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 loved to tuck himself in among the Marram grass on top of the dunes, and gaze out to sea with the salt wind in his face. Even in August the wind was always cold, but with plenty of fluffy feathers to keep him warm, he didn’t really mind… so long as the sun was shining!

A little bird had told Algy that his kind friend telescopical was about to take a wee trip across the mighty land of Canada to see the ocean for the very first time. Algy couldn’t imagine what it would be like to see the ocean for the first time, but he hoped that Kara would love it as much as he does xoxo

Algy flew up to the top of the highest sand dune and tucked himself in among the long stalks of the sharp Marram grass. The brisk north-westerly wind was blowing straight into his face, but the bright sunlight was uplifting despite the cold. As he gazed out across the dazzling sea from his lookout, he was reminded of a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke:

Mes yeux touchent déjà la colline ensoleillée devançant loin la
route que j’ai commencée. Ainsi nous sommes saisis par ce que nous ne
pouvons pas saisir; elle a la lumière intérieure, même d’une
distance

{My eyes already touch the sunny hill.
going far ahead of the road I have begun.
So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;
it has inner light, even from a distance- }

et nous change, même si nous ne l’atteignons pas, dans autre chose,
quel, la sentant à peine, nous sont déjà; un geste nous ondule sur
répondre à notre propre vague… mais ce qui jugeons nous est le
vent dans nos visages.

{and changes us, even if we do not reach it,
into something else, which, hardly sensing it,
we already are; a gesture waves us on
answering our own wave…
but what we feel is the wind in our faces. }

[Algy is quoting the poem Une Promenade by Rainer Maria Rilke, with an English translation by Robert Bly.]

After several weeks of grey skies and persistent rain, the sun was finally shining again and the sky was a beautiful blue. It was a wee bit windy, needless to say, but that was only to be expected. At this time of year there were always many tourists on the beach, and a fluffy bird is naturally shy, so Algy decided to tuck himself into the Marram grass on the dunes, well away from the crowds. He picked out a high spot where he could look out at the islands and the sea, and settled down to a happy afternoon of quiet reading.

Algy was thinking of his old friend who was about to have a cataract operation. She was naturally feeling rather frightened and anxious, so Algy searched in his book for a very silly poem to cheer his friend up and make her laugh:

          On the Ning Nang Nong
          Where the Cows go Bong!
          and the monkeys all say BOO!
          There’s a Nong Nang Ning
          Where the trees go Ping!
          And the tea pots jibber jabber joo.
          On the Nong Ning Nang
          All the mice go Clang
          And you just can’t catch ‘em when they do!
          So its Ning Nang Nong
          Cows go Bong!
          Nong Nang Ning
          Trees go ping
          Nong Ning Nang
          The mice go Clang
          What a noisy place to belong
          is the Ning Nang Ning Nang Nong!!

[Algy is quoting Spike Milligan’s poem On the Ning Nang Nong, which was published in his book of Silly Verse for Kids in 1968.]

During the brief West Highland summer, there are many fascinating plants to be found in the peat bogs if you look carefully enough, but Algy’s favourite doesn’t require close scrutiny to discover it. When the weather is reasonably warm, the whole bog is fragrant with the wonderful aroma of the leaves of the wee, shrubby bog myrtle – and Algy just loves it! He wishes he could send you some of its unique perfume, in the way that he can send you his pictures, but alas he cannot! So you will just have to imagine that you are sitting in the peat bog with Algy, inhaling this very special and uplifting aromatic scent 🙂

While Algy was on holiday in July, he spent a happy time among the aromatic bog myrtle of the peat bogs, lazily watching the cotton grass blowing gently in the wind. As he reclined there in the sunshine, he thought of one of his oldest friends, who – as it happens – celebrates her 86th birthday today, and for her sake he recited one of her favourite poems:

         There is no dusk to be,
             There is no dawn that was,
          Only there’s now, and now,
             And the wind in the  grass.

          Days I remember of
             Now in my heart, are now;
          Days that I dream will bloom
             White peach bough.

Algy sends lots of very special fluffy birthday hugs and kisses to his old friend today xoxoxoxo

[Algy is quoting the first two verses of the poem An Eternity by the American 20th century Modernist poet and Librarian of Congress, Archibald MacLeish.]

Oh No, Not MORE Technical Problems …

No sooner had Algy resumed his Adventures, than the phone line used to post them went down. It’s back at present, but it’s very dodgy and crackly, and it may fail completely at any time.

In this remote area, Algy’s assistant is dependent upon a fixed landline to connect to the internet, and it can take some time to get someone out here to sort out problems. The engineer will not be coming until next Tuesday (19th August). There is no mobile signal, so there is no mobile phone to use instead.

So if there is another interruption to Algy’s adventures over the next few days, please forgive him, and be patient just a wee bit longer. Eventually all will be well – he hopes!

If the line holds up, Algy’s Adventures will continue without further interruptions, but if the line fails Algy should be back again in the middle of next week sometime. Sorry!

It never rains but it pours… and that is probably precisely the problem. Phone line faults in this exceedingly wet area are frequently caused by water in the connection boxes underground…