Balloon Repair Station

Welcome 22.11.2020

Now well into the new lockdown and yup we are working. Got stuff to get done and more stuff that should have been done ages ago. Thankfully we have got through everything unscathed and managed to maintain a modicum of normality, as far as it usually goes! Our Pete has completed his final batch of a years’ Chemo and is about to face a month or two of withdrawal I expect. That’ll be our excuse. After a couple of shaky moments, which were put down to stubbornness and fatigue, Jane’s dad is still intent of establishing himself as a 101 year old in April 2021 and dismissing cold callers with a fair degree of flair. Well, he does when he answers the phone rather than turn the telly up or elevate his chair to a precarious angle on the wrong remote. His phone is now taped up with lots of high altitude ‘Boeing 747 sticks like’ aluminium tape leaving only the large red button to press to effect speakerphone mode. This stuff is courtesy of Barry the Aeroplane and is used to repair the fuselages of 777s (and formerly Jumbo jets) yet somehow he still manages to get it undone in a valiant attempt to lift the handset. Next up will be PK screw through the lot. The lottie has just about finished delivering sustenance but there are still a few paltry but gallant beetroots left and a solitary marrow attempting to get bigger. The Brussels have been decimated by cabbage white caterpillars which I trust the frost will get. I reckon the next job will be a big bucket of manure dumped prior to digging.

The main reason for missing a couple of months of Easy Balloon stuff has been what has develop into a campaign to get the BBAC Chairman and Flying Committee to consider looking at the future of balloon licensing once we leave EASA. They do appear to have dug themselves in to promote the BPL which, it seems abundantly clear, the majority of balloon pilots do not want. It is sad that they have taken this one-sided stance and despite holding talks with the CAA (no records mind) the message from them is that there is no point in holding talks with the CAA before we leave EASA. Well that may be the case but we do need to prepare an Agenda and set of proposals to put to them when meaningful discussions commence. To bring this to the fore so as there can be no misunderstanding of our feeling we submitted a bit of any other business type sort of thing for the last meeting. Happily it was discussed at length and is covered in ‘The Great British Licence Swindle – Head over the Parapet’. There will be a lot more forthcoming, I’m sure, about this very soon as another meeting has been called for the 25th November. Research including reading reams of stuff on EASA/UK licensing has taken an enormous amount of time but we are now a lot more hopeful and well set on getting a fair deal and hearing for UK balloonists both ahead of leaving EASA and once clear of them in January 2021. Be great if the BBAC will actually support the majority of the membership (as demonstrated by James JemBallooning). Love it. Anyway there will be the bit about licensing as its been updated and re-written so many times in so many weeks and the other articles including the News up in the next couple of days.

More important stuff then. In this again ‘not coming up with the promised articles apology bit’, there may well be some we might have finished and some we lost and found and some we just felt a need to put out. I’ve no idea but put it down to The last Seat in the Woods pub we now frequent and three bottles of 8.4% for a deep sea diver. Well of course there will be a neat piece by that Steve the Roake, I trust Edward’s Dunkirk bit, especially as one of local haulage driver for Smithy, turned out to be a pretty brilliant historian, will be finally up. Also in the frame is the clearing out of Dick the Bike’s workshop. It’s a cave of Triumph stuff including his own (one owner from new) Triumph Tiger and most of High Wycombes’ furniture history. As result the Dark Barn is now chocca with boxes of stuff various and enough BSW nuts and bolts to last a lifetime. John’s Volvo has spent a fair while getting the windscreen sorted. He is remarkably calm all things considerd. Don’t go there, or to the specialist in St Neots who didn’t have a clue and it cracked again! We have decided to have a workshop clear out again so watch this space. Not this space obviously but the ‘For Sale’ pages. Probably be a few balloony bits and bobs.

Right that’s it. Can’t put off moving to the well out of date news so thanks for visiting, all the support, my hairdresser and my dad who told me (aged six) not to plough a field in a circular fashion ending up on the middle otherwise you’d have to rescued by helicopter. Missed a trick there then. Piccie one is Polly’s new sofa courtesy of Godfrey who has up-standed his posh room (or whatever it is called). Had to take out the front wall to get it in. Next up is Dawn Treader, Tony Bryne’s T&C who, to our great sadness, sadly passed away last month, just one of quite a few who we couldn’t raise a glass or two to in great company. They’ll have to be some serious catching up. Lastly but not leastly. Taken last week, could you land in this? See the News page for more. All the best and take care, Jane, Chris, Jane and Polly.