22 May 2011 (Sunday) - Kites at Leeds Castle

It was either yesterday’s pursuit of haddock, or hunting for bats; one, other or both had left me with something of a backache. But determined not to be thwarted by something as trivial as an inability to actually get out of the bed, I forced myself into action.

Eventually movement became easier, and we set off to Leeds Castle. The kite club were doing demonstration kite flying and we’d decided to go along. We arrived a tad later than we were planning to, but we’d been issued with wristbands which assured us of free entry. That saved thirty six quid (!) We exchanged insults with the peacocks, and soon met up with everyone. We flew kites, we tangled kites, and we chatted with normal people who came over to watch what we were doing. I quite liked today’s kite flying in that we had an area in which to fly, and the normal people (for the most part) kept out of it. Normally when they see a large kite in the sky, normal people like to picnic under it, play football under it, or put a push chair across the lines on which the kite is flying. But not today.

As ‘er indoors TM  started flying her kite, so the assembled kiting kiddies came to find me to tell me where the face painting stall was. I’m a sucker for face painting; especially when conducted by “fit birds” (TM). And with a pretty pink princess butterfly face I then flew kites until it was picnic time.
After picnic was scoffed, Dave and I slipped off to have a look round the stalls. We were at Leeds Castle as an attraction for the “Home and Garden Weekend”, and we thought we’d have a look at what was going on. To be honest there wasn’t a lot. Or perhaps I ought to qualify that. There were a lot of stalls, all selling what I can only describe as very poncey, very overpriced tat. I haggled and bought a metal drink holder at reduced price, but by and large there was very little there which appealed to me.

Once ‘er indoors TM had joined us, we had a look round the inside of the castle. For all that it is only a few miles up the road, I’ve not been to Leeds Castle very much (it’s too expensive!), and it was good to have a look around. I didn’t realise how (relatively) modern the castle actually is. Having seen it used in TV shows about Henry VIII, I was amazed to find that the castle (in its current form) is actually less than two hundred years old.
Back to the kite field for some more kite flying, and more kite crashing. And then on hearing the news that at least one kite had been shipwrecked in the castle’s moat, Dave and I went on a mission to see if we could find it. We couldn’t; but we enjoyed a stroll round the castle. Watching the golfers was fun, and we got to spend five minutes in the Dog Collar Museum (really!)

All too soon it was time to come home. I enjoy kite flying – I really should do it more often. Especially with the kite club. I suppose the problem is that seeing that the club is the “Brighton” Kite Flyers; most of the events tend to take place at Brighton, which is a little way away.

And so home where I had a bit of a shock. I went up to the attic to get the kite bags and sleeping bags in readiness for an upcoming event, only to find they weren’t where I left them. I’ve found them now, but I did have a bit of a panic. It turns out that every year we put the camping gear away properly after Bat-Camp (August). But last year a few of us went up to Sumners Ponds in September, and we never tidied away properly after that….

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