Event reports

Page 3

 

Martin Corrie's memorial day 

 The biggest fly of the year was all planned and the day had come round to set off to Frinton on sea.

 

 

 

Columbus School day 

   A while back before June I meet Alison and Phil while flying at Frinton and we had a nice chat about the kites and the school where Alison works,she asked me if I would pop to Frintons green as her school,Columbus School was having a coach trip and that they was going to have their dinner break at Frinton and the kids would love to see the kites.

    I knew I would be off work on Monday so said as long as the weather permitted I would be there for her and the kids,soon the 30th of June came around and I see that the weather said showers and light wind but I did not want to let Alison down the kids knew nothing about the surprise in case I could not make it,but I did and glad I did.The kids would be arriving around one and I gave myself plenty of time to set something up for them,the weather was about right the clouds threatened rain but did not and the wind was light,so first out was all the ground stuff to splash some colour around the green,banners and spinners flapped and spun in the light wind and I managed to get up a lifter after a couple of hours trying.Even though the lifter was up it was not going to hold much one the line and in the end only the seahorse,clown fish,wrasse and turtle could be lifted at once,I was hoping for a big display for them but I was happy to get anything up in the light winds on the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

   As 1pm approached I see a big group walking down the path and over to the shelter on the green,it was the school kids and carers and a few minutes later the whole group was there getting up close to the banners running around though them and shouting out what was in the air,it was great to see the kids laughing and smiling at my stuff and made me feel good making that day a little bit more for them to enjoy.'

    Knowing that it was light winds I took along 'Honey bee' the mascot for a added bit of fun and after a quick sneaky change in the car I went out and waved and hugged the kids just after they had finished their lunches,it was a great added bit of fun for them all and we had a big group photo together before they waved 'Honey bee' goodbye and headed down to the seaside for a paddle in the sea.While they was gone (for some time) the wind had dropped and the kites were down on the ground the sky looked blacker and I decided that before anything got soaked I would call it a day and packed up and headed home,I did not see the school kids or Alison before I left but got a beautiful card made by the kids at school some weeks later and a e-mail of thanks from Alison who said the kids enjoyed every minute of it.Its what I do,fly kites,make people happy and try and be a nice person in this world of ours,but don't think I am an angel always sometimes the devil comes out in me like everyone ............

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Gt Bentley dog show

 

 

 

   Yeah... this year I got the Saturday off work so I went to the village green at Gt Bentley nice and early,the show did not start till one thirty so I had a good three hours to set up a display before the folks started to arrive.All kiter's know that the green at Gt Bentley has very bumpy winds over there but when I got there today the wind was blowing straight down the football field which is the best way to try and get any kites in the air.The wind was quite strong I would say about 15-20mph which was great for all my ground items and after the last couple of events where my lines broke I used my 1000lb line to be sure that was not going to happen today.I was not sure whether to take the Air-banner and it was still set up with the Super hero fun day on it so I took off the super hero bit leaving me with just 'fun day' a nice short message in case the wind was bad.Car packed with some items not flown for a while and the bag containing all the items that went in the tree last week which still have not been checked for damage I headed off to the green,its only a short drive and got there with the green to myself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

   First up was the lifter and banner to see how it behaved and to my relief the lifter was not flying too bad for this venue,'FUN DAY' was up for all to see and soon the catterpiller was at the bottom of the line bouncing away on the ground,next I set out the parrot banners and other ground inflatables,pigs,cows,turtles and the hippo all inflated nicely and looked good,time for a cuppa.It was around now that I saw Pete and Lyn's car drive onto the green and soon Pete had his shelter up and was set for some flying,a banner pole with Nemo on it and another one with a shark later on he set up his kitten on another pole which looked great low down,he got a lifter up with his trade mark octopus on it which later we were inspecting the internal bridles as some need fixing,one of those awkward jobs that never seem to get done.Later a few friends turned up Pete and Val,Pete's mum and dad and Mark who turns up each year as his mum who has a card stall over at the event,lots of chatting with Mark about lighty things and he had his experience inside the caterpiller.

   I was busy struggling with a second lifter when Mark arrived and fixing on the line my koi set forgetting just how nice these fish are,by the time I had the line set up the event was open and cars were filling the car spaces up over the road on the other green,I asked Pete to keep an eye on the kites while I went for a look around the show and I would do the same for him later so Pete and Lyn could wander around the event.Gt Bentley put on a great event with the main event being the dog show a very popular one for the doggie owners,my wife usually goes but was unwell today so missed out.Looking out for our breed of dogs Pugs and Chihuahua's but also admiring all the other types that were there as well,the event has loads of stalls selling all types of things and new there this year were some old type soldiers and weapons,the event had everything there for a good family day out and the kites over the road on the green were an added bonus for folks to come over and see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  I don't ask the event to do the kites as I just turn up if weather permits and the ammount of public that do come over always say how good the kites look from over at the event,I let quite a few in the catterpiller today and had one boy Arron helping me all afternoon so I got out the little devil kite for him to fly for a while.Once Pete got back from his turn over at the event I thought it was time to open that bag from last weeks catastrophe in the tree,something I was putting off because I know some items must be ripped to shreds,I was using the free line above the catterpiller but after getting bashed by the bug serval time I had to take it down while we could concentrate on the other items.First out was the horse looking over it I could not find any damage and when it was fitting on the lifter line it was flying like nothing had happened to it,even though I see it being pulled through a tree by a fork truck,with a big smile on my face I got out the dog  this one had to be ripped it was the most hardest to get out the tree,amazed again I see no damage to it and even though it did not seem to fly nice I put that down to the Bentley wind and the fitting on the line,we reset it up a few time which did make it inflate better and I was happy with that one too,next the gecko,Pete's favourite in the bag and OMG no damage to that either I can't believe my luck not one item ripped,and I am so pleased.There in one more that flew away that day the Angry bird but it must have got left out the bag and was left at home in the kite room but I am sure that one will ok because it was on the roof of the building.

 

      This all took soon time and it was now fourish and Pete started to pack up and head off home I thought I would stay a while longer and still had the young boy Arron hanging around with me,he asked if he can help get the kites down and did a great job clearing up the turtles all packed away in the bag,bring me the kites laying on the floor after I took the lifters down and lots of other jobs he got a well deserved free kite from me for helping out throughout the day,he was even in charge of the others I let in the catterpiller keeping them on the red line and telling them about the other kites.Thank you Arron and I hope you enjoyed your day with the kites see you next year hopefully,so with the help the car was packed up ready to head home after a very nice day out with the kites meeting new folks and making new friends,next week is Layer Marney one of my favourite venues of the year.

 

 


 

 

 

Today I had booked in Phil at the Essex outdoors centre at east Mersea to do a display and although the wife was going to come with me today she was too ill with her M.E. condition and so I was a lone ranger.I set out at eight and got there around nine nice and early to get things all set up for the guests of the centre,on arrival there was no wind at all and so all the ground items were stuck into the ground for at least a bit of colour,the lines and lifters were laid out on the field ready for when the wind picked up and then it was the waiting game,and as always us kiters thinking that that slightest bit of wind would be enough to get the lifters airbourn,but after many walks back to the kite to try I ended up sitting in my chair with a nice cuppa.

  It must have been about ten thirty before the first wind started to pick up but still very light so I decided to use the 200lb line on the 81 lifter with the idea if it picked up later I would change the line for a 500lb,mistake on my part.While waiting for the wind I got talking with a couple doing the zorbs (big air balls you get in and roll around in) a really nice couple that were there for the three days,we got talking about me being a baker and she had some cake for me to try banana,sultanas and walnut,mmm moist,tasty and moreish very nice indeed.Even though the centre had 200 on site most were out doing other activities like jet skiing,treasure hunt and other things organized for the day for them,but around me was the trampolines,peddle bikes and a big tent with lots going on in that as well.

When I finally got up the two lifters  and the wind had changed direction I was happy to start loading on the windsock and kites,first up the horse and under it went the dog,gecko,kitten and at the bottom angry bird over on the other lifter which had a 500lb line holding it went the big catterpiller,I know I had this at yesterdays event but the Mersea centre has not seen it before and it was a massive hit with both staff and guests.Two hours went by in lovely light winds and things all just sitting in the sky this was perfect for me to get people in and out the catterpiller and to let some others fly some kites the china bee and superbear.One girl was sitting holding the handle of the bee and fell asleep letting it go and I see my friends from the Zorb balls getting it back for me out of a tree,easy job as the bee had fell the other side so it was just a case of undo the bee off the line and pull the line back through the tree.

   I had George the kite monkey out and one young boy fell in love with him and sat for hours talking and playing with it I told his family that I would sell it to them if they wanted but I still got the monkey so I hope that boy is not too upset when he went home.Soon the field was empty again as at one they have a meal break I could have joined them but I know what the queue gets like from my times here before,I had brought something with me as well as my flask of tea so I was fine.I did have a lot of items with me from the day before and got out the spider bol for another spin and I see the boy that loved George getting kites out my bag,he had tweety bird and I watched him work out how to use the caribina to hook it onto a goal post that was near by,I went and said 'how did you know how to do that' ''by watching you'' was his reply clever lad.

 The weather was still nice but a few big black clouds had come and gone over the site and another one was coming,the wind dropped to zero and all the kites came down then when the cloud was right above us it picked up in another direction and I had to move the kite anchors to the other side of the field,it did a 180 so now was coming inshore off the sea which would be a smoother wind,it was around about the same speed as earlier and I did not bother changing the 200lb line.

The kids and staff had finished the dinner hour and were back over on the field to go back in the catterpiller and this is when all hell let loose,while I was with them a sudden big gust blew in and the line with the 6 kites under it broke free,in a way I think I was lucky the wind did that 180 because otherwise the whole lots would have gone in the sea,but as they headed out of the field angry bird being the lowest on the line hitting the first building this slowed it down a little and then the gecko went in the middle of the tree the kitten was low near the floor the dog was at the top of the tree and the horse and lifter were still flying just above it all.It looked to me like it was gonna be a costly mistake and did not think I would be getting them all back without damage,the staff soon came and asked what I needed to get them back,one told me that they had a fork lift on site and would go and arrange to get it over,meanwhile the kitten and angry bird were collected and I went back over to the unattended field to clear away all the other larger items that were still out,leaving just the ground banners and George on the field.

 

   I kept looking back at the tree seeing that the lifter was still aloft and the horse only feet away from the top of the tree.About thirty minutes later I heard the sound of the fork truck but by then the wind had dropped again and the lifter had fallen onto the second building laying on the roof but that meant the horse was in the tree as well.it was going to be a big rescue task for one of the staff as I was red taped from going up on the fork truck,but I did not miss the opportunity to take some photos,calling out instructions we undone the lifter and tried to pull the horse out the back of the tree as there were less branches that way, this would not budge because the other items at the front were well hooked in,so we took the fork truck round the other side and manage to get out the gecko,next was the dog and it was at the height of the fork truck could raise up,after a while and the help of a long pole it was freed which just left the horse.We tried everything with no avail in the end I said secure the line on the forks and just drive out either the line will snap or the horse will pull through the tree,as the fork lift slowly drove back with the sound of cracking and creaking branches the line snapped,there was quite a few folks watching by now and a big sigh went out,the foreman said ''I think that's lost mate'' I agreed and we said it would be a new feature of the outdoors centre,I went off to collect up the rest of my items off the field it was now fourish so I only had an hour left and really did not have it in my heart to fly anymore today,then all of a sudden a voice from behind said ''here ya go mate one horse'' I thought we had given up but he told me well we gave it one more try and it pulled out,I have still not checked all the items for damage yet but am so glad I got everything back,in a way it makes a great story for the website and a lesson learned by me,I had another cup of tea and chat with the Zorb folks then headed of home,what a day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


This was the first time that this event has been put on and I was approached by  Patricia at Frinton on sea while flying my kites and asked if I would attend,anything that goes on at my village of St Osyth I will help out for free and so I told her I would do a display for her on the day,well today's the day.The event in is aid of ddrdfoundation a group I had not heard about before and now know a little about it.The event was to be held on Bill Parson's field,a beautiful huge mowed green looking out to the back waters of Point clear,I have flown here once before and its a great venue for the kites so I was looking forward to going up the road from my house less then five minutes away,which makes this my nearest kiting event.The event was very well advertised and sign posted and had lots of things coming to it,so Patricia thought but she was let down by about twelve bookings and as the field is so big it looked a little spread out,but the event had a nice sunny day with the occasional rain cloud that held back,the wind was not perfect with it shifting left and right and blowing from 3 to gusts of 18 mph,but most of the day it was good.

 

I got there with the car packed with goodies to fly and mess around with arriving at around ten to give me two hours to set up before the event started at twelve until five,after a chat with Patricia I drove over to the bit of the field I said would be best for me,and started to set up.First was the ground stuff parrot banners,the fishes and grasses,sales table then I got up the Air-banner with the events name on it and with the peace bear up at the end of it,the peace bear looks like a super hero bear so was great to have on it,throughout the day I was asked about the banner and loads of cards given out,and two more people asked if I would do a display for their events next year.The banner came down about three times in the low wind times but when it was up on full line folks were telling me it looked great from the main road and further and that it showed where the event was.

  Next to set up was the igloo and polar bear and a few other ice-age items the igloo was used all day by kids either just sitting talking or eating snacks in it,of course I had to evict a few rowdy boys,but this always happens at events,but most kids are lovely.Another lifter was put up and angry bird,the horse and the spider bol was getting some attention but the main event from the kite den was the catterpiller and once the first kid was seen to go in there was a never ending line of kids wanting to go inside,even a whole Italian family went in I don't know what the dad was saying but I got the idea he loved it and came back later for another go inside with his older son.

 

 Every thing was going fine and the wife arrived at twelve to run the sales table I did not have much stock left to sell but still took seventy quid in sales and now need to find some more bargain kites to restock the kite den's sales table,or have a sort out of my kites.As the wife was there I could now go off and find a cup of tea and have a look round the event,all the usual folks were there tattoo and face painter who I helped set up their new gazebo and had a chat to while setting up,candy floss,cakes and lots more food stalls were all around,and all the fun stalls like ring the bell,raffle,bouncy castles etc....but as I said its a huge field and still looked a little empty in places.The event had a very poor turn out of public for all the advertising that it had but a steady flow come and went through out the day some families staying all afternoon ,the super hero  day had a competition for the best dress hero and there was some really cute little hero's around,the wife having her condition of M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) stayed till around half two before walking back to the house,I wish I had her there for the next hour or so with what happened but loads of folks helped me out.

 I could not get away from the kids wanting to go in the catterpiller and decided to put it up high and have a break,this still allowed them to run under it pushing it up in the air,I thought,and that was my mistake started I would go get another cup of tea but when I turned round at the tea stall I could see one girl had pulled the line down and kids where inside the bug,she was sitting on the line and I know the power that line had on it I rushed over and got the kids out the bug turned to the girl and with tea in hand still she got off the line,it twanged up with force taking my tea out my hand cutting right through the poly cup it was in.Lucky the line did not hit the girl or boy close to it,there was a lot of kids around and all doing things that they should not I decided to put the bug away so I could keep an eye on the other items and as I did the sled 81 got free,it was the lifter that was holding the catterpiller so it had nothing on it but as it flew away up the field it took out the kite arch and flag line,the whole lot as well as the big halo reel did not look like it was going to stop.I was struggling with the catterpiller stuffing it in the car watching loads of kids running after the free kite worrying that if they get hold of it there would be some kind of injury to them,I asked a bloke to carry on stuffing the bug in the car and watch my other stuff while I went off to see what was happening with the sled and the group that was with it.The kite was still high in the air and the line was in the tree's,the kids and folks were pulling on the line and did free the kite only to find out the pull it had,I got there just in time to grab the lifter line while I asked them to hold the flag line and kite arch it took all my power to get that sled down in the end I managed to loop in on a bit of a tractor and walk it down,lucky no one was hurt and the only damage was to the kite arch which I hope can be sorted out.It happens now and again but phew when it does what a nightmare,after putting away the rest of the items it was around four so only an hour left,time to relax and get the rev 1 out and have some real kite fun,with nothing around to worry about it was great playing with the kids with the rev,walking it over them,dive bombing a group of girls and have a nice fly.By five thirty I was ready to head home and by five forty I was indoors asking the wife for a cup of tea telling her about the afternoon.I was shattered by this time and a nice radox bath took away the aches and pains from today's flying.

               

 

 

 

 

 

 


 Carnival firework night   

    Finally the night that Shane and me have been waiting for,I have been working on a new light suit for 2014 and Shane had said he will come to this event to wear it for me while I wear the 2013 outfit.Keeping an eye on the weather reports all week the night looked like it was going to be a wash out and a no go.At work in the morning me and Shane kept looking outside to sunshine all morning but the moment we stepped out of work at two pm it lashed down making us think we would not be going out in the evening tonight.I told Shane I would ring him to say whether I was going or not.Knowing I had work again the next day and was to rise at 4am I went and had a nap while it was raining only to wake at 5.45pm to the sun shining,blimey I think it was going ahead so I phoned Shane to say I was leaving to the event which was at Eastcliff park just a short drive from my house.On arriving I set out to find Kerry who had asked me to come and entertain the crowds as I did last year and I gave a list of my guests/helpers at the gate to get in free.Adam Bolton was one as he was going to take the photos for me tonight and seeing his snaps knew that they should be good,he also does firework events with his mate and had put in a quote to do this one £1,200 cheaper then the person that did the gig,he also told them he would do a raffle and all the money go to the event the winner would start the fireworks off,as said he did not get the event but the other person did and used his idea to have the raffle which really peeved him off as this did not happen last year with the same firework event people,but I was just glad I was going to get the light outfit seen again.

 The heavy rain all afternoon kept the public away and even when I was setting out my table it was still iffy if it was not going to again as fine rain started,but soon stopped with a big clear patch of sky coming into sight.I pitched up right next to my old mate Pete who was running the West cliff theatre caravan with his buddy,Pete and his wife Val are kiter's I used to fly with so it was great to catch up after many months after a nice chat I went round to see the event as I had time to wait till darkness fell,I got a tea from the scout tent and spoke to them about doing an event for them with the kite den workshop and display,then walked around the event looking at the side shows and what else was there,Shane walked up to me and looked like he was ready for a fun night in the light suits,we went back to the table I had set up for keeping the gear off the wet ground,I set up two banner poles with lights only to find I had forgot I had used the boxes that ran the lights on Shane's light up shoes,this is where Shane got his first big laugh cos I was showing him how you take a banner pole down by tapping the bottom of it on something solid,I used my table only to find that the banner pole had punched a hole right through the table and I was just hitting the soft ground under it.Shane after a while stopped laughing and  I said I would get in the bee mascot for a while to pass the time,asking Shane to follow behind taking photos,this went well hugging kids and having photos and infact I did not realise how much time I was in it for.Shane's second big laugh was when I see all the disabled people in the wheel chairs and as I don't discriminate I went over to wave and 'high five' them as I had been with everyone else,as we walked away after Shane said ''Did you realise that you was trying to high five the bloke with no arms'',OMG I can't see down below in the mascot and didn't know.

 It was just getting dark and I went and got out the mascot and get Shane into his outfit,got to say it fitted him well and everything was working as it should till later when the waist coat run out of battery life,I should have gave it a full charge last night but thought it would be enough from the music on the meadow when it was last used,Adam turned up as cameraman and to see what the fireworks were like,and soon was joined by Kirsty his better half.His sister Sarra Bolton was all ready there as she is a volunteer for the ambalance service,a very worthy cause indeed,infact Sarra does a lot for charities and other things that make this world good.After a while me and Shane had on the light suits and headed out onto the event,many photos later and a hug and kiss off a drunk woman we waited with everyone else to see the fireworks,well if I had to pay for what we saw I would have wanted my money back.Not only did it not start on time running about 30 minutes late it was a right naff display,you just did not know if it had ended cos of the big gaps between the fireworks going off,it was set up by Kim Bolton (nothing to do with Adam Bolton) and all though he has a good background for his displays this one was a right old flop and in a way felt a bit sorry for them knowing that everyone would be saying so the next day.The good thing was the rain stayed away for the evening and Shane and me had a right old giggle tonight,we didn't hang around and I gave Shane a lift home.All the photos here were taken by Adam as was the video (thanks mate).

 

 

 

 

 

 


 Waking up in the tent at the Easton farm park it was time to pack up and head off to the 5 parishes show at Fingeringhoe,I had all the kite stuff sorted in the car already so it was just the pop up tent and sleeping bag to sort out.It was only around 5am when I woke up and after an hour of trying to work out how to put the tent back into the bag I gave up and stuffed it in the car,Pete and Lyn was still not up and so I got in the car and went back to sleep only waking up again to see them putting the last of their camp in the car.They was wondering were I was as they did not see me asleep in the car,after a quick stretch and drink of water and Pete having a go at the pop up tent which he did a bit better then me but still would not go in the bag,we were ready to head for the next event.

    Arriving at the show we drove to the same field as last year,checked the wind direction and sorted out where to place the workshop and cars,once again I told Pete I would match kite for kite for his event and while he was setting out his kite workshop I set up my ground bits and sales table,I had to try and get back the cost of this weekend somehow as I was on a tight budget this week.After a while and while it was quiet I went and put up the second banner set up for the weekend and as this was the only item up in the air went back to the sales table for a cup of tea and bacon roll.I had the spinning balloon on a banner pole and had three more on the table and after a chap brought one I was asked all day for them,could have sold loads of them today but in all the sales table covered the cost of my weekend out..

   Once again Mark joined us for the day a flew a number of different sparred kites I can't remember if it was today or yesterday that he showed me the item he has had made in honour of Martin,he has had a beautiful picture of Martin printed by Kites up (Roy and Hayley) ready to make into a Rok later this week,I thought it was a great idea of Marks and look forward to seeing my old mate up in the sky at different events.Midday and still the field was lacking kites in the air so my time was spent enjoying the event,getting my favourite dinner,hog roast and running the sales table.While getting things out the car earlier the pop up tent had popped up again and I had it tied to the wing mirror of the car to stop it blowing away,when a couple of lads came to the sales table looking at a £7 stunt kite I see the lad wanted it but must have been a bit short of cash so I told him ''if you get that pop up tent in that bag how it should be that kite is yours'' I think they thought I was joking but soon his mate was teasing him to do it,so there he was tent,bag and instructions trying his hardest to put it away in the bag,after a while of me and his mate laughing I had more costumers to serve and left them to it.It must have been a good thirty minutes before he walked round to the sales table with a big smile on his face and the tent in the bag.We all had a big laugh about it and I sorted him out his kite and handles,we got along great and soon found something else we had in common and I was given a little gift,I told him to have a go on the rev 1 that was set up in the field ready to do Pete's sweet drop for him,the lad got the hang of it after two quick lessons and a couple of crashes,he loved it and wanted to know all about the kite and getting one.I handed one of them a kite card and told them to contact me for a couple of reasons (and you have not yet so please do) one of the lads lives in Clacton and would be a good contact for me to have.A play on the rev and the lads moved on just before I had to do the sweet drop,well two drops infact,but as it was not advertised by Pete and the tannoy did not announce it so not many kids turned up for it,but still enough to make it worth while to do,I flew the rev while Pete did the count down 3-2-1 and the kids ran around the field collecting the dropped sweets,I see lots of kite workshop kites flying through out the day so think that went well but as for a kite display it was poor,if the East Anglian kite flyers want a good report a lot more effort needs to be made by them on the display side,sorry if you don't like this but you know I say it how I see it.I could have made a lot more effort myself to fly my kites but then I am not the one charging for the display and feel I should only be a support for the group not the one putting up a display for them,that said I still had a great weekend with great friends and met some great people at the events.


 

This weekend I had two events to attend both set up by Pete who has formed a new kite club called the East Anglian Kite Flyers,this was set up after the death of Martin who had run the S.K.F club for many years even though the S.K.F is still going its all about power kites now Martin has gone.Pete invited me to attend the Easton farm park which I did last year with him and I really enjoyed myself there so I was only to pleased to go again this year.

  Easton farm park is just past Ipswich and hold quite a few events over the year one being the Maverick festival a big country and western type event,a bit like a mini Glastonbury.One reason for me going was to show Paul the event organizer my Air-banner to see if he would be interested in having it for the Maverick event,I know Paul likes the unusual and thinking outside the box and when he saw the banner he was very excited about it and the thought of it at other events.A card was handed over for future events for him to ask for it.The banner did not go up until the afternoon in the big field for the kite flyers so I will take you back to when I pulled up at the farm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The drive was around an hour and a half from Clacton a pleasant drive though some nice country lanes lead you to the Easton farm park,we arrived around ten and lyn and Pete started to set up the kite workshop in the big barn while I went on down to the green where the bandstand was,knowing from the year before the wind in the big field was very bumpy and I ended up near the bandstand with some hand held items.so I said to Paul I would set out my banners and ice age theme to brighten up the green.Parrot banners,fish and other items were dotted around and the walrus and polar bear put up on poles near the igloo.Most of the morning the theme was inflating well until a change in wind direction making me change the igloo to face the wind many times,I soon got fed up with this and packed away the ice age theme leaving all the banners out for colour.

 

 Happy that my banners would not be nicked I had a look around the event and went and see what Pete was up to,mmmm not a lot.He was still sitting with Lyn at the workshop so to try and push him to get things up in the air I told him I would match the amount of kites he flew with mine,what an easy fly day this was lol.I went over to the big kite field and got the Air-banner up that matched the one kite Pete had up so I wandered off to the event to get some long distant shots of the banner and had a chat to Paul about it.Looking back into the kite field I see I did not need to put another kite up so I went to the car and changed into 'Honey bee' and walked around meeting and greeting people having their fab day out,face painted kids wanted photos with 'Honey' and I walked all round the event letting everyone see the bee mascot.
   

    Because we were going to the 5 parishes show in the morning we had decided to camp over here and head off early for the next event to save a bit of petrol and miles,the event closed around five and I left the banner up till gone six,setting up the small two man tent I brought for the camp over,the camping field was at the bottom end of the event and was quite full but there was a nice space for Pete and me to pitch up.Looking back at the day and what I saw and heard of the singers and bands most were good toe tapping tunes,happy kids and parents were all around the band stand.After pitching my tent all of ten mins to do I went and chatted with Lyn and Pete who said the food barn was open till around seven thirty and we can go get something to eat there,as I had an hour or so I got the big bug out in the camping field and soon it was full of kids,this went on till there was not enough wind to inflate it and so I packed it away but told one of the young boys we can have some fun with something else.I asked his parents permission to take him over to the car were we got him dressed up in the 'Honey bee' outfit,giggling and excited we told him to walk over to the other campers and see if anyone could guess who was in the mascot,this was great till his head dropped off and the other kids called out his name.I left them all playing,running round the camp site while I went off for a crafty smoke and drink.Things on the field looked like it was getting over excited and as I walked over to calm the kids down the boy in the outfit fell banging his head inside the mascot,after a few minutes of tears he soon got over it and I took the bee back as it was dinner time.Mark stayed quite late but did not know we were camping so had not brought his tent I think he was a bit miffed not knowing but he joined Lyn,Pete and myself at the barn to feed our faces,I had meatballs with pasta which was very nice indeed.We had a nice hour or so at the barn before returning to the camp site and Mark left to go home,I heard there was some entertainment laid on around nine  for the campers and said to Lyn and Pete if they were coming over to the bandstand to see what was going down,but they decided to hit the sack.Most of the campers were the entertainers from the event,jugglers,clowns face painters etc and I went chatting to some of them drinking the last of my W.K.D.

 

   I had put up a banner pole with lights on it and that got some great reaction from the campers but I so wished I took the light suits but did not have room in the car for them and did not know we would be up having more entertainment in the evening.Over at the band stand I could hear a faint sound of music so wandered over to see the group I was chatting to at the camp site soon they were juggling fire sticks and hoops,just having fun with the campers,next year the light suit is going :) love this event its a happy family day out with animals and lots to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 Each year my village St Osyth hold a music event and I have attended all but one when it rained so hard it was cancelled,it all first started on the small triangle green outside the priory,then when it got more popular it was moved to the Meadow across the road (this was the best venue for it) here there was so much room I did kite displays for the event and really enjoyed my days there.Now though it has been moved to the cricket ground at Cowley park and even though it is big enough for the music event it is not big enough for the kite display to be done safely so only a few items are taken now.

   

   This year the weather threatened thunder storms,sunshine and rain so it was going to be a hit and miss if the event would be a wash out or not.But as I left work at twelve I popped in to see one of the events organizers as I had not been in contact about attending the event this year.I told them of my new Air-banner system and that I would entertain in the bee mascot and light suits in the evening Paul was only too pleased to have me do this as its all free and extra for the event.I got home packed the car and was back on site by one thirty,the sun was shining the wind was perfect and I had plenty of room to launch the Air-banner,the event started at two and by then the banner was high in the sky with 'MUSIC ON THE MEADOW' on it,loads of people came over and said how good an idea the banner is and took my cards.The park has never been good for kite flying but with the lifters way above the tree line it was working well so I hooked on the line the big old bug letting a few kids go inside,the ground wind was rough and the bug was all over the place making it more fun for the kids inside but harder for me to control,this lasted for a few hours until the wind changed direction.

 

 The change in the wind had a big effect on the lifters and banner and while trying to put away the bug the banner was shifting around and coming down to just above people around the event,keeping my eye on it I decided it was time to take it down hoping to get it back up later if the wind picked up.The lull in the wind made me think of the saying ''the calm before the storm'' but it was still a beautiful sunny afternoon and the event was getting busy with people coming and going,so I packed away the banner and decided to get out the mascot.I was by myself today until I see Amanda and her group just setting up in the middle of the field,so a few drinks and chats with them was in order before getting in the mascot 'Honey bee'.It was not long before I was mobbed by kids and parents wanting photos,but the heat was intense and I had to cool off every thirty minutes going back to Amanda and her group for more drinks and rests.

 

 I was really looking forward to doing the light suits and the evening seemed to be ages to come,I was glad to see Adam and his group turn up as i prepared things for when it got dark it was good spending some time with them.A long banner pole with LED lights on it was erected on a ground stake ready for later,I asked Amanda if she wanted to wear an outfit in the evening and we messed around in the early evening with different masks and bits and bobs,by eight pm I started to get ready but when I  went to see Amanda she was too drunk to wear the other outfit so a lad in her group said he would.We went over to my car and I got him into his outfit and while I was getting into the robot suit two teenage girls come over asking if they could join in with something giving them the bee mascot they messed around taking each others photos and commenting on the light suit,it was just starting to get to dusk when I heard thunder then far away lighting light the sky..OHH NO not now I thought.The wife had just turned up and looked at me with the look of your not still doing the light suits on her face..HELL YEAH.

 

 It was nine pm and just dusk only just dark enough to see the light suits light up but I  knew we did not have long before that storm reached us,so I switched on both suits and we headed over to the stage area,the reaction of the public was as predicted photo after photo I got split up from the other lad and had thirty minutes of fun before the first rain drop fell,thunder and lighting was right above the event and the security asked me to take down the banner pole and advised me to take the suit off,I got the wife to do the banner pole but I was going to get every minute I could out of my light suit,the other chap went back to the car and changed to go,as soon as the rain hit people cleared the park like fleeing rats from a sinking ship,me I was dancing away to the last band hoping not to be electrocuted by the lightning,then it pissed down and I rushed back to the wife and car to go home...if only the storm held back for another hour it would have been the perfect event for me but in all I had a brill time messing around at the music on the meadow event and can't wait for next years one.


   Back at the Strawberry fair at Rowhedge near Colchester a very well put together event with a turn out of the whole village for a fun day out,a large space is always given for the kites and banners,but the field can be hard to fly in with trees and building making the wind bumpy.Today I thought our luck was in when I see the wind going down the field,not been there when its been in this direction.

 Pete set up a nice ground display and set up his shelter,I also put out lots of colourful ground items and banners and set up a small sales table.The lifter that I  got up was swaying left and right and Pete decided to leave the field for me so I set up the Ice age theme and got out the catterpiller charging 50p to go inside,it had loads of kids in it through out the day.I tried a number of kites out in the day and had fun looking round the fete itself,I don't charge this fete as I do the sales table and could have a pitch for a stall if I wanted,but the events organizer did give me four free tickets for cream scones and tea and that was very tasty indeed.The weather was great and the fete had plenty of visitors and at the end of the day their were happy with the kite den for coming along...

 

 

 

 

 See you next year .....


   It did not seem like a year ago that I did my first 'Dream night' at the zoo but an E-mail from Jez to remind me that it was this Friday (6th June) brought a smile to my face.Dream night is run in zoo's all around the world on the first Friday in June and is in aid of very sick or terminal ill children.All the staff and friends do the whole evening in their own time and get dressed up it looked like pirates was the theme this year.

 

   There was not as many mascots as last year so I was please to make up the numbers by going as 'Honey bee',we got there around about four and meet Jez to show him what I had brought with me,my air banner had 'DREAM NIGHT' on it and after some looking around we thought it would be best at the party area on the house.We trapped one end in the first window and used each window along the house to hook it on the ivy that was growing all along the house,the other end was tied on and it looked fab up where all could see.then I had a number of colourful items to dot around the area,parrot banners,fish and penguin banners were pushed into flower containers to brighten up the area,this was all finished by five so I had time to go outside the zoo in the car park to see if I could get up a lifter with the komodo dragon on it but the wind around that area was just to 'bumpy' and the lifter was going everywhere,so for safety I put it away and waited for the kids to turn up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Soon a big group were waiting at the doors and so I went and got changed into my bee mascot,and went out to the line of parents and their children waving,hugging and dancing t keep them entertained.Six o'clock and the doors opened and as you walked up into the zoo the first thing you saw was some birds on prey on the grassed garden area followed by all the petting animals for that close up look at the animals.The 'Star wars' mascot were there as well as batman all having photos and hugs with the kids,and programs for the evening were giving out to everyone.

  

 

 

 

 

A free drink and food area was laid on and then a trip to a number of animals for special extra feed times and shows,the zoo train was running round its route,the magic show and end party was not till eight forty five so everyone had plenty of time to look around the zoo,including me as 'Honey bee' and I found a few things that I just had to get in and photograph it,naughty bee.The mascots and staff hid in the house while the magic show was on and the sounds of shouting kids could be heard outside.Jez came in with food and drinks for us all and told us the order to come out the door in,first it was Batman to his theme song followed by the star wars group then the zoo mascots and staff and me,we all did our own silly dance moves on stage and a conga round the crowd,the time flew bye and soon it was the last song of the night,you couldn't see me in the bee outfit but I was smiling away feeling very humble to yet again be part of this very special night.Once we waved off and had photos with the guest and the last one disappeared out of sight I got out the bee outfit for a nice refreshing cool off,the offer of a cup of tea was not refused and so nice to just sit back and relax before getting all the kite dens items in and back to the car.

   Once again the Colchester zoo and staff showed what caring people they all are and put a smile on the children's faces for a few hours this evening.PLEASE PLEASE go to your local zoo a few times a year its a great safe fun place for all families to have a great day out,why not get a yearly pass and go as often as you like,its always fun and different when ever you turn up,mums and dads can relax while your kids wear themselves out in the many safe play areas,don't sit at home on the phones,tablets and t.v get out in the fresh air,visit your zoo and have the best fun day out you would have had in ages........

 


Lisa's Birthday fly 

 

  After flying on my local green for Easter and having the banner up I got a phone call in the week from a chap called Dave,he asked me if it was my kites and banner that he see on the green and if its possible to do an event for his wife's birthday on the sunday.I invited him round to the house to talk over what he would like done and it turned out that his house was the big house next to the green,ideal for me to do a nice display for him and his guest's.

 

  Dave asked if I could do a kite display from three till five and put up the banner with 'HAPPY 50TH LISA' on it,this was to be my first official booking with the banner,a price was agreed and all the information written on my Air-Banner forms.I also told Dave I would add in some extra's like night flying as he was having a bonfire on the beach in the evening and his guest would be thrilled to see the revolution lit up at night,Dave told me that I was very welcome to come and eat and drink at the party after my display,so the plans were all set and all I needed was a nice days weather on the Sunday.

 The week seemed to drag along at work but finally the weekend arrived,I woke up early on Sunday to a clear sky but no a breath of wind,eight,nine,ten all passed and still not enough wind was blowing,then I see the tree moving and a nice sea breeze started to pick up,I walked over to the green for a test flight with the sled 24,the wind had picked up enough but was coming inshore off the sea making me have the shortest length of the green I just hoped it would swing round just a little for the banner or the lifter would be over the wires and road.At midday I decided to start flying some kites and walked my kit over to the green only a minute from my house.

 

  I could see Dave and his buddies getting wood and fence panel,logs anything that would burn ready for the evening and soon I had up a selection of kites,he popped over and said thanks for starting early and it was not long before the green was filled with a mixture of kites.Through the afternoon Dave's guest started to arrive as well as all the locals living at point clear or down on holiday,I didn't know if many of Dave's guest came over as it was on the public green anyone can just come onto it and see and use the kites,I know most of the local kids and gave out the planes for then to fly.

 

   Lisa did not know of Dave's plans with the kites and banner and so when she see the kites up she said to Dave 'brilliant the kite mans out',being so close to home the wife brought me out tea in the afternoon and Pete,Lyn and Amanda came down,Amanda went to the wrong green further up the road and I had to ask Pete to drive up and tell her we was down on this green,her Rev was flying so I knew it was her.Pete and Lyn went into my house to see the wife and new puppies but as Lyn was a little unwell they went home after that wife Pete saying 'you a one man display' which on my green I could soon fill it up with kites.

 The time shot by and soon it was time for Lisa's surprise banner,I packed away the catterpiller to use that line and lifter for the banner and soon the banner was being pulled out the bag by the lifter and was up in the air,but only just the wind was still a little light but enough to keep it of the ground,the wind had swung round a little and I walked the banner down the beach so it was hanging over the party garden,Lisa and her guest loved it.After a while I took it back to the green and added a second lifter making it much higher in the sky,once anchored I started to get all the other kites down and pack then away as the time had gone well past five.Dave came back over to me and said well done it is fantastic and reminded me to come in for food and drink,he brought me a couple of bottles of beer over already,soon after I meet Lisa who was over the moon with the kites and banner,I told her it was my pleasure and she had a very thoughtful husband.The wind was just right to hook the banner on their garden fence and it start there for a hour or so while I went to the party.

 Hand shaking and thumbs up from all the guest's all saying what a great idea I have with the banner,I was made so welcome into a group of people I didn't know and Lisa's dad was a very nice chap and I talked to him for ages.A few beers later the barbeque was being served and Dave told me to get something to eat,I was hungry as I had not eaten yet today,my god what a spread,a barbeque fit for a king,pork,chicken,ham,beef just so much food and it just kept coming for hours,I was keeping an eye on the banner and about seven pm it started to sway around a little and I told Dave I was going to pack up but will be back out when it got near dark.

  I had about an hour before it got dark and rushed around the house looking for some lights for the rev kite,while doing this I got some bits to wear as well,my light up eyes,gloves and belt,soon I was back over on the green setting up the rev ready for the night fly,once set up I went back into the party for more drinks and chats with people,o dear there was a bottle of vodka.I had found a packet of snappy lights and gave them to a young girl to give out and then went and flew the revolution.It had all blue lights on it and even though I could fly it it was very unbalanced making it hard to fly,after about an hour the kite the ground and I snapper the leading edge spar so that was the end of the night flying.Packed it away and heading down the beach to the group at the bonfire and that's when I fell over some logs on the beach crashing down to the sand with my drink  in my hand,hoping that my excuse of being blind in my right eye and not seeing well in the dark was the cause and not the three glasses of vodka that done it,refilled the cup and sat at the bonfire talking about Glastonbury with a very interesting chap and gave the light up gloves to a young lad that was having a little moan and cry,he soon cheered up with them on....I can't remember what time I left but I was drunk by then and got a bollocking of the wife when I got home,but I am sure I was well behaved and gave Dave and Lisa a day to remember,and Lisa did say to me that I was the highlight of the party.

 


Hi and welcome to 2014 in the kite den I am hoping that the kites will be flying lots this year and my first event of the year is the Hindu festival Makar Sankranti

Uttarayan (known as Makar Sakranti in other parts of India) is the day when the sun starts to travel northwards marking the decline of winter. The days become longer, the skies clearer and the breeze cooler. A feeling of anticipation, joy and jubilation grips all who celebrate the occasion of thanksgiving and merry-making.Gujarat celebrates 2,000 festivals every year! Among these, the festival of Uttarayan is one of the grandest and stands tall. In Gujarat, Uttarayan is a holiday when every family can be met outdoors. People of all ages fly kites from dawn to dusk. Crowded rooftops, fun-loving rivalry to outdo each other in kite flying skills and delicious traditional Gujarati feast are the hallmarks of the day.

  Each year I help out my friends Sushila and Dhirajlal Karia to organize the celebrations of this very special day,foods,peace,togetherness and kites and over the past year it has been at different venues,this year we are having the kite workshop in the First site building,and have pushed the date up to the 9th of March in hope of better weather...the true day is on the 14th Janurary and here in the UK it can be rather nippy...

    So the planning has began with a meeting around Sushila house which is also the Hindu temple of Clacton on sea,we was meeting up with some people from the Colchester institute and have been offered up to 20 helpers to do the workshop and kite display they also are providing craft pens and stuff for the workshop we decided the the venue for this years event would be at Castle upper park,Colchester for the kite display and flying the workshop kites you get an idea from the google map but the First site has not been built just in the progress infact. 

 So this week on Friday Sushila and shri pick me up from work at 2.15 and we headed off to the two venues in Colchester,first was the Castle park and after meeting up with a chap called Will who would be dealing with our event I decided what part of the park I wanted for the display and flying the workshop kites,the upper park looked best for flying to me and would be easy to rope of a arena for the kites,then came the messy bit about insurance and risk assessment but  thankfully it all looks straight forward to sort out and it in the pipeline so to speak.Now there are some rules in castle park and one of them does effect my display,you are only aloud to put anything in the ground up to six inches deep,so my stake anchors can't be used,but we will have the cars to anchor from and sandbags can be used as well as tree trunks,so I can get round this rule at the park...And Will is not charging for the use of the venue either which helps alot as Sushila has not got funded for this years event so it all out her own purse to do..

 

  With things in order at the park we headed over the road to the First site building,this my first time I had seen or heard of this place and I gotta say is a cool designed building with loads of venues in it,the first things to hit me was the height of the roof inside,and straight away thought what a great place for indoor flying,which Judith the lady in charge of our event thought was a nice idea.


 

 

 

   Now with only a week to go it was time to sort out the kite workshop,the coloured bin bags had to be cut and then the template draw on and cut out,the bamboo spar measured and cut,tails made and barrier tape brought for longer tails and the line and handle sorted,selotape,stapler and hole punch.with the help from the wife we had this done by Saturday ready for Sundays event,Saturday my time was spent in the kite room sorting out what kites to take and getting the banner to say the events 'Makar Sankranti' I also took the bee mascot and had brought a load of sweets to give out to the children I was all ready and all that was needed was some nice weather.

 Event day 9th March

 

  Car loaded and I headed out to Colchester which is only a 30 minute drive for me and soon arrived at the arts centre and not long after me guys and girls from the university arrived as the kite workshop helpers,so many helpers I had enough there to run the work shop,one for the bee mascot and one as my camera man to take the photos of the workshop as I would be over at the park doing the display.After running through the workshop kite with Sushila's daughter I was then able to head out to the park which was just over the road.Sushila and Dhirajlal stayed over at the workshop to see it through till the end and to bring all my bits back over to me at the display event later,when they did she told me that a nice steady flow of people went through the workshop which was running from 10am till midday and a total of 55 kite were made in the two hours,which I was very happy with,the 'bee' gave out nearly all the sweets and made lots of kids smile.

 

 

 

 

 

Over at the castle park I was yet again setting up the venue,I had a nice chap helping out with anything we wanted and I met Bill the park warden who had already taped of the area,which I asked to be made bigger ( sorry Bill ) meanwhile Graeme,Pete and myself set up lots of items around the play area,penguin,parrot and fish banners and the fish scene were all out and Pete put a group of his 'ballons' out this made a super colourful display for all to see.Graeme was first at the park and was flying his small whale and I see that the wind was coming from the worst direction for the venue and this made our flying near impossible and through the day only a handful of our kites got seen,my horse,cat and tweety were up for a while and the catterpiller nearly fully inflated at one point,but in all this side of the event was very lack of kites with the low wind in the wrong direction,Graeme even lots his lifter over the trees into a garden and with the help of the house owner did retrieve it but with a few small rips in it as it had to be pulled through some nasty spiky bushes.

  

  

Then some really good news came to me as Lyn informed me that Martin was coming for a couple of hours,his daughter and partner and Martins carer was bringing him out to see us and then event,got to admit this was the best bit of the day for me to see my old mate again and to my relieve he looked the same as when I last saw him so that was good to see,I as always messed around putting the 'bee' helmet on him which gave all a big laugh.Graeme was never stopping trying all sorts of kites trying to get something in the air and at times we was rewarded by see an eagle and other items of his get of the ground.I was spoke to later by a couple who told me was from the 'Colchester Chinese Culture Society' and what they did,she wanted to set up a sales table for china 'train' kites,if I remember right her name was Lily Lin and the chap with her Jason I said that they could set up as I thought that another type of kiting would be good for the event,not knowing that no sales were permitted on the site, (sorry about that Bill).

 Soon the first of the kite workshop kite began to fly in the sky and at one point I did count up to 15 of then in the air which was great to see,I had arrange to have prizes for the best 3 and spent a lot of time going round looking at them,I did notice that over at the workshop they was decorating tissue paper then sticking it onto the kites but this did not work and most of the designs tore off the kites leaving me with nothing to judge the competition by so I decided to judge it by highest kite,most left decorated kite and the best flyer,at the last moment I gave a forth prize for the first tree to grab a kite...As I walked round I told each flyer that they was a winner and I would be round later to present them with a prize,which I did after 1.30pm giving the kit workshop kites time to come over and fly at the park.The tree kite got a packet of big cookies,3rd and 2nd received a 'Ben ten' light up frisbee and in first place one of my toy kite flying monkeys complete with kite,the folks were chuffed by winning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time rolled on and the sun shone all day it was so hot for March time and soon it was 3pm and time to pack up and head off home with the feeling that I had done something good yet again for the public and kite world.But without the help from the university team,arts centre and Colchester castle park this would not have taken place so thank you all for your time and effect in making today a success and lets not forget the main People who I did it for Sushila and Dhirajlal who set it all up for the Makar Sankranti day.