Few of us forget the utter joy of sending a kite soaring skyward for the first time; the control of the inanimate object, riding the thermals, but making one takes the fun to newer heights. Getting a piece of DIY to fly is an enriching experience that appeals to the child in all of us.
Britain is Europe’s windiest country and, as we found walking over the soft dunes onto Camber Sands in Kent, it is blessed with many breathtaking beaches to act as runways. Under a cloudless blue sky, we took it in turns to be launcher and pilot, shouting ourselves hoarse with joy each time the kite caught the wind and snaked its way into the atmosphere.
Soon we learnt the trick that pulling the line gained altitude and slacking allowed maneuvering. The darting diamond was staying airborne for ten minutes at a time and we found our consciousness following the slender path of string upwards to join it. Nothing else mattered.
People spend years trying to achieve meditative states that allow them to forget themselves, to have an ‘out-of-body’ experience, but this was the perfect short cut, one that every child can attest to watching a bird on the wing or leaf caught in the breeze.
By building a kite, we turn the seaside and coast into another kind of playground, one that really lifts the spirits. For the technique and detailed how-to make a kite from bamboo and bin liner, buy our book now at www.skimmingstones.co.uk!