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About this blog

My personal observations

Entries in this blog

 

28/06/2020 Blackheath

The forecast was for c15-30mph and cloudy.  We had the wind but the cloud was broken so there was quite a bit of sun as well. RSS kites and an Xtra Vent because Martin arrived first.  There were some lulls but mostly it was constant with gusts blowing through. My plan for today hit an early problem which was not resolved on the field today.  The pilot kite that I had planned to use needed tuning and while I found that small incremental corrections to the bridle did make a difference I

Felix

Felix

 

21/06/2020 Blackheath

Another week of weather watching and once again we have been fortunate that early rain moved away to a drying breeze which was strong enough for our needs. Ironically, when I arrived on site there was a bit of a long lull in the breeze, sufficient to set up a full sail 1.5.  I had been expecting to use a full vent and so it proved after a third flier arrived on site and set up a full sail.  We quickly changed to full vent with green race and had some subtle no calls interaction. Then,

Felix

Felix

 

14/06/2020 Blackheath

I had been watching the weather forecasts all week and was hopeful for a settled steady southerly breeze with some brightness.  We got the breeze but actually had some good sunshine as well. I set up a full sail 1.5 with race rods and was just about airborne when Martin arrived.  I was then able to collect the additional kit from the car. My plan was to see how many of the JMH  Rhombus shaped kites 1985 we could put up.  We have flown up to three sets previously.  I had undertaken quit

Felix

Felix

 

07/06/2020 Blackheath

The wind was lighter than forecast soon after my arrival but strengthened later.  Full sail 1.5s with race rods were just holding in the lulls and we did fly a bit closer today as the rules have changed. I had hoped to fly the Peter Malinski train in full today as I thought that I had cut spare sticks and put them in the new bags for each set.  Seems like I had only replaced broken ones and so we only managed four sets again today using ‘spares’ from the fifth set as we inevitably broke som

Felix

Felix

 

31/05/2020 Blackheath

So next weekend we can fly six kites together providing we keep 2 meters apart.  Unlikely that there will actually be six of us but at least it is now allowed. Today was full on blue sky, just the odd clouds off towards the horizon and plenty of swifts to keep us company in the air above.  A fairly steady easterly breeze meant that full vent 1.5s were just about comfortable most of the time with green race frames. Having had recent experience of the JMH Della Porta kites and some succe

Felix

Felix

 

24/05/2020 Blackheath

Another breezy day so I was flying the RSS kite today.  There were two other fliers nearby but we were not sharing kit so they were flying the Xtra Vents by Bazzer.  Flying was ‘at a distance’ except for one moment when a family group came a bit close.  Should have grounded the kites really… A further session on the Hex Pilot and this time the breeze was consistently strong enough to keep the kite at the top of the window which turned out to be really quite high.  Except, of course, for whe

Felix

Felix

 

17/05/2020 Blackheath

It was strange to be driving to Blackheath today.  I was quite prepared to turn around and drive home again if there was any indication of congestion on the site.  While there were people about, many in pairs at a distance, there was plenty of space at our usual spot. Mid vent 1.5 for a while just to remember how it felt on a dry surface with some sun breaking through the high cloud.  I then set up the Hexagonal ‘pilot’ kite that was sewn up back in the autumn as a possible replacement for

Felix

Felix

 

11/05/2020

Website distraction yesterday in a good way.  I had found some details of the two kites that were raffled in aid of the Bristol Kite Festival 2009.  They were in the original JMH design from 1991 but in the 1.5 format, one yellow, one blue. After a bit of further research I found some images by Laura Berg from Long Beach WSIKF 2009 and Laura was able to send me higher resolution versions for the web site. It was good to pin down that episode and to be reminded that Rich Comrass who Jak

Felix

Felix

 

03/05/2020

Cervia would have ended today and the lilac bush in the Hackney garden here has begun to end its glorious spring show.  Still haven’t started the Tetraeder exercise but the weather has not been great this last week. The 1992 Rev 1 re-make project is now in hand.  Martin Lester will sew the sails and Revolution will finish them as has been our practice.  They may be finished in time for any surviving Autumn events but probably will only really get used next year.  Something to look forward t

Felix

Felix

 

26/04/2020

So, that is the sixth week with no flying.  Berck would have completed and Cervia would be well underway! Further work on the website through the week so there are now 29 event pages and 25 kite and banner pages.  I have set up an entry page with a copy of the introduction page from about 1992 along with the storyboard I prepared in February 2020.  The index has been reduced to five headings, some of them toggling with context. The good news this week is that JC has located the Blue (U

Felix

Felix

 

20/04/2020

Another diary entry for my benefit as much as anything else.  Further work done on the Decs web site during the week and it now seem that a further re-build is needed to reflect an emphasis on the visual elements of the events recorded and the kites. I’ll probably look for a visual splash screen and take it from there.  Some elements may be condensed… The easterly winds persisted all week so it would have been quite a challenge at Berck but at least mostly sunny! Felix

Felix

Felix

 

13/04/2020

I was completely preoccupied yesterday with web site updates using images that Davide Baroni had kindly sent.  They are from Cervia 2014-2019 so plenty to be configuring with a few of my own images for context.  Today Marian Linford has sent a whole set of images from Cervia 2016, so more to do! Light wind yesterday which would probably have meant an onshore sea breeze at Berck.  Today and for the rest of the week it looks like easterly winds will prevail so it would have been quite difficu

Felix

Felix

 

05/04/2020

12-22mph SSE with clear blue sky would have been a perfect flying day so that is one day down to the lock down, rather than the weather. I did do my normal weekday 10 miles on the bike, except, of course, going around Victoria Park rather than through it!  There were quite a lot of cyclists and runners in the parts of the ride where I do not usually see anyone at all. I had thought that I might do some Tetraeder building today but did not quite get to it! On the web site I ended u

Felix

Felix

 

29/03/2020

Strong NNE wind with wintery showers would not have been particularly enticing for kite flying on Blackheath today. So, some more imagined launches and thoughts about further material for the web site.  I have looked at some of the notes I made at or after events.  It can be a strange shorthand for what was a very focused activity over periods of days in some cases.  The routine in Cervia 2014 is a case in point particularly as Davide Baroni is posting images from his extensive catalogue on

Felix

Felix

 

22/03/2020

While taking the air, going for a walk, run or cycle ride may not be prohibited in London just yet it seemed appropriate to show restraint hoping that more stringent rulings will remain distant. So virtual kite flying only today after another week of consolidating records on the web site.  The accumulative record is much more impressive than the constituent parts.  I like the idea of gradually being able to populate the records of past events, maybe only with a couple of images but also wit

Felix

Felix

 

15/03/2020 Blackheath

Another breezy day, 15-30mph SSW, mostly cloudy but with the odd flash of sun and blue sky. RSS sails were comfortable and today, even with only three fliers there were some called moves. We put together the JMH Flare Kite 1986 as it is almost the last kite to have a page set up on the site.  (Once done I will start on the Rev designs.) The wind was outside the comfort zone but it was useful to try adjusting the bias that appeared in the stronger gusts.  The adjustment required is

Felix

Felix

 

08/03/2020 Blackheath

Having been watching the forecasts closely I managed a circa 10:00am arrival on the ‘Heath’.  After a short wind check stroll I set about preparing the JMH Della Porta 8 Rhomboids for another ‘strong breeze’ test.  The intention was to use a secure anchor as the kite was walked into the middle of the wind window before launch. We were almost successful at the first attempt but the pulling power of the kite was somewhat more than I had anticipated.  It really needed a ground anchor in flight

Felix

Felix

 

01/03/2020 Blackheath

Finally got out on Blackheath today in bright windy conditions.  RSS Rev for a while getting a feel for the breeze which was often as little as c12mph but also sustained gusts probably well over 25mph. I decided that although the conditions were a bit extreme I would try to fly the JMH Della Porta: 8 Rhomboids 1993.  Apart from anything else learning the set-up can only be achieved by doing it. There was a moment of anxiety getting it out of the bag as the elements did not fall free, s

Felix

Felix

 

23/02/2020

So, it was the third weekend where conditions were simply not conducive to ‘kite flying’.  20-40mph was forecast and it certainly sounded like it in Hackney! I was planning to set about repairing the JMH full vents but got distracted by the new line of development on the web site.  In addition to having started to set up pages for the individual JMH kites I have also set up some event pages as follows:- https://www.felixmottram.com/decorators/eventpages/Cervia_2018.html https://www.f

Felix

Felix

 

16/02/2010

And then it was wet.  High winds had been forecast but did not really materialise. So, preventative maintenance on the 2007/8 Rev 1 stacks today.  All leading edge mesh edges oversewn with a three step zig-zag stitch.  There were not as many actual breaks as I had anticipated.  Maybe there are more on the 1.5 stack? We managed to get a peculiar wrap in the stacking lines of one four set.  Not yet resolved but shows that it can be done!  After un-tangling the JMH Double Malay stack anyt

Felix

Felix

 

09/02/2020

The synoptic chart from the Met Office on Wednesday 5th February was clear that the isobars would be tightly packed today and so they were. No thoughts of kite flying but a bit of weather spotting via the webcams at Lyme Regis, West Bay and Polzeath. The day did start though, with a bit of knot tying, roping in a rotten fence post in the back yard… Felix

Felix

Felix

 

02/02/2020 Blackheath

Brisk WSW breeze 17-30mph so 1.5 RSS kite for me today…  Out of the comfort zone for anything else really so no SLKs today. Terry Riley’s album Assassin Reverie track Tread on the Trail proved to be an interesting accompaniment for two fliers. Having completed the rigging for the Peter Malinski Tetraeder earlier in the week thoughts turned to configurations.  Having done one initial drawing it became apparent how versatile the system is and just how many variations are available.  It w

Felix

Felix

 

26/01/2020 Blackheath

There was low dark cloud and some drizzle leaving Hackney but the low cloud had broken south of the river with a bit of sun breaking through occasionally. Steady southerly breeze probably about 10mph so full vented 1.5s with green race.  A bit of Bersarin Quartett to get ‘in the mood’ and then I was intent on putting together the JMH Double Malay stack. I had a dim recollection that it had been put away hastily ‘the last time’ but had not fully appreciated the consequences of that!  It

Felix

Felix

 

19/01/2020 Blackheath

Just enough breeze for Zens with green race but not much else today. I had taken the Peter Malinski Hex stack pilot copy as more work is needed on the bridle.  It was not to be!  Yesterday I had been working on the connectors for the Malinski Tetreader.  40 or so still to do so that is 120 knots to tie before starting to fit them; 4 to each of the 35 sails.  The line I was using was being re-cycled from the 2007 JMH design Rev 1.5 bridles.  I do have a reel of bridle line somewhere! I

Felix

Felix

 

12/01/2020 Blackheath

There really was a brisk SW wind this morning despite forecasts suggesting otherwise up until about 24 hours previously!  While there were quite extended periods of 10-15mph it did blow c30mph quite often during the time we were there. So RSS Spiders 1.5 were just right! In the circumstances I was not ‘brave’ enough to attempt to put up the JMH Double Malay stack 1994.  We have flown it before but not with a good sunny backdrop such as we had at times today. We flew the RSS kites

Felix

Felix

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