While the United Kingdom continues to be battered by high winds and torrential rain, we are having to find new ways to entertain ourselves. Fortunately, on Sunday 23rd February, Peter had arranged our 3rd indoor fly at North School, Ashford.

Due to several members suffering from bouts of illness of various sorts, numbers were down on previous years, but 10 of us arrived to fly kites designed to fly in little or no wind. The materials used in construction are specialised, very fine, lightweight carbon fibre rod or tube, and tight weave non-porous materials, like Icarex, or sheet materials such as mylar. This results in a very lightweight kite, and the lack of porosity in the material means that air molecules cannot pass through. Being fairly chilly, the air is much denser than in high summer (or high altitude) which also helps in maintaining boyancy. The kites are also designed to behave more like gliders than traditional kites.

The flying technique is also completely different to flying "normal" kites, much more about controlling slack in the line, and working with the kite to help the kite do what it naturally wants to do, rather than forcing it to do what you want. We had a couple of people who were new to indoor flying, and hopefully, by the end of the day, they had mastered the basics and managed to enjoy their time indoors.

Let's hope the weather calms down a bit for next weekend and we are able to get out in the fresh air again.

Over the weekend of 8th and 9th February, the weather predictions were pretty dire. Storm Ciara was expected to arrive on Saturday night with winds across the country expected to be above 50 miles per hour and driving rain. So it was no surprise that there were no plans for a club fly-in. However, four of us had signed up for a workshop arranged by White Horse Kite Flyers, to be held in Swindon, creating kites designed by Alicja Szalska from Poland, which was to be held over the weekend.

After a few days of high winds and heavy rain (again) the weather was predicted to settle down for the weekend. Sure enough, Sunday dawned in Maidstone with a heavy frost and no wind. Looking at the weather forecast for Walmer, the wind was expected to be northerly and between 30 and 40 kph during the afternoon. Brisk to say the least. So having attended the BKFA AGM in the morning, I arrived at the Borrow Pit car park at about midday, just as Peter climbed the bank to the beach to investigate conditions.

Having a spare afternoon, and the weather being gloriously sunny, I decided to pop down to Lydd to fly some kites at the Lade. Steve joined me with some new "rev" type toys to play with. It was a lovely warm afternoon, despite the strong offshore breeze. First up, I tried my rainbow stinga ray. Having filled a large bag with pebbles, the ray launched easily and climbed quickly. It soon became apparent though that the kite was being overpowered in the strong wind. I didn't have a suitable pilot with me to stabilise it, and as it swept across the sky a few times, I soon decided that for safety's sake I needed to bring the kite down. So that one was soon back in its bag.

Well we tried our best, but the gods of wind had decided that they had a prior engagement elsewhere. Early in the afternoon, there was sufficient breeze to keep us interested, but it soon died away and left us grounded. But the clear view of the French coast across the channel was lovely.