WARNING this post is picture heavy but the something different really was very special!
This week it was back to school for me. Things were a little hectic, hence no posts for a bit. Last weekend it was a Bank Holiday here in the UK. We spent it in London. This meant quite a bit of time in the car so I was able to start and finish 'Trick or Treat Tree' by Pat Thode of Heartstrings/The Artists Collection. The chart was published in this year's Just Cross Stitch Halloween issue.
This was stitched on 32ct Crystal Peach Linen with DMC floss. I used glow-in-the-dark Kreinik braid for the ghost and the facial features of the cat and pumpkin. I finished it as a pillow using some left over Mill Hill beads on the edges.
On Tuesday I downloaded the September chart for Sylvia's My Little Heart SAL. I think I've mentioned before that each of these takes an evening to stitch.
On Wednesday it was back to school. I don't remember such a hectic first day back for a long time, and the pupils weren't there! I was leaving just as the caretaker was locking up!
Thursday was a little better I got home at a reasonable time. The Other Half met me at the door and asked me if I would like to have a flight in a hot air balloon this weekend. A friend of ours belongs to The Royal Engineers Balloon Club (for UK readers this is a private club for Army members who contribute towards it ~ no tax payer money is involved). They were hoping to fly at the Llangollen Show this weekend but their pick-up driver, the one who drives around following the balloon in order to help retrieve it when it lands, was not able to go, so they needed stand in ground crew, in return their partner would get a flight. So I volunteered our services. At six o'clock on Saturday morning we were there at the launch site to help out. Here are some of the photos to show you what happens.
Firstly the whole thing is laid out. The balloon part is actually called the envelope.
Next the envelope is inflated using cold air as hot air a this stage would cause the nylon material the envelope is made out of to melt.
When the envelope is almost fully inflated the burners are used to warm the air up. The whole thing is turned upright and after a few final safety checks take off soon follows. Here are some of the pictures I took from the air.
Looking up into the envelope. Yes it was warm when the burner was going and very noisy!
Dawn over Dinas Bran
This round segment is called the parachute and forms the braking system. The pilot pulls on a rope and the round section folds in like a parachute causing hot air to leave through the top of the envelope. When fully inflated it is possible to stand on the parachute and not fall in!
GPS giving the flight details.
This was a fantastic experience. In the evening the balloon flew again and we were part of the recovery team. The balloon landed in a nearby campsite. Loads of adults and children went running towards it as they thought it had crash landed. Now that's what I call dropping in for tea!