It was another fine bright day, so Algy took a book of verse down to the place where the quiet burn tumbles through a wee channel with a soothing sort of gurgling, sploshing noise. He perched on the grass opposite the bed of wild irises, which were just beginning to shoot up their spiky green leaves again, and settled down with his book balanced on his knees to enjoy a happy Sunday morning’s reading. As he turned the pages he came upon a most appropriate rhyme:

          Bee! I’m expecting you!
          Was saying Yesterday
          To Somebody you know
          That you were due—

          The Frogs got Home last Week—
          Are settled, and at work—
          Birds, mostly back—
          The Clover warm and thick—

          You’ll get my Letter by
          The seventeenth; Reply
          Or better, be with me—
          Yours, Fly.

[Algy is quoting the poem Bee! I’m Expecting You! by the 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson.]                

When Algy woke up on Sunday morning, the weather had changed. It was still very chilly, but the wind was calmer, the sky was brighter, and – in between fast-moving showers of rain and sleet – the sun shone. Algy picked up his volume of Longfellow’s poems and looked for the least-sodden spot he could find. No part of the ground was actually dry, but he discovered a bank of budding daffodils that was only moderately wet. So, resigned to the prospect of damp tail feathers, he settled down happily in the sunshine, and started to read The Song of Hiawatha to his friend from Germany, the little black teddy:

           Should you ask me, whence these stories?
           Whence these legends and traditions,
           With the odours of the forest
           With the dew and damp of meadows,
           With the curling smoke of wigwams,
           With the rushing of great rivers,
          
With their frequent repetitions,
          
And their wild reverberations
          
As of thunder in the mountains?
           I should answer, I should tell you,
          
“From the forests and the prairies,
          
From the great lakes of the Northland,
          
From the land of the Ojibways,
          
From the land of the Dacotahs,
          
From the mountains, moors, and fen-lands
          
Where the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah,
          
Feeds among the reeds and rushes.
          
I repeat them as I heard them
          
From the lips of Nawadaha,
          
The musician, the sweet singer.”

Algy hopes that you will all have a bright and peaceful Sunday xoxo

[ Algy is of course reading the opening lines of the long narrative poem The Song of Hiawatha by the 19th century American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. ]

5th March 2015, World Book Day…  and Algy had hoped to spend the day outside, reading in the open air. But in the event it did nothing but rain, rain, rain the entire day, and reading in the rain is far from ideal… for the books!

What was he to do? Algy consulted his assistant, and she suggested that he recall a happier time spent reading, when the weather was much kinder – about six months ago. So in honour of World Book Day, Algy presents this reworked version of a reading Adventure he enjoyed in September 2014, when he was lazing in his assistant’s deckchair in the sunshine, searching for a favourite poem in a volume of verse.

Happy Reading Everyone 🙂 And Algy hopes that you will find some nice, warm sunshine to read in, and will not try reading in the rain!

The wind had strengthened during the night, and by mid-morning it had blown the mist away; at times there were even some patches of blue sky visible. It was not yet spring, but on the other hand it no longer felt like winter. Like the other birds, Algy was highly sensitive to the rapidly lengthening days and change of light. He felt a restlessness in the air, and he hurried down to the soothing sea. The wind was bitter, as usual, but it was always possible to find some shelter among the dunes, so he tucked his beak into his book of Poems of the Sea, and this is what he read:

          The people along the sand
          All turn and look one way.
          They turn their back on the land.
          They look at the sea all day.

          As long as it takes to pass
          A ship keeps raising its hull;
          The wetter ground like glass
          Reflects a standing gull.

          The land may vary more;
          But wherever the truth may be –
          The water comes ashore,
          And the people look at the sea.

          They cannot look out far.
          They cannot look in deep.
          But when was that ever a bar
          To any watch they keep?

[ Algy is reading the poem Neither Out Far Nor In Deep by the 20th century American poet Robert Frost. ]

There had been a wee change in the weather overnight… When the last of the great series of westerly gales had finished blowing in from the Atlantic, the wind swung round to the north, bringing a different kind of phenomenon. It was cold, but at least it was sort of drier, and it was now possible to perch safely in one place without the risk of being blasted into another. So Algy wrapped himself up in a tartan shawl and settled down to catch up with his reading. It was tricky trying to turn the pages with half-frozen feathers, but fortunately the wind was willing to help…

This “no edit Friday” image (related to the sequence which will follow later) is dedicated to Algy’s good friends at PWS photosworthseeing. Algy had just learned that PWS were starting a new blog for fine art nudes, and that from now on all photographs of unclothed persons would be displayed on the new blog, and not on the main PWS blog.

Algy was very anxious to be proper, and to avoid giving offence. So – just in case PWS decided to reblog his image – he carefully wrapped himself in a shawl for this photo, and hoped that they would excuse the bare legs…

Of course, Algy had to admit that the shawl did also come in very handy for keeping out the cold, and he wondered whether that was why humans were so often seen with clothes on :)))

Algy sends lots of very proper fluffy hugs to all his friends at photosworthseeing PWS xoxoxo

Algy’s friend Pete of tvoom recently “tagged” him to publish five random facts about himself, but Algy thought that maybe his invisible assistant should be included too, so…

Five random facts about Algy:

  1. Algy’s eyes are bright blue.
  2. Algy likes to take things easy, and tries to avoid work as often as possible 🙂 Sometimes he hides in the bushes so that his assistant won’t ask him to do difficult and dangerous things!
  3. Algy is of uncertain age, but like most fluffy birds he is probably much older than he looks. He can’t remember when he was born as he was just a tiny chick at the time…
  4. Algy loves the sea. However, although Algy can fly, he can’t swim. He is happy on the ground or in the air, but is in danger of his life if he falls into the water.
  5. Algy reads poetry and likes playing with old-fashioned toys 🙂
  6. Free extra fact: Algy loves all his wonderful Tumblr friends xoxo

Five random “facts” about Algy’s assistant, in Algy’s view:

  1. Algy’s assistant’s eyes are brown.
  2. Algy’s assistant rarely stops working: she expects everyone to work hard – especially Algy! – and often demands impossible feats in horrible weather. Boo hoo :-{{{
  3. Algy’s assistant is of uncertain age, but definitely a lot older than many people assume. She can’t remember when she was born, but she can remember a world that was different in many ways.
  4. Algy’s assistant loves the sea. Algy’s assistant can’t fly, and really doesn’t care to leave the ground at all… However, she can swim, but the sea in the West Highlands is much too cold for swimming and turns people blue.
  5. Algy’s assistant reads poetry and likes playing with old-fashioned toys 🙂
  6. Free extra fact: Algy’s assistant loves all Algy’s (and her own) wonderful Tumblr friends xoxo

Algy loves to read all your own “random facts” too. So he is going to cheat and “tag” all his friends who have not recently published five facts about themselves. He would love to know more about you ;-))

The West Highlands were enjoying an unusually warm spell of autumn weather, and Algy felt comfortably lazy. As he was flying around his friends’ garden, he spotted an invitingly vacant deck chair, so he decided to take advantage of it while no-one was looking. He settled down in the soft sunshine with one of his favourite volumes of verse, but he just couldn’t seem to find the poem he was looking for…

Have a wonderful, peaceful and relaxing weekend, everybody :-))

The light was failing as the dark clouds swept in across the sea behind him, but Algy continued to read. He was reading a poem about friendship, and this is what it said:

          Love is like the wild rose-briar,
          Friendship like the holly-tree—
          The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms
          But which will bloom most constantly?

          The wild rose-briar is sweet in spring,
          Its summer blossoms scent the air;
          Yet wait till winter comes again
          And who will call the wild-briar fair?

          Then scorn the silly rose-wreath now
          And deck thee with the holly’s sheen,
          That when December blights thy brow
          He still may leave thy garland green.

Algy dedicates this to all his amazing Tumblr friends who have been so incredibly kind to him (and to his assistant). When Algy started his Adventures, he never dreamed that they would lead to friendship with so many wonderful people around the world. Algy loves you all, and sends you all his very fluffiest hugs xoxoxo

And it is dedicated particularly to those people who have recently lost a friend – Algy is thinking of you especially…

[Algy is reading the poem Love and Friendship by the English 19th century author Emily Brontë.]