- A bit of vernacular avian doggerel by anon that raises a giggle from me, and will hopefully do the same for some of you opposite-season folks up north who have just run out of summertime- and not just climatologically it seems.
And down in the south, spring has indeed sprung, lifting the gloom- and turning thoughts to kite flying -thoughts that had wandered a bit off-topic during the short cold days and lack of wind that characterise winter in southern New Zealand.
Elwyn and the big orange digger.
In anticipation of which (planning ahead being an obsession for displaced northern hemisphere genotypes like myself) our backyard kite field is being extended even as I speak- err write. A friend and his favourite toy, (which is a very large orange digger), are playing in our sandpit while Elwyn and I are away kite flying in Taiwan. (And though there's been hard wind here- curiously, this event is always during the typhoon season, and we're being nibbled on by several- flying so far has been successful, the hosting is first rate and we're with many friends. We're having a great time)
Our home kite flying area will now be much bigger, larger than some kite festivals have to work with, but it still won't be big enough of course: There's no such place. (Well, almost; the Kutch salt pan in India and a few other exceptions? )
But at the least there are now 75 trees that have eaten their last kite. Their cremation will revenge their many victims, be a warning to those trees we've left standing (which is only on their promise of good behaviour), and will keep us warm through winters for years to come. Win-win-win, should have done this years ago.
Criminal Trees #1.
But back to northern hemisphere gloom; we were watching the stock indices on Bloomberg as we passed through Singapore last week, and they were tumbling down by the second. A few days later, they all bounced back up again. Interesting times! But irrespective of whether the USA and Europe manage to get their debt levels under control and whether or not we are in for a double-dip recession, confidence in the developed world (that is, the northern hemisphere) has been dented by the current uncertainties.
And convention has it that the world is now so inter-connected that Asia and the Southern Hemisphere will be drawn into any malady that Europe and the USA suffer.
How will this impact on kite flying? Will rich world fliers now put less of their time and treasure into leisure time activities like kite flying, or conversely, will they take refuge in kite flying as a spirit lifting bastion against doom saying?
Well, it just so happens that I'm exactly the right person to pronounce on this- having spent the last 40 years immersed in the world of kite flying while also being a keen observer of Homo Economicus Irrationalis.
And I do have an opinion about this that I'll share with you.
It's that I have absolutely no idea.
But there are now many more kite festivals than ever, this is true - and I think will remain true in the foreseeable future (being no such thing of course, but never mind, let's just blunder along with this prediction): Biggish soft kites are the centre pieces for almost all kite festivals now- and in fact, are probably the main reason why there are more (and bigger) kite festivals. This suggests that demand for large kites will continue to grow, or at least stay steady over the longer term- though it may drop a bit until the current inventory wears out then overshoot during a catch-up period.
But if I'm wrong about this, then I do know for sure that when we get back to New Zealand later in the week, there'll be wind and the sun will be shining (most of the time).
And I have a sizeable sewing area, an excellent sewing machine, more rolls of fabric than I can ever use up, and, just outside the back door; a fairly adequate flying field:
Hmmm, maybe some of those trees that have been probationally left standing will have to go:- What sound do kites most like to hear?-the brmmm brmmmm of a chainsaw of course.
Criminal Trees #2.
Peter Lynn, Taipei, October 1 '11
Peter Lynn Kites Ltd
105 Alford Forest Rd
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