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- Robert Burns





Kite Flying days.



As a boy and growing up on the remote east coast of Scotland we children had to make our own fun and making our own fun was a lot of fun. 


One thing that can be depended on when you live near a beach is the wind which if it isn't blowing from the north or the south is blowing from the east or the west and indeed now and then every point of the compass in between.


The making of and the flying of kites was one of our great pastimes and every boy had several. First had to be the design of the kite and no two were alike. My favorite designs resembled giant seabirds in flight.  The material of choice for the frame was bamboo that I stripped into small cross sections then tied together with linen thread. To cover the wings and the tail I used as light and thin a cloth as I could find that I attached to the framework with more thread. Last came a very long set of streamers that I attached to the tail.


When the winds were out of the south our place to fly our kites was the unobstructed Earlsferry golf course and when the winds were from the north our place was the beach where we flew our kites out over the sea. As time went on I acquired about a half of a mile of strong chord that at times  was let all the way out. The chord had to be strong as on windy days gusts of wind would lift me off the ground. Flying our kites was great fun. Achieving height and distance was one of our objectives but we also had kites that we learned to do maneuvers with and this made for considerable skill and coordination. 


And there was the time that I used my mother's treadle Singer to hem the cloth that I was using and I discovered that the machine had a clatter that indicated it was out of adjustment. Yes, I took the machine apart and studied all the moving parts to determine their functions and after cleaning and lightly oiling all the bits and pieces I did get it all back together and it ran like a proverbial sewing machine. 


My remembrance of my kite flying days was brought home to me yesterday as I went for a walk in a local park where I came upon a lady who was flying one of several kites that she had and she gave me one to fly.  As we flew our kites we got to know a little about each other and she let me know that her son had recently been featured on the "America's Got Talent" show where he won the contest and went on to Last Vegas to perform on stage where he can fly kites completely indoors where there is no wind.


Her son's ability has given me the incentive to recreate the days as when I was a boy I flew my kites out over the sea at Earlsferry.


Apart from meeting others while flying a kite, flying a kite is a rejuvenating, relaxing and therapeutic way to spend a few invigorating and enjoyable hours in the outdoors, blowing out the cobwebs. 



Burns Day January 25th. 2012