Balloon Repair Station

Welcome 01.02.19

Welcome to Fablon February. This is the way to do it. Got stuff done as it came in and suddenly we have News for this edition and published ahead of schedule. Thanks Barry. Smashing. What is smashing is the number of kind notes welcoming us back! Thank you. Well, back we are and this time around we have been doing stuff despite the temperature changes, mind you, although we did get a couple of flights in the trusty ’56 first week in January, I did manage to go to, and then miss, The Icicle. We have had a great dollup of snow and, as I type this, more is falling. I love walking in the snow as does me dog. It’s the sound of falling snow you see? Actually it’s the quiet silence of the woods when the snow falls. Still with us? As normal in such circumstances there was no-one about, not a footprint anywhere, just a few deer tracks and hefty raven footprints and I fell over. I lay there in the failing light whilst floccons of snow settled all around confident Polly would arrive with a barrel of brandy. Naturally she didn’t until I had got up, dusted meself down and decided the Swan would be on the route home. Loved it. Since then we have had HS2 in the field. Never have I seen so many cones in a field. It resembled a go-cart track with taped height markers showing the safe way under the power lines. They even coned off the pylon. The tractor mounted post rammer they were using immediately took out the tape on the bank and the high winds the other day blew the steel flanking fencing over. Then we watched them spend the afternoon trying to get the lorry that delivered the rails for the post and rail fencing that now encircles us out the mud. In fairness the contractors have been great moving the fence over a bit and getting a gate put in, so we’ve kept them in tea and coffee. We have had a bit of work to do which is nice and finally waved goodbye to a double-T basket that has gone to Turkey via Camerons.

So have we managed to get any new articles, promised or otherwise, finished? Not exactly I’m afraid. Well sort of nearly, really. Bit of a mix up with the piece on completing the Ridgeway bits that me dog and Stewpot missed out on in that I’ve lost what I writ and is somewhere in the circuitry. I expect it’ll turn up. To compensate, there is a decent amount of News this time round including a new annual holiday we have added to our calendar called Timbo Day. It will vary from year to year and this year we’ll have two. What we consider newsworthy includes Crispen Williams who now has an airship that he is happy to train potential multi-tasking pilots on and news of a new meet to be held on Cheltenham Racecourse. Favourite news item has to be Steve Burden’s horse. If time permits it may not be in the News and morph into an article. I admit I did start getting carried away with it. Jane Debney from Bristol sent us a couple of magical pictures of Mr Wonderfuel dating back to 1987. It’s the entranced small person in the foreground that makes the pictures. Got one of a small child on a gate watching a train somewhere just like that. As events (and our Pete) intervened I didn’t manage to get anything for an Icicle article, very kindly, Geoff Lescott along with Sandy and Martin Mitchell sorted some facts and figures and a bit of a write up which should be somewhere. I have no idea which of the half a dozen articles now sitting on the front display thingy screen wotsit will actually be up but, as Feb isn’t until Friday, who knows? Might even write about our first flights of the year.

Life in the Dark Barn has got cold and dark. It hasn’t helped that it is a tad cluttered up with a three seater sofa, pallet full of Toyota engine and gearbox and a lot of stuff belonging to a bloke called Neil who seems to have vanished. We know where he lives though so first dry day we’ll fill the old peoples’ car several times and out it. Baz has made a fresh start on his old Guzzi converting it to Californian spec. Booker Paul welded up the stop for the propstand on the bottom rail and all the lower frame and bits various have now been powder-coated. Next up will be the removal of the pipes so it can all go back together I’m told. I’ve given up looking for the new pump for the Thunderbird and have now got another at vast expense from Morgo so hopefully that will be sorted next week, as long as no-one wants anything doing. The green Landie is about to get new handbrake shoes and then it will be off for an MOT. After many, many years of having a Motor Traders policy we have bitten the bullet and not renewed. To be honest it hasn’t really made any difference, apart from saving about £3000 a year! The bikes will all go on a Rusty policy like Butler Bill or whatever its called. Love it. Thing is that I still don’t seem to have enough time to do everything that needs to be done despite trying very hard to finish one thing afore starting another. Like dry January, it would appear to be another unfulfilled New Years’ Resolution. Could be worse. Main piccie is what we fondly call the Alpine Path up the back of Halton Woods. Hope you like the new HS2 fence that has reduced the grass cutting requirements rather dramatically. There is another equally enchanting Mr Wonderfuel pic in the News along with the story. In line with the horsey theme, the last piccie is Farmer Jay on a horse accompanied by Holly and Nicole in case it all went wrong. Well now February is here we have much to do and so with the sun out so must we be. Nearly forgot the big thank yous to Jane Austin for a rather splendid cake that did not last very long at all. Needless to say we found nothing wrong with Andy’s hopper! Thanks for dropping by. All the best Polly, John, Jane & Chris