Some of you may be aware that Peter ordered a new kite while we were in Berck. If you weren't - Where have you been? He hasn't stopped talking about it!

Whilst we were in Berck we played a bit of hide and Seek with Andrew Beattie. Eventually we met up on the beach as Peter was keen to discuss purchasing a new Andreas ray. Having agreed on a colour scheme, the kite was ordered before we left, with an estimation that delivery would be in about 3 months. Sure enough, almost 3 months to the day, the kite arrived in the UK, and was shipped to Peter after a brief test flight.

It was expected to arrive on Monday, and sure enough it did. Peter and I agreed to meet up today (Thursday) for a test flight. Being a patient soul, he couldn't wait and took the kite out for its first flight on Monday. But we stuck to our plan for meeting up today on the beach at Walmer at lunchtime. Here starts the problem. As I drove in to Walmer, the traffic seemed unusually heavy. It was crawling all the way from the A2 roundabout. Suspecting parking problems, I was surprised to find that the Borrow Pit Carpark was almost empty. The explanation was simple. The car park was closed because that was where the floats would form up for the carnival. Not only was the car park closed, but The Beach (the road not the actual beach) was closed from Granville Road to The Strand. Fortunately we both managed to find parking spaces on Granville Road.

Unfortunately, the promised 14mph winds hadn't arrived. Whilst the breeze did pick up enough to get the kite aloft a couple of times, it was never stable enough to leave unattended. But we did manage to fly it, and received lots of good comments from several of the sun worshippers on the beach. Here are a couple of photos. Nice kite isn't it...

 Peter's new toy - peak a boo

 Peter's new toy

 Peter's new toy

That turned out to be quite a busy weekend kite flying. Whilst some members kept the youngsters, and not so youngsters, entertained bear bunging, Mike, Barbara and Steve were at the Shropshire kite festival hosted by our friends at Skybums. Lets start with a brief update from Mike:

Those of you who keep a sharp eye on these things will be aware that some of our members put in appearance at Woodchurch village fete with the aim of flying kites. Whilst there was a good turn out of members, the wind never really showed up. But the public did, and chose to use our designated flying area as a carpark, which always makes life difficult. Still those who did go did their best and acquitted themselves well I understand.

It is good to see that the Highways Agency and Kent Highways Department have a sense of humour. This last weekend, the M26 was closed, the first of 4 weekend closures, all part of the "upgrade" to smart motorway. There are miles of roadworks on the M20 as it is "upgraded" to a smart motorway. There is the stretch of the M20 between Ashford and Maidstone that is still restricted to 50mph whilst "Operation Brock remains in place, even though we don't seem to be getting any closer to leaving Europe. The M2 was closed London bound between Faversham and Sittingbourne. And there are roadworks on the A2 at Faversham. All in all, if you want to get anywhere in Kent, and the car is your chosen mode of transport, give up hope and stay in and watch the cricket. Speaking of which, what a fabulous weekend of sport. England won the cricket world cup in a nail biting finale. Hamilton won the British grand prix (again). Serena Williams got wiped out by a relative unknown in the Wimbledon womens singles and Djokovic won the mens singles in a 5th set tiebreak. Despite all of the transport issues and sporting alternatives, four of us went to Milton Creek country park to fly some kites.

On Saturday 8th June we were booked to fly on Walmer beach as part of kites on the beach. We arrived, along with our friends from the Essex Kite Group. Unfortunately we were also joined by an uninvited guest in the shape of storm Miguel. The result was winds reaching about 40kph, far to high to safely fly any of the display kites. Fortunately, the predicted rainfall stayed away. During the afternoon we could see a squall over Thanet, and dark clouds all around us, but we stayed in reasonable sunshine for most of the day. Despite the weather conditions we were joined by a good crow of people who came to try to fly kites, whether already owned, purchased, or made, on the day. We were also briefly joined by the Deal carnival queen and her princesses. We did manage to fly some kites that could cope with the high blustery conditions, but unfortunately not put on the display that we hoped for.

Sunday was planned to be the Teston Bridge memorial fly. The second weekend in June used to be the little Teston kite weekend. However, increasing costs now restrict the festival to the single large kite weekend on the second weekend in August. We now fly at Teston on the second Sunday in June in memory of long-time organisers, Pat and Ron Dell, and all other kite flyers we have lost over the years. But what a difference a day makes. Saturday in Maidstone had seen high winds and about an inch of rain, Sunday was a much brighter day with absolutely no wind. But still several members made the effort to try to fly kites.