Sunday, June 5, 2011

Off Ground Touch!

Grrr! Sometimes when everything is going really well, there's always something to piss on your chips as we say. It's at times like this I feel like having a right good moan up. In fact I will and I won't feel bad about it either. Don't let others make you feel guilty when you have a bit of a moan, after all, It's easy for them to have opinions on your gripe isn't it? I say as long as you don't make a habit of it then it's fine once in a while. The key things to a successful moan are: a) find the right person to moan to, not anybody will accept your moan, steer clear of sensitive people, they'll think you're having a go at them. If you can't find anyone to moan to then try a solo moan, it's not as effective but relieves the pressure a little bit. b) accept that the moan is not the answer to the problem, it's nothing more than a vent of your anger or frustration. c) try not to moan in the company of strangers, or the inlaws, there's a small chance you could look like a bit of a tit, this is not a problem if you couldn't give a toss what other people thought of you. d) Know when to stop, excessive moaning could potentially lead to a reputation as a "moaner".  I don't think I've mastered the art yet but I'm working on it as Anita will sometimes testify, bless her.

You can probably tell that I want to get one or two things off my chest. You're right but I'm not going into detail as I don't feel we know each other well enough just yet, other than the fact that it involves our idyllic life in Nepal, a certain Neighbor building a three story concrete house right in front of our lovely little mud hut, then placing a stinking buffalo shed directly outside our front door. Oops have I said too much? When you work hard to live in paradise then problems start outweighing the benefits, if it stops being paradise, where do you draw the line and move on?

On the plus side, we have some exciting news about a certain film, sadly however I'm unable to share that with you at the moment. I know what you're thinking, so far this Blog is rubbish, a bit of moaning, a teaser and no real juicy bits. Sorry about that, the moaning has stopped and the juice will flow all in good time.

Things are going great in Spain. I'm now a fully legal registered Falconer with the Falconry Association of Alicante, who I must say have been amazingly supportive of our plans. In some countries, the traditions of falconry as a field sport are quite heavily protected by the clubs, associations and the falconers themselves, and quite rightly so, after all, it's a pastime that dates back several thousand years and which should be part of our heritage. However, It's all well and good keeping traditions alive but it's also important to recognise the modern day nuances of the sport. It's the different practices and activities that are linked to falconry such as flying displays, presentations, captive breeding etc that all help to promote the sport in a positive light and help protect it's traditions, if done in the right way of course. So it's refreshing to have the support from the local Spanish Falconry association, they understood the concept of Parahawking and how it has raised awareness and money for vulture conservation in Nepal and are hopeful that we can do the same here in Spain.

Heckle and Jeckle are now coming to the end of the test flight phase and are ready to do some commercial Parahawking tandems, remember we have mouths to feed. We've had some successful flights at Cabo, the local coastal soaring site which will hopefully be the main site for our Parahawking tandems over the summer. Today we took a bit of a gamble and went inland to El Cid in the hope that we could do a couple of nice long 700m top to bottoms with the birds. Unfortunately we got there a bit late and the thermals were already kicking in, great for flying but not quite for what we had in mind. Although it was blowing a bit, we decided to try Jeckle with Nick on his maiden Parahawking flight. It wasn't the easiest conditions but after a bumpy ride Nick and Jeckle both landed together at the bottom. I decided not to fly Heckle, it was getting a bit strong for her, It's good to be ambitious but it's smart to know your limits.

Last week a friend of mine Steve posted on his Facebook that he had been playing Off Ground Touch with his kids. It made me laugh and reminded me of simpler times when all you had to worry about in life was not being tagged whilst your feet were on the ground, or you would be "it". Essentially, you couldn't be "it" if your feet were off the ground. If you did get caught out and you were "it" then you had to pass it on to someone else whilst their feet were still on the ground. If you grew up in the UK then you know the rules. I hope to be playing this game with Talo when he's older.

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