Algy knew very well that the tide could sweep in fast, but he was not paying proper attention to what he was doing. So, before very long, a wave caught him unawares… It was particularly unfortunate for Algy that the beach was covered in huge masses of kelp and other seaweeds, thrown up by the winter storms :{

(This continues the series of images that started with yesterday’s post, in answer to Algy’s friend heterotopian’s question: “How often does Algy really get wet, and how does he get dry?”)

It was officially the last day of summer, and although summer in the West Highlands is not quite as it might be understood in other places, Algy felt that he ought to mark the occasion in some way. So he found himself a sunny perch on a rock very close to the water’s edge, and waited for the tide to wash in and tickle his toes.

Algy hopes that you will all have had an opportunity to dangle your toes in the water this summer – perhaps in a lake or pool, if not actually in the great Atlantic Ocean :))

Algy returned to the edge of the great sea loch, and perched on a barnacle-covered rock. The tide was sweeping in, carrying the water swiftly up towards the head of the loch, and Algy thought that maybe it was about time for him to follow it. He was beginning to feel a wee bit homesick for his own special patch of moorland and the beautiful western shore that was his home. For the moment, though, he was fascinated by the geometric patterns of light on the water, so he tarried a while longer, watching the ripples flowing, flowing, flowing…

Algy knew that around the headland there were many wee inlets where the sea liked to play, so whenever he felt in need of soothing entertainment he would choose one to visit and spend a happy afternoon there, perching on a rock or relaxing on a tiny beach, just watching the tide come and go.

Algy hopes that even if you are not able to perch on a rock by the sea or visit a quiet beach, you will all be able to spend a happy afternoon or two just relaxing peacefully over the weekend :))

The sea was rapidly approaching Algy’s sandcastle, and he knew that very soon it would be washed away… and then it would be time to party!

Please join Algy in celebrating his 2nd Tumblr birthday today – the party starts very soon, and there will be cake and ice cream for all, and a wee dram for the grownups who indulge 🙂

[If you would like to add something to Algy’s amazing collection of Anniversary contributions from his Tumblr friends, posted on lovefromalgy, it’s not too late 🙂 Please send him a link to reblog, or use his submissions page.]

And, as a birthday treat, Algy has made a special recording for you: listen to the wonderful sounds of the sea which Algy heard while watching his sandcastle.

… And very soon, just like King Canute before him, Algy discovered that in fact he could not hold back the tide…

Fortunately, the sun was shining and Algy was just in the mood for a refreshing salt-water bath. But as the water foamed around him, Algy remembered the closing verses from Thackeray’s poem, and he suggests that if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, you would do well to think of them too 🙂

          “Might I stay the sun above us, good sir Bishop?” Canute cried;
          “Could I bid the silver moon to pause upon her heavenly ride?
           If the moon obeys my orders, sure I can command the tide.

          "Will the advancing waves obey me, Bishop, if I make the sign?”
           Said the Bishop, bowing lowly, “Land and sea, my lord, are thine.”
           Canute turned towards the ocean—"Back!“ he said, "thou foaming brine.

          "From the sacred shore I stand on, I command thee to retreat;
           Venture not, thou stormy rebel, to approach thy master’s seat:
           Ocean, be thou still! I bid thee come not nearer to my feet!”

           But the sullen ocean answered with a louder, deeper roar,
           And the rapid waves drew nearer, falling sounding on the shore;
           Back the Keeper and the Bishop, back the king and courtiers bore.

           And he sternly bade them never more to kneel to human clay,
           But alone to praise and worship That which earth and seas obey:
           And his golden crown of empire never wore he from that day.
           King Canute is dead and gone: Parasites exist alway.

[Algy is quoting the final verses from the poem King Canute by the 19th century English satirical writer William Makepiece Thackeray.]

The tide was coming in fast and with considerable energy – it would be a very high tide today. Algy sat on the sand, fascinated by the surging foam produced by the waves as they raced up the beach. Like King Canute before him, Algy idly wondered whether he could bid the waves retreat, and hold back the tide…

Algy searched along the shore for some kind of bag which he could use to carry the baubles he had found. All sorts of bits and pieces of rubbish had been washed up by the storm, but most of it was useless. Eventually, he discovered a small green bag made of netting; it was exactly what he needed. But the tide was coming in fast now, and he had very little time left to rescue his treasure. Algy rushed back to the rock, and frantically tried to get all the baubles into the bag before the sea washed over him…