Algy put down his book of poetry for a moment and gazed at the scene in front of him, then looked up at the sky. It was BLUE! A beautiful, clear, deep, wonderful blue…

The west coast of the Scottish Highlands experiences more dismal, grey, totally overcast and cloudy skies than most places in the world, but when the clouds do blow away Algy feels an amazing sense of relief, and a delightfully happy experience of blueness. He cannot understand why the colour blue has come to be associated with misery and depression when a clear blue sky and a deep blue sea are among the most beautiful aspects of the world :)

Algy hopes you will all have a happily blue weekend xo

Counting Stars

Happy, happy birthday, @raindrop-rouge. May your day be filled with laughter, smiles, cake, tea, bubbles, and everything good. This is for you. <3

“You are beautiful,” Eren says one night, his soft-spoken words cutting sharply through the quiet darkness surrounding them and making Levi blink open his eyes to meet a pair of shining eyes that regard him intently.

A contradictory frowns forms on his brow, disagreeing and puzzled. Levi isn’t vain, but he knows his body is too small for a grown man, forged by a life on the streets that only taught him how to survive, leaving behind nothing but broad muscles on too feminine limbs, and a too translucent skin paled by an ongoing lack of sunlight and proper nutrition. His movements are sharp and directed, efficient and precise. Not round and smooth like Eren’s.

His face isn’t pretty either, with the droopy eyes that are too small and colourless, half-lidded, shadowed, and bruised by too many restless nights and cruel days, by sorrows and grief and loss, with his pitch black hair that stands too much in contrast to his bloodless skin. His cheekbones are too prominent, his lips thin and chapped. His beard, if he could grow a decent one, would be patchy and just as odd-looking as he is himself. Something that should have been more than it is.

His hands are petite and calloused, his feet cicatrised after years and years of being tied to the straps. His back is marked by them as well, his neck too thin and aching from the weight on his shoulders.

Words don’t come easy to him, and when they do they are harsh and curt and vulgar, and too often not what he really wants to say. His personality is jagged and his spirit jaded, his core blackened by blood and broken beyond repair.

A life in the darkness has made his body strong at least, battered and branded, but powerful and chiseled as well. It’s making him capable of dealing with whatever is thrown their way, able to do his best to protect. He’s a weapon, edged and deathly and violent.

But beautiful…no.

And yet he can see it in Eren’s eyes that meant every word. Their green and blue is paled by the silvery light of the moon and the lingering traces of sleep, but their intensity is just the same as always, conveying nothing but serious honesty and openness.

Levi swallows and reaches out with a rustle of the bed sheets to brush over a prominent, brown eyebrow, a stubbled cheek, a soft bottom lip that wraps around his fingertips to catch them in a kiss.

Eren, Levi knows, isn’t really what others would call a raving beauty either. His hair is mouse brown and mussy all the time—a wild beast like its owner, always vivid and fighting against an invisible force, stubbornly defying anyone’s will in untidy strands that beg to be touched and caressed and ruffled—or combed—, but also daring to try. His skin is tanned by spending his whole life under the merciless sun, the fading stripes around his neck and wrists dividing the parts where the heat kisses him every day from the part that’s always hidden under his clothing.

Despite all of Eren’s hardship there is no single scar on his body, making it into something that shouldn’t really exist, something dangerous and surreal, something barbarous and threatening, something contradictory.

Then there are his eyes. Not quite as big as they once used to be, but still as expressive. Two shiny, burning flames of neither green nor blue and somehow both, that haven’t lost their feral fire over the years and oddly stand out in that still boyish face that should be much more tarnished than it is. They are just as unnatural as the rest of him.

He is perilous and an oxymoron simply by existing, by still living and breathing. He’s abnormal.

And yet, to Levi, this man is beautiful. Gorgeous even. And then some.

Eren’s pulse is speeding up under Levi’s touch, making him think silly things and dream against all odds. Eren’s body is pristine and warm, teaching Levi that time heals all wounds—at least the ones one can see—and that there is hope. The fury that has once dominated Eren’s features has abated, cooled down into a dangerous, unstable simmer that will never leave completely, and yet every time he holds Levi Eren’s hands are gentle and kind, even when the hunger between them boils over into a rough, all-consuming need.

They trace Levi’s ugly scars as if they were saying hello to a dear, old friend and when they come to rest against the nape of Levi’s neck the fingers begin to play with the stubbles of his undercut in caressing circles like it is everything they ever wanted to do.

When Eren looks at him his eyes are like a pair of gems that seem to have a direct link to Levi’s soul, unyielding, endearing, and enticing, gazing at Levi and laying him bare as if he was the answer to all of Eren’s hopes and dreams, the remedy for all his sorrows and tears, a guiding light through the darkest of times. Levi looks back and Eren holds him there, steady and unwavering, until Levi can feel the blush rising on his chest, his arms, his neck, his cheeks, and ears until the cool night begins to sting on his skin.

“Bastard,” he whispers, and Eren chuckles. Pokes Levi’s nose. Snuggles closer. Smiles. Fills the world with colours and ease.

His laugh is like the sun glistening on the ocean’s surface on that early spring day, fickle and warming, dancing and cheering, lively and vast, lifting and grounding at the same time, like listening to the water caressing the shore in affectionate waves and to the breeze whispering through the marram grass nearby whilst feeling the sand under his naked feet. It’s like seeing the open planes and birds for the first time, stunningly green and too much, yet never enough all at once.

Levi has seen a lot of strange things in his life, but the one laying right next to him in their bed must be the strangest of them all. A miracle.

And he understands.

Beauty isn’t really something you see or that you can measure like tea leaves for the perfect cup.

It’s something that can only be experienced in its entity, something so simple as blinking against the overpowering daylight after nothing but darkness and something so complicated as trying to count the stars up in the sky after being enclosed by clay and dirt for a whole lifetime.

He still doesn’t know what it is that makes Eren look at him like he does. But when Eren pulls him into his arms to hold him against his beating heart and kiss the top of his head, their legs intertwining and their bodies sharing that wonderful heat close-close-closer, he knows it’s Eren’s right to see more than the eyes let on, just as it is his own, and he won’t question it, just as Eren doesn’t in return.

Eren isn’t one to make false promises. Everything he is and does screams blatant honesty and commitment, and yet Levi expects with every passing day that Eren will change his mind eventually.

But this is Eren and the world will cease to exists when he stops loving like he does, with everything he’s got. As long as he’s let he’ll press his velvety smile against Levi’s frown, and pass a silent promise with sweet brushing of lips, meeting of tongues, and connection of something Levi hasn’t found a name for yet.

He seizes it nonetheless and wraps it around his heart, makes it his armour and his shield.

Even though he doesn’t know how long it will last he at least has this and the knowledge that once someone chose him and thought him perfect in all his flaws.

He looks into these too sparkling eyes and smiles, letting himself fall as they begin to count the stars.

AO3 Link.

The West Highlands of Scotland had been enjoying a few days of unusually fine March weather, and although it was cold at night, it was comfortably warm during the day… by Scottish standards, at least :) The sky was blue, the larks were singing, and the pied wagtails had returned after their winter away. Algy knew, of course, that the good weather would not last long, but it certainly made a welcome change, and he was determined to enjoy it while he could. So he lingered late on the beach as the shadows lengthened and the temperatures dropped, until it got too chilly to linger any longer…

anonymous asked:

Who's your favorite background/minor SH character?

god they’re all so incredible. a list of faves includes

  • terry tarsal, who is 10000% done with everyone’s bs
  • maize smalls, who takes her job of lighting a billion candles like, every night, very seriously and also has an evil cat named binksy
  • ma custard, who had to put up with merrin for months on end and somehow didn’t snap, too good for this world
  • maureen, who runs away with the cute potato peeler boy and is able to start up a thriving pie shop in the super skeevy port. also loves simon and lucy and will do whatever she can to help them, 10/10
  • sir hereward, who actually plays a pretty important role to several plots, tells the same bad jokes all the time and tries to kill people with his Ghost Sword™
  • hugo, who grows up to be an alchemist because septimus was the first person who bothered to spend time with him as a kiddo
  • demelza heap, who we never even SEE, but just hear about from marcellus, who said she was a good friend and a great wizard who got lost in the house of foryx and emerged 200 years later, and was shocked when marcellus believed her story before he revealed who he was. ancient heap, friends with marcellus, displaced in time, cool as hell
  • gringe’s bridge boy, who is pretty dumb and honestly just Trying His Best, epitome of “didn’t sign up for this”
  • matt and marcus marwick, emo twins who didn’t realize they were actually triplets, chill as hell, their boss thinks they switch places on him but they honestly couldn’t care less, ex-young army soldiers
  • betty crackle, the keeper of the marram marshes before zelda, sarah’s grandmother, almost definitely fed a boy to an octopus when on her apprentice test
  • every person who works at jannit maarten’s, even if they’re not minor. jannit maarten’s is ridiculous and i love everyone there
Saltwater Sequence: Fane & Faye

The night was warm, a summer eve by all accounts Fane had saddled up Atlas and left his residence by the various forest trails that eventually wound their way down to the beach where the salty breeze licked the surf into a gentle natural symphony. Beyond the whisper of the waves, owls hooted in the trees that ran to the shore, and marram grass on the edge of the dunes rustled.

The sound of Atlas’ hooves and splash of water were the only things disturbing mother nature’s orchestra as the steed thundered down the beach. Fane had lost track a fair while ago just how far they had travelled, it was rather easy to get lost when he ventured out on nights like this. He sat loosely astride Atlas’ back, as if he were one with the animal he rode. About halfway down the stretch of beach though he dismounted, kicking off his boots and rolling up his trousers to instead walk a distance with Atlas’ reins held loosely in his grasp the pair walking in companionable silence through the surf until he realised just where he was passing by.

He stopped momentarily, the water lapping at his shins, wind rushing over the ocean ruffling his hair - dark and lustrous in the pearly luminescence of the moon overhead, it could almost have been mistaken for jet black. But the sultry hints of deep brown could be seen around the edges and in its wily shine. His breathing was calm and collected as he looked up at the cottage on the hill wondering just what its inhabitant was doing this very night.


World Book Day is celebrated on 23rd April in most countries of the world, but not in the idiosyncratic “UK”, because there the 23rd April is reserved for St. George, the patron saint of England…

However, as Scotland (whose own patron saint is St. Andrew not St. George) is still officially part of the UK at the present time, Algy thought that it provided as good an excuse as any to spend a happy afternoon reading in the sunshine :) So he tucked himself in among the spiky grasses on the warm sand dunes, and opened his book of “Poems of the Sea”. Just a hop and a flutter away in front of him, Algy could see the waves dancing and sparkling on the beach, with the whole expanse of the wide, blue ocean with its mysterious world beneath, and as he turned back to his book he read:

The world below the brine,
Forests at the bottom of the sea, the branches and leaves,
Sea-lettuce, vast lichens, strange flowers and seeds, the thick tangle, openings, and pink turf,
Different colors, pale gray and green, purple, white, and gold, the play of light through the water,
Dumb swimmers there among the rocks, coral, gluten, grass, rushes, and the aliment of the swimmers,
Sluggish existences grazing there suspended, or slowly crawling close to the bottom,
The sperm-whale at the surface blowing air and spray, or disporting with his flukes,
The leaden-eyed shark, the walrus, the turtle, the hairy sea-leopard, and the sting-ray,
Passions there, wars, pursuits, tribes, sight in those ocean-depths, breathing that thick-breathing air, as so many do,
The change thence to the sight here, and to the subtle air breathed by beings like us who walk this sphere,
The change onward from ours to that of beings who walk other spheres.

[Algy is reading the poem The World Below the Brine by the 19th century American poet Walt Whitman.]

septimusxjennashipper  asked:

Do you think you could draw some SepxJen pictures? You draw REALLY well your work is SO beautiful. I would be so happy if you could do a pic of Sep and Jen please :). Thanks!

Eeh I’m not into this ship but I remember somewhere in the books they we’re walking in the marram marshes with their arms locked and I thought it was cute so here

Algy hopped over to a denser patch of Marram grass, and made himself comfortable on a bed of the long, curving stems. It felt almost warm, tucked in there among the dry grasses of the sand dunes, and Algy began to doze happily in the sunshine, while the waves played merrily on the beach in front of him.

Overnight, most of the remaining snow quietly vanished from the area around Algy’s home, and on the following morning the air felt much less icy. Algy had stayed away from the beach during the recent run of bitterly cold north winds, as it was much too exposed for comfort. But when the wind dropped to a more reasonable level and the temperature rose slightly, he wasted no time in returning to the ocean. He had to admit that it wasn’t exactly warm, but it was cosy enough tucked down among the Marram grass. It was so good to be beside the sea again…

Algy took cover in the thick Marram grass on the top of the sand dunes, and gazed out across the pale sand. There was a strange light today and, despite the wind, the sea was very quiet, with an odd pallid shimmer that perhaps suggested a storm to come. As always, the wind blew constantly through the tall grasses, with a swishing, rustling motion all around him. Its perpetual, insistent whispering reminded Algy of a poem:

         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.

          Dying shall never be
             Now in the windy grass;
          Now under shooken leaves
             Death never was.

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

It was a bright, brisk spring day, and the skylarks were singing over the sand dunes. The wind was in the north and the tide was high, and all seemed well with the world… if a wee bit chilly. So Algy made himself comfortable in a sunny spot at the edge of the dunes, and leaned back happily against the warm bank of sand, gazing out towards the dazzling sea, while the larks rose into the sky from the dunes behind him to sing their joyful songs, and then plummeted back down into the Marram grass again. Algy was reminded of a poem by John Clare:

          The rolls and harrows lie at rest beside
          The battered road; and spreading far and wide
          Above the russet clods, the corn is seen
          Sprouting its spiry points of tender green,
          Where squats the hare, to terrors wide awake,
          Like some brown clod the harrows failed to break.
          Opening their golden caskets to the sun,
          The buttercups make schoolboys eager run,
          To see who shall be first to pluck the prize—
          Up from their hurry, see, the skylark flies,
          And o'er her half-formed nest, with happy wings
          Winnows the air, till in the cloud she sings,
          Then hangs a dust-spot in the sunny skies,
          And drops, and drops, till in her nest she lies,
          Which they unheeded passed—not dreaming then
          That birds which flew so high would drop agen
          To nests upon the ground, which anything
          May come at to destroy. Had they the wing
          Like such a bird, themselves would be too proud,
          And build on nothing but a passing cloud!
          As free from danger as the heavens are free
          From pain and toil, there would they build and be,
          And sail about the world to scenes unheard
          Of and unseen—Oh, were they but a bird!
          So think they, while they listen to its song,
          And smile and fancy and so pass along;
          While its low nest, moist with the dews of morn,
          Lies safely, with the leveret, in the corn.

[Algy is quoting the poem The Skylark by the early 19th century English poet John Clare.]


Ran into these separately and couldn’t help but smash them together for comparison. What makes plankton marram grass (top) so happy on the micro level in comparison with the frightened blue faces to be found in a cross-section of bulrush? (Juncus sp.) –MN


Edit: Thanks to Zwickynova for clarifying a Tumblrgarble.


The Whistling Kite (Haliaster splenurus) is another raptor that is found in all Australian states. It’s also found in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. As the name suggests it has a distinctive shrill whistling call. The slightly untidy bird in the lower picture is a juvenile, I believe. The Whistling Kite is a common bird of the Western Arnhem Land Plateau where it is known as Marram.

Stormy weather in March does have a few wee compensations… and the rainbows which sometimes appear during torrential showers of hail are especially bright. So when Algy saw the massive black clouds sweep in from the sea, with the sun still shining through from the south, he leaned back happily on the waving bed of Marram grass and gazed at the sky. Algy loves rainbows, so he was inevitably reminded of Wordsworth’s famous rainbow poem:

          My heart leaps up when I behold
             A rainbow in the sky:
          So was it when my life began;
          So is it now I am a man;
          So be it when I shall grow old,
             Or let me die!
          The Child is father of the Man;
          And I could wish my days to be
          Bound each to each by natural piety

[ Algy is quoting the poem The Rainbow by the 19th century English poet William Wordsworth. ]