Sujee and Bilbo INSIDE the balloon, and taking off over Littlecote

Last night Sujee and I met up to start sorting out all the workshops and skills offered for the Stonewylde Gathering. But first, Sujee suggested I meet her at Littlecote House near Hungerford to see her new partner in action. This is the famous Bilbo we’ve been hearing so much about on the forum.

I don’t think jobs come more glamorous than this – Bilbo is a balloonier. Actually I don’t know if that’s the correct term – I just made it up because it sounds a bit French and Jules Verne! The guy flies hot air balloons for a living!!! I’ve always wanted to fly in one, and so has Mr B, and it’s one of those things you promise to do one day. Someone told me the other night about a phrase “the bucket list”. This is a list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket, and something that people tend to make when they reach 50 and realise they’re not immortal! And also that some things have to be done whilst the body’s still in reasonable nick. Flying in a hot air balloon is definitely on our Bucket List, so being invited last night to actually watch one take off was very exciting indeed.

What is it with me and cameras? I took loads of great shots last night. Got home and they were all completely out of focus. It turned out the camera had been left on “macro”. So the two grainy buy phentermine 30mg blue and clear photos above were probably the best of the bunch which is really sad as it was a beautiful, warm August evening with long shadows and gold-dust in the air. The balloon was so bright and perfect, Bilbo was absolutely gorgeous (far more of a Frodo actually, but a young Robert Powell also sprang to mind) and it was fascinating going inside the balloon whilst it was still on the ground and being inflated with a fan. I hadn’t realised you could do this.

Once the balloon was inflated, Bilbo began to blast it with a massive flame, like a dragon breathing life into his flying machine. Sujee was jumping about demonstrating her complete understanding of the whole process and sparkling with pride at her catch, and meanwhile Littlecote House glittered in the golden Lammas sunlight and reminded me so much of the Hall from Stonewylde.

Bilbo flew away over the trees with his captives, and Sujee and I drove off to the pub where we spent a lovely evening making lists. She’s very efficient, which is why I wanted to rope her into helping me. I’m definitely not very efficient! She tried to decipher my green biro scribbles and muttered something about school teacher’s writing and how mine wasn’t very typical – more like a doctor’s writing. But soon the list had morphed into something logical and legible in bold black ink, and now the whole organisation of workshops (reiki, dancing, corndolly-making, birdwatching, singing, drumming etc etc) is in Sujee’s capable hands. Phew!

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