The big 60!
And it’s this month*.
As per custom, the realisation that I’m about to have three score on the board caused me to go chasing after lost youth:- which in my case was largely spent falling off motorcycles.
So I went out and did this again, and whooee, it WAS just like it used to be; crunch! (foot on this occasion). Now I can’t walk too good- for a week so far.
But this has provided the opportunity for a second common effect of approaching one of life’s milestones: time to reflect on things.
Unfortunately, the more life experiences we accumulate, the more chances there are that there will be opportunities missed, things to regret.
Fortunately, I can’t now always remember what these were- on account of the brain going a bit mushy.
An excellent example of clever software design?
But I wonder what the next 30 years will bring?
Actuarially, for me, slightly better than even odds of being dead.
But that hasn’t happened to the previous generation of this family yet, so maybe not- or is life expectancy like Clyde Cook’s theory about how never to be blown up by a bomb when flying? His idea is to take a bomb with you, on the principle that its astronomically long-odds impossible that there would ever be two such bombs on the one plane. Perhaps every time someone dies young, the rest of us get to re-distribute their unused allocation- stands to reason actually, things have to average out somehow. Us olds are stealing your lives!
Which reminds me, Bob (father), arrived at 92 during the depths of last winter. Discovering less interest in cooking and housework while retaining a strong interest in eating and clean living, he decided to move to a retirement home, staying on for a while only to ready the house for sale. He even disposed of most of his very extensive workshop, reverting to the simple hand tool regime of the pre- machine age- not wanting to push his luck much further after a lifetime woodworking and still having 10 fingers and all.
I was the grateful recipient of much of his surplus gear; -or rather, I was for a time, -because none of his plans and expectations actually panned out. He was going to sell us his car too, but that didn’t happen either.
He hasn’t shifted and almost daily now arrives down at my workshop to borrow something or other back ‘for a while’. Oh, and he’s been taking cooking lessons from Elwyn and Elizabeth (my sister).
There should be some lessons about life in this somewhere.
One might be that you just never can know what’s going to happen.
Another is we think we do know what’s going to happen.
And, never believe a used car salesman.
But kites, what about some useful contemplations about kites?
Actually, there is something.
Ten years ago I worked on a system for launching large single line kites from small boats.
The driving thought behind this was to expands the window of opportunity for big kite displays.
- Over water the wind is better because there are no turbulence causing obstructions.
- There are many more areas of water available for flying kites over than open land areas.
- Many places where target audiences are available are adjacent to water; -crowded beaches, resorts, events.
- It may be very much easier to get regulatory permission to fly over water than over land in many places.
- Flying over water is inherently safer because clear space can always be maintained downwind of the kites.
- All wind directions are useable.
- In the absence of wind, kites can still be flown by towing them around.
I never did complete and test the system I started building because, well, just because.
But the rationale is even more compelling than it was then because kite flying is now even more in demand and the places available for flying have shrunk under pressure of population and regulation.
Stefan (Cook) and I have just pulled the bits out of the long grass, photo’s attached.
It’s to be a ‘trailer’ that can be towed behind a small boat or Jet Ski.
The platform (will be trampoline material stretched over the frame) is large enough to walk around on and to hold a maxi kite while it inflates.
The kite’s line will come from a winch (hand operated in the first iteration) placed on the drawbar close to the tow point at the boat or Jet Ski. This winch will have a brake for letting the kite out and up once it’s inflated.
We plan to finish this frame and do some tests during this xmas/new year- there’ll be action photo’s next month.
This is an idea that’s time has come!
Ashburton, 30 Nov ‘06.
*On Saturday 23 December, at 105 Alford Forest Rd, starting early.
Peter Lynn Kites Ltd
105 Alford Forest Rd