Friday night, Saturday morning there was a hard frost. So with ladder and bags we crossed the field and collected Sloes for the Sloe Gin. Last years Sloe Gin was a bit bitter, so this years mix was changed slightly.
o Fill 1 litre bottle with Sloes
o Fill with Gin (will be about 500 ml)
o Add 4 ounces of sugar.
o Keep for a year and decant.
The difference this year is we are using a little more sugar, and the Sloes were collected after a frost.
We collected far too many Sloes. There was a very good crop. We did not have to venture on to any and, other than our own to collect the Sloes. The extra Sloes we gave to next door, and John Curd.
Yesterday and today I have spent several hours working in the graveyard cutting down many dead Elm trees which have succumbed to Dutch Elm dieses. I thing we will have to replace some of these trees with other English woodland trees.
On the 4th, Brian and I caught the night ferry from Portsmouth to La Havre, and then drove down to Clermont-Ferrand arriving at 2.00pm on Saturday. A quick drive to the Puy de Dome where we did not have to pay to drive to the top, because we were taking up another paraglider pilot. Here we spoke to several French and eventually had a very nice soaring flight alongside the Dome in the setting sun.
In the evening we set up camp in the town called Royat. This was our second campsite we looked at; many were closing at this time of year. In the morning, we drove through more of the region and found the ski resort. This could be a good for flying, but unfortunately the weather was cloudy, windy and drizzle. So back to the campsite, packed up and drove on down to Millau, camped for the evening by the river and located a school for advise.
In the morning we flew at a site called Brunas, here we had lifts to the top from the school, and flew a few top to bottoms. At twelve the school went off to lunch promising they would be back at 14.00. Had a lift from some Germans and another top to bottom. Suddenly we realised another hill was being flown from, and there were no French on our hill. It transpired the wind had shifted a little, and the French school had excellent flights from the new hill. We managed to race over there where I had a short but magnificent soaring evening flight.
Next day Tuesday, flying started again at 14.00, but was rather windy. I managed to get off and had a short flight, but despite the wind very little wind.
This was the end; the weather forecast was bad for the rest of the week, so off we went back home.
Lessons learned, next time we do this it would be better to have a more formal arrangement with one of the schools so that they would look after us and make sure we had transport to the top of the hill, and make sure we were on the right hill. While we had some short flights, beginners at the school managed 2 hours of soaring on the Monday and Tuesday while we were on the wrong hills.
Old Walker UK employees past and present had a get together at the Bugle Horn for a drink and a quick meal. Present were Steve Blasdale, John Curd, Peter Willson, Mike Barton, Rosemary Blasdale, Nigel Hudson, Steve Allen, Chris Quarmby, Barbara Wilkie, Stefan Roos. We had a good time recounting the old times.
Anyone else from the old Walker who reads this note and would like to meet up for future meetings, please send me an email, or fill in the visitors book.