attack of the killer kites

kite festival 2009Tired, sunburnt, tired, brain all overcooked...

After our regularly scheduled Shopping Safari (during which I managed to snag a new pair of sweat pants, although I'm not sure how good they're going to be since they're a world of nylon, although they're a reasonable brand) and a quick side trip to West Lakes (since we were in the neighbourhood) we headed down to Semaphore for the 12th Adelaide International Kite Festival.

That photo kind of sums up the day really... lots of downed kites...

Of the four Kite Festivals I've been to, this one was the least successful. It was nobody's fault (unlike last time when I forgot to charge my camera battery), these things are often in the lap of the gods, but there just wasn't enough wind, so none of the big "inflatable" kites got off the ground. In fact there were more kites flying on the "public" side of the jetty than there were in the official section for most of the day.

I didn't bother taking my big stunt kite, since it does have a tendency to crash and I didn't want to kill or main any small children with it, but Ma and I did take the kites we bought last year, my flaming sled and her little bluebird.

But of course we both knew that The Kite Shop shop was going to be there and we'd be drawn to pretty coloured flying things...

We did resist for a fair while though... we had a look in the shop when we first got there... then we went to look at the few kites that were flying, take some photos... then we went up Jetty Road to get steak sandwiches for lunch... then another quick look in the shop before we wandered down the beach to fly our old kites (which was fun) followed by some icecream... but eventually we gave in and went a'spendin'...

Ma had decided on the kite she wanted fairly early in the day, and she stuck to her guns and got the Prism EO Atom, which as far as kites go is pretty much the bees knees as much as getting it set up and attaching the line... you just pop the thing open and it's ready to go and the string attaches with a clip... takes all of five seconds (actually the orange and yellow kite in the shot up the top is the same brand, although a much larger and more complex kite).

angels play kite - and give me some lovin' because this shot was taken with the same hand that was holding the kite!Also true to form, I went backwards and forwards and backwards and forwards again on which kite I was going to get... and in the end there were about four that I was considering. But I kept coming back to the Angels Play kite... mostly because I really wanted to see what it looked like in the air. And you know what, it was a good choice. Although if it had been me, I wouldn't have called it "Angels Play"... this thing isn't the least bit angelic... it's alive and the wings seem to flap. It's a dragon, or maybe a demon... but not an angel.

Actually it kind of reminded me of the Klingon bat'leth, but I am an enormous nerd... so let's just move on...

Oh, and we also both got a little Japanese "Yakko" paper kites... mine has a little warrior guy on it, but I don't think I ever saw Ma's well enough to tell you what it was...

Then it took what seemed like FOREVER to put my kite together (Rod A in Slot B, repeat until insane, etc)... and then we had to go back to the shop because I'd forgotten how to do a "Swallow's Hitch" or whatever the hell the knot they tell you to attach the string with is.

But once we got out on the beach with it, I could feel that it just wanted to take off... and even though there wasn't a whole lot of wind, after a couple of false starts, it did fly really nicely.

Ma on the other hand always seems to struggle. I don't know what it is, but she never seems to be "one" with the kite... her bluebird did fly okay earlier in the day, but she could not get the Atom off the ground properly to save her life (and she always ends up with too much unwound string, luckily this string didn't knot like the bluebird string had a habit of doing). Granted, it's not a "normal" kite, and all things considered it's kind of heavy... I even handed over the line to my kite at once stage (she did manage to keep that in the air though) to see if I could get the Atom up for her. No joy... I think there simply wasn't enough wind for it. But it'll be interesting to see it when it is working properly, it's a groovy little kite.

After a while, I could start to feel myself cooking all down one side (just like last year actually), so we called it a day (I think it was about 4pm by that stage, and we probably got there around noon). But because both our little brains were possibly a little overcooked we ended up taking the long, yet not terribly scenic route back to my place...

Now I just need to work out if I'm going to celebrate Earth Hour the same way as last year or not... and if not, whether I'm going to bother actually doing the Earth Hour thing at all...

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