Saturday, January 01, 2011

They always gave me the willies!

I have never liked hot air balloons and having lived in Bristol for 20 years, I have seen many, many hot air balloons flying around. There is a big hot air balloon factory in Bristol called Cameron Balloons and you often see hot air balloons lifting off from nearby Ashton Park. Even as a schoolboy the thought of these hot air balloons always gave me the willies. A balloon under flames whilst you stood in a basket was sheer madness to me! The balloon could go up and down but there was always the risk of fire whilst you stood in a flimsy basket. Your destination was governed by the direction of the wind. Would you get me up in a hot air balloon? No way sunshine, even if it was a free ride! The whole idea seemed like madness to me and was only an accident waiting to happen.

So, you look at the picture above and can see why I would never go in a hot air balloon. A man and a woman were killed when a hot-air balloon crashed at a bowls club in Somerset on Saturday. The balloon came down on the green at Prattens Bowls Club, in the village of Midsomer Norton. Emergency services were alerted to the accident at 9.47am. Eyewitnesses reported seeing the balloon burst into flames as it hit the ground with a loud bang. Barry Dando, the chairman of Prattens Bowls Club, said: "A hot-air balloon has come down and I understand from eyewitnesses it came down at some speed onto the bowling green. Witnesses said flames were seen coming from the basket, which came down on land at Prattens Bowls Club. Robert Biggs, who was walking with friends, said: "It first sounded like a plane in trouble. It was more of a whistling sound. We looked up, there was a break in the cloud and this hot air balloon came hurtling down." He said the basket was not intact when it came down and the canopy was trailing up. "It came straight down about 400 yards from us. It came down and there it was slap bang in the middle of the bowling green," Mr Biggs said.
Wondered what all the noise was this morning. This is only a mile from my house. The bowls club is only 50feet from the nearest house!!!!!
Oh, what with the new year fireworks last night and the burning hot air balloon, I trust that Harvey, your pet dog was not in distress. Our Barney was not keen on going into our back garden last night.
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