Messing About in Boats…


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.]



Algy is delighted to announce that the Kindle ebook version of his new book, The Magical Midwinter Star, has just been published and will be FREE to download all day tomorrow, Sunday 18th December – just in time for you to check it out to see whether you want to include a printed copy of the book in someone’s Christmas stocking 🙂 The offer applies to all Amazon sites around the world.

Full details about buying the paperback and hardback editions are available in Algy’s previous post, and friends in the UK are reminded that if they buy from Algy’s own web shop they will get FREE DELIVERY by 1st class post to UK addresses. This applies to ALL Algy’s books purchased before Christmas, not just the new one.

Because the Kindle book is brand new, Amazon have not yet linked it to the print versions, so please go to your local Amazon site on Sunday and search for The Magical Midwinter Star. Algy will post some direct links tomorrow.

As this story is about a midwinter celebration and is suitable for all winter holidays, Algy wants to share it with you over the holiday season. So the Kindle ebook will also be FREE to download over the Christmas and New Year weekends – on Saturday and Sunday 24th and 25th December, and on Saturday 31st December and Sunday 1st January 🙂 

Signed copies of all Algy’s books, complete with personal dedications in your own words, are available from Algy’s own web shop.

[This illustration by Jenny Chapman appears at the head of Chapter 5 of The Magical Midwinter Star.]