Algy felt tired after his struggle with the balloon, so he decided to take advantage of the fine weather, and rest for a while in the afternoon sunshine. A few miles away across the water he could see the Small Isles; there was a wee bit of snow still lingering on the highest peaks of the Isle of Rum. As he gazed out across the blue Sea of the Hebrides, Algy was reminded of a Victorian sonnet, although the exact location the poet had described was a wee bit further north:

          From blue Loch Carron rise white and sheer
              Its bare rock faces and island cones,
              And they glitter as frost and wind-bleached bones;
          Coral and sapphire far and near,
          Pearl-white coral and sapphire clear,
              Finely-chiselled as cameo stones,
              No blurred edges or soft mixed tones:
          Blue as the bottomless, white as fear.

          Do I sleep, do I dream, in the hard clear day,
              On the windy deck, in the afternoon,
          With the sough of the wave, and the spume of the spray,
              And my hair like the dank sea-tangle blown
          On the landward breeze? Is it Portree bay
              That we make, or some cove in the long dead moon?

[Algy is quoting the poem Among the Hebrides by the 19th century English poet Emily Pfeiffer.]


Today is a very special day indeed, because on this day Algy’s oldest friends celebrate their Diamond Wedding Anniversary! Please join Algy in sending them many, many congratulations on this amazing 60th anniversary of their marriage xx

It was in the days when they were first married that Algy’s old friends first saw the beautiful sight of the Hebridean islands lying off the west coast of Scotland – a sight which they have loved ever since. So to celebrate his friends’ wonderfully long-lasting marriage, Algy found a perch looking out at his own local Hebridean islands, and recited Shakespeare’s classic sonnet, which could have been written specially for them:

          Let me not to the marriage of true minds
          Admit impediments. Love is not love
          Which alters when it alteration finds,
          Or bends with the remover to remove.
          O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
          That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
          It is the star to every wand’ring bark,
          Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
          Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
          Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
          Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
          But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
          If this be error and upon me prov’d,
          I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.

[Algy is reciting Sonnet CXVI by William Shakespeare.]