Articles

  • Daughter Kerri Lynn, home from Wellington, decided to organize some extertainment down on the back paddock. Originally it was just to be a race between the old’s mobility scooter and our ride-on lawn mower, but entry was soon opened to include a tractor, another lawn mower, Chris’ derelict “push-me” motorcycle, a replica of the firstever motor car, a bicycle, and, wait for it, a gas turbine-powered kite buggy. By the form card, the tractor had 65 horsepower, the buggy 60, motorcycle 15, lawnmowers 14.5, Benz 3/4th, and mobility scooter ½.
  • Iqbal Husain from the Tecino of Switzerland is a regular at major European kite festivals with his dramatic kite trains. He not only collects kites from around the world but also prints and paintings, as well as old Chinese porcelains and Oriental rugs.
  • A recent survey of motorists in Britain shows, according to the Midland Kite Fliers newsletter, that many road signs still baffle drivers. The sign indicating a crossing for migratory toads was interpreted by some to indicate a French restaurant was in the vicinity. A “be aware of cattle” sign meant to many there was a footand- mouth disease problem locally. Some even read the warning for strong side winds---a windsock flying at a right angle to the ground---incorrectly, interpreting it to mean there was a nearby area for kite flying.
  • All too many kiters see a marvelous design flying in the sky, go home, make a copy as best they can, and then happily take it out to fly. Martin Lester’s “Legs” kites around the world come to mind, some of them made without his permission or even knowledge. In his usual rational way, designer Peter Lynn of Ashburton, New Zealand, offers kiters who admire his designs and want to copy them an easy way to replicate them while maintaining a clear conscience. He offers numbered license stickers for sale at nominal prices, but only one per user per time.
  • Through surprising turns of fate, the Brookite company of Okehanpton, Dartmoor, in far southwest England, appears to be the oldest continuously operated kite company in England, and probably Europe. Brookite was registered as a business in 1906, although it may well been running before then, by the brothers Tommy and Walter Brooke. Mad for kites at a time when aviation was all the rage in Europe, the Brooke brothers peddled their kites at English beaches from a motorcycle. One brother flew kites, the other sold.
  • “We’re a friendly club,” one member of the North East Kite Fliers commented. Others nearby concurred. One produced an unasked for but much appreciated cup of tea for a guest as evidence of the general good will. Twenty years old and with 70 members, North East is unofficial host to the annual Sunderland weekend kite festival, one of the largest and best-run kite celebrations in England. The club embraces an area bounded by Counties Northumberland and Durham and the Tyne and Wear metropolitan region. It is just southeast of Scotland.
  • Fulfilling a dream of 30 years, Malcolm Goodman is readying a small hotel he bought in the north of England as his own personal kite museum. The structure is in Teesdale, near Durharm, in a scenic area of hills, rock fences, and sheep that draws lots of tourism in warm weather. The largest waterfall in England, a great attraction, is nearby. Goodman’s museum, to open next spring after he and wife Jeannette execute extensive renovations, will show the cream of his collection of 500 kites, more than half of them from Asia.
  • Conrad Shawcross has been described as a dealer in memorabilia from a British organization called the IBLS. The acronymn stands for Investigative Bureau Into the Location of the Soul.
  • Being placed on Thomas Jeckel’s Websites is sort of like praying for rain and receiving a downpour that washes out the valley. Delightful at first, his postings start to overload your screen, or at least your nervous system. Yet the thought of erasure never occurs. Amid the oddities and incoherencies, there are wonderful postings------------ weekly, daily, hourly.
  • Fano’s weather was not good, one nice day out of five we had, but somehow this doesn’t matter here in Denmark. On Friday, the wind was vicious. I creased our (fortunatelyly rental) car’s door when it was ripped from my hand as it opened. Amassing sufficient further damage to get value from the insurance excess then became a challenge. Eventually a few line burns and ramming it with a buggy did the trick. We had only one kite flying that day-----a quilt (now called our “Gucci”).