Balloon Repair Station

Welcome 24.03.2020

Seems that what would start as Merry March has become well mad March. Clearly then, things have taken a bit of turn since pen last went to paper and we were all full of hope and happiness for this year. Never mind, could be a lot worse, as they say. I’m a devout 21st March Spring person. Usually we would paint ourselves green and gather in the woods and atop hills and downs and wave sprigs of willow to welcome the change of season. The workshop weeping willow hasn’t disappointed and is the first thing in leaf apart from a strange hawthorny scraggy tree deep in the woods which we’d not noticed before and little flowers are appearing all over keeping us focused as in crocus. Having had a sit down and gentle ponder our position is that we are now closed until further notice and by the time this is out it may be mandatory anyway. More details in the News bit. We stopped flying early on, on account that random people banging on your door asking for their balloon back is probably not what you want if you are a farmer with livestock to care for and seemingly safe from the outside world until….. Elsewhere schools (open or closed) are a no-go and certainly access to many other establishments may well be tricky. I doubt if any balloon meets here or abroad will be held for quite a while. We won’t be flying until there is a concensus that things are fine again. Finally the really bad news is that there is now no pub to go to at the end of the day.

On the home front our Pete is OK but in quarantine as he is in the middle of chemo, our Alice and her family is locked up with youngest having had a bit of a temperature but he gets a temperature at the drop of a hat and there is scarlet fever going around. Really bad news is that despite stockpiling pork pies PP Friday is on hold until the Dirty Duck re-opens, no doubt fully repaired and decorated by Paul the tallest man in Wendover. Door to door deliveries of ESB have been promised. Stewpot’s been down to Dorset to convince his dad not to pop out for some cleaning stuff and John is trundling back and forth to North London keeping his mum supplied. Godder’s pergula blew down so he was last seen heading off with Acro’s to repair it meanwhile Barry is taking time out to try and get to the intermittent electrical fault on his Guzzi (well it has got Italian electrics matey). Fortunately we have the hills and fields to escape to so are probably more fortunate than most. So, in this grounded issue there should be a bit about the Stratus Neo burner just to be fair, a thing on sheep that started as a news item and as mentioned a list of things to do regarding your balloon and kit. Still not quite finished there might be the thing about Old & Rusty stuff that has turned up recently.

In the Dark Barn the advantage will be taken to get some longstanding stuff sorted not least my trusty Thunderbird whose oil pump we lost, bought a new one and then Barry found it! I think the Bonneville will be going and possibly Breeze the Beezer as I’ve decided rigid frames are now a no-go. That’ll leave room to get the long rested Sunbeam 500 out of the shed and onto the lift. Now that’s a seriously comfy bike. John’s Volvo had the water pump go and in true Renault engine style (B14 don’t you know) all the bolt heads sheared off. Steel fully threaded bolts, ali pump and head. What could possibly go wrong! Anyway head off and an hour or so of gentle persuasion and the broken bits were all eased out. Now its all back together and John, who had been using Huggy Bob’s Hyundia, now realises what a marvellous thing power steering is having nearly collided with the pickup reversing out when the 340’s ‘slightly’ heavier steering didn’t act quite as smartish as the Getz’s. We managed to find another Corsa to replace my collapsing old one which Jane is finishing off on account John has been using Huggy’s car as mentioned previously. Coincidently this one (£160 and 80 thousand miles) is also blue and also a Breeze (someone nicked the badges) but petrol. It is very tidy but we are currently swapping the interior over from the multicoloured one as it is not as comfy whilst we await the arrival of the logbook. That’ll do for the moment. Top piccie is a wonderful beer from our mates at the Tunnel Brewery. Fortunately they do one for each season. Second up is the last outing of senior Team Wellwick. Unlikely we’ll be riding the bluebell woods in a group this year. Finally a piccie of something to get for Christmas. An all leather extremely nice Lindstrand hopper bottom end. Might just have tell the owner its beyond economic repair and offer a couple of quid for it    (o:

Keep safe, glue your smile into place and best foot forward once a day. All the best from Chris, John, Jane and Polly.