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KITES--  The Long Journey home.

Chapter 1 history

The first time I flew a two line kite I was about 16 or 17, my dad got a Peter Powell (a blue plastic diamond with an ally frame sprung at the tip) I flew it a few times but I had other more pressing things on my mined (motor bikes, boos and girls in that order). By the time I got to 18 I dropped the boos as the bike was now a T500 two stroke twin (about 120 125hph) and speed was king (I've never lost the love of bikes just too broken to ride any more).

I then discovered caving and pot holes, becoming totally obsessed with it, to the point of missing out on the pub sessions, this worried some of the club member. the little hard core group managed to get to  places visited by only a very few people and on occasions going where no one had gone before. I even took up cave diving (not the type seen on TV the type you have to remove your gear under water to force your way through a squeeze and visibility was less than swimming in a week old pot off billy tea).

This all stopped (the caving) when I moved from Yorkshire to Scotland the caves were just to far away (little did I know). I'd moved to Bridge of Don, Aberdeen and one day whilst riding my mt. bike  along the esplanade I spotted 3 guys flying kites, so I pulled over and went to chat, next thing I'm flying a kite (think it was ether a swallow tail or a phantom) instantly I was hooked, the next week I got a skynasour delta (the only thing available). The next time I went down to Yorkshire to visit the folks I popped in to Leeds corn exchange to visit Mark at Leading Edge Kites (home of Fizz and Tim Benson) and came away with a Phantom. From then on more kites came in the mail, visited more shops and started to go to festivals (average 850miles,1300k round trip) and at my first festival I picked up my first buggy.

 

next instalment may include fling to Wildwood NY USA visits to Oz, love, moving to Oz, marriage, kids and disaster

or it may be a load of old toss. But eventually it will get to flying.

may your winds blow freely

and in the words of Mel I am not a number BBC 065

Entries in this blog

 

is that a new kite

A couple or 3 weeks ago I came back to my place in Steiglitz after being away in Moorwell and had just finished emptying the car and started preparing some food for the ducklings, when I became aware of one hell of a lot of nosie coming from the direction of the afore mentioned. So I went to investigate the reason for the racket, from a distance I first thought (wishfully) that I'd got a new kite, but on closer inspection this is what I found. not a kite but a brown Goshawk, exactly where it shouldn't be, so I run of to get gloves, a sack and the camera. when I got back the hawk was trying to get dinner (duckling) but mum was keeping it at bay and drove the hawk away. The hawk went in for the kill again and this time mummy duck jumped on it forcing the hawk on to it's back locking as if it was playing dead, at which point I garbed the hawk and ejected it back to the wild. Final score hawk nil duck 11 (no casualtys) ps I was there and I don't believe it

the_hatman

the_hatman

 

Low wind no wind

OK so my son Axel has started exams so I got to go fly as I waited for him. place Belmont rec.res.- wind almost - kites Mitzel lite,Raven, 12m zip tip Peel and Dharma first the wind By crushing a chunk of dry grass to a fine powder from 1.5m up the finer bits drifted about 400-500mm so about bugger all gusting to minus bugger all wind direction west = or - 180o first out of the bag was the Mitzel lite I can't imagine the UL version of this made of one peas of icarex with a bit of reinforcing mostly icarex this kite originally had a 4-4.5mm carbon tube frame but I found far to flexible so I beefed it up using P2 graphite (probably about the same weight as the fittings are bigger , this thing flys well at this wind wind speed up to about walking speed(sornter) at a fast walk (2 1/2-3 1/2mph) it start to make a lot of noise and is out of it's comfort zone. this thing is just chill on strings it will trick a bit but you have to allow lots of room as it's so lazy but 360 are less than a breeze with it. a nice kite but very limited, surprisingly absolute shit indoors. Next of the block the raven this kite has amazed me,it flys in almost nothing and keeps going up the wind till about 15mph, made in rip-stop nylon with a 5.5mm carbon frame tricks very OK for a 20 year old kite,bout this one as it's the same profile as one i ordered custom made from the same guy (Edd Shanks) cost $90 US and is the best value kite I've ever owned. I give this kite to beginners as it's slow and rugged, I fly it my self as it's awesome in light winds dos lots of tricks a 360 is a breeze, what can I say this kite will get fixed for ever or till I can get an other.   And on the next day the wind was whistling (some wear ells) but there was was a bit more draft so here is some footage of two Tim Benson kites the Outer Space and the Phantom Ellette. well soon  

the_hatman

the_hatman

 

the long way back

Chapter 1 history The first time I flew a two line kite I was about 16 or 17, my dad got a Peter Powell (a blue plastic diamond with an ally frame sprung at the tip) I flew it a few times but I had other more pressing things on my mined (motor bikes, boos and girls in that order). By the time I got to 18 I dropped the boos as the bike was now a T500 two stroke twin (about 120 125hph) and speed was king (I've never lost the love of bikes just too broken to ride any more). I then discovered caving and pot holes, becoming totally obsessed with it, to the point of missing out on the pub sessions, this worried some of the club member. the little hard core group managed to get to  places visited by only a very few people and on occasions going where no one had gone before. I even took up cave diving (not the type seen on TV the type you have to remove your gear under water to force your way through a squeeze and visibility was less than swimming in a week old pot off billy tea). This all stopped (the caving) when I moved from Yorkshire to Scotland the caves were just to far away (little did I know). I'd moved to Bridge of Don, Aberdeen and one day whilst riding my mt. bike  along the esplanade I spotted 3 guys flying kites, so I pulled over and went to chat, next thing I'm flying a kite (think it was ether a swallow tail or a phantom) instantly I was hooked, the next week I got a skynasour delta (the only thing available). The next time I went down to Yorkshire to visit the folks I popped in to Leeds corn exchange to visit Mark at Leading Edge Kites (home of Fizz and Tim Benson) and came away with a Phantom. From then on more kites came in the mail, visited more shops and started to go to festivals (average 850miles,1300k round trip) and at my first festival I picked up my first buggy.   next instalment may include fling to Wildwood NY USA visits to Oz, love, moving to Oz, marriage, kids and disaster or it may be a load of old toss. But eventually it will get to flying. may your winds blow freely and in the words of Mel I am not a number BBC 065       Add for my first kite Chapter 2 Flying high So now I’m going to as many kite festivals as I can 2 or 3 a month and in Aberdeen the days are long in the summer so I fly after work and am oft seen riding the mountain bike with the front wheel of my buggy strapped on the rack and several bags of kites strapped in the buggy. It took me a long while to get round to buying a car (don’t like cars or lamingtons)and just use a hire car on the weekends I travelled down south or share a car. My girlfriend at the time reckoned she was a kite widow and this was wears than being a golf widow. I was having a great time and getting pretty good but the long winters where starting to drag, work was getting harder as a contract designer in the oil industry I was working about 6 months a year but getting more cash than when I was staff, the hours where interfering with my flying time (about 10 to 14hrs a day some times more)(that’s the work not flying time). Then bad new hit, nephew had incurable leukaemia, my brother and family had migrated to Australia a few years back and shortly after discover the leukaemia and went through all the treatments. So I went to my boss explained the situation to him and since we were in a lull between the sales proposal and getting the order I got 3 weeks of and flew out to Perth. Over the next 6 months to see him. It was during the first of these trips that I met Neil Taylor and after meeting only ones or twice I was looking after his shop so he could go to an Indonesian kite festival. I loved it in Oz so much I sold my flat in Aberdeen put all my furniture in storage and spent a year out hear toward the end of my year I met a young French women how I later visited in Sydney during The FOW 1996 we met up later before my visa ran out and I had to go back to the UK where I was offered a job working the kite festivals (a dream come true). But after a visit from Muriel (I’d learnt her name now) over new years and visiting her family in France plans changed and we got married on the 4th of July (dependents day) 98 and lived in Sydney where we had our  first baby on Friday the 13th May 99 moving to Perth 6 months later, as you may imagine my flying days started to diminish and by the time we had our second December 2001 it had just about gone. But that’s OK life goes on and as they grow I can teach them, that plan went wrong as I had my own personal 9-11 but in 2002     next instalment may include details of disaster and may be some flying may your winds blow freely may your kite not touch the ground till you won’t it to and in the words of Mel I am not a number BBC 065   Chapter III I was living in the suburbs of Perth a place called Yangebup and riding home on my GSXR 750 after a 10hr day grinding chamfers with a 9” angle grinder thinking has Osama bin Laden given us an anniversary present, when a guy in a Land Curser Ute pulled out in front of me. I reckoned I had no time to brake so I tried to go around and missed. I clipped the bull bar getting my left arm between it and the front of the ute, having remodel my arm I continued along the bull bar till my knee contacted a shovel tied there(the surgeon later told me he’d put his hand in). I then proceeded to slide along the road where I lay for what seemed like hours listening to the sirens of the ambulance that had taken the wrong exit off the freeway. In E R I finally got to look at my arm and it looked like I’d no forearm, just elbow then hand to which I said “looks like that my sex life don for a while”. The Doctors were so busy with my arm that it didn’t come to their attention till 3 day later that my hand was broken. Then followed 6 months of therapy several operations on my hand and arm and after nine months I’d had enough the pain killers wern.t working I was bored out of my skull. So I went back to work armed with a fist full of pain killers and another full of ant-depressants, my work station supplied by the Australian Rehabilitation Service, as a structural drats man. Now as you can imagine the combination of pain medication (supplemented with over the counter pain killers) and ant-depressants had something of a soporific effect and to counter this I consumed 6 or 7 coffees with 6 shots each. After a while I was taken for my review and told my work was suffering, I decided to stop the medication( 1 the pain killers seemed to have little effect 2 I was depressed because I was in pain and my life was really shit(these being facts and not imagined, depression was the correct reaction to the situation)( at a latter review I was told I was a lot more productive but a lot less funny)can’t win em all. Kite flying went out the window and if I saw kites in the sky it would bring me to tears, it was not till 2009 that I got over this and then another 3 years till I could fly for more than An hour, now I’m doing well if I keep at it for 3 hours. Now a days I’ve learnt to keep the pain at bay by mental effort, and adrenaline works well, the price for the metal effort is I can no longer read books and find it very had to concentrate for long (which is why this is in chapters) So said I leave you with the wish your kites fly well and the sun stays behind you.  

the_hatman

the_hatman

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