A Spot in the Sun

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After a while, Algy grew more accustomed to the motion of the sea and started to look around again. It was a fascinating boat, full of strange objects whose purpose he could not begin to guess, and many large notices issuing instructions of all kinds in bold lettering. He decided to explore a wee bit further, and flew down to the main deck, which accommodated the vehicles used by humans. There he found a large, stable perch with a splendid view out through a metal structure. Tucked under the overhang of the upper deck it was much more sheltered from the cold spring wind than it had been up above, and when the boat turned in the right direction, Algy felt positively warm 😀

Algy wishes you all a very happy Sunday, and hopes that the rays of the sun will fall on you too, bringing you plenty of light and warmth ☀️

A Strange Perch

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When the strange contraption had stopped moving, a human in bright clothing beckoned to Algy and pointed to a small upper deck. Algy took this to mean that it was time for him to embark, so he hopped into the air and flew onto the odd boat, which was full of mysterious objects painted in bright colours. The upper deck seemed to be furnished with a row of white perches, presumably for the convenience of passengers, but when Algy perched on the top of one, it collapsed and tried to fold itself up around him. Algy hadn’t had so much fun in a long time… Laughing out loud, he tucked himself into the fold of the strange perch and gazed at the deep blue sea while the boat rumbled and shook and vibrated and issued loud warnings in the human language, until eventually it settled down and set off across the water, swaying from side to side as it moved through the waves…

The storm arrived on schedule, and as the gale roared across the ocean it whipped the sea up into a frenzy, creating huge, overtopping waves which crashed and tumbled over each other as they raced to batter the shore. Although Algy enjoyed watching the spectacle, the weather was undoubtedly harsh, and maybe just a wee bit dangerous for a fluffy bird, so he pressed himself tightly against a sheltering rock and kept as low to the ground as possible. From time to time, frantic swirls of snowflakes whizzed around him in every direction, driven by sudden, huge gusts of wind. There was no doubt that it was not a fit day out for man nor beast, and before very long Algy decided that it might possibly be wiser to retreat to a more sheltered spot while he still had the chance…

It had been very pleasant to sit in the sun among the pretty daffodils in his friends’ garden, but it wasn’t long before Algy heard the call of the sea again. He could never stay away from the ocean for long without suffering from Sea Fever, and he knew that there was only one remedy for that particular disorder:

      I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
     And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
     And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
     And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking,

     I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
     Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
     And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
     And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

[Algy is quoting the first two verses of the popular poem Sea Fever by John Masefield.]

It was the first fine day of early spring – and quite possibly the last as well, for a while at least – so Algy could not resist flying down to the beach to watch the sea playing merrily in the sunshine. The wind was cold, but the light was beautiful, and Algy was so pleased to feel the sun on his feathers again…

Algy would like to dedicate this post to everyone who is waiting impatiently for spring – he hopes you won’t have to wait much longer – and also to telescopical and any others of his friends who have never yet seen the amazing beauty of the ocean.

During the night a northerly gale sprang up and a sudden gust caught Algy, sweeping him high into the air. As he raced on the wind across the headland, Algy could see the sea approaching rapidly on all sides, so with a great effort he dropped down to the ground before it was too late. In a West Highland gale it is perilous on the rocks, even for a bird, but not as dangerous as it would be over the ocean. Algy clung tightly to a rocky ledge as the pounding waves sprayed him with salty foam. As he stared out to sea through the spray, he spotted a small boat battling the waves, so for the sake of all the sailors who were out in the gale he quietly hummed their own special hymn, in the hope that it might help them weather the storm:

          Eternal Father, strong to save,
          Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
          Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
          Its own appointed limits keep;
          Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
          For those in peril on the sea!

On this Remembrance Sunday, when traditionally it is those who have died in war who are remembered, Algy sat in sorrow beside his corner of the mighty ocean – that ocean which is capable of such terrible destruction. And he thought above all of the people of the Philippines – those thousands of men, women and children whose lives had been lost for no reason – and of all those who remained behind to grieve and to try to recover from the shattering devastation of the storm. He remembered a poem by William Blake:

          Can I see another’s woe,
          And not be in sorrow too?
          Can I see another’s grief,
          And not seek for kind relief?

          Can I see a falling tear,
          And not feel my sorrow’s share?
          Can a father see his child
          Weep, nor be with sorrow filled?

[Algy is quoting the first two verses of On Another’s Sorrow by the great English poet of the late 18th/early 19th century, William Blake.]