31 May 2011 (Tuesday) - A Day Off Work

I awoke muttering about how grim my cold was, and that I’m not going camping at a May Bank Holiday weekend again because it had been so cold. And I looked outside to see that the sun was shining and that it was a glorious day today. Why is it that the weather is always so good immediately after I’ve been on holiday?
Bearing in mind how rough I felt, it was as well that I’d booked the day off work. I wrestled with my computer for a bit. I say “wrestled” because after twenty minutes and a re-boot I realised the router had gone to sleep and needed a re-start. But once re-connected I was away. With a little help (cheers Matt!) I’ve re-organised my bookmarks into FireFox. I do like the feature in Safari where you get a screen of your most used websites, but I can live without that. Mind you, I’m waiting for FireFox to crash the PC like Safari used to.

Having bought a new kite at the weekend, I’m fast coming to the conclusion that as far as kites are concerned, I’ve turned to the dark side of one-lined kiting. Certainly all the kites I’ve bought recently are single lined. In my defence I will say that whilst two and four lined kites need constant supervision, one liners have the advantage that you can tie the things to an anchor and wander off for a pint whilst the kite does its own thing. Having said that, with the kites I’ve bought recently they need a serious anchor. Having been shown the error of my ways at the weekend and having been lent the use of a tyre lever as a ground anchor, today I decided I needed a tyre lever of my own.
So I went to Halfords and was rudely told that they were “over there somewhere” as the woman on the parts desk turned her back on me. The woman on the checkout was equally unhelpful, telling me that they “probably have got some somewhere”. I told her I’d take my money to a shop that wanted it, and walked out leaving her looking very surprised.
TyreWeb didn’t have any tyre levers either, but they suggested I tried Watling Tyres. Watling Tyres didn’t have any either, but the chap there spent ten minutes phoning round the town before sending me on to Ashford Garage Suppliers who had what I needed.
(So if you need anything for your car, go to Ashford Garage Suppliers or Watling Tyres because they are helpful. Don’t go to the Ashford branch of Halfords because they couldn’t care less)
I then went on to Easy Home Brew to get the makings of my next batch of home brew. I was greeted as a friend as I walked through the door, and I was told that they missed seeing me at the weekend: they’d had a beer-making demonstration on Saturday. I had told them that I couldn’t make that date. In fact there had been an awful lot that I missed over the last weekend, including three local beer festivals. I really hope they move the Brighton Kite Festival back to its usual weekend next year. I have already sucked up to the organisers (!)

I came home via B&Q, where I bought a four-pound club hammer for bashing the tyre lever into the ground, and came home to have a go with tyre lever and club hammer. The principle is straight forward enough: bash the tyre lever into the ground, tie a kite to it. Lacking a kite in the back garden I contented myself with bashing the tyre lever into the ground. It took some bashing, and took quite a bit of effort to extract it afterwards. Which is probably for the best.

I then put the film “Alien” on the telly whilst I had a sandwich. Once I’d woken up I then got my current batch of home brew out of the fermentation bucket and into the pressure barrel, and then set the next load of beer fermenting in the bucket. I must admit that I thought my home brew which I took camping over the weekend was quite a success. I’m hoping that the next brews will be as good.

And then I had a quick look on-line. And my piss boiled. Back in 2004 I was posting on various kite-related Internet forums about kite flying being banned on beaches and in parks, and about the need for the kite-flying community to do something about it. There was a very real danger that a tiny minority of people being silly with kites were going to get them all banned and ruin it all for everyone else.
During 2004-05 I was very vocal about the need for a national body to stand up for the average kite-flyer to oppose these bans. And in 2006 I rather gave up as the recently formed national body made it quite clear that formal meetings and process were far more important than action.
And today I see that there are moves afoot to ban kite flying on Sussex beaches. Interestingly this ban would also apply to fishing and horse riding. Let’s just hope that the riders and anglers are more organised than kite fliers…

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