11 July 2010 (Sunday) - Brighton Kite Festival

This morning the water in the showers was warm at 5am. But I didn’t get back to sleep after my shower today – the morning was turning out to be a hot one. I finally gave up trying to sleep at 7am, only to find that a lot of our crew were already up and drinking coffee. I should have got up earlier.

Our fire pit was still smouldering, so we emptied five gallons of water into it, and gave the ashes a good stir. And left it soaking for an hour (periodically giving it more stirring) to be sure the fire was extinguished. Whilst it soaked we had brekky – at least an hour earlier than yesterdays’; it was so bright and so hot that no one could sleep. And so, with brekky scoffed and fire truly doused, we emptied the fire pit into a convenient hole in the woods and got on with the washing up. It was at this point that the heavens opened for half an hour’s torrential rain.

Fortunately the rain soon passed, we put our drying-up away, and I chatted with an old kiting friend for some time until our day-visitors arrived. As I sat in the sunshine I could feel my head nodding, and I slept for an hour or so before having a quick bite of lunch. Again I was on duty in the kiddies kite making workshop.

If yesterday’s children were a tad thick, today’s were truly dim. Maybe one in twenty had the ability to speak: most just stared and didn’t even move until pushed by an accompanying adult. But I made the most of it; despite most of the kiddies being unable to hold a piece of string, I enjoyed myself for a couple of hours. And when we were finished I walked across the field, and chatted with the parents of some of the less stupid children about how well their workshop-made kites were flying. I must admit that the kites we made in the kiddies kite making workshop don’t (at first sight) appear to be anything special. A lump of carrier bag, with two bits of bamboo for spars, an old VCR tape for a tail and a cheap line on a winder. But they flew so well.

And talking of flying well, I got out my new kite, and a much longer spool of line, and my new kite went up. And up. It was really good. Flying my kite with everyone else made me realise that I actually want to do this more often. I need to add some of the BKF fly-ins to my list of diary dates: after all I’m a paid up club member – why shouldn’t I go along?

My brother in law was calling me. I’d won a prize in the festival raffle. I’d won a kite in the shape of a shark. Perhaps I was biased by the facts that the tail spar was broken and that I couldn’t get the thing to fly at all. But on reflection, that kite was rubbish. I may see if I can fly it off the line of another kite as a form of line laundry.

By now many people were beginning to pack away. I took the banners down, and said goodbye to Batty, Terry and Irene who weren’t staying for the night. Whilst everyone else prepared the evening meal, I scurried together a bowl full of things to be washed up, and set about getting those scrubbed. And after a smashing bit of tea we said goodbye to the rest of our party who had to go home too.

With the last of the evening’s washing up done, we packed away as much as we could, and said our goodbyes to people going home until there were only a few groups left. We then wandered down to the bottom of the hill where fifteen or so of us who were staying the night sat and chatted and listened to charming traditional Norfolk shanties about ladies who hail from Fareham; said ladies having dubious morals and calico drawers.

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