Balloon Repair Station

News 09.07.14

The bits you may have missed
Couple of things that you may not have picked up on that were issued, wrong word completely there, meant ‘published’, sorry. Try again then. The bits that you may not have seen which were published as News Updates are here again. If you have read them then fast forward and apologies. First is the Cameron Service Bulletin SB20 then a dose of Lindstrand Flight Manual update.

Cameron Service Bulletin SB20 issued – Brass-backed Rego Couplings
The mystery is over. Cameron Service Bulletin SB20-0 has found a use and has now moved out of the ‘not issued’ category. Classed as ‘Highly Recommended’ it references Rego 7141F hose connectors. That is the threaded type fitting on the end of liquid hoses that screws onto the cylinder. It is dated May 2014 so has been hovering for sometime. According to Camerons ‘Historically hot air balloon burners were fitted with Rego 7141F connectors originally designed for use with fork lift trucks.17 rego brass backed These connectors are manufactured with a brass centre body and brass connecting nut (back-nut). These fittings are manufactured to industrial standards and were fitted to burners by many balloon manufacturers. Later versions, designed specifically for Hot Air Balloons, are manufactured with stainless steel centre bodies and connecting nuts. Testing has shown that the brass versions fail under abuse loads at approximately 50% of the strength of stainless steel components.’ Please note that this refers to the internal assembly and back nut NOT the big bit you actually screw on to the liquid take-off. These are all made from brass and are fine. Once again just to be fully clear lest someone calls up asking what is wrong with the fitting it refers to the nut that attaches to the hose. Good that’s got that out the way.

Compliance involves deciding what type of material the fitting is made of. Normally this is straightforward as brass is a yellowish going dark gold with aging. Some fittings are plated brass so you will need to file a corner of one of nut flanges to see what is underneath. Camerons Highly Recommend that any brass couplings be replaced with a Stainless steel version part number CH-0144-0001. The maximum torque settings for fitting the hoses is 20nm for ¼ NPT (tapered thread) and 15nm if a 3/8 BSP (parellel thread) is used. Full details concerning fitting procedures and torque settings are in the Cameron Maintenance Manual Issue 10 Amendment 3 section 4.2.6.

This Service Bulletin follows on from investigations following the Egyptian accident. From our perspective, historically, brass backed fittings have not been fitted by us, or as far as we are aware, by anyone as replacements for failed couplings for many years. In the UK failure of brass backed fittings have only been a result of overtightening when being fitted to new hoses or cracks being found when operated in extremely cold climates. We have only ever come across a few instances and these have been detected during the pre-flight test or by the owner having fitted a new hose and discovering that, despite applying eleventeen wraps of PTFE tape, it still leaked! 18 rego stainless backedAs this is Highly Recommended and NOT Mandatory then our advice would be to check your coupling and if it isn’t leaking or shows any sign of damage (including any mullering to the back nut) then treated with care it should be fine. The replacement Cameron Stainless fitting is about £61 plus the deadly, p&p plus a Form 1 (£8.00) bringing it to around £90 and then the fitting or, if you-do-it yourself, it will need to be signed off by an approved inspector (if they are willing!). Here's a picture of an OK coupling with a stainless steel back nut. Here. Please note the screw on bit is brass  (o:

Other manufacturers do use brass-backed Rego fittings, predominately Kubicek who use a ¼ NPT thread and Ultramagic who use a 3/8 BSP thread. Lindstrand use a 3/8 BSP stainless backed fitting. The 3/8 BSP thread is a lot less likely to fail as over-tightening will not necessarily crack the nut. Don’t forget that fittings on manifolds may also have brass backed Regos. This SB is not only officially directed at Cameron burners (or manifolds) but applies to all burners regardless of the manufacturer that are used with Cameron Balloons and also draws attention to the use of brass backed fittings as used by other manufacturers meaning that other manufacturers may issue a similar Service Bulletin. Service Bulletin 20 is now on the Cameron Balloons Limited Website. Scroll down under Support or go to the page at http://www.cameronballoons.co.uk/uploads/Approved%20Modifications/Support%20Files/Service%20Bulletins%20-%20All%20Types/SB20_0_May14.pdf

Confusion solution not - LBL Flight Manual goes to 1.45.
First discovered by Dave Such most of us seem to have missed the update of the Lindstrand Flight Manual to Issue 1.45. Lindstrand’s auto update appears to have failed so presumably no one had the news. It isn’t at all clear what has been revised however at first glance it seems that the positioning of straps on cylinders has been revised, internal inspection of rigging as part of the pre-flight checks and a couple of other pre-flight checks have been amended or added. Load charts are up but no real indication of changes as yet. Initially the updated pages seemed to be a draft version dated 04/14 and if I recall it nearly made it on then but disappeared and became a vague dream. The situation has now been dealt with post-ockta-proctor and now the the complete Manual is up. Hey Ho! We’ll be back when we’ve read it and know more! Lindstrands are trying to ascertain quite what happened to the auto updates and will be fixing it. You know what? It really is stranger than strange. For more information please go to http://www.lindstrand.co.uk/help-manuals.php and scroll down.

A brace of Lancasters for Sywell Airshow
Confirmed (providing it makes it) is the appearance over the Sywell Airshow on the 17th August of the Canadian Lancaster flying alongside the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and its Lancaster. The event is being held in support of the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance and this year's theme is the Centenary of The Great War and as part of that the skies above Sywell 'will be filled with representative aircraft taking part in a breathtaking aerial battle'. Not quite so Great War will be The Red Arrows and a promised 'more than interesting display of static aircraft and other old favourites'. If you haven’t visited Sywell before this date is best stuck on the calendar as it tends to be a very relaxed air display with excellent viewing opportunities along with a most interesting museum and of course The Aviator. Plans are afoot for a balloon fly-out after the Show. More later.
Details at http://sywellairshow.co.uk/index.php

Softly, softly catchy monkey - EASA in retreat?
Seems that that those informed souls that feast on EASAland nonsense have finally got the hint that all is not well in the world of General Aviation have a meeting on July 9th in Brussels to debate the debacle which is the, almost in place, licensing and training under EASA. Although finally the balloon specific form for licence conversion is now ready the CAA are withholding its issue pending the outcome the meeting on the July 9th. The British Balloon and Airship Club (BBAc) have issued a statement that goes;

‘The BBAC and the CAA have very recently been contacted by EASA to advise us of a meeting at EASA in Brussels on 9 July for a debate on the Commission’s proposals to fast-track changes to the Aircrew Regulations. There seems to be a possibility of postponement of much of the impending new regulation. In addition, there is unconfirmed info from Europe that EASA has agreed to extend for three years, the entry into force of an ATO (Approved Training Organization). This is to allow EASA time to rethink a regulatory framework better suited to non-complex forms of aviation. The new CAA form for application for the new licences is being held back by CAA until the after this meeting, so balloon pilots need to extend more patience before applying for the Part FCL licence. The BBAC ATO remains complete and ready, but not activated for trainees and is also now “on hold” until we know more about the outcome of the meeting on the 9th July. As soon as we have information on the outcome of the meeting, we will publish the info and our recommendations’.

There are understandably some grumpy pilots out there who have spent a small fortune sorting Instructor Flights and Class 2 medicals in order to comply with the legislation that was due to be introduced next year. Add to this the frustration caused to Dave Court the BBAc who have tirelessly done everything to conform to the impending legislation, not to mention the monies invested by the BBAc in achieving the ATO status, then the news is rather double-bladed. Let us hope sensibility prevails and EASA hands back regulation to the regional Aviation Authorities and refunds the BBAc. Let’s face it, EASA can’t say they have cocked-up exactly so the stand-off has been cleverly politically worded. We’ll post any updates as soon as possible under News Updates.

Following the meeting an NPA will eventually be issued which may be a new Consultation on the new proposals. Whether the current NPA 2014-12 has any relevance now I really haven’t a clue but best assume it does so completing it will add fuel to the now reasonably out of control fire. http://easa.europa.eu/document-library/notices-of-proposed-amendment/npa-2014-12

Anthony Smith
15 Anthony Smith scooterIt is with great sadness we have to announce the death of Anthony Smith who passed away on the 7th July. Anthony went to the doctors on Thursday with a nasty cough and was prescribed anti-biotics which seemed to make him a bit brighter on Friday. Robin Batchelor was off to the Isle of Man but before he left arranged for three women to come in, make sure Anthony took his pills and16 anthony smith to cook for him. Saturday’s woman found Anthony collapsed on the floor and dialled 999. He was rushed to the John Radciffe Hospital in Oxford and his son Adam informed. He flew back from Geneva and was with Anthony when he died early Monday morning. Anthony Smith was an icon of modern ballooning and will be missed by many, many people throughout the world. Our sympathies go out to all his many friends and family.

Hurricane now on the ‘urry up - Finland is holding its breath
9 Thruxton HurricaneWell, latest on Phil Lawton’s Hurricane is that it all but there and by the time you read this it may well have made its second maiden flight from Thruxton. The champagne is in the fridge. It is due to appear at a couple of air displays in Finland around the 15th July so fingers crossed all goes well. It certainly looks the doodahs and if you don’t think it is nearly finished the only bits now not fitted are inspection panels and, for some reason, the propeller. Let’s hope that this isn’t a result of the earlier problems with oil pressure and leakage. It has already been back once to be sorted. 14 Thruxton Hurricane enginePlan is that it will fly out in its Rhodesian Air Force colours and once in Finland it will be repainted in Finnish colours along with the swastikas which wouldn’t go down too well crossing some of the European countries. A company has been found that can apply the colours and markings in such a manner that they will be easily removeable. We jokingly commented that it would be bad to leave it out in the rain which, as it turned out, was close to the mark! All eyes on southern England then for the return of a very rare aeroplane.

More bad news on the doorstep - Sad news all round
Adrian Luckhust, who owns and runs Balloon Safaris in Kenya, a good man who has been in the Safari Ride business from the start along with Alan Root was seriously injured following a robbery and shooting. Early reports from Michael Nicholson on the 21st June 2014 stated that “Adrian and Vickie had been out for dinner with friends and when they arrived back home there were five or six people waiting to ambush them in their garden. Adrian was grabbed from the car by three of them and threatened with a gun. They took everything off him and kept demanding cash and valuables. He explained that they had taken everything off him. They shot him in the face just to the right of his nose, the bullet exited just below his ear. As he fell to the ground they then shot him a second time in the chest just below his chin, the bullet exited just below his armpit. When Adrian was down Vicky had all her jewellery stolen and they were demanding the keys for the house. She explained that all keys were in her handbag which they already had. Vickie was not hurt in any way. The gang then took off. The askaris had pushed the alarm for ultimate security who arrived. Vickie attended to Adrian with the help of the house staff, Mike Culley was called and assisted to get Adrian to Nairobi Hospital. He had an MRI and CAT scan and was immediately taken into surgery. He had a full flushing of the bullet wounds and clean up and was released into the Intensive Care Unit at 5 am where he remained until Sunday when he was moved to a private room on Monday. He has had five hours of reconstructive surgery to his face. There is no damage to his right or left eye but there is lots of swelling and bruising and more surgery is scheduled as the bullet damaged his ear. The good news is that Adrian is lucid and can talk perfectly well. There has been no arrest of the criminals by police or CID, however they are tracking all the stolen items. He is in St Teresa's ward. Please contact the hospital to speak to a member of the family before visiting so that Adrian can get as much rest as possible.’ Our sincere thoughts and best wishes go to Adrian, his wife and family.

More sad news came in that Mustafa Turgut (33) who owed and operated Butterfly Balloons which is the premier operation in Cappadocia, Turkey, has been killed in a road accident. Colin Wolstenholme, who knew him well described him as, ‘a really lovely young man, only 33, who had just had his second child two months ago’. It appears that he rolled a Landrover Discovery late at night, which Mike Green his chief pilot had just brought over from the UK. Our sympathies go out to his family and all those involved.

Meanwhile Graeme Houston, best known as the operator of the Wiseman Dairies balloon, has been involved in a head-on collision. As a result he got a ride in the Air Ambulance. He is said to be comfortable but will be out of action for the rest of the season and he has been a bit quiet on Faceache I'm told. Get well soon Graeme.

Balloon lands in road - Police treat the incident kindly
1 northampton balloon on roadFollowing the landing in the street of a balloon on Friday evening 20th June which had become becalmed over the town, the BBAC Information Officer has spoken with the CAA, Northamptonshire Police, a local member of the public and with the pilot. Both the CAA and the police have no intention of taking any action. On arrival at the scene the police found the balloon deflated and clear of the carriageway without any problems. As far as the CAA is concerned this was an acceptable landing permitted when a balloon is becalmed. The member of the public appeared to accept the Information Officer’s explanation that all was well and that life and limb is not likely to be endangered by hot air balloons in the area. The only remaining problem stemmed from the comment which the pilot quoted on twitter: "Caused mayhem in the #hotairballoon tonight, #precision landing #northampton @ NorthantsPolice thank you for assisting!" ‘Caused Mayhem’ became the headline both in newspapers and on the BBC website. The lesson here for balloonists is that if we are involved in an incident which attracts attention from the media, be very careful as to the content of any comment which you might make. Adrenaline is probably running high immediately an incident and as a result an inadvertent comment may be made which, when matters have calmed and in the cold light of day, a more tempered response would have been less attractive to journalists. The pilot, Matt Rate, actually did everything right having found the forecast winds not as expected and, with aid of his crew, carried out what is popularly known as a perfect ‘Norfolk Landing’ and in reality caused minimum disruption. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-27971658

Balloons offered for sale - Barge pole comes to mind
A strange series of emails and enquires has been doing the rounds by a bloke trying to sell G-WINE, G-BDMO and G-PONY. The seller is a certain Martin Merrett who sent a mail stating that, “I have three used balloons that I am looking to sell? Would you be interested or know anyone that would be? Kind regards Martin” and included his contact number 07849967323 (if you are interested). Allegedly he has been told at least three times he has no right to sell them. The person in whose care they should be is Steven Miles but he is away at the moment and is not expected to return until after November 2014. Two of the balloons, one being the old “Twilleys Capricorn” and G-PONY (“Hyundi”) were being looked after on a long-term basis by Mr Miles. They were donated to BPG at some stage but that organisation no longer exists in any meaningful form. The CAA are aware of the situation. They have stated that, ‘It appears that the envelopes were in the garage of a property rented by Martin Merrit and he seems to be under the impression they are now his. The situation has been investigated and their lawful return is encouraged’.

Hold onto your horses - Is all this out of date already?
A very recent communication from the CAA to Commercial Pilots reads, “Attention: all commercial balloon pilots: The BBAC has now attained the status of an Approved Training Organisation [ATO], necessary for the training of future balloon pilots and for the continuous training requirements of existing balloon pilots. CAA Licensing are currently testing their procedure for the conversion of national balloon licences (UK PPL(B) and UK CPL(B)) to EASA Part-FCL balloon licences (BPL & LAPL(B)) and balloon conversions will be going “live” in the next few days. The CAA conversion form will be form SRG 1104B [note: not SRG 1104] and you will be further advised when this form is available for use.

The only licence option for active commercial balloon pilots is the BPL. Licence holders should pay particular attention to the Group size differences and ensure that their latest Certificate of Test [C.of T.] is undertaken on the correct size of balloon to ensure they are given the required new balloon Groups. For example, a C.of T. in a 120 would give UK Group B but only BPL Group A; in a 140 would give BPL Group B; in a 210 would give BPL Group B but in a 220 would give BPL Group C; in a 360 would still only give BPL Group C but in a 375 would give BPL Group D.

Currently, Part-FCL requires that the biennial instructor flight, covered by the 13-monthly Certificate of Test, MUST be undertaken in the largest balloon Group on a pilot’s licence. Whilst the UK has submitted a derogation to EASA on this matter, all balloon pilots are strongly advised to only request Groups on their BPL that they believe they can reasonably keep valid in the future. During the licence conversion process, licence holders may elect to pay a small additional fee [currently £35] to have their UK balloon licences re-issued with the new style numbering system and made valid for life. There is no disadvantage to converting early (i.e. during the 2014 flying season) provided that you have your UK national licence re-issued to non-expiring status, since you must be flying under the privileges of your UK CPL(B) whilst operating in accordance with a UK AOC (Balloons) for the remainder of the 2014 season. However, you must fly under the privileges of your BPL (when flying EASA aircraft) from 8th April 2015. CAP 611 and all AOC(B) holders’ operations manuals will need extensive amendment prior to 8th April 2015. AOC holders will need to ensure sufficient resources are available during the 2014/15 winter to effect this. Civil Aviation Authority’. Then came…………

Attention all balloon pilots….
‘Because ALL EASA countries are having to change their licensing numbering system, in accordance with the instructions of EASA Standardisation, any pilot who holds an FAA Validation (FAR 61.75 Certificate) will find that it becomes invalid following the licence number change. This is of course not the fault of the UK CAA, it is the FAA that have deemed them invalid following prefix / suffix changes. For information, a new Part-FCL BPL licence issued by the UK CAA will be “GBR.FCL.B.218869D.B” and a LAPL(B) licence will be “GBR.FCL.LA.218869D.B”, where “218869D is replaced by each licence holder’s CAA reference number (six digits and a single letter). The statement on the reverse of an FAA pilot certificate will confirm if the FAA pilot certificate is only valid when accompanied by a United Kingdom Pilots licence and will state the licence number as stated on the UK issued licence. When a pilot converts their K licence to a Part FCL Licence, the renumbered licence will render the FAA pilot certificates (validation), if issued on the basis of a foreign license,14 CFR Part 61.75, invalid, since the FAA certificate (validation) was originally issued on the basis of the existing pilot license number, issued under UK national requirements. If a pilot is unsure if their FAA pilot certificate was issued on this basis they will need to contact the FAA directly for confirmation.

Under current standard procedures, pilots who wish to have their FAA certificates reissued are required to travel to an FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) in the United States to comply with the FAA requirement for verifiable identification of each certificate holder or applicant. Recognising the difficulties that this will present to European pilots, the FAA’s Flight Standards Service has decided to grant a deviation from its standard re-issuance practice. This allows the pilot to attend the UK CAA in person with the required documentation and fee as detailed below. UK CAA will then verify the information to the FAA, who will then issue a new FAA pilot certificates (validation). UK CAA currently offer this verification service at Aviation House, Gatwick and the Manchester and Stirling Regional Offices. To specifically assist UK balloonists, Ian Chadwick and Mark Shortman from the UK CAA will be offering this service at the 2014 Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. However, please remember, you must have first transitioned your national licence to a Part-FCL one. (Note: If you have not yet transitioned your UK national licence and if it has not been re-issued since September 2012 – say for a change of address or the expiry of the 10 year validity of a UK CPL(B) – then your current licence number may still be the same as that on your FAA pilot certificates (validation). If so, then you may wish to delay your transition to a Part-FCL licence until after your next need for your FAA pilot certificate, e.g. Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta).

The following documentation is required: Completed form SRG 2110, Actual FAR 61.75 pilot certificate, Official photographic ID bearing the applicant’s signature (photo driving licence or passport), A utility bill, bank statement or council tax bill with the pilots mailing address, The verification fee of £44. The link to the application form and FAA 61.75 verification pages of the website is http://www.caa.co.uk/application.aspx?catid=33&pagetype=65&appid=11&mode=detail&id=5883 (FAA 61.75 verification application form). Once all of the above has been received by the UK CAA “Hub”, they will verify the information to the FAA. If everything is acceptable to the FAA, then they will re-issue the FAA pilot certificate within their own published turnaround time. (This varies from 30-90 days, depending on the volume of applications they are processing). The FAA has stressed that they will not re-issue a certificate if the licence issued by the UK CAA is a LAPL, as this is a sub ICAO licence. The UK issued licence will have to be fully ICAO compliant’.

Quite a fair bit of that I really didn’t understand and let us hope that it all becomes
rubbished in the next few days and we don’t need to worry about for the next few years. There may however be a few people who have already converted their fixed wing licences and also hold a balloon licence which is included on it. Best you call Gatwick and ask “Oi, what do I do now matey?”

Red Cap? - It appears there are two
11 Colin Wolstenholme Riley MPH red hatOne of the most endearing thing about ballooning and, dare I say it, balloonists, is that they have other interests which of course is essentially why this site exists. So it was we discovered that rather actually clever engineer in his own right Colin (wobbly) Wolstenholme revealed that he has just spent 13 years restoring a 1935 Riley Racing MPH. Well we are representative of 1935 having a Standard of the same year lurking in the round-to-it barn. Thing is that Colin’s has been restored to an astonishingly high degree whilst our Standard is more inclined to get us to the pub and be collected next day! A mention of Pembrey ended up revealing that he not only he had accomplished a really challenging rebuild of the Riley but that he was about to enter his first race with it the VSCC Team Relay Race for Pre-war Sports-Cars that was going to be held at Pembrey in Wales. Well blow me down we nearly got shot down in Cloudhopper there. We were going to fly over the track when a very out of breath RAF bod ran over from a large compound explaining the ranges were live and would we mind waiting half an hour when they were to have a coffee break and fresh aircraft from RAF Valley would zoom down. Just then two Tornados came roaring over and blew something up out at sea. 10 Team Rusty RileyChange of underwear. RAF bod apologised and we managed a 30 minute hop between sorties then went (invited) into the top secret bunker for coffee with the RAF. All rather bizarre really. Any rate the Riley Racing MPH had a rather special if not heavy engine which is often mistaken for a twin overhead cam, but I am seriously slipping into anorak so brisk anchor on brakes. Having entered the Classic & Historic Motor Club Mendip Vintage & Classic Tour on 11th May and staggering away with the Jubilee Cup (being the Sponsor’s Award) he was already practising his acceptance speech as the laurel Wreath was placed over his Team’s shoulders when he formed part of the extremely popular and fiercely competed VSCC (alright, it stands for Vintage Sports Car Club) Relay Event on Saturday 28th June. The race lasts for an alleged 90 minutes but can run to two hours and teams of upto three cars of the same marquee compete against each other. 12 Colin Wolstenholme Winners milkIt is pretty serious stuff and with the likes of Frazer Nash, Bugattis and Bentleys up against each other makes for some pretty heroic racing. Enough of that, end result was that Team Riley took the podium. Brilliant we say and we’ll be there to chuck clods of earth at him when he attempts the equally thrilling Kop Hillclimb on 20-21 September. We were a bit concerned that he raced in a rather seemingly un-approved red cap but he assured us it was a specially designed ‘ard ‘at which is glued to his scalp. Fair play to him. What this comes down to is that we’ll have to go visit and write a piece about this truly fantastic car. Now why did they celebrate with a glass of milk?

The bits that nearly got away

Hopper flies through huge cannabis plant
3 David Rawlings G-CGWCGlen Boyle and David Rawlings have recently acquired a rather nice Ultramagic H-31 Hopper G-CGWC and have married it up to a Cameron Skyhopper bottom end and very nice it is too. Flying it recently David Rawlings found this enormous Cannabis plant to fly through but then again it may well have all been a dream. Always nice when people join the growing throng of hopperists. Welcome. 4 David rawlings G-CGWC Cannabis plantGlen said he was really pleased with the whole concept of hopper flying and had never appreciated ballooning was actually lighter-than-air. Roll on getting them de-regulated we say. Not Glen and David obviously who are now in rehab.

Tank of the Month
Its official, Stumpy the Pilot bought the ebay cylinder. It was last reported on a Dornier heading south but then again it may have been north. If it arrives at our emporium we’ll interview it and get some pictures. He’s a boy.

New category - Strut of the month
13 staffordshire trailer strutWe had a visit from the delightful Chris Williamson and his missus and were regaled the story of the lid of their trailer trying to remove limbs from both pilots and crew so they were forced to track down and get new struts for their Indespension Staffordshire-type trailer. Once fitted, so proud were they of the smooth action and easy lifting of the lid that the lovely new struts provided, they have been telling everyone ever since. “I had no idea one person could lift the lid unaided and that a broom wasn’t actually needed to prop it up.” explained Chris. His missus was more pragmatic, “I’ve had a few close calls so the broom stays for the moment”. After inspecting the trailers new addition we did all agree that they were truly lovely struts and that they rightly deserved the award of 'Strut of the Month'. Lovely action we reckoned.

No knot Dilemma - John baffled
8 Johnney no knotIts well known that our John promotes the ‘no-knot’ method for tying up balloon bags. This method stems from a demonstration by Peter Gooch of the ease of which you can draw the string through the cobweb on the top of a balloon bag when pulling it tight if no knot is involved. Ever since he has tirelessly shown people this and it is now huge in Belgium, apparently. Montgolfier used the knot on the bag string to pull it tight, hence the tradition, but it is always a job to pull the knot through the ever tightening stings. If you use the opposite (no knot) side then it is jolly easy. So there he was spouting forth to a chap the other day about the merits of ‘no knots’ when lo and behold, much to the mirth and merriment of all he couldn’t find the offensive knot. It turned out the rope had been spliced. No knots nowhere! Perfick.

6 guinness drinking dotty dogDotty on the dark stuff
Following yet another trip to Ireland my dog has decided that if you can’t beat them join them. Following a very in-depth discussion on the difference between Irish Guinness and English Guinness we decided best to try the stuff in The Swan, especially as ESB is off for the summer. Turns out the dark stuff served up in the Swan is actually pretty fine and a few evenings were spent reassuring ourselves until Badger’s Bum came on. Just to make sure the brew was as good as it seemed we got Dotty to test it. She seemed to think it hit the mark and was good for her coat.

Whoops - don’t know our right from left moment
5 g-bxtf rotation ventHad to happen sooner rather than later. Having seemingly deemed the green turning vent line in the Strawberry, G-BXTF, a bit crinkly we elected to replace it prior to it going off to places possibly foreign. Like a fine fellow a new one was ordered from dear old Camerons. Come the day we heaved the old fruit out, located the aforementioned green line and realised that for some reason (best know to myself) had ordered a black turning vent line. Never mind we thought, despite a horrendous amount of disproportionate folding for a bit of string later, best we fit it anyway and somewhat sheepishly called Andy Sortit at Camerons to send out a green line. We did think about blaming him for the mistake but as we will have to continue to order stuff from Camerons and he is always jolly helpful we thought better of it. So Mr Strawberry now has two new rotation vent lines.

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