Low Tide…

When he had had a good long rest, Algy hopped up onto the edge of the boat and perched there looking at the spectacle of the harbour at low tide. Bunches of stranded seaweed trailed from all the ropes which were secured to the harbour walls, and the beached boats listed aimlessly to one side, as though they were not feeling quite well, deserted by the sea. The tide was still running out, and the surface of the sea bed shimmered with a thin coating of water that had not quite drained away, and possibly never would…

Messing About in Boats…

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Algy was enchanted by the world he found at the foot of the harbour wall; at high tide this world simply did not exist. Of course elements of it were there at all times, glimpsed beneath the surface of the water when the tide was in, but when the tide ran out, strange things began to happen. Objects which had been floating became grounded on the shingle beach, and those which had been partly submerged were fully revealed, in many cases turning out to be very much larger than Algy had imagined. And, as the water receded, it left behind a miniature landscape of seaweed, coloured pebbles and sea shells, with many other things to discover besides, which the harbour birds swooped upon joyfully, shouting with pleasure.

Close to the wall, a stranded boat was reclining in an inviting manner, and Algy decided to recline for a while too. Tucking himself into one corner, on what seemed to be a perch specially provided for the purpose, he studied the jumble of bits and pieces in front of him. The scene reminded him of something in a story he had read:

“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing—absolute nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,” he went on dreamily: “messing—about—in—boats; messing—”

Someone had certainly been messing about in this one…

Algy lent back lazily, and dreamed of messing about in a boat of his own, bobbing across the water without a care in the world – happy in the knowledge that in reality the boat was firmly grounded on the beach 😀

If you are on holiday today, Algy hopes you are having a safe and happy time, messing about in boats, or doing something equally relaxing…

[Algy is of course quoting a passage from Chapter 1 of The Wind in the Willowsby the early 20th century English author Kenneth Grahame.]

Happy Easter!

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It was Easter morning, and Algy woke in the temporary nest he had made among the paraphernalia of the fishermen’s pier to find that it was a beautiful, sunny day, although exceedingly chilly. Observing that the tide was going out, he decided to explore the world at the foot of the harbour wall, which was rapidly being revealed by the receding water. Several flights of ancient stone stairs led down the sides of the massive stone structures which held back the sea, and the lower steps were covered with slippery growths of sea vegetables. As Algy tried to hop down the steps one at a time he slid, bounced down several more stairs, and landed with a bump on his tail feathers. For a moment he was somewhat discomposed, but when he had recovered sufficiently to look around, he was astonished by what he saw among the mass of seaweed covering the lowest step…

Happy Easter everyone! Algy sends you all lots of very fluffy Easter hugs, and hopes you will find all some lovely surprises today xo

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 😀

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.]

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 weather had turned cold, grey and very damp, and Algy felt in need of a wee change of scene. He decided to fly across the water to the sheltered harbour of Tobermory, a village on the Isle of Mull which has the distinction of hosting the only real bookshop for many, many miles around. Tackle & Books (the dark grey and maroon building just to the left of the bright red one) has a good children’s book section, and Algy was delighted to see his own books on sale there 🙂 

Algy found a cold iron railing at the edge of the water and perched there in the drizzly rain, studying the view across the harbour. He thought it was a good thing that the human residents of Tobermory had decided to paint the harbourside buildings in cheerful, bright colours or – on such a summer’s day as this – the scene would have looked very drab indeed…

This post is especially dedicated to Algy’s friend @petrinakent 🙂