Early Morning Balloon Chasing.


Saturday 1248  –  27.08.2016

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I got up this Saturday morning at 4.15 a.m.  I know it was bonkers wasn’t it, but it was for a good reason.  The British Balloon and Airship Club (BBAC) were holding the British National Ballooning Competition over the past week and was based at the Lakeside Lodge Golf Resort in Pidley  which is 10 mins from where I live.

Unfortunately I didn’t know it was happening until I got up on Weds morning, pulled back the curtains and there was one almost landed in the field at the end of my garden.  My own fault of course, as I never read the local papers or watch local news reports.  I rushed out and got a few pics and then did some homework to find out what was happening.   No ballooning Thursday as weather not suitable.

Luckily I was able to get up early Friday Morning to watch that morning’s launch, having been given a tip-off as to where the launch was likely to be : it varies depending on the wind direction etc, and also watched again on Friday evening. I was utterly, utterly hooked and fast becoming the unofficial ballooning groupie!   The “good ” photos you see above and below are from Friday.

Back to Saturday. I got up at 4.15 a.m, as I have already said, and drove to Lakeside. There was very thick fog and I nearly went back to bed but fog is always good for photos too, so I pressed on. I knew they were having a briefing at 5 a.m to decide on where the launch would be, if it went ahead, and I followed the teams when they came out. Of course it was hoped that the fog would burn off but it was looking doubtful because there was a cold front moving in.  

The trucks, vans and other trailer pulling vehicles all arrived at the proposed site, an airfield near Chatteris, but ominously nobody started to unload their baskets and balloons, which they had done immediately the day before as this picture below shows.

laying out the balloon (3 of 1)

 and this was what it was like at Chatteris Airfield on Saturday morning.





Some difference huh ?

I was told this is what ballooning can be all about; getting up early in the morning and often being thwarted by the weather, with no launch happening.  

I wandered about and took a few photos to show you what it was like, thankfully a few of the younger men decided to play frisbee so gave me something else to photograph. Thanks to them! 


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Click on any of the photos to increase size.

I have to say how much I admired the passion, exhibited by everyone, which enables them to get up so early, day after day, when competition is on.

For the next few days ( at least ) I will be posting more Balloon photos over on my photography blog Photomania  and you can find them by clicking this link 

A few links for anyone interested in finding out more about ballooning, but please be aware that if you do go to take photo’s, or view a launch or landing, you generally do so at your own risk unless the event states that it is open to the public with organised stewarding etc.




Of course there are always other photos to be taken and when the black flag was raised to indicate there would be no flight that day, everyone left, but I captured a few more photos on my way home.



With this one below being my favourite of the day! 


Your thoughts are very welcome as ever. 

Saturday Girl signing off.. 



Do you need to shop today? Yes? Think again – It’s Buy Nothing day ( UK)

Saturday 1391  – 30.11.2013

If you are new to my blog take a look at my About page here

Hiya all you people out there.. I got to my 2 years of blogging, here on 1500 Saturdays, 6 weeks ago and then had a break. I’ve been busy and joyfully preoccupied but more of that another time.

it's not me who buys too much


I wanted to remind those in the UK that today, 30th November is Buy Nothing Day, a subject I have visited before but am unashamedly revisiting.

If you go out shopping this Saturday ask yourself whether you or the person you are buying a present for truly needs the item in question. Could you spend less or spend some of the money you’d intended to spend on something that will benefit others? Maybe through a Charity like Save The Children, Oxfam, WaterAid or TreeAid.. there are lots of charities to choose from.  Could you give more of your time rather than more of your money, Presence rather than Presents, or spend it on buying an unforgettable experience, maybe one to share with the person, rather than an object.

I’m not against Christmas  ( okay Bah Humbug!!) but for some years now I have been less and less enamoured with the commercialism, at this time of year,  that encourages greed in everyone.  If you must shop Buy Nothing organisation suggest you might like to shop locally and support Independent shops. Here’s a stat from their website which I have a link to at the bottom of this post – “For every £1 spent in an independent shop – 50p goes back into the local economy. For every £1 spent at a supermarket only five pence goes back into the local community.”

Interesting Stat that isn’t it?

Here’s another one in picture form..


My final picture below shows very succinctly how I think our society has its emphasis in all the wrong places . 

I vote for less greed and more compassion every time.. Less is so often so much more.



You can read more about Buy Nothing Day  here


 As ever I welcome your thoughts.


Saturday girl signing off.


You can find my photography blog Photomania here