Early morning fog was forecast, that wasn't a problem for us.. but what was, was the lack of wind that's normally associated with it.
As I was walking up the drive to the park I was passed by Ernie & Sandra - unaided I continued struggling up the hill carrying all my heavy gear. At the summit I was greeted by Keith who had been there since the crack of dawn and we chatted for a while whilst observing that the Hylands flag seemed stuck to the flag-pole. Next up, Daphne and Frank arrived. They were a bit keener than us and were soon assembling kites at the rear of their car. It wasn't long before the first kite was in the air... then on the ground!
Did I mention there wasn't a lot of wind?
Frank was first to test the wind with an Indian fighter kite which, with some effort stayed aloft for a time but didn't seem to want to go higher than 20m or so.
I was next out onto the field (which wasn't as boggy as I had thought) and soon had my handmade Urban Ninja in the air, though it was requiring a lot of user input to keep in up. It was one of those times where, when you get the slightest whiff of a breeze, you had to feed it line to gain height knowing full well that moments later the breeze would fade away and your kite would start obeying the laws of gravity once more.
Meanwhile, Daphne was flying her Grace kite, quite similar to a Wala but with vents in each sail side where the cross-spars go. It was a colourful kite and flew well, just needing an extra mile per hour of wind.
I was soon joined by Ernie with his Urban Ninja, also handmade and famed for being stuck up in a tree for several weeks. His is set up a bit more tippier than mine for more active flying but using cotton line skillfully managed to tease his higher than the rest of ours, thus setting the standard.
It wasn't long before the wind began to pick up - but only slightly, but this was enough to entice Keith out onto the field with his Asda kite which as we all know, performs very well.
We had a couple of visitors who had previously been in contact with the club and who were interested in joining and spent some time picking our brains about what sort of kites they should start out with. I hope we managed to steer them in the right direction and look forward to seeing them at our future meetings.
Anyway, by this time Courtney and Lynn had arrived, Sandra emerged from their car and chairs were placed near the entrance to the field, the trouble was it was a tad cold for sitting around and soon alpine weather clothing was donned. Courtney flew a Rokkaku with long flowing tails and it wasn't long before he had our guests flying it.
During the morning, very slowly the wind picked up and kites were flying higher, I think some even managed to get up to 60m ;-) :-) :-)
I brought my kite down for lunch as it was getting hungry and later decided to try my light(ish) weight 4m KAP Foil which flew no problem. Keith changed to his 2nd favorite kite.. or did he say it was his only other kite? Anyway, that added a bit of colour to the sky, Daphne flew a bee kite, Courtney another Rok, Ernie a larger delta and the clubs Spirit kite and down the field a family flew a 2 line stunt kite. Who have I missed out? Oh yes, mid afternoon Wendy arrived and flew a fringe delta which was a bit hard to photograph against the dull & clouded sky. All day the sun was trying to break through but never really did, annoyingly for Sandra.
The height of the meeting was Courtney, who almost forgot about flying his OOSW kite (or seen from the back) OOWS, maybe WOOS? - I don't know... made specially for a similar sounding event last year.
Although we made a very good effort to fly our kites for world peace, when I watched the news later that night I did notice that wars were still going on in the world. On a personal level though I did witness an act of friendship, and for that I'm truly grateful.
Text & photos by Mark.
Sunday 12th October 2014.
One Sky One World