Plans for the planes

    Today is the 28th of September and after a phone call to Pete and hearing all about his bad week he had and the weather being a bit off I decided not to go out flying,but by 10.30 the kites got the better of me and the sun was shining so I got the case with the planes in for something I have wanted to try out at the Martello tower for ages,and along with the case my lovely rev1.










    I got to the beach which was not too busy and decided to walk along to the cafe for a take away tea,soon I was back on the beach with my hot tea and the rev 1 set up ready for a good fly.Music on,rev set up for light winds,balance checked and up she went,wow I have not had a good fly like this with the vented rev for ages,hours went by and the kite was put through its paces,on railings sliding along,walking round the side of the tower,following people along the prom it was endless flying fun for me.At one point I looked to my left and see John at my side,pulled down my headphones and started to have a good old chat with him,I don't go up the haven now much and that's where I used to see John and his wife Janet.Landing the rev for a more relaxed chat John asked if I had seen his new toy and pointed to the car park,there was his new little bright orange 'Bug' car,my reaction was clear,'OMG is that yours its fab'.I had to get some photos of it and one with me in it for sure.We walked back to my car to get my camera and then over to the 'Bug' took lots of photos and sat in it while John told me all the ins and outs about the cool little car.It was a nice surprise and rest break from the rev while John was there and just great fun seeing his new 'toy'...Well done John great investment.


 After John headed off I thought I would set the planes up on the volley ball posts that we use to anchor our kites on,there are two sets of posts with a smaller gap between each set so I put the Wallace and Gromit plane on the first set up on long lines,on the smaller gap between the post went the spitfire,and on the last two posts I put the three Gomberg planes each one on longer lines so that they each flew above each other,the display looked awesome,and folks were asking if I was selling them,taking photo and asking the normal questions about my kites,after my own photo shoot of the planes I went and had some more fun on the rev and about an hour later packed the rev away,Then I see Pete coming over the sand,'thought you was not flying today' told him it looked so nice I thought I would,he saw the planes from right down at the pier and walked along pushing poor lynn in her wheel chair,the knee operation she had done ages ago has gone tits up and now needs opening up again and put right,I told Pete I was just packing up but had time for a tea with them before the shop shut in town that I had to go to.We sat at the cafe chatting away when Pete said something about the coming elections and I should go see the Ukip group to see if I can get the air banner flying for advertising for them,I did go see them today and they seemed very keen and impressed with the photo album and idea that I showed them,maybe this will be the next kiting story for you folks that read this.


  Any way I had an awesome fly today perfect conditions,no hassle got some great photos and did all that I set out to do,love it when a plan comes together,and all unplanned just grab it and go type of day .....


Frinton (Greensward) June 1st

   After a couple of weeks of non flying weather this Sundays forecast did not look much better,I was up and about at five am and the clouds outside looked like rain was due,the forecast said the wind was for the low 4-8 mph and my thought were that it would be another bad kite weekend.A few cups of tea and a phone call from Pete we discussed what we were going to do for the day,by this time (9am) the clouds had gone and the sun was shining,we decided to meet at ten along the coast,and after another chat decided to head to the Greensward at Frinton-on-sea.



   Being a faster driver I got there first and parked at the top field for a change soon behind me I see Pete in his car and waved him over,parked up we walked over the green to test the wind,it was more then forecast had said at least a nice steady 10-14mph.Minutes later the first lifters were in the sky awaiting the mass of line laundry to be hung on,sometime even I am amazed at the amount of kites two men can get set up in a few hours.From the first item the public's cameras were out clicking away and the questions began,my komodo dragon was first on the line followed by the sea theme items,fish,squids,octopus,sharks,divers,jelly fish all were up brightening the Frinton green.

    Everything was flying so nice,pinned to the sky with hardly any swaying around I even had the diver,shark and ray all anchored to one peg and not once did the three self flying items tangle up,the shark just below the diver looks fab.Even Pete had quite a lot of items up so I knew he was enjoying the fly time,people were coming over chatting and a few school teachers asked if we could do something for their schools and I gave them my contact card,one nice lady said she had ridden down on her bike only to find out she left her camera phone at home and so rode all the way back to her house and back to the kites to get some photos,she told me she was an artist and wanted to paint the kites as her next picture,that was a first for me to hear and I am hoping to see the finished painting in a few weeks time.

   Another couple I meet was very impressed not only with the kites but with me as well and after a chat she told me that she was bringing her special needs children from her school down to the Greensward at the end on the month and would it be possible for me to be there with the kites for them,I agreed to be there for them if the weather was permitting.Philip and Alison were so pleased seeing me and my kites and with the arrangements for later,Philip put a video up on U-Tube and sent me a lovely E-mail...

 ''Dear Rob, just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed your impromptu kite display today, a lovely extra to a brilliant weekend. My partner Alison is also delighted that you may be able to help her special needs kids when they come down on 30th June for the day (she'll be in touch nearer the time.I took some photos and a bit of video and have uploaded it to YouTube. I hope you enjoy it and if you want to share the link then please feel free''


   As the day went on it just got better and better,more and more items went up in the sky and more and more people laughed and smiled at the kites,only one bad thing happened today and that was when two kids came up from the beach (unattended by parents) each was holding a bucket and spade and when he got to the komodo dragon he started whacking it with the spade (a metal one at that), ''hey you stop that or do you want me to whack you with that spade'' he looked a bit shocked and rushed off,sometimes you just got to be a bit mean....

Last beach fly

   Could this be Pete's and mine last beach display before it gets to busy at the tower beach!This Bank holiday Monday we went there and it did get quite busy but loads of people enjoyed the kites.I got there a little late nursing the worst hangover I have had for years but the car was packed with kites ready for a day on our beach.Pete had got there around nine thirty and already had two lifters up with his octopus and dogs on them.I walked across and slumped down on the sand for a rest and I had not even flown anything yet,Just as I did Amanda walked over 'Morning Rob,Pete' arrggg I replied.


     As Amanda went and set up her rev Pete nagged me to get some kites out,I felt like just having a nap,but with what little strength I had I walked back to the car and got me rev 1 and set it up.'Is that it Rob',Pete said,for now it was the best cure for my hangover and just as I set up Kevin,Claire and the kids came over for a chat,a long chat at that but I don't get the chance to speak to me old buddy much and it was lovely to see how the kids have grown,anyway we said our goodbyes and my kiting began.

   That rev went everywhere on the tower,lamp posts,railings and signs bouncing and walking doing all the tricks I can do with it,music blasting in me ears to drive out the hangover I had a good hour on it before having a rest with the other two,Amanda gave me a sausage roll to eat as I had nothing to eat or drink from last night and I dry as a bone in the mouth so a walk up to the first cafe to get some drinks,what a rip off that was three small ribena's that should cost about £2.10 at the most were £3.60 so I won't be using that place again,but refreshed and much more better I walked back to the tower and started to get out some kites.first the Komodo dragon was set up then the big old catterpiller ,Pete had his ostriches out on the post so I joined in with the ground display with my cute cows and hippo.Things were flying great so another sit down with the others was in order.

 Amanda pulled out a nice wooden reel that a friend of hers had given her after sorting out her loft,its a beauty and at the moment in my bag,lol.I had used it to fly the guitar and Amanda was the first to leave and so left it behind,maybe we can do a deal on it as it would get plenty of use with me :)


   The day was perfect for flying on the beach and people from all around the world were coming over to see and talk about the kites a chap and his son was getting photo's of his boy in front of the catterpiller so I went over and told him to get inside it,his dads face was a picture of joy and I found out he was from India,but that was just the beginning for the big bug soon I had a line of kids asking to go in it,how can you say no to them.About an hour later I managed to get then all out and said maybe again later.The manta ray went up and a few more things from Pete's collection as well,the beach was full of colourful kites drawing people from afar.I do hope we get to have another fly on the tower beach before its to crowded to safely display our kites.




Scott,s birthday banner

    Sunday the 27th of April I went to Martello beach with Pete to fly a birthday banner for Sandra at work,it was her son,s 26th birthday and some photos of her and her daughter (Kirs) under it would make some nice pictures for him,it was a perfect day for flying the kites and Pete enjoyed the time we had together flying a few of our kites.Pete had a new large (David Holt) dog to try out and soon had four up on his line,while I had fun with the rev 1 and other items.Paul from work also turned up and both him and Sandra and Kirs went inside the catterpiller for a look round.Later we had a laugh with the sperm windsocks and took lots of photos ready for Scott,s birthday on May the 3rd..


  The banner once again got interest from the public as well as the other items on the beach,fun was had by all specially by the three young girl that went in the bug to play,the girls families were very grateful for entertaining their girls for the afternoon and said it was awesome i the bug....soon the beach will be to busy to fly there and we will miss our favorite venue in Clacton,but we have plenty of other summer venues to play with our 'toys'........Happy birthday Scott





FRIDAY...So the Easter weekend arrives and my plans for some kiting fun all fell out the Easter basket,Friday I was due to fly on my local green at Point clear but the weather put a stop to that,the thing was it looked like rain all day but never did and I should have got a couple of hours flying in but every next big black cloud that rolled in looked like the heavens would open up,so Friday was a no fly day for me.  

SATURDAY..... and the sun was shining and looked like it was a go for a day out with the kites,I decided to stay local as my flying buddy Pete was busy that day and so a minute walk from the house to the green was nice and easy for getting the gear on site.I had the banner set up with 'HAPPY EASTER' and also another with 'ICE AGE' on it,this was going to be the flying theme for the day.Soon the Easter banner was up and a photo shoot done of it,a while later I change it over for the Ice age one and started to get out all the critters for the theme.The igloo was set up and soon had kids going in and out of it and others playing with the walrus and polar bears,the thing was I was not really enjoying the flying as the wind was off shore and very bumpy over the houses,making the theme hard to set up.In the end I did not get everything I wanted to do done and the wind conditions got the better of me and the whole theme will have to wait till a better flying day.Saying that I was out for a good five hours and lots of people enjoyed the kites,two boys asked to help and even though they was most helpful at times it made it even harder for me to sort out the theme and keep an eye on them,but at the end of the day I gave them both a ice age kite for helping and they went off to fly,soon returning with the kites in a tangled mess and broke,the wind was strong and the small kites did not like it,one boy asked if he could have another one...mmmm ok but no flying them today ..Through out the day the wind took its toll on the kites,the premier 36 popped it spars out the back making it dive to one side,so that was changed for the white pilot with the fireball drouges,'..bad move Rob'...this lost one of the fireballs while I was busy with other things which then unbalanced the kite making it dive down near some people,this was the point of me deciding to pack up for the day,and gave me a chance to get the boys out the way for a while..''Go see if you can find it''...I knew it would be in the sea somewhere and it would take them some time to look for it,I packed away and went up to the sea wall to look for the head sized fireball...It was funny because lots of people there were looking and pointing out to sea,I thought the boys had spread the news of my lost fireball and left to carry home my kit.Next thing I hear sirens and see police and coast rescue up on the green,my minds thinking about the fireball and if it was still inflated bobbing around on the water it could look like a 'head'..Have I caused all this!!!!Getting up to the wall I could not see anything but a small rescue boat going out,I went and spoke to an old chap that had been at the wall throughout all the drama and asked him what was going on,'look between the towers there,see that black thing in the water its a raised arm' Phew relieve for me but bad news for the drowning person,I waited and watched until the boat reached the person and had them on board and the coastal radio said he was alive but needed a medical attention,with the drama over I headed home for a well earned cuppa.

SUNDAY..This day the weather reports got it right wet,cloudy and windy all day.This was in a way a good thing for me as I had planned or tried to with the council to do a kite display and Easter egg hunt at the Martello tower beach,I asked work (MORRISONS) to donate some doughnuts and Easter eggs which they kindly did for me,being the baker there I made the doughnuts to look like small eggs and put them in the freezer till the day I needed them,and it was not going to be today.I just did not give enough time on the planning of this day,I did not get the forms done in time for the ok from the council for the egg hunt,so I could not have done it if I wanted to,this does not mean we can't fly kites there all day or get up to other antics on the beach.But to collected for charity I do need the permission to do so from the council.I had so many idea's for the day but if I had got all the planning done in time I would have been well peeved off with the rain.Next year I will get it all sorted in time and make it a big event with other superb kiter's to be involved making the biggest display Clacton has seen.

MONDAY...This turned out the best day of the Easter break,the weather was sunny all day and raining all night,I was today to be flying at Frinton but as we missed the tower Sunday we decided to do it today as the wind was blowing in the right direction for the beach.I took everything that I was going to take for Sunday all but the egg hunt stuff which I did not have permission to do today.I popped into work to get the doughnuts from the freezer and some snow sugar for dipping them in,reached the beach at ten am to find Pete already there with some kites up..''Morning mate gonna be a good day''..Even though I was not doing the Easter hunt I had loads of fun and nice things to do today,first was to get the Easter banner up,Pete already had the sky full of colour with his lifter and snake tails,with Pete's help the banner was high in the sky and people had sat on the wall watching what me and Pete was going to do next,my theme for the day was bee's and bears and although the wind was good it was rather strong for the bee theme but I went ahead and started to get the bee's up.The China bee that acts as the lifter was all over the place and it was not until I got three buzzing bee's on that it steadied out and aloud me to get more bee's on the line in all I got nine bee's on the line and one flying on its own,the buzzing could be heard quite clearly,Pete congratulated me on getting the theme up in the conditions,next item was easy the honey pot just clipped onto the post below the bee line and bounced around on the sand.We had a suprize guest today when John walked over to spend the day with us and took all my bee pictures while I was doing the doughnut thing in it,thanks mate.

As i went through the kite bags I found tweety bird and Hugo the turtle so these were placed on the banner line,the kite arch always adds colour to any display and with the handy posts it was arched in the sky flying between two posts.Pete had been busy with a number of fish and octopus and his nice kitten,by now it was around midday and I went and changed into the bee outfit,sugared up the defrosted doughnuts and went about given them out to the public and having photo shoots with the kids.Loads of people asked about the doughnuts and said MORRISONS should let the craft bakers design what they sell as they loved the little sugar egg shaped doughnuts and would buy them if on sale,it was great promotion for the bakery and many said they would be in for our doughnuts in the future.As time past and the doughnuts got munched by all I was sweating in the bee outfit and went and changed back into 'kiteman'...this was superb timing as a little while later a twang of a snapped line was heard and looking up I see that it was the bee theme floating down the beach and looking like it was going to go over the houses,running down the beach was hard enough but in the bee suit I would have passed out...Lucky for me some chap managed to get hold of the line dragging along the sand,but I could see he was struggling to hang on to the thin line,doing my best to get to him before the line was let go or cut him I got to him to find he had wrapped it around his shoe (something I do when in trouble with line) and said to me ''it is tugging a bit mate'' I found that out when I had to pull the theme all the way back up to the other kites ...Lucky for me no one got hurt and only one bee was damaged.I fixed it back onto the anchor and took off a few bee's off to make it have less pull.


 I see two of the post were not being used I got the two big bears out and hooked them onto them,flying at just over head height but low enough for kids to touch now and again,with the wind getting stronger all afternoon the bear heads came into play bouncing wildly on the sand for the afternoon,the last of the bee theme was being erratic and so I took that in and packed it way before going to give out some more doughnuts as it had got busier with people on the beach.More public said how nice it was of Morrisons to let me do this with the doughnut and when I asked where do they shop one in five said Morrisons but quite a few go to the big store out of Clacton,we need these to shop with us and maybe just a few will after talking to me and see what I do.



 Even without the egg hunt it was a great day and lots of people enjoyed it,but the day had come to an end and packing away the kites was to be done,it was at this point I said to Pete whats wrong with the Air-banner and to my amazement the knot had come undone on the main line and the whole banner was only being held together by the seven plastic screw clips,wow I was lucky that did not snap when the wind increased,but it got took down and mended before being packed into its bag.An hour later and Pete and myself was all packed up and having the end of day chat,we came to the same conclusion that it turned out a great day and maybe the last beach fly before it gets to busy with beach goers.












Birthday fly

Around it comes again,the birthday,this year it fell on a Wednesday and I had nothing planned for it and was in work till midday.When I got out of work it was a beautiful day with a nice 10/12 mph wind,I went home via the tower beach and checked which way the wind was blowing,straight along the beach,perfect.I rushed home and grabbed some kite and the new Air-banner,after a phone call to Pete to tell him my plans which Lyn passed on to him I  headed out to Martello tower beach for a afternoons fly.
Lucky for me I had changed the Air-banner to say 'HAVE YOUR MESSAGE HERE' written on it and soon the lifter was pulling it up skywards for all to see.And then I  see Pete walking across the sand with his bags of kites,''Rob that looks great'' the Banner was still not getting the height I wanted and said to Pete I was going to try the way Andrew Beattie told me about and that was to use another lifter at the end of the message to get more lift.I had the same size pilot as the one already holding it up and soon had it attached to the banner line,up it went much higher and hung like a washing line,it looked much better and was seen from miles away,as people told me when they got to the beach to see what it was all about,I spoke to a few interested people in having a message for different things and most of the rest I spoke to said what a really good idea the banner was.

While I messed around with the banner,Pete got up three octopus,the vivid colourful display was a huge hit with the public and soon I had my kio's up with 'Willy' as well the kite arch which was fixed to the volleyball post adding more colour on the beach,it was pretty busy down the seaside today and kids had fun with the kites and adults asked the question.Pete,Lyn's and my birthdays all are at the start of April and so my treat for there's was to take them to the Toby carvery for a meal,this was arranged for six pm and the kites were still in the air at four thirty,so we quickly packed up and headed home to freshen up for the meal.Six pm and we all were back at the Toby only to be told there was a thirty minute wait,so it was of to the bar where Pete got a round in,the Toby seemed very unorganized and have to say I have had better meals there before but the company was great and with Lyn having a voucher it only come to thirty quid for a meal and sweet for the four of us.So for a nothing planned day it turn out to be a right good en in the end. 


Turtle project

  The turtle arrived from Martin Blais who started the worldwide kite workshop on face book,I missed the dolphin which was the first project and hugely popular with flyers around the world and quickly jump on board when I saw the cute ground or line turtle.This was to be my first 3d kite to make and to make it nice and easy(easier) Martin sent everyone out all the rip stop and bits to make it with all the templates drawn on ready for hot cutting and sewing,then there was a video of him showing us all what to do.

My turtle arrived at a perfect time a few days before I had a week of work so I kept it back till I had the more relaxed week to make my turtle.I dusted of the sewing machine and brought a new pair of scissors for the job as I did not have a good hot knife cutter,after watching the video a few times I decided to do all the easier bits first so I made the 'egg' shaped bag first to get some practice back on the sewing machine,then the tail,face,flippers that was enough for that day and I looked forward to the big bit the next day,the shell.

A refresh look of each stage on the video was a great help and soon half a shell was made,the second half went together a bit faster but the next bit I was to do was the head,sewing the two side together was easy but on the video the mouth looked trickier to insert and sew and this is the bit I thought that might go 'tits up'  infact I found this to be not the hardest bit of the project but the fitting of the top shell and bottom of the turtle the harder bit to do.

I made many errors throughout the project but manage to save each mistake with some sticky rip stop or extra sewing,cutting back was a pain and I snipped through a couple of bits that I should not have,so my turtle ended up with a few plasters but lucky for me I had the right colour sticky rip stop in my sewing kit.Some days later the turtle was finished ready for a test flight with the hair dryer,he inflated well and looked great,and then I saw a inch hole along that hard bit the shell fitting so another plaster was pressed into place,the turtle has had three flight out on the kite line and I love it,mainly to do with that it was put together by myself and something to be proud I could do.

 My turtle got named Hugo after my friends name as his turtle was lost in the post and I was having some fun with him about his.but he took the fun in good jest and has another turtle one on the way to him from Martin.I am looking forward to what Martin has as his next project for us amateurs to do,if you feel you can not make things this is the best way to start out in the making a 3d kite.


Back at the end of 2013 David Holt came out with a new design that I like as soon as I saw it,his new creation was a crouching wolf,made to be a ground item flown from a stake.Once the price was known I ordered three,one white,one grey and the original black version.I knew the white would fit in with the Ice age theme and the other two I had plans to give to the Blue Meanie as his new 'pups'.


  I have only had one play with them so far and I am still awaiting for the grey to come,the first thing that I had to do was put my changes to the wolves,I was not keen on the plain diamond shaped eyes and so with a bit of sticky back ripstop I gave the white wolf a beautiful pair of blue eyes and some more defined ears,after another look and a play with colours on paint shop I decided to give her mouth a make over as well,the all red mouth soon had a black lip line,she is now ready to go and meet the rest of the Ice age critters.



















The black one was more simple with just some nice new eyes as the rest was fine for a more nastier looking wolf and when I get the grey one he will go through some changes as well.As I said I have only had a couple of hour out with them and the wind was to light to inflate them,but I could see that with the meanie holding the two wolves on leads it was going to look like another great item to set out at any venue.really looking forward for the right wind day for another try with them.  


Air banner test

 Today I was hoping for a perfect fly day to test out the new air-banner system I have invested in,the weather forecast said all the things I needed for a good day,but as usual even the 24 hour forecast was way out.

    The clocks went forward an hour the night before so when Pete and myself got to the Martello tower beach at ten,it was (in weather terms) 9am and the mist was just out at sea and not a breath of wind,we had to hang around for a good two hours before the first lifter was able to just hold itself up in the air,which meant nothing could be put on the lines,many cups of tea and fags later the wind picked up another 5mph and was just enough to get something on the lines,Pete got his shark out and then came over to me were I was setting up the Air-banner,lucky I had thought about the wind strength and took two banners ready set up with me,the small one had 'I(HEART)KITES' and so got that out the bag and showed Pete all the ins and outs of the system but even this small sign just could not get the lift in the light wind and just hovered above the sand picking up dried seaweed every time it landed and took off.It was a very frustrating morning but by 1pm we got a little more wind (when the tide changed direction) and the banner lifter up in the sky,I added my turtle I made and left it in the air for all to see what the banner advertising is about,I gave out leaflets on the Air-banner with prices and information on it and it got a good response from the public I was talking to about it.Bit the banner I really wanted to get up today was one for Pete's birthday next week,the old boy will be sixty next week and I wanted to get the banner up with him underneath holding it,then make a nice framed picture of it and also make his birthday card with the photo,but alas this was not going to happen today.I have said to Pete we still might get a chance in the week to get it sorted and will ring him to pop down for a photo with it at point clear or the beach.     

I had my parrot banners in the car and stuck them in a row along the sand and Pete and I got the Bols spinning on the volleyball posts,my elephant flew for a while and two red hearts but in all it was a slow lack of kites day down on the beach,we was asked by a member of the church if we can do something in August for Jaywick and said that being a bank holiday we might get a bigger booking to do but if we are free then yes.Just to piss me off even more some out of control dog run up and ate my muffin where our bags were,the woman did not even care as she was way down the beach just letting the dog do what it wanted,the sort of dog owner that would leave its shit on the beach.

Blown away

  This year started as last year ended with the UK being battered with storms and rain and although my only problem was I could not get out with my kites some poor folks had their homes flooded or battered by the storms causing misery for their start to the new year,even here on the south coast we had our fair share of the weather but got of pretty lightly even if the pier had its helter skelter blown over,it has seemed ages that Pete and myself have had a fly and at long last this Sunday I awoke to sunshine and blue skies and a phone call from Pete....'Coming to the beach Rob' Nothing was gonna stop me today and it was into the kite room to grab some items to fly,mmmm ... what to take,this thought should have been how much to take,as both myself and Pete ran out of items to fly.Arriving at the tower beach I had to find a space to park not that it was busy with parked cars but all the sand that was on the road blown off the beach by the storms,the grassed area beside the tower was just sand and the beach itself was all stoney cause all the best light sand got blown off it,but I am sure this will all be put right soon.

   The sunshine always brings people out but I was amazed at how many were about today,through out the day I spoke to locals and day trippers about me and the kites,Jeff and his kids had seen the kites from town and walked down to see them which goes to show just how far away the kites can be seen from.Today I had with me the koi,komodo dragon and turtles and Pete had up about another six or seven items,it seemed we both under estimated how nice day it was going to be and wished we had more to fly,I did not even have a quad with me to play with but it did give us plenty of time to sit back with our tea and chat with people.I have some new items coming very soon and am looking forward to seeing how they mix in with other things already in the kite den,also I have the workshop turtle to make and so stay tuned for them...