Thursday, 4 October 2007
Kites and shadows
Whilst having tea this afternoon I saw a group of students wrestling with what looked like large pieces of plastic sheeting and curiosity got the better of me, so I wandered into the park to see what they were doing. As you can see, they were blowing up a very large kite. The middle picture shows a student with a hand-pump filling one side with air in order to make the kite frame rigid. Fully inflated it was quite a size, perhaps even big enough to lift a small person. The young man with the pump was the leader of the group and showed his colleagues how they should handle the inflated kite. When he offered one of them the chance to have a go, no one came forward. As it was, there was the lightest of breezes, so there was no way the kite was going to take off — which was pity. Having said that, I suspect you have to be pretty strong to handle a big kite like this.
I know very little about kites, having never graduated above having a home-made box kite as a child, made for me and my mates by my grandfather during one of those long school summer holidays we used to have. I do know that Buffalo Bill used kites during either the American Civil War or the First World War which were big enough to carry observers above the battlefield so they could see the position of the enemy and relay the information back to a colleague on the ground. I got that from a Buffalo Bill Annual when I was a child. Perhaps someone out there knows if such kites were really used? Whether true or false, it's a great story.
My top picture shows a tree casting a long shadow across the park at 4.30pm. A reminder that the days are shortening and before we know it it will be dark by late-afternoon. On the plus side it has been a beautiful mild day today, with a clear blue sky. At the end of October the clocks will go back one hour. I'm not sure what I think of British Summer Time or the suggestion that the clocks should go forward an additional hour. I prefer getting up in daylight to the dark, so where does that put me? In an age when fuel prices are escalating and we are all being told to conserve energy, logic says we should use a system which makes the best use of what daylight there is — which might mean me getting up in the dark more!
All this wondering from looking out of our living room window to Lenton Recreation Ground whilst having a cup of tea and a slice of homemade chocolate cake.
BBC-TV commissions new Wallace & Gromit film, Trouble At' Mill, about Wallace and local bread enthusiast Piella Bakewell, to be shown at Christmas 2008. Production will be accompanied by an online video blog.