Balloon Repair Station

Welcome 06.04.2020

Here is hoping all is fine and dandy with you all and that the lock down isn’t driving you insane or more so than normal. We have managed to finish pretty much all the outstanding jobs in the workshop apart from Bishy’s very old & rusty burner and test firing stuff on account we haven’t got any propane left. The Black Horse is closed, obviously, but that also means there was no electric to the bulk tank so that’s that. What we have left is reserved for the forklift. We have been digging for victory and now have veggie patches and mended greenhouses aplenty. Snag is, tricky getting plants and seeds but the Chiltern View Nursery is delivering what they have. I’m afraid I over ordered on the runner bean front so they are looking likely to be joining us for Christmas. Bummer. Pete is doing fine and living with us here now so we can keep an eye on him like turning taps and lights off behind him and constantly finding stuff he has lost. Youngest Alice’s lot are now all clear after three weeks of isolation and better half Jamie has returned to his work as a front line dustman. Loads are off so they are having to work flat out. Alice took the kids down the field for their first trip out and they tore round and round laughing and charging about until they fell over. Then it was home to dismantle the cardboard castle they had built inside the bungalow and prepare for a cardboard horse show. I think Alice has lost the plot. We’ve been putting windows in ambulances separating off the driver from the business end which has been an education.

The news this time round is pretty full on and relevant so please have a gander. We did think about doing updates but we have been trying to make sure everything is as current and correct as possible. First off is the not unexpected notice from the CAA about no recreational flying. I think in the UK and almost everywhere else, apart from bits of the US, this goes without saying. There is also a very late notice our attention brought to by Matt Rate that we’d missed but it needs to be complied with by Wednesday 8th April if you are a private fixed wing or helicopter pilot but since this was posted it has all changed so although extended to 8th November please file it away. Bit not publicised as I see it by the CAA but now they have come up trumps but not that one. Also there is our update on the main European manufacturers and what they are up to at the moment. Please have a look at the news bit as it is all pretty important although, to be honest, I reckon the CAA should have just said they are knocking it on the head until its all over like all of us as, via EASA, they keep sending updates to consternations and the likes. Airworthiness Directives OK but some of the stuff, really EASA, get a life. The events page keeps getting more stuff cancelled and I reckon by the end of it most balloon fiestas, events and meets will all be knocked on the head. That being the likely outcome 2021 should be a beano year to look forward to. Especially a two day Old & Rusty Meet. Watch this space. We have put up the article on the more unusual stuff we have had through and by week end we may have actually put the article up about the Stratus Neo which got sidelined on account of a fair amount of gardening which of course we will report on. Grow watercress, its easy as wink.

On the DARK Barn front all is quiet as you can probably appreciate. John has gone to ground and has run out of paint and plumbing fittings. Godders is scarifying his ruined lawn within an inch of growing and Stewpot is busy landscaping his ditch. Barry has decided that the ley lines that normally go round Bicester have in fact been left stranded in Lanzaroti where they were on holiday so a sort of peace prevails and he is now sleeping under a lavender bush. Polly can’t understand why we don’t go in the Swan. I told her she got us banned. Paul the tallest man in Wendover is renovating the old John Colet School bus when he can get out the cellar which he is painting. Now must turn me seed potatoes. Take really good care and we’ll catch up in a few weeks. All me best Chris, John, Jane and Polly. Headline picture is the panic bought runner beans and left over potatoes discovered going to seed in the pantry. Next up is a pretty nifty stance taken by Airbus and in the News bit and finally this is Nora’s greenhouse we are excavating (o: