These videos really show how the cat flew through the air – pawing the wind like water as it went! Thanks to Ben for sending them in. If you’ve taken any photos or videos of the Blackheath Bike and Kite Festival, please add them to the comments below.
And a question – do the local council make a profit from the Bike and Kite festival? My initial assumption was no, until I saw the number of traffic wardens roaming around over the weekend… They looked like they were issuing a bumper crop of parking tickets!
If you didn’t manage to go to the Bike and Kite festival on Saturday, then try and go on Sunday. It was really something special, as the video above by YouTube user Jadepike4 demonstrates.
There are always two distinct camps of kite fliers: The model fliers, like inverse puppeteers with their enormous hovering cats, people and teddy bears looming over us. And the stunt fliers, flinging their synchronised kites through the air. I wonder whether the two tribes get along. Do the stunt fliers look down on the modellers as tacky and gauche? Do the modellers think of the stunt fliers as showy and macho? Or maybe not. Maybe they’re just happy to be up in the air.
Here’s an idea for next year – one up from the flying cats (great though they were). In the 16th Century, the Chinese invented a man-lifting kite. This would draw in the crowds next year! Okay, it may be a little dangerous, but could be very exciting too… Perhaps I’ll volunteer to get hoisted up. Makes a change from attaching an old Nokia to a kite.
Click on the Keep Reading link below to view my hundreds of photos – apologies for the dodgy quality, there are far better ones inside the Flickr Blackheath collection.
UPDATE: This post has been modified from the original – please see the comments for details.
As I write this, it is blowing a gale outside the Bugle’s window… I think the glass might actually rattle its way out of the window frames. So it seemed like an appropriate moment to put up these two videos of kites dancing over Blackheath, taken by youtube user jadepike4. Perhaps we should invest in those Blackheath wind farms after all.
Spotted in flickr user awesman72‘s album:
It looks so much fun, flying over the heath, I couldn’t resist doing a little bit of photoshopping…
It really is incredible how much lift these modern kites have. I’m sure we could power our houses with it one day.
Taken with the horrible camera phone as usual I’m afraid, but they should give you an idea. Sunday seemed to be the best day weather-wise, but there were fewer people than I had imagined there would be.
The Bugle was delighted to get his bike fixed up by the Bike Doctors (I think her name was Betty – thanks again!). It’s a really useful, free service, so a quick plug to Cycle Training who provided it.
Just a quick reminder – the bike and kite festival (official page) starts tomorrow (Saturday June 14th & 15h) at 11am – 4pm. It should be a great day, the weather is looking not completely disastrous, although the BBC weather site seems to be getting less optimistic by the hour. An umbrella might be a wise accessory, along with a camera, so that you can send me a photo or two to brighten up the Bugle.
If you’ve got friends coming, tell them not to drive, as there is no parking laid on, and parking is a nightmare at the best of times in Blackheath (so much so that in my more anarchic moments I’ve considered posting a cut-out-and-keep fake parking permit especially for Bugle readers… maybe another time).
I’m personally looking forward to the news that:
Former UK Experienced Pair Champions: Husband and wife Allan and Marilyn Pothecary, also known as Close Encounters, will be demonstrating various exhibition displays.
Makes me smile for some reason. Did they used to be experienced, but they’re not any more? It must be some sort of kiting lingo that I’m not familiar with…
(The youtube clip isn’t me, just an example of the many youtube clips on kite flying in Blackheath).