Monday, November 22, 2010

Kites

Funny how sometimes memories are triggered by unexpected things.  I was browsing some of the blogs I follow the other night when I came across a post on Gaelikaa's diary about kites and how her son loves them and it brought me back to a time when my Dad made me a kite.

Dad was a commercial taveller - a salesman these days - for a paper merchant company and we were never short of stuff for school, pens, pencils, paper, lunch bags.  You name it and Dad would bring it home. 

I must have been around five or six and Dad decided that he would build me a kite.  He got two bits of one inch square timber, somehow fastened them together with string and no matter how tight he tied them they still moved around.    

He then got some heavy thick brown paper which he drew a face on with the Derwent pencils he'd appropriated and glued it to the timber cricifix.   After punching a hole through the nose on the face he then tied on heavy twine and finally a tail made out of ripped up material.   I don't remember what it was he ripped up but knowing Dad, it was probably a dozen pair of old y-front undies.

I swear when it was finished it must have weighed about 10 kilos.   Still, we ran up and down the street for hours and every time we launched it into the air, it crashed straight back down to the ground.     The paper tore, the frame loosened and splintered and the only time it got more than 6 inches off the ground was when we threw it as high as we could.     It was completely devoid of any aero dynamic properties and proved that a kite didn't have to fly to be fun because it didn't matter, he made it for me.

8 comments:

Andrew said...

My father was smarter than yours. He made our kite out of balsa wood and clear plastic. Sadly its aerodynamic properties were as bad as the one your father made for you. It always went nose first into the ground.

Meanwhile in India, fathers were making kites for their children with first class flying and fighting properties, with crushed glass impregnated tails being used to cut off another kite's tail.

Anonymous said...

ahhh yes he went wrong with the timber. He should have used thin dowel.

My dad made us girls kites and yes they were covered in the brown paper too.

I remember ours flying fine.

Guess it helped that he was an engineer and also a Scout Master. lol.

Can you imagine dads still doing that kind of thing these days. I doubt it very much.

You just pop down to the $2-00 shop and buy a plastic one. The kids probably play with it once and then it gets binned. *sigh*

Jen

Claus said...

November is kite month in Guatemala, you know. It is the windiest month in year, and the weather is great to attempt and elevate one. You can find kite stands all over the city. Most of them, the traditional ones, are made with thin bamboo twigs and tissue paper, but the "made in China" ones of plastic material have made their way too. I prefer the traditional ones, as they bring back fond childhood memories like yours.
have a great day!!

Anonymous said...

Wow ... tissue paper Claus? You'd think the wind would break them.

Jen

Loz said...

What I forgot to say was that the two logs of wood he used were three feet and two feet long - as tall as I was at the time. No wonder it didn't fly :)

River said...

Semaphore Beach over here in Adelaide is a great place to see some kite flying, they come from all over to practise their dips and swirls or whatever it is they doo. Fascinating to watch. I don't remember exactly what month they do this in.

Loz said...

I think ven if I had managed to get it up in our street I would have had major problems with the power lines. So it's probably just as well it wouldn't fly :)

gaelikaa said...

Lovely post. Kites have to be light, they are tissue thin over here in India. But as you say, the magic was in the love your father made it from...