminded of some lines from a poem by the Scottish poet Robin Robertson:

          A squall lifts the gorse
          at the brink of the sea-fall:
          the sky’s film turned to fast-forward
          as clouds bloom
          like milk in water.

[Algy is quoting part of the poem Flags of Autumn from Camera Obscura by Robin Robertson.]


Algy travelled on a little further, until he reached a spot overlooking the old castle in the great sea loch. Huge masses of golden gorse covered the headland, so he decided to make a bed out of the soft, perfumed flowers. That night Algy dreamed of a tropical island, full of the exotic fragrance of spiced coconut!

The tide turned, the wind dropped, and the sun emerged from beneath the clouds to make the water of the big sea loch sparkle in all its many colours. By the side of the loch, the gorse was in bloom. Algy loves the cheerful colour of the gorse which flowers so bravely in the cold Highland spring, but the bushes are much too prickly to perch on, so he settled himself comfortably in a sunny spot on the grass and got out his notebook …