It has been about 6 months since I last managed to get out and fly some kites. October 2020, it was and a couple of days later, Kent went into level 4 restrictions, effectively lockdown, and has been there ever since. But restrictions are starting to ease, so I decided to try to get out and fly on a chilly but sunny Sunday afternoon. My chosen location was at Ditton Recreation Ground, about a 10 minute drive from home, so certainly complying with the "stay local" guidance currently in place.

When I got there, there was what seemed to be a good breeze, but as I was setting up, it became clear that first impressions could be deceptive, the breeze was coming and going and sweeping around through about 90 degrees. But I'd come out with a purpose, having a couple of dragons in need of some fresh air. First up, get a pilot into the sky. This was when I discovered the swing in the wind, but eventually we managed to get an 8 metre black Peter Lynn pilot into the sky. Was it going to be enough?

I decided to start with my new acquisition from China. A dragon in my own colour scheme that was ordered in December, just before Christmas, and arrived in February, custom builds take a bit longer. There followed about an hour of getting the tangles out of the bridle. Not a huge problem, but the head had gone through the bridles for one wing, and there were a couple of other bits that needed unwinding. There is a fireball in front of the nose, and this really does add to the tangle problem, especially if the kite is rolling across the grass! But eventually we got everything sorted and ready to go. Unfortunately, by now, the pilot was lying in a heap on the ground. After a relaunch, the dragon slowly rose to a sitting position, whilst the pilot drifted, overflew, luffed and did all those things that you really don't want a pilot to do. Unfortunately, it was at the end of its line, as I had only bought a short line with me. One of the problems with Kent is the density of population, which means that low level turbulence and sometimes the complete absence of ground breeze can make life challenging. I was pleased with the speed with which the dragon inflated. It filled through vents in the head, neck and wing leading edges. But it just wasn't going to be my day. The kite did lift a couple of times, but would not stay aloft for any length of time and spent most of its time sitting on its haunches.

But it was really good to be out in the fresh air, chatting to members of the public again and trying to put some colour into the sky.