algy's back!

Algy has been surprised and very touched by the wonderful “Welcome back!” which he has received in the past 24 hours from so many of his kind Tumblr friends. He had no idea that his absence would be noticed by so many people – and he is very sorry that he was away for so long. Algy may not be able to thank each one of you personally, so please accept some of these pretty flowers with his heartfelt thanks, and of course lots of fluffy hugs for you all xoxoxo

Algy is so happy to be back :)))

[In fact, Algy’s assistant’s computing facilities are not yet fully restored, but with luck everything should return to normal very soon now.]

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.

Algy leaned back on the sand as the sun dipped lower in the sky and stared at the still blue water. He had been away from Tumblr for a wee while, and was feeling strangely lonely… He missed all his Tumblr friends, and found that life was less interesting when he didn’t see all their wonderful images, so he resolved to make sure that it didn’t happen again :)

Algy sends you all lots of very fluffy hugs, and wishes you all a happy weekend xoxo

Algy flew back down the lighthouse keepers’ path to the rocks where wee boats used to moor in days gone by… Stretching himself out on the warm stone in the sunshine, he surveyed the wide expanse of beautiful deep blue sea. This was perhaps his favourite spot of all, and Algy spent many happy hours here, just watching the tide come and go, and listening to the neverending sounds of the sea on the rocks. He was fascinated by the line of creel floats that seemed to lead out to the islands, and idly wondered whether he should follow them out across the ocean to the mysterious lands beyond…

Like many of the other birds at this time of year, Algy has been so busy appreciating the arrival of spring that he missed the announcement that Reply is back!

Hooray!! Thank you Tumblr staff! Algy doesn’t know why you had to take Reply down, but he is so glad that you have brought it back again. Algy isn’t quite sure how the new reply feature works yet, but he’s certainly going to find out! He is so happy that he will be able to make comments on his friends’ posts again :)

The next morning, Algy ventured back out onto the moor to see what was happening. Intermittent blizzard conditions persisted, but the snow was soft and wet and mixed with sleet, so it tended to melt partially before the next wave swept in. The wind, on the other hand, was fierce and bitter. Algy tried to keep as close to the ground as possible, with his back to the icy blasts. But even in such shelter as he could find, he noticed that all his feathers became aligned in one direction… never a good sign!

As the piercing wind stung his face, Algy remembered a rather unusual poem by Keats:

          O thou whose face hath felt the Winter’s wind,
          Whose eye has seen the snow-clouds hung in mist,
          And the black elm-tops ‘mong the freezing stars,
          To thee the Spring will be a harvest-time.
          O thou, whose only book has been the light
          Of supreme darkness which thou feddest on
          Night after night when Phoebus was away,
          To thee the Spring shall be a triple morn.
          O fret not after knowledge - I have none,
          And yet my song comes native with the warmth.
          O fret not after knowledge - I have none,
          And yet the Evening listens. He who saddens
          At thought of idleness cannot be idle,
          And he’s awake who thinks himself asleep.

[ Algy is quoting the poem The Winter’s Wind by the early 19th century English poet John Keats. ]

Algy flew back to the big beach, where the waves rolled in with great enthusiasm, tossing the seaweed and shells around on the sand to create ever-changing patterns. The beach sloped very gently here, and Algy loved to sit near the water, waiting for the waves to come and tickle his toes as the tide rolled in. Sometimes an unusually big wave caught him by surprise and he got a great deal wetter than he intended, but it was all part of the fun :)

The next day there was not the slightest change in the weather, and the Scotch mist continued to smother the land with a drenching grey blanket; the lost world seemed to do nothing but drip, drip, drip, drip, drip…

Algy lay back in the branches of a fir tree and watched the droplets of water falling all around him. One slim, bare branch above his head was curved in such a way that droplets formed only at the lowest point of the curve, each one growing until it could hold on to the branch no longer, and then dropped, to let the next drop of water follow its example. The process was fascinating and apparently endless, and Algy rested there for some time, just watching the droplets form and fall, form and fall, form and fall…

He was reminded of a haiku by Kobayashi Issa, although his own drops were rather more leisurely than frenzied:

in morning mist
a frenzy of drops
from the tree

.朝霧にあはただし木の雫哉


Algy hopes that you will all enjoy a leisurely, happy and peaceful weekend, whatever the weather in your part of the world :)

[Algy is quoting an early haiku by the 18th century Japanese master Kobayashi Issa, translated by David G. Lanoue.]

Algy moved to the back of the strange little inlet and perched on a rock, wondering how bad tomorrow’s storm would be. As there is already an amber warning for a severe gale on Thursday night (sustained windspeeds up to 50 mph with gusts of 80 mph) it is likely that Algy’s assistants will lose power, and Algy will be cut off from his Tumblr friends for a while. Such is life in the darker months in the wild west Highlands of Scotland :( And it gets very dark indeed when the power goes out in a remote area on a wild night in November!

But if that does happen, you can be sure that Algy will be back as soon as he can :) In the meantime he leaves you with this poem by Rita Dove. “Sail, wind, with your cargo of zithers!”

Snow would be the easy
way out—that softening
sky like a sigh of relief
at finally being allowed
to yield. No dice.
We stack twigs for burning
in glistening patches
but the rain won’t give.

So we wait, breeding
mood, making music
of decline. We sit down
in the smell of the past
and rise in a light
that is already leaving.
We ache in secret,
memorizing

a gloomy line
or two of German.
When spring comes
we promise to act
the fool. Pour,
rain! Sail, wind,
with your cargo of zithers!

[Algy is quoting the poem November for Beginners by the contemporary American poet Rita Dove.]

It was a dark, dark day in the West Highlands… but Algy knew that it was a far darker one in Paris, France :{{{

Algy lay back among the wildly waving Marram grass as the wind howled through the sand dunes, and gazed at the stormy sky. And just as the clouds grew blacker and started to pelt him with rain and hail, the low afternoon sun broke through a tiny gap in the clouds behind him, and a glowing rainbow appeared on the horizon, while the great mass of grasses momentarily turned to gold.

Algy has been thinking of all his friends in France today, especially his friends in Paris… and of all those who have so needlessly died or have been injured, and their families and friends… and of the human race in general. He was very greatly distressed by the awful things that had occurred, and by the terrible atrocities that humans seemed to be capable of. But he knew that - just like the grasses - the great masses of humankind could turn to gold in the right light, and he thought of the famous poem by Rudyard Kipling:

          If you can keep your head when all about you  
              Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,  
          If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
              But make allowance for their doubting too;  
          If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
              Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
          Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
              And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

          If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;  
              If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;  
          If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
              And treat those two impostors just the same;  
          If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
              Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
          Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
              And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

          If you can make one heap of all your winnings
              And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
          And lose, and start again at your beginnings
              And never breathe a word about your loss;
          If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
              To serve your turn long after they are gone,  
          And so hold on when there is nothing in you
              Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

          If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,  
              Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
          If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
              If all men count with you, but none too much;
          If you can fill the unforgiving minute
              With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,  
          Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,  
              And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Algy has been very happy to see so many “Men” (i.e. true humans of any gender) in the light which broke through the darkness on Tumblr today :))

And he sends some very special fluffy hugs to all his friends in France xoxoxo

[ Algy is of course quoting the famous poem If by the late 19th/early 20th century British author Rudyard Kipling ]

Algy flew back towards the end of the peninsula, and reached the Bay of the Sand Islands in the late afternoon. He was glad to see that the diamonds were sparkling on the sea, and as he leaned back on a rock, looking out far into the west, he felt happy to be back home. Although the woodlands and lochs were beautiful, and undeniably calmer and less exposed to the constant winds, there was nothing quite like the mighty ocean, and Algy concluded - as others had observed before him - that there was really no place quite like home :)

Algy hopes that if you are returning from your own summer holidays, you too will be pleased to find yourself back home.

It was taking a very long time for the service engineers to repair Algy’s assistant’s computer, as the poor machine was very broken indeed. But Algy was pleased to have the opportunity to take a wee summer holiday by the sea, just like other folks do. He hopes that you have all been enjoying the summer holidays too :))

However, the West Highland summer was just about over now, and Algy guessed that very soon he would be resuming his Adventures…

Stand by, everybody…Algy’s coming back to Tumblr :))

Throwback Saturday!!

My kitty, Seesaw, got an invitation to ‘Throwback Saturday’ from Algy. I adapted her back in 2002 or 2003 ( hell yeah…I don’t remember the date…)  from my friend. She was already an adult cat. So, I don’t have her photos when she was a kitten. She’s a three legged mellow cat. A bit shy, but very sweet :) This pink blanket was her favorite when she started living with me.

Today Algy joins his friends all round the world in asking Tumblr to PLEASE BRING BACK REPLY!

Algy says “Dear Tumblr staff, imagine being a fluffy bird on the remote, rocky edge of the wild and lonely west Highlands of Scotland…

My friends all around the world post wonderful images on Tumblr, which I used to comment on (reply to) frequently, and they sometimes used to comment on my adventures too. It was wonderful… but you took it away, and now when I try to comment on all the amazing posts I see on Tumblr, the foghorn on this lonely coast is silent…

It’s cold, dark, wet and windy here… and Tumblr is where my life and adventures really happen, but they are no longer interactive… Please bring back reply, and brighten up my life again :) “

@david  @staff   @support

Algy Apologises for the Interruption to his Adventures

Algy offers his sincere apologies to all his friends for this temporary interruption to his Adventures. The computer that Algy’s assistant uses for processing his adventures is failing without warning at increasingly frequent intervals and is no longer fit for purpose. Unfortunately it will have to be retired and replaced…

Algy would like to reassure you that the presentation of his Adventures will be resumed at normal frequency as soon as possible, and in the meantime Algy’s assistant will try to use an alternative machine whenever she can, so that Algy is not entirely absent from your screens.

Please don’t think that Algy has forgotten you – this is not the case at all :)) He is simply the innocent victim of a technical fault. He hopes that you will not forget him while his Adventures remain interrupted and sporadic.

By a strange twist of fate, this is Algy’s 500th post on Tumblr. It was supposed to be a celebratory post - but that will now have to wait until the 501st …

Algy sends you all extra fluffy hugs, just in case XOXOXO

As the tide turned and the sun sank lower in the sky, Algy leaned back on the wet sand, surrounded by reflections of the clouds. He was thinking especially of his dear friend Monica mojo5050 – who by coincidence posted a beautiful image of reflections on a beach today – and of all his Tumblr friends who were facing difficult challenges in their lives at the moment. While the rippling, silvery waves quietly crept up the beach to dampen his toes, Algy thought of his friends, and of a poem by Sheenagh Pugh:

          Sometimes things don’t go, after all,
          from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
          faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don’t fail,
          sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

          A people sometimes will step back from war;
          elect an honest man, decide they care
          enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor.
          Some men become what they were born for.

          Sometimes our best efforts do not go
          amiss, sometimes we do as we meant to.
          The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
          that seemed hard frozen: may it happen for you.

Algy says: may it happen for you – and more often than sometimes :-))

[Algy is quoting the poem Sometimes by the contemporary British poet Sheenagh Pugh.]

Algy leaned back against the warm bank of sand, marvelling at the shapes which the wind and the rain had carved out of the edges of the dunes. It seemed that there had been more remodelling during the past few months than in any other winter he could remember. Where the dunes met the beach, the weather and the tides combined to create an ever-changing sculpture, never the same twice. It was fascinating to watch it evolve, if a wee bit alarming…
But Algy couldn’t really feel very much alarmed; he was too contented for that, resting in the spring sunshine and watching the beautiful green sea playing around the rocks.

Algy hopes that you will all have a chance to rest in the sunshine this weekend :)

The snow melted away almost as quickly as it had arrived, and by the afternoon of the next day there was no snow left at sea level, although the peaks of the hills inland were still white. It was a fine, sunny day, and the world was full of colour again, so Algy flew back to the lighthouse and found himself a sheltered spot near the water, where he could relax on the rocks in the sunshine, and watch the sea swirling all around him.

Algy knows that many of his friends will have a long holiday weekend ahead, so he hopes that you will all find a pleasant spot to relax in, and have a happy and very fluffy time :)

The weather had turned very chilly, so Algy decided to fly back to the woods, where it was considerably more sheltered than on the exposed coast. In between showers of hail and sleet, there were moments of bright sunshine, and despite the brisk, northerly breeze, it was pleasant perching on a branch beside the waterfall, watching the constant stream of water tumbling down in never-ending motion.

Algy wishes you all a happy and peaceful weekend, well sheltered from cold winds xoxo

Algy leaned back on a flat rock, staring out at the sea. The wind was howling through his feathers again, and much of the time it was raining. It seemed as though there had been nothing but grey skies, wind, and rain, sleet or hail for months and months and months, and he wondered whether it would ever stop. Although the West Highlands was notorious for such weather, there were usually some periods of calm and sunshine; Algy could not remember such a persistently stormy winter before. As he gazed out into the west, he remembered the opening verse of a poem:

          I seem to lie with drooping eyes,
          Dreaming sweet dreams,
          Half longings and half memories,
          In woods where streams
          With trembling shades and whirling gleams,
          Many and bright,
          In song and light,
          Are ever, ever flowing;
          While the wind, if we list to the rustling grass,
          Which numbers his footsteps as they pass,
          Seems scarcely to be blowing;
          And the far-heard voice of Spring,
          From sunny slopes comes wandering,
          Calling the violets from the sleep,
          That bound them under snow-drifts deep,
          To open their childlike, asking eyes
          On the new summer’s paradise,
          And mingled with the gurgling waters -
          As the dreamy witchery
          Of Acheloüs’ silver-voiced daughters
          Rose and fell with the heaving sea,
          Whose great heart swelled with ecstasy -
          The song of many a floating bird,
          Winding through the rifted trees,
          Is dreamily half-heard -
          A sister stream of melodies
          Rippled by the flutterings
          Of rapture-quivered wings.

Algy dedicates this post to all his friends who feel that they are caught in a winter that will never end, whether they are buried in snow, or battered by constant gales and rain xoxoxo

[ Algy is quoting the first verse of the poem Music by the 19th century American poet James Russell Lowell. ]