There is something, if you pardon the pun, uplifting about hot air balloons. I love them, I love pictures of them, I love watching them waft serenely over the city. If I see one, I will always try and take a picture of it.
So this story caught my eye. As did this photo:
The Clifton Suspension Bridge was one of those places I always wanted to visit growing up, and it didn’t disappoint when I did. Sometimes you build up objects in your mind, so they are naturally a disappointment when you see them in the flesh. But sometimes, just sometimes they can take your breath away – just like you hoped they would. Driving over the bridge (from left to right in this photo) was awesome, in the true sense of the word, it sent a quiver right through me, then walking back along it, seeing the metal holding it all together and peering over the edge at the river, made my hair stand on end. Byron Bay lighthouse was like that. Dan drove me there, I was hot, sweaty, my hair was a rumpled mess, as were my clothes from the drive into Byron Bay, but standing on the most Western Part of Australia, I thought the top of my head would come off and I started to cry. If ever there was a moment of sheer growth, that was it, where I thought ‘THIS is how far I have come. Look at me now you sonofabitch!’ If I had been there on my own, I would have run around whooping, maybe I should have.
I don’t know if I will ever get to take flight in a hot air balloon. Funnily enough I am not too worried if I don’t either, but I know that whenever I see one, it lifts my soul, my mood and fills me with joy that the people in the basket are having a whale of a time. I know I would be blissfully happy, until the burner went on; then I would jump, pee myself with fright at the noise, and be worried about the crash landing that is inevitable from the minute we lifted off.
So I will keep my feet on terra firma, watch from the comfort of the ground, grinning and happy enough with watching, ideally with a glass of Pimms in one hand and a BBQ’d chicken satay skewer in the other.