An Uncomfortable Perch…

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Algy shuffled about on the slatted perch inside the peculiar sheltering structure, wriggling backwards and forwards and from side to side, shifting his weight this way and that in an attempt to get even vaguely comfortable, but it seemed to be a futile endeavour. No matter how he adjusted himself, the hard, cold bars dug into his tail feathers in a most distracting and disagreeable way. However, the odd structure certainly provided shelter from the wind, so he resolved to remain inside just a wee while longer, in case the transport vessel was just around the corner, but in the event that it did not arrive soon he would perhaps seek a more accommodating perch, even if it meant getting cold again…

Algy wishes you all a very happy Sunday, and if you happen to be waiting for something, he hopes that you will find a truly comfortable perch to wait upon, and that you won’t have to wait very long 😀

Life’s Ladder

As Algy explored the harbour at low tide, he found many unusual perches, of which some were better adapted to the needs of a fluffy bird than others… He was particularly interested to discover that, at intervals along the great wall which contained the sea when the tide came in, wooden structures with multiple perches had been provided – presumably to suit the different levels the water might reach – and he wondered how the humans could make use of them. For fluffy birds, at least, they only provided a moderate level of comfort, but as Algy perched on one of the lower levels of such a structure, he found that a poem he had once read came to mind, and he wondered whether it might perhaps provide an explanation:

Unto each mortal who comes to earth
A ladder is given by God at birth,
And up this ladder the soul must go,
Step by step, from the valley below;
Step by step to the center of space
On this ladder of lives to the starting place.

In time departed, which yet endures,
I shaped my ladder and you shaped yours,
Whatever they are, they are what we made,
A ladder of light or a ladder of shade;
A ladder of love or a hateful thing,
A ladder of strength or a wavering string,
A ladder of gold or a ladder of straw –

If toil and trouble and pain are found
Twisted and corded to form each round,
If rusted iron or moldering wood
Is the fragile frame, you must make it good
You must build it over and fashion it strong,
Though the task be as hard as your life is long;
For up this ladder the pathway leads
To earthly pleasures and spirit needs,
For all that may come in another way
Shall be but illusion and will not stay.

[Algy is quoting parts of the poem Life’s Ladder by the late 19th/early 20th century American writer Ella Wheeler Wilcox.}

Low Tide…

When he had had a good long rest, Algy hopped up onto the edge of the boat and perched there looking at the spectacle of the harbour at low tide. Bunches of stranded seaweed trailed from all the ropes which were secured to the harbour walls, and the beached boats listed aimlessly to one side, as though they were not feeling quite well, deserted by the sea. The tide was still running out, and the surface of the sea bed shimmered with a thin coating of water that had not quite drained away, and possibly never would…

Messing About in Boats…

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Algy was enchanted by the world he found at the foot of the harbour wall; at high tide this world simply did not exist. Of course elements of it were there at all times, glimpsed beneath the surface of the water when the tide was in, but when the tide ran out, strange things began to happen. Objects which had been floating became grounded on the shingle beach, and those which had been partly submerged were fully revealed, in many cases turning out to be very much larger than Algy had imagined. And, as the water receded, it left behind a miniature landscape of seaweed, coloured pebbles and sea shells, with many other things to discover besides, which the harbour birds swooped upon joyfully, shouting with pleasure.

Close to the wall, a stranded boat was reclining in an inviting manner, and Algy decided to recline for a while too. Tucking himself into one corner, on what seemed to be a perch specially provided for the purpose, he studied the jumble of bits and pieces in front of him. The scene reminded him of something in a story he had read:

“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing—absolute nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,” he went on dreamily: “messing—about—in—boats; messing—”

Someone had certainly been messing about in this one…

Algy lent back lazily, and dreamed of messing about in a boat of his own, bobbing across the water without a care in the world – happy in the knowledge that in reality the boat was firmly grounded on the beach 😀

If you are on holiday today, Algy hopes you are having a safe and happy time, messing about in boats, or doing something equally relaxing…

[Algy is of course quoting a passage from Chapter 1 of The Wind in the Willowsby the early 20th century English author Kenneth Grahame.]

Fishermen’s Pier

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Algy selected a spot conveniently close to a life-saving device, just in case he should experience a mishap while studying what was going on in the water below, and leaned back on the hard stone wharf in the sunshine. Looking around he thought that he had never seen such a jumble of odd-looking stuff of uncertain purpose; it was piled up higgledy-piggledy all over the place, and Algy reflected that humans were undoubtedly a great deal untidier than Nature…

[Algy says that if you were unable to spot him in yesterday’s post, this one should help you locate him 😀 ]

Men at Work…

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From the far end of the bay, Algy could see several brightly coloured boats fastened by ropes to a stone pier which jutted out into the water, and he decided to fly over to investigate.

There was a certain amount of leisurely but busy human activity concentrated around the boats, and a couple of men were mending long nets which had been strung out along the wharf. All kinds of odd objects were piled up here and there, or suspended over the sides of things, and the whole scene conveyed an impression of carefully arranged muddle and confusion.

Algy was intrigued, so he perched quietly on the edge of the quay, as unobtrusively as possible, and started to watch what was going on. From time to time the men glanced at him with slightly puzzled expressions on their faces, but without pausing in their activities. However, they seemed to pay no attention at all to the various large, shrieking seabirds which swooped round the boats and landed on the pier from time to time, so Algy guessed that the humans were quite accustomed to avian activity in general, and were simply unsure whether he was a new species which they had not met before…

[Algy says that if you find it difficult to see him in this photo, blow it up and look again 😀 He can assure you that he is definitely there.]

Tobermory

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When Algy had rested sufficiently to recover from the after-effects of his unnatural mode of transport across the sea, he hopped back into the air and flew across to the far side of the small bay. Finding a supportive if not entirely comfortable perch in an odd bush, he studied the scene in front of him. Although it was not far from his own home, as the seabird flies, it bore little resemblance to the environment he was used to. Algy was accustomed to seeing the hard, block-like structures in which the humans lived, but the ones he knew were either a naturally dirty white, like himself, or built out of plain stone, and they were dotted about the landscape more or less at random. Here, however, the humans had clustered their structures densely together for some reason, and had decorated them with all the colours of the rainbow. The result was most striking. Not only did it brighten up the dull, early spring landscape considerably, but the colours were reflected in the water too, creating a very pretty effect.

At the extreme end of the far side of the bay, Algy noticed the odd contraption which had conveyed him to the island. It was motionless now, and he wondered whether it was waiting to take him home again. But if that was the case, it would just have to wait! He wasn’t ready to leave this strange new place yet – not by any means…

Algy wishes you all a wonderfully bright and colourful Sunday, and if you should happen to be travelling by ferry boat, Algy hopes that it will wait for you…😁