Odd Easter

Easter had been and gone for another year. That’s this year a third of the way through already.  I can’t keep up with it. KEEP STILL!!

Easter itself was a bit……odd. Yes, odd is the best word to describe the goings on of this Easter. Of course none of the planned events happened as they were supposed to. The egg rolling race was nearly called off due to the weather, it was lashing down on Easter Sunday. Len and Lashes didn’t arrive as planned due to all sorts of stuff so Boofuls went to pick up Munki then at least she could join in with the egg decorating and card making. Dinner was an unexpected invite up to The Rev and Gembolina’s. Very nice it was too.

See. Odd. Not like a normal Easter at all. It’s still raining, I think I’m glad it’s all over, it’s been far too odd for my taste. I so wish I could elaborate on it but I can’t.

Moving away from our odd Easter, let’s travel back in time for a couple of weeks to Boofuls’ hot air balloon flight.

Remember I bought this for his birthday last year? It’s had been cancelled twice but this time, after careful checking of the weather forecast, we were pretty certain it was going to go ahead.

The launch sit had been changed from somewhere fairly local to a place near Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria. Not a big trauma. It’s beautiful up there and it gave us an excuse to set off nice and early and enjoy the scenery on the ride up.  Boofuls, me and Dougie the doggie all jumped in the car, set the air conditioning to high and set off, enjoying the bluest of blue skies and that really verdant green the  leaves  just as all they’ve  unfurled ready for the summer..

The weather was scorching hot, me and the dog were almost fainting with the heat, Boofuls, of course, was loving it. I’m sure I must have been an Eskimo in a previous life, I’m rubbish in hot weather.

The other flyers arrived, the pilot and ground crew arrived and the balloon arrived. I was pleased to see that it was a Virgin balloon and not some old slapper balloon. I wouldn’t want my hubby riding some old slapper.

There was an excited buzz in the air. “We’ll be flying from that field over there,” we were informed. I set off excitedly with Dougie to be faced with a big sign:  NO DOGS.  “We’ll just watch from here then.”

The balloon was unfolded, I couldn’t believe how massive it was, I’ve never seen one close up and they are e – bloody – normous.

Halfway through my fiftieth game of tuggy with the dog I noticed Boofuls running back over the field  toward us. ” The pilot says there are spare places, you can come if you want.”

I looked down at the dog horrified. Chance of a hat air balloon flight, one of the things on my ‘to do before I die’ list, and I’m the responsible adult looking after a small pooch!!!  NNNOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Hiding my disappointed face I replied that I had plans to walk up to Ingleton Falls so I wasn’t disappointed. ( I sooooo was).

We watched the balloon being inflated and waited till they’d taken off before setting off to Ingleton.

It didn’t take the local kids long to resume their game of football, they’re obviously used to seeing the balloon.

Dougie and me had a lovely walk at Ingleton Falls, we didn’t get all the way to the falls because it’s a 2.5 hour round and the intrepid adventurers were due back in less than two hours – and because a walk with a young dog takes forever, every leaf is to be explored, bird to be barked at and  stream, river, puddle or ditch is to be jumped in.

We arrived back at the launch site about ten minutes before they were due to arrive back. Just enough time to set up a camera and find a good spot to photograph from.

An hour  later there was still no sign of them. “They’re certainly getting their money’s worth.” I said to the dog.

Half an hour later it was starting to go dark and I was starting to get worried. My phone rang.

“We’re in the air, we’ve landed once, taken off, trying to land in a different  field. The pilot isn’t keen to land in the in this one, says the farmer can be a bit difficult”

So, relieved that he was alright I returned to entertaining a very bored dog.

I’ll let Boofuls tell the story from here:

Oh yes, the farmer, what a tosser. “You may have flown in but you aint getting out with it.” He suggested that he would like to get a gallon of petrol and set fire to it.

The recovery land rover and the mini bus for us passengers turned up and he locked them in his yard. He eventually started the negotiation at £75, the pilot offered £30, he came back with £50 and the pilot said, ” £30 or I’ll see you in court but bear in mind the expenses are £1000 for every day that the balloon can’t fly and while it’s here it’s your responsibility to take care of it and it’s worth £100,000, your call.”

£50 was the reply to which the pilot said to his ground crew, call the police.

It was at this point that I suggested £50 might be a better deal, the police may ask for more!!! Long story short, 3 police cars, 4 police officers and £30 won the day. We took the mini bus and the ground crew started the recovery. The mini bus driver then took a wrong turn and off we went in the wrong direction. Luckily we had a couple of locals on board who directed him back to the launch site. In all the fuss they forgot to give us our champagne. Poor do Virgin,  but on the up side we didn’t have to pay for the added entertainment value.

 

So there we are. Two hours after they should have got back, they eventually did get back, cold, tired, hungry and dying for a pee.  We dined out that evening on a couple of bars of chocolate as we made the long journey back home, eventually getting back about midnight.  I knew it would be a birthday present with a difference  but I didn’t realise just how different.

 

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