Have a Peaceful, Safe and Happy Week

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Algy moved close to the water and gazed at the waves as they rolled up against the rocks. In a world of constant trouble and strife, the perpetual motion of the sea provided a perfect antidote – even though Algy knew that the ocean itself held plenty of dangers for creatures not adapted to living in it…

But despite the perils of the deep, perching on a rock on a fine day, just watching the ever-changing pattern of motion and listening to all the wonderful sounds that the sea made, was profoundly soothing. In Algy’s opinion, this was a perfect way to spend an afternoon… a fluffy bird’s idea of peace and contentment 🙂

Algy wishes you all a peaceful, safe and happy week ahead xoxo

Algy’s Primrose Path :)

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Algy followed the lighthouse keepers’ path which led down to the rocks, and was surprised to see many clumps of primroses growing on the steep banks that rose up towards the lighthouse itself. It was a very pleasant place to perch in safety and listen to the sea, which – even on a calm day – swirled around noisily in constant motion, some distance beneath the old wall.

A Very Fine Day!

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The West Highlands of Scotland had been experiencing a short spell of glorious spring weather, and Algy had made sure that he experienced it too 🙂

He flew out to the lighthouse, his favourite spot in the area, and perched on a dry clump of heather to study the view of the islands. The Isle of Eigg was the most prominent (just left of centre on the horizon) with the mountainous Isle of Rum to its left and the low-lying Isle of Muck hugging the sea in front of that. And in the distance, between Rum and Eigg, he could clearly see the peaks of the famous Cuillin on the Isle of Skye. It was indeed a very fine day!

Algy hopes that you will all enjoy some fine weather and beautiful views this weekend 🙂

Algy gazed out across the deep blue sea towards the Small Isles and the mountains of the Isle of Skye on the horizon. Suddenly, he caught sight of a large shape in the sky and a wee flash of white: a huge white-tailed sea eagle was soaring overhead. For a moment Algy considered taking cover – although there were very few places to hide on the open hillside – but it soon became apparent that the eagle did not consider a fluffy bird to be worthy of its attention, and in a few minutes more it had swept away on the wind, moving so rapidly out to sea that it was soon completely lost in the blue.

Looking towards the north, there was an unusually clear view of the islands. As Algy leaned back in the heather, he could see the famous ridges of The Cuillin of the Isle of Skye standing out against the sky in the far distance. To the left, the Isles of Eigg and Rum seemed larger and closer than usual, with the Sea of the Hebrides surrounding them with the deep blue of a fine autumn day. Algy couldn’t help humming the well-known “traditional” Scottish song he had learned as a wee chick, many years before he came to know the places it described:

          A far croonin’ is pullin’ me away
          As take I wi’ my cromach to the road.
          The far Cuillins are puttin’ love on me,
          As step I wi’ the sunlight for my load.

          Chorus:
          Sure, by Tummel and Loch Rannoch
          And Lochaber I will go,
          By heather tracks wi’ heaven in their wiles;
          If it’s thinkin’ in your inner heart
          Braggart’s in my step,
          You’ve never smelt the tangle o’ the Isles.
          Oh, the far Cuillins are puttin’ love on me,
          As step I wi’ my cromach to the Isles.

          It’s by ‘Sheil water the track is to the west,
          By Ailort and by Morar to the sea,
          The cool cresses I am thinkin’ o’ for pluck,
          And bracken for a wink on Mother’s knee.

          It’s the blue Islands are pullin’ me away,
          Their laughter puts the leap upon the lame,
          The blue Islands from the Skerries to the Lews,
          Wi’ heather honey taste upon each name.

If you don’t know the song The Road to the Isles, listen to this fine recording by Canon Sydney MacEwan of Glasgow (ignore the introduction), or this one from the earliest archives by the famous Sir Harry Lauder, recorded in 1926.

This same lighthearted song was also played by the famous WWII piper Bill Millin on Sword Beach on D-Day, whose task it was to maintain the morale of troops under heavy fire during the Normandy landings: Piper, give us a tune…

So Algy crossed the great sea loch and headed into the west. He flew for several hours until at last he saw the sight he had been waiting for – the misty islands of the Hebrides, floating in their silvery sea. He was so happy to see his islands again that he stopped to rest and gaze at them. There was no need to hurry any more; he knew that he was more or less home.