Algy flew up to one of the higher points on the headland, so that he could get a better view to the east. Although this would be a dangerously exposed spot in a gale, it provided a very pleasant perch on a fine day, although it was never entirely free from the wind. But the view was impressive; it was possible to see for at least 40 miles in most directions, and sometimes even further. The sea and the sky were so exceedingly blue that Algy found himself humming one of his favourite old songs:

          Beyond the blue horizon
          Waits a beautiful day.
          Goodbye to things that bore me.
          Joy is waiting for me.
          I see a new horizon.
          My life has only begun.
          Beyond the blue horizon lies a rising sun.

Algy hopes that a beautiful day full of joy is waiting for all of you :)))

[Algy is humming part of Beyond the Blue Horizon, a song by Leo Robin, Richard A. Whiting and W. Franke Harling, which was introduced by Jeanette McDonald in the 1930 Ernst Lubitsch musical film Monte Carlo.]

Algy moved closer to the edge of the precipice, so that he could get a better view of the sea below. It was just rolling peacefully along today, swirling around the rocks quite innocently, as though it had never been known to thunder and roar up the canyon with terrific force, throwing spray right up to the rocks where Algy was perching. Algy was fascinated by the many different moods of the ocean. He loved the excitement and drama of the stormy days, but this gentle, soothing swell of the deep blue was just perfect for a lazy afternoon’s rest :))

There was one spot on the headland which Algy loved especially. At this point the ground rose towards a cleft in the rock, with each face vertical as though it was a doorway through to the other side. But beyond this opening the rocks plunged straight down to the sea, forming a wee canyon for the tide to surge up in stormy weather. Woe betide the careless explorer who rushed towards this “way through” without due caution – or without wings!

Best of all, however, there was a lovely view through this gap to the north. Algy leaned back against the rocks in the warm afternoon sunshine, and gazed across the Sea of the Hebrides towards the Small Isles. It was a beautiful spring day, and the sea was a dark, dark blue, echoing the blue sky overhead. Everything was calm and peaceful; there was no sound except the constant murmur of the sea below and the singing of a skylark overhead. It reminded Algy of a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins:

          On ear and ear two noises too old to end
          Trench—right, the tide that ramps against the shore;
          With a flood or a fall, low lull-off or all roar,
          Frequenting there while moon shall wear and wend.

          Left hand, off land, I hear the lark ascend,
          His rash-fresh re-winded new-skeinèd score
          In crisps of curl off wild winch whirl, and pour
          And pelt music, till none ’s to spill nor spend.

[Algy is quoting the first two verses of the poem The Sea and the Skylark by the 19th century English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.]

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 :))

It was the first pleasantly warm spring day, and Algy was sitting quietly in his friends’ garden, enjoying the sunshine. Suddenly he noticed an unusual commotion, and hurried over to investigate. He was fascinated to see two male adders wrestling on the ground – the celebrated “Dance of the Adders”, a beautiful ritual form of combat which few people ever get to see. Algy noticed that there was a lady adder hiding coyly in the wee bush behind him, waiting to see which of her admirers would win the dance. So far as he could tell, the two were evenly matched, but eventually they parted, and one chased the other away.

Later in the day, Algy was tickled to see the “loser” sunbathing a little distance away, apparently without a care in the world :))

Happy Earth Day!

When Algy woke up the next day, it was Easter Sunday, and a beautiful bright, sunny day it was too! As he looked across the burn towards the other bank, he noticed that something rather unusual had happened in the night. Algy hurried over to investigate, and discovered a tiny chick which had just hatched out of an Easter egg. The wee chick seemed confused and uncertain how to proceed, finding itself suddenly in a strange new world, so Algy decided to teach it the Happy Dance without delay, and was very happy so see that the chick seemed to pick it up in no time…

Algy wishes a very Happy Easter to all his friends who celebrate Easter, and an exceptionally Happy Day to everyone! Algy says “Let’s all do the Happy Dance today!” :)))

There had been a noticeable improvement in the weather, and for the time being it felt almost warm in sheltered spots out of the wind. Algy knew just such a spot, where the burn broadened out for a stretch between rocky banks covered with overhanging gorse and heather, and flowed for a while towards the west, so that it got plenty of afternoon sunshine. He found himself a perch low over the shallow water, where he could watch the play of light and shadow at close quarters, and dozed happily there in the sunshine for an hour or two, or maybe three…