Thursday, 5 September 2013

Flying a Kite on a Shoestring!!!

Norfolk has to be one of my favourite places, big skies, gorgeous beaches and idylic walks on the broads. At the end of a long hot summer here we are again for a short week's holiday, drawn back to a little place we found a year ago and right next to the beach. Perfect for doggie walks and picnics.

One of my favourite pastimes is flying kites. Not that I get that many opportunities during the year what with work and all that. However, occasionally the time is right and in anticipation of holiday times we thought we would seek out and find the old faithful - in this case it was nowhere to be found...turned the house and attic upside down but no sign of it...rasm frasms!!!

Oh well..never mind. Plenty of other things to do on holiday!

So, having forgotten about the lost kite, one day on our way back from a walk on the beach I spot a clump of bamboo shoots growing in the hedgerows which triggers memories of old when as a young girl I made my own Kite from bamboo sticks, brown paper and a bit of string. Could I recreate that moment some 45+ years later????

Worth a back at the holiday home with foraged bamboo sticks, a Lidl plastic bag and a ball of string from the local convenience store, something emerges.

I've tied the sticks into a cross, attached the top, sides and bottom of the bag to the bamboo and then trimmed the bag to make a kite shape.

Next I've added ties from top to bottom and side to side and then added the flying strings....this is the tricky bit because if you get this wrong the kite will dive bomb when you try to fly it!! It's all about balance so a bit of trial and error helps ...but somehow you can 'feel' when the balance is there and it's ready to go!
 Notice Mr F's left foot here!!!

Well, the morning's attempt at flying was not too promising, fickle winds and not quite there with the ties. After half an hour of trying to get her airborne and several nose dive crashes, I'm beginning to think this is all a big mistake and revisiting one's childhood is probably not a good thing to do.

Hey ho...I'm not a quitter... so later on in the day on the beach at Winterton on Sea I have another go....

This time it's more promising but the strings get tangled up in an almighty mess and I have to go back to basics and re-tie everything in order to get the final balance...but with a little bit of help from Mr F and a prevailing wind...we have lift off!

It's a glorious moment and she flies higher than I could have expected.....tricky manoevers with the control strings but there she goes... a modified shopping bag turns into something beautiful for a brief moment in time.


Sunday, 9 June 2013

Apple Blossom and a little French Beauty!

My favourite time of year has to be Spring and early summer and in particular apple blossom time. Having grown up in a rural part of the country where apple orchards and 'blossom' trails were a seasonal feature, it's a  joy to have an old variety apple tree in our front garden.

Years of neglect meant we inherited a tree that was barely recognisable, in need of a prune and absolutely smothered in ivy. The 'family firm' soon set to work not long after our move and within a few days we'd uncovered a pretty tree and lovingly pruned her into shape - with a little expert help from my mum!

The following spring at 'Mole End' was cold and wet and the blossom a bit disappointing to say the least. Cold winds and rain soon blew the flowers away and the sound of buzzing bees conspicuous by their absence! What a shame....we would have to wait a whole year to see if our tree would fully recover.

Well....what a difference a year makes! Sunshine and warmth, a lot less rain and our little tree has come up trumps! Smothered in gorgeous fragrant blossom and buzzy bees busily going about their duty. Our local bird population has grown too - regular visits from nuthatches, blue tits, woodpeckers, robins, goldfinches, chaffinches, yellowhammers and of course our resident population of noisily chatty sparrows.

...and here is a photo of our tree in full bloom, enhanced by a visit from our friend Colin and his Citroen 2CV...don't they make a pretty pair??


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