Balloon Repair Station

Welcome 04.03.2018

Greetings from what was a very seasonal Bucks. Well that was February then. It came and went and got wet, windy, cold and generally February. There were a couple of slots for the odd flight but to be honest, with the ground being so wet it was more by luck than judgement. Actually we have been busier than we thought but did finally decide it was cold enough to knock it on the head middle of last week. If this is your first visit then we are still mainly a Continuing Airworthiness Organisation mending and looking after hot air balloons but we do much more. Hours are currently Wednesday to Friday but if its urgent please email us. We’ve been all lovely snow and slippy. We have what are called ‘sunken lanes’ in Bucks, a mixture of well worn pathways and old land boundaries now used as roads. Thing is when the wind doth blow the snow on the surrounding fields fills them up. Fields clear, roads blocked. First victim being the lane to Wellwick Farm where me daughter lives! Just before the snow-in, very sadly, we got news that Aidan Murphy had passed away despite a long and very valiant fight. He will be sorely missed. Our deepest sympathy and love goes to Alison, Aoife, their family and friends. Hopefully we’ll be going out to raise a proper glass or two in the nearlies, seeing’s we missed the funeral. They don’t hang about in Ireland. We have been having some intensive back to basics training with my dog as she has developed selective hearing especially when she spots a muntjac. I’m pleased to say that there has been a notable improvement in her recall so after lambing we’ll see how she copes with sheep. The other evening, walking in the near silent woods over the largely deserted hill, with virgin snow on the pathways a fallow deer suddenly bounded across the track not four foot in front of me. It accomplished the crossing in three gracious, curving bounds, almost in slow-motion, and cast a sideways glance as she passed. We get a lot of deer and frequently see them in the woods but this was indeed one of those moments that will last. Where was my dog? About half a mile in front.
The news this time round is pretty devoid of pictures on account I seem to have misplaced them and left my camera in the car which promptly froze. Seems that we have focused a bit on the manufacturers lack of communication about their products. Maybe they’ll have a stand or two at the re-jigged BBAC AGM, cancelled on a account of the weather no less. I was going to write up a bit about me birthday but that was quietly celebrated with a pint or two while I pondered over our next walk. This time around there really ought to be up, any minute now, a piece or two on the Gentleman’s Ride, that we partake in, the second installment of the Ridgeway Walk as mentioned last time round and our Bicester jaunt, which seems to have been left unfinished for some odd reason. Team walking followed by Pork Pie Fridays have been quiet recently on account Godfrey disappeared up a mountain on Arran then went to his villa to recuperate whilst Seager has gone to Australia for a month! They’ll be some catching up to do upon their return including a walk to Wolverton thus far thwarted by mud.

It doesn’t take much working out that the Dark Barn has been quiet. Alice’s car was finally repaired after a bit of fiddling about with bits that didn’t quite fit but all was well, until, on the coldest day last week, the heater died. It is now back at the farm and the Hyundia is now her car. I think it has been organised. The Swan Fishing Club’s camper van is just awaiting welding but its been too cold so that may have to go inside for the necessary and then it will all but be finished. Not sure where its first outing will be to but no doubt it will be well appreciated. Aside from that, the weather has really put a dampener on things but Baz has taken the wheels off of his Guzzi and they are currently having new tyres. Top piccie is Aidan, in his element and doing what he loved, second is Aidan getting the met. Third up is a piccie from Ellie taken in the Lake District on me birthday. Bummer a pint of Snecklifter would have gone down well. And finally, the end shot is the lane to Wellwick Farm taken on Friday morning (2nd March). Thankfully the Loadall did the trick and by Saturday evening only the mounds of dumped snow in the field remained. So here’s to a merry March, improving weather and drier conditions. Time to think about dusting off the ’56 and getting my son current I suppose (o: Thanks for dropping by. The other, currently missing but mentioned articles will be up in a day or two. All the best from John, Jane, Chris and Polly.