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.

I joined Peter on the beach, and sure enough the wind was blowing through and extremely chilly. After some discussion, he decided to put up his manta ray. I took a less risky option and decided to try the Flexifoil Psycho that I had damaged last week and repaired during the week. The kite performed well in the conditions, whilst Peter's kite was making full use of the available space. Mike and Len arrived soon after, so I put the sports kite away to make sure we all had enough room to play. Shortly afterwards we were joined by Martin, Janet, and eventually Steve.

It was an afternoon for those kites that could handle the brisk, occasionally blustery conditions. A number of flowtails and ghosts made their way into the sky, along with some small rokakkus and a couple of box kites. All in all quite a collection. An whilst the conditions were chilly, it was a very pleasant afternoon in the sun.

Here are a couple of photographs from the afternoon. There are more here. Next weekend we will be playing at Lydd (the Lade) again. We are beach flying at the moment as underfoot conditions on grass are very muddy.

 Brave souls

 Line junk

 KKF Rok

After a couple of weeks of hardly enough wind to move a flag we were blessed with an abundance of the stuff today. The forecast I saw predicted 40kph winds around midday, slowly abating during the afternoon. I think they got it pretty close.

We had decided to Fly at the Lade, Lydd-on-Sea on New Years day, and so it was that several of us arrived at around midday on a cold damp an windless day. Peter wins prizes for being first in the sky with his phoenix, and also for being longest in the sky. I flew a roller, briefly, but it was hard work, only very occasionally staying aloft without constant work. Steve, being the more energetic of us, managed to fly his 4 line kite for a short while, though at one point it did look as if he was going to end up in Dungeness.

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.

I have just read on the Raindrop Kites website that Helen Howes will be closing Raindrop Kites at the end of the year. Helen has been making single line kites for about 40 years, but has now decided to call it a day. Her kites were always artistic, and are cherished possessions of those who own them. I understand that Helen will continue with her other businesses, it is only the kite business that is closing.

She plans to complete any unfinished articles in the workshop but will not be creating any more, nor taking any new commissions. Take a look here for her current stock of kites for sale. I'm sure we all wish Helen all the best for the future.