March 2016

The theme for this month's entry is 'what goes up' ... so let's start with another update on the building works where things have really started to take shape.
At the beginning of the month, we were at the foundation level...

... then up with the walls up to the ground floor level...

... and then the ground slab - including a lovely picture message left for us by a local pigeon.

By the end of the month, the walls were approaching the floor level. So far so good...

Next up is less of a 'what goes up' and more 'what goes around'. In October 2011 we were on holiday in New Zealand and left behind four little toys, each attached to a small 'dog tag', each with a unique reference number. These 'Travel Bugs' were left in various 'geocaches' around the North Island ('treasure' boxes that people can locate using a GPS tracker and clues on the internet) - and each had the same mission - to move from cache to cache and be the first to make it back to the UK. Through the geocaching web-site, we could track their progress and watch helplessly as they languished in one spot for months at a time ... then being delighted when they reappeared or dismayed when they were reported as lost. Anyway, after four-and-a-half years on the road with over 800 moves clocking up 30,000 miles, Cassandra's Travel Bug finally made it back to our nearest cache in the Brickfields Nature Reserve.

Here's the route...

Before we come to the last of our 'what goes up' features, here's an image you don't see too often in March ... a warm enough evening for a barbecue and some al-fresco dining. Nice to get the practice in before we have to do it come rain or shine once the builders start ripping out the existing kitchen and internal walls...

Cheating slightly by including something from the first of April ... but it fits the theme so well.
Here's Matthew enjoying his long-awaited birthday present which was a voucher for two 2-minute free-fall 'flights' at an indoor sky-diving centre. Two minutes might not sound like a lot but many tandem jumps last less than a minute - albeit with the added thrill of the ground rushing up to meet you. In this case, the lift is provided by a ducted fan in the form of a wind tunnel - but Matthew had a great time.
The still image only tells part of the story...

The videos show the experience much more dramatically...
Initially here just concentrating on optimising body position to get a stable controlled lift...

... and then in the final few seconds, a quick demonstration of what a really skilled flyer can achieve with a couple of controlled spins up and down the flight chamber. A very happy boy.