Wild the Clouded Gleam

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Algy perched on a large rock beside the quiet loch and watched the dark clouds scudding fast across the sky. It was clear that he would soon be drenched again, but for the moment a rare burst of sunshine was providing some much needed light and a wee bit of comforting warmth. The autumn was advancing rapidly, and the damp leaves and grasses were glowing with their last bright colours before the fall. Not that leaves often had a chance to fall naturally in the wild west Highlands of Scotland; more likely, they would be all be gone with the wind, when the next Atlantic storm blew in…

Somewhere on the hillside behind him, a robin was quietly warbling its autumn song, and as Algy listened to its sweet notes he was reminded of another song, by Canon Dixon:

The feathers of the willow
Are half of them grown yellow
Above the swelling stream;
And ragged are the bushes,
And rusty now the rushes,
And wild the clouded gleam.

The thistle now is older,
His stalks begin to moulder,
His head is white as snow;
The branches all are barer,
The linnet’s song is rarer,
The robin pipeth low.

[Algy is quoting The Feathers of the Willow by the 19th century English cleric and poet, Canon Richard Watson Dixon.]

Diamonds are Algy’s Best Friend

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Algy is a collector of diamonds. Not those brash, unyielding, expensive rocks, once said to be “a girl’s best friend”, which human beings seem to value so highly, and for which some even risk their lives or their fortunes, but those far more precious and ephemeral gems which dance across the water of Scottish seas and lochs when the sun infuses them with life. Of course, Algy cannot collect them literally, as they elude even the most skilful and persistent captor, but he stores them in his mind, so that their brilliance can illuminate even the darkest days which may lie ahead. A creature with a head full of treasures such as these is rich indeed 🙂

Monochrome and Colour

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Some days it rained all day without a break, and some days the rain paused for a while, to rest and recuperate. On those days there were occasional bursts of light while the clouds regrouped, and it was often possible to see the dividing line between the monochrome world and the full colour version. Algy was intrigued by these changes, and watched in fascination as the clouds and rain wiped the colour out of the landscape, and then short spells of sunshine restored it.

Algy hopes you will all have a happy and relaxing weekend, whether it is in monochrome or in colour 🙂

[ This photo has not been altered to create the divide 🙂 ]

Honour to those…

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Algy perched on a large boulder in a patch of pale autumn sunlight and stared at the waters of the loch.

He was reflecting on the strange nature of human beings; a few of them caused a huge amount of trouble and distress for others who they did not even know, and yet the vast majority were kind to one another, especially when those in trouble or danger were in need of help. The situation was entirely baffling to a fluffy bird, but by a strange coincidence it seemed to match today’s poem in the anthology “A Poem for Every Day of the Year” – a poem which was written over 150 years ago:

Whene’er a noble deed is wrought,
Whene’er is spoken a noble thought,
Our hearts, in glad surprise,
To higher levels rise.

The tidal wave of deeper souls
Into our inmost being rolls,
And lifts us unawares
Out of all meaner cares.

Honor to those whose words or deeds
Thus help us in our daily needs,
And by their overflow
Raise us from what is low!

[Algy is quoting the opening verses of the poem Santa Filomena by the 19th century American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.]

The Silver Loch

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The West Highland weather was taking a walk on the wild side, but at times it paused to rest and reflect. When Algy was sure that the wind had dropped down to a tolerable level for a wee while, he flew over to the sheltered silver loch and perched on a rock. It was calm and peaceful there, and the lap lap lap of the tiny waves soothed him like a gentle lullaby. Although Algy loved the untamed ocean and the pounding of the breakers close to his home, it was undeniably pleasant to be able to relax for a while in a softer, more serene environment…

Free Kindle Ebook: Sunday 1st October

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*** SPECIAL OFFER: FREE KINDLE BOOK SUNDAY 1ST OCTOBER 2017 ***

Algy had a wonderful surprise this week. An enormous truck, which entirely blocked the tiny single-track road outside his assistant’s house, brought him an unusually large delivery…

Algy was astonished. With some difficulty he tore the clingy outer wrapping apart with his beak and then opened one of the many cardboard boxes inside. It was full of lovely new copies of his book “A Surprisingly Fluffy Bird”. Algy sniffed the book eagerly; it had a special, sweet sort of smell that was quite unlike the previous paperback copies he had seen. Puzzled, he asked his assistant to explain, and she told him that these books had been printed on an offset litho press, by a printing company who had been making books for fluffy birds and other customers since the 19th century 🙂

To celebrate this lovely new offset litho print run of his book “A Surprisingly Fluffy Bird”, Algy has made the KINDLE EBOOK edition of this book FREE FOR EVERYONE on SUNDAY 1ST OCTOBER 2017.

Ideal for young readers aged 7 to 10, for reading aloud to the wee ones, and for all adults who love Algy or who remain young at heart 🙂

Friends who have already downloaded this book may wish to do so again as it now has a glossary of Scottish and Gaelic names and words, as well as some minor revisions to the text.

Here are some links that go direct to the Kindle book on some of the main Amazon sites (Algy was not able to access the Kindle book on some overseas sites as he is based in the UK.)

amazon.co.uk

amazon.com

amazon.de

amazon.jp

FREE TO DOWNLOAD ALL DAY SUNDAY 1ST OCTOBER 2017

Please share!

If your country is not listed above, please go to your local Amazon site and search for “A Surprisingly Fluffy Bird” in Kindle books. You do not need a Kindle device to read Kindle ebooks – there are free Kindle reading apps available from Amazon for most computers and devices.

And if you would like a lovely new offset litho paperback copy of “A Surprisingly Fluffy Bird”, signed by Algy and/or his assistant Jenny, you can buy one direct from Algy’s own web site or from the An Sithean Press web site – and fluffy bird mail can be delivered to almost any country of the world 🙂

Lifting Fog

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When the morning sun filtered through the soft white curtain of fog, the beautiful, warm colours of a Highland moorland in autumn started to emerge in patches here and there. Algy leaned back comfortably against a wee ledge on one of the numerous rock outcrops, and watched the colours increase in intensity and begin to glow as the sun gradually lifted the fog from the hillsides.