I’ve started a new obsession – hot air ballooning.

I think it started at New Year.  I bought some thai hot air lanterns, called Kong Ming which we let off at midnight as an alternative to fireworks.  I thought they were pretty cool.  Tracing paper envelopes, about half my height, with a light wire circle at the bottom, and a fuel slab that looked a little like a tealight.

You light the fuel with a match or lighter until it holds.  You hold the envelope up at arms length, and clear of the flame until the fuel cell has created enough hot air to fill the balloon and then eventually the balloon holds up by itself, and then finally tugs away at your hands.  Then you let go, and the whole thing rises gracefully up above the roof line and gently floats away.

I let off the first balloon myself with everyone else watching from inside the conservatory, and it evidently looked so much fun that everyone else put on a coat and came out to let off the remaining ones.

And since then, hot air balloons have been floating around my consciousness, including some dreams and day dreams.  At some point, one day, it would be good to go up in a balloon – and there’s even a company that sets off from Wollaton Park when the weather is right.

Till then, I’m reading the magazine of the BBAC and seeing if I can get to any hot air balloon festivals.


3 comments on “Ballooning

  1. manda says:

    one wonderful breathless summer years ago we made our own balloons from tissue paper and glue, with a light wire frame to hold paraffin soaked cotton wool. We let them go in the garden and the children scoured the nearby streets and gardens to bring them back when they landed…

    I’ve been up in a balloon once, it was wonderful, we landed and I was full of plans to get my own licence and balloon and take off around the world.

    If you do go, take a hat.

  2. niles says:

    What sort of hat? a woolly one to keep ears warm or one with a brim to stop sunburn?

  3. manda says:

    The sort of hat to stop the top of your head scorching. Those burners really let off some heat and the taller you are they closer they are to your scalp.

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