Let’s go fly a kite

Drawing of a lone kite over Camber SandsFew 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!

Drawing of a hand holding a thread tied to a leaf pulled by the wind

Stone skimming video

Stone skimming video

Few things are as simple, enjoyable or accessible as skimming stones by the sea. Indeed, it gives a whole new meaning to the term ‘getting your rocks off’.

In this, our first video post for the blog, we braved the cold, windy Welsh coast near Llansantffraed, Ceredigion, to cover a few of the tips and techniques, proving that even in somewhat adverse weather, the benefits of spending time at the seaside are many.

In case you’re wondering who won, Rob did. He claims this was because he was wearing a lucky hat, but the rematches have continued ever since. Perhaps we should post all our scores sometime. A roll of (dis)honour that will one day rival Wisden.