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June 14, 2009

We woke up to beautiful sunshine and bright blue skies one recent weekend morning, so decided to take advantage of the weather and go to the beach to fly Ten’s new kite, received earlier the same month for his birthday.  Once there we walked up to the less busy end of the beach in order to afford ourselves as much space as possible and thus reduce the likelihood of dive-bombing someone with the new stunt kite when it inevitably crashed to earth.

Husband unwrapped it from its packaging, unfurled all of the flappy bits, inserted pokey sticks into the relevant places and hey presto! the new kite was assembled.  I did notice somewhat ruefully that it did not have one of those strings trailing behind it with coloured bows attached.  I suppose the fact that it was kind of batman-logo shaped, rather than a simple diamond had something to do with it.

All the unpacking and assembly was done in pretty sharp time and we were ready.  Ten took the two handles, each with strings attached, and I took hold of the kite and walked away off up the beach to set it off on its maiden flight. Husband stood dutifully next to Ten, who was holding the strings.  Once we were a respectable distance apart, I chucked it as high as I could up into the air where, on achieving the dizzying heights of ooh, at least 1 meter, it fell back to earth.

Hmm, this was going to be a bit trickier than we had anticipated.  In the distance, I saw Husband take the controls from Ten in order to launch the kite, presumably to give it back to him once it was airborne.  That left the two of us to repeat over and over again the same routine of throwing, retrieving, untangling strings and re-launching.

Less than a minute later however, I was reduced to uncontrollable laughter when I suddenly noticed that Ten had wandered off up the beach and was squatting with his back to us, totally absorbed in playing with the rusty piece of barbed wire he had dug from the sand.  Much more fun than the poxy kite.

After what seemed like an eternity, humiliation was added to our embarrassing performance by the appearance of a four year old who was holding an ice cream in one hand and nonchalantly flying a diamond-shaped kite with bunting attached in the other.  He wasn’t even moving or jiggling his kite, it just sat there in the sky above him, jauntily bobbing around on auto-pilot.  Said four year old had wandered over to scoff at the pythonesque grown-ups who were leaping about the place incapable of flying a kite between them. At one point he put the kite down on the sand to go and wash his sticky fingers in the sea and when he came back to it, he just took hold of the handle and jerked it and the kite flew up of its own accord.  I’m mighty suspicious that it wasn’t on a string at all but actually a stiffened rod.

Thinking back, I can’t remember ever having any success flying kites whatsoever, even as a child.  In fact, I have no childhood memories of kites at all.

Perhaps my parents’ aerobatic accomplishments were as forgettable as my own.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Simon permalink
    June 14, 2009 9:25 pm

    Try letting more string out next time!!

  2. purplejake permalink*
    June 15, 2009 8:06 pm

    Simon: I’m trying to decide whether you’re being ironic or not but, knowing you, probably not. At one point Husband and Ten were mere dots on the horizon but the wretched thing still wouldn’t fly. Truth be told, Husband and Thirteen did manage to get it airborne once I gave up and went to join Ten with his rusty bit of barbed wire. We even have film evidence of the thing up in the sky for about 30 seconds. I just didn’t want to admit to the fact that it started to fly as soon as I had Left The Building.

  3. June 16, 2009 3:41 am

    Hello purplejack! Thanks for visiting my blog. It comforts me that I am not the only person who cannot fly kites, but I intend to try again soon. I enjoyed reading your blog! Will visit again if you don’t mind. 🙂

    • purplejake permalink*
      June 16, 2009 12:07 pm

      Katie: Thank you for returning the complement and dropping by. Of course I ‘don’t mind’ if you visit again. Let us know if you have any success with the kite – I get the impression you are not one to give up easily!

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