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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thailand is Back! 2011 Chiang Mai Hot Air Balloon Festival

2011 Balloon Festival Marks a New Beginning for Thailand Tourism in 2012 and Beyond

Chiang Mai, Thailand
The Chiang Mai International Balloon Festival  promoted by Earth Wind and Fire was the fifth annual International balloon festival held in Chiang Mai,(เชียงใหม่) Thailand.  The Festival, held in this Northern City is a sure sign Thailand is well on the way to recovery from the floods that occurred earlier this year.   Chiang Mai, is the second largest city in Thailand and is fast becoming the number one Tourist destination. In addition to the culture, history, beauty, art and shopping that Chiang Mai itself offers, Chiang Mai's location in Northern Thailand makes it an excellent base of operations for those visitors looking to make forays into the nearby less developed countries of Myanmar (Burma), Lao and Cambodia. 

Traveling To Thailand 
Getting to Thailand, even from as far away as the United States, has become surprisingly convenient and really not all that expensive. When you book a few weeks in advance Delta Airlines will get you here and back home from any major American city like L.A., Atlanta, Detroit, New York and others for around $1,300 round trip (including taxes) on one of their new luxurious Boeing 767's. The flight from the USA to Tokyo will be your longest flight segment at around 13 hours. After a short layover in Japan, really just enough time to clear customs and get a bite to eat, your on your way to Bangkok on a Delta Airbus A 300 for a 7 hour flight.  Plan on spending the evening in the airport in Bangkok as you will arrive around midnight.  By the time you get your bags and clear customs it's going to be around 01:00AM.  You can still get some good Thai or American/European food to eat at this hour, exchange some currency and even relax and get a two hour foot massage. There are plenty of areas to lay down and catch a few hours sleep on your bags before you check in at 0600 and then have a few Hors d'œuvres and coffee in the Thai Royal Lounge before you catch your 07:00 flight.  Or if you have the means you can always book a "short time" room at the Novotel hotel right at Suvarnabhumi Airport when you arrive at midnight.

In Country
Whatever you decide to do for your layover it's just a short one hour flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai on Thai Airways in a Boeing 747-400 for around $60.00 coach.  However, we recommend treating yourself to a Business Class ticket for around $140.00 each way.  After the long flight from the United States its nice to avail oneself of the amenities on the ground in the Thai Royal Orchid Lounge and the luxury of Thai Airways business class in the air.

Once you get to Chiang Mai and get settled in an invaluable resource for prospective visitors is the incomparable Chiang Mai City Life magazine.  Chiang Mai City Life magazine has become the favored publication for a thriving ex patriot community and is without question the most comprehensive source of information on entertainment, dining, hotels, real estate, shopping and Chiang Mai's social and night life.  In short, City Life covers everything essential you'll need to know about Chiang Mai.

Festival Site   
This years Hot Air Balloon Festival was held on the idyllic grounds of the Prince Royals College.  The Prince Royals College was established in 1887 as the first boys school in Northern Thailand by the Presbyterian Church of the USA.  It's beautiful campus located in Central Chiang Mai, makes it an excellent venue for the balloon festival.  Thirteen balloons from Great Britain, Thailand, Italy and the Netherlands participated in this years event.
The Harris Institute at Prince Royals College

The Little Chapel at Prince Royals College

Aerial View of  the Balloon Launch Site at Prince Royal's College

Driving Force

Thai businessman/entrepreneur, Khun Yut Wanichanond, pictured to the left, is the driving force behind the Chaing Mai International Balloon Festival.  Khun Yut is affiliated with Krung Thai Card (KTC), MasterCard Thailand, and is the founder of Earth Wind and Fire Co. Ltd   He is well know in the Thai aviation community in general as well as in Thai government and in political circles. But above all it is Khun Yut's charismatic personality, infectious smile and youthful sense of adventure that makes him a leader that others are attracted to.  It is these characteristics and his love of hot air ballooning that have been the impetus for the sport of Hot Air Ballooning to flourish in Thailand.  
Behind every successful man there is an equally successful woman and Khun Yut's case is no exception. His wife, Aom Nannapas Krainara has a graduate degree in business and education and has had a carreer as a successful catwalk model in the fashion and advertising industry.  Subsequently she has held executive positions in the Food and Hotel industries, working for Doi Tung, Minor Group and La Meriden.  She now holds down the position as president of Earth Wind and Fire, Ltd Co.

Aom Nannapas Krainara

คุณยุทธ วาณิชชานนท์ นักธุรกิจไทย เป็นผู้ที่อยู่เบื้องหลังการจัดงาน “เทศกาลบอลลูนนานาชาติ” เชียงใหม่ คุณยุทธ 
ดำรงตำแหน่งที่ปรึกษาบริษัท เอิร์ธ วินด์แอนด์ไฟร์ จำกัด และยังกำเนินธุรกิจอีกมากมาย โดยส่วนตัวแล้ว คุณยุทธเป็นผู้ที่มีรอยยิ้มที่มีเสน่ห์ และด้วยอุปนิสัยของการรักการผจรภัย จึงทำให้บุคคลอื่นสนใจในเรื่องราวของเขา และด้วยบุคลิกส่วนตัวของเขา และความที่มีใจรักในบอลลูนลอยฟ้า จึงเป็นเหตุที่ทำให้เกิดกีฬาการบินบอลลูนขึ้นในประเทศไทtย

Like a fisherman telling a tall tale about "the one that got away."  Khun Yut explains, to a young reporter what happens when  you combine, hot air, a balloon, wind and gravity with a sense of adventure and the will to live .  "There I was when suddenly..." 

Khun Yut's chosen landing site near
Hang Dong, Chiang Mai

The always pleasing and ever
 present  MasterCard Balloon
soaring high above the rain trees
 of Chiang Mai 
Balloon's cuing up to
take off in Chiang Mai

Accommodation and Access
Chiang Mai International Balloon Festival is a AAA + event.  The Accommodations, Access and Ambiance outshine any balloon festival you've probably ever attended.  From the food to the open access to the balloons and the 3, 4 and 5 star hotel accomodations in Chaing Mai it just can't be beat.
Food court catering by Chiang Mai Hotels and eateries.
Over 150,000 attended the festival held over 3 days on November 25, 26 and 27th.    There was a tremendous turn out from the whole city of Chiang Mai and surrounding areas.  The festival organizers spared no expenses and took care to orchestrate every detail of the fair from balloon rides to entertainment, to a top notch culinary food court.  Although the figures are not in yet for this years event the promoters and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) expect the festival will generate a significant amount of revenue locally and nationwide from attendance and increased tourism.

Noodles, Pasta, or in Thai อาหารเส้น it's all Tasty.
DoiTung, Chiang Mai's gourmet coffee products

What would a Balloon Festival be with out clowns and little girls and boys?

The fair provided an opportunity
for everyone to try out something
new, from a new hair cut and moustashe to...

Enjoying an opportunity to utilize new camera equipment

...Beautiful Thai Police Officers
Young Thai Girl Scouts
 grow up to become...

A two tone hair style at
 the Balloon Festival

A Local photograher enthusiastically checks out his 

 (The next four paragraphs of this article have little to do with the balloon festival.  We have inadvertently slipped into a discourse which compares over bloated nanny state western governments with more lassie fair governments.  We have tried to point out the deleterious effects an over intrusive government can have on everyday life.  We have also brought up the crippling effect an over abundance of lawyers and unfettered tort laws can have on freedom of a people and the economic costs associated with tort cases. If you are not interested in such discussions we recommend you skip these sections.)

Responsible Self Policing  Open and unfettered access is one the attractive aspects of the Chiang Mai International Balloon Festival. There are no restricted areas for pilots and crew only.  You won't experience Thailand as a over protected Nanny State as you do in the United States or in Great Britain with repressive and intrusive organizations like OSHA or the  "Health and Safety" Police.  People have significantly more freedom in Thailand to do just about anything they want without being harassed, intimidated and over regulated by the police or government.

Thailand treats it's citizens like they are adults capable of making risk assessments and decisions for themselves. We are sure this is not for any altruistic motivation or out of a greater sense of respect for individual freedoms.  It most likely stems from the fact that the Thai government has it's hands full running the country and they don't have a seemingly endless supply of tax revenue and over bloated bureaucracies with nothing better to do like the USA and certain European countries do than to regulate and micromanage the behavior of their citizens.

Up To You!
This  laissez faire approach is not just about their government.  It is a cultural outlook and one that is ingrained in the people.  If you ask a Thai,  "Should I do that?"  or "Can I do that?"  A likely and common response you might get is "Up to you." In Thai it sounds like this, "leaw tae khun"  or แล้วแต่คุณ. If your looking for someone to share responsibility or to endorse a decision you won't find it in those three little words.  There is no judgement of right or wrong, or level of risk, danger ,or degree of safety implied in the response.  It is simply, "Up to you."  It's your decision with all the risks and ramifications falling squarely where they should fall, on your own shoulders. Westerners frequently feel a little uncomfortable when they get this response.  They like to, "muddy the waters" of decision making and have someone else around to which they can at least say,  "You didn't tell me..."  "Why didn't you stop me?" etc.  However, in the long run we have come to believe this Thai response is much better for everyone concerned.  It makes you a much clearer thinker when making decisions when you know your the only one responsible and it prevents the after the fact blame game.

Not My Brothers Keeper
Another common declaration made by Thai's is, "It's not my business" [to know] In Thai it's, "mai chai tuu-ra kong chan"  or  ไม่ใช่ธุระของฉัน. This is usually said in response to questions about government or politics.  Most peoples, if given the chance, Thai's included, just want to be left alone to live their lives as they see fit and to make a living unfettered as much as possible by their government.  And towards that end Thai's realize that to be left alone, they must first leave others alone, including their neighbors. Thai's are, in general, not busy bodies.  They do typically "mind their own business.   Something the vast majority of American's do not do and cannot seem to do.  In fact the American government has recently embarked on a campaign encouraging American's to report on and turn in their friends, family members and neighbors for any number of infractions including saying anything against the president.

Tort Reform Not Required Here
And finally the legal, common law, concept of "tort" so prevalent in Europe and America has fortunately not found great acceptance in Thailand.  Personal injury lawyers are not in great demand here.  We believe part of this is due to the fact that, as yet, the police have not been stripped of all their decision making powers and ability to interpret the law as they have in Europe and America.  When police officers can no longer make straightforward common sense judgments and decisions then the result is the nightmare and backlog of personal injury cases for medical malpractice and personal injury tort cases that we have in America and Europe.  And of course because of a lawsuit rich environment,with multi-million dollar damage awards you have  crippling medical care costs and 30% to 40% higher cost of doing business in general in Europe and America.  

If you're involved in a automobile accident here in Thailand the police officer at the scene, after collecting physical evidence, making assessments and talking to both parties and witnesses can adjudicate a case, on the spot.  He can and will assign fault and order restitution to the damaged party, in most cases.  Amazing Thailand!  Many will say this carries the increased opportunity for corruption and while that is certainly true it can also be argued that this delegation of authority to the police relieves the judiciary of a tremendous case load, and provides for immediate resolution and restitution in cases of personal injury and property damage.  It makes a large provincial and National judiciary unnecessary.

This whole atmosphere and the Thai culture makes it possible to have a wonderful intimate atmosphere where the crowds and balloon pilots and crews all mix together in harmony.   This also gives photographers and spectators a rare opportunity to experience Hot Air Ballooning up close and intimately.  Photographers have opportunities here to obtain unique and  phenomenal shots.

A spectator and photographer get up close for a good view and photograph as Balloon a Pilot tests out his gas powered heating elements with some of that "Hot" PTT natual gas. 

Here a local photographer with some pretty sophisticated equipment get's ready to capture the filling of the MasterCard Balloon

Although the Chiang Mai International Balloon Festival does afford spectators more freedom of access to the Balloon's, crews and pilots we don't want to leave the impression that safety isn't or wasn't a consideration.  Police, Fire, rescue and ambulance crews were at the ready.  They just aren't a pushy and are a little less intrusive than you may find in The United States or Europe.

A local ambulance crew enjoys the show but stands by in case of an emergency.  Below Chiang Mai's "Men in Brown" stand at the ready.

The festival was enjoyed by young and old alike.

Here we can see Khun Yut holding down an anchor seat with other local dignitaries.

Workers, Supporters and Invited guest all seemed to emjoy the festival.

The Prince Royal's College Band did an outstanding job of providing musical entertainment throughout the festival.

Students and the local Boy Scout troupe showed up to enjoy themselves as well.

Young children vie for position and clamor 
into a balloon basket for an opportunity to take
 a tethered balloon ride

A young and attractive Thai mother hopes to
 get her son a spot in one of the balloons.

 Girls do look better in pink!

...or in shorts for that matter,at least
 this shy panda thinks so.

"The Chiang Mai International Balloon Pilots and their wives take a well deserved time out luncheon on the 24th floor of the exclusive Chiang Mai, Centura Hotel with their host standing in black blazer Miss Warunee Khammeru, Executive Assistant Manager of Centara Duangtawan Hotel Chiang Mai And Vice President of Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association

The pilots and their wife's from left to right are:  

Standing (from left) 
Mr. Chris Riley, Mr. Louis Antony Watts, Mr. Nigs Pertwee, Mr. Austin Heginbottom and Ms. Susan Denise Pitts,  Mr. Yut Wanichanond Advisor of Earth Wind and Fire Co., Ltd. the event promoter of TIBF 2011, Mr. David Baker,  Aom (Mr. Yut's wife) Nannapas Krainara President of Earth Wind and Fire Co., Ltd.

Seated  (From Left)
Mr. Barry and Mrs. Beaulah Joy Bower, Mr. Shaun Douglas Bradley, Mrs. Mandy Riley, Ms.Pauline Francis Beighton

In Front (From Left)
Mr.Kerry Cote-Bond,  Right Mr. Geoffrey Brian Lescott ."      

Two Thai CMIS Students enjoy the attention of 
two lovely Thai Clowns
Hot Air Balloon Chase and Recovery Teams
One of the most critical and important components of Hot Air Ballooning is having a "cracker jack"  chase team capable of rapid recovery and if necessary, rescue of the balloon and it's occupants. 

This position is uniquely filled in Thailand by carefully hand selected Taxi Cab Drivers from Bangkok.  

Left: Chase crews standing by the road side watching their balloon pass by and determining where they will need to drive to, to arrive when the Pilot and the winds come to agreement on where the balloon will set down.
On the right a chase crew getting ahead of their charge.  Hoping the pilot has enough gas to clear the ominous and ubiquitous high power lines.  Speed is not a necessary ingredient for a successful chase team but knowing the terrain and how to navigate the small side streets is essential.

Below:  This is where Pilot experience comes in handy.  Judging winds, fuel on board and how lucky you feel confronting power lines.

Bangkok Taxi drivers must keep a close lookout for Balloon's descending arcoss the city behind the roof tops of office buildings, houses and apartments. Knowing which small road to turn down or how to circumnavigate the labrynith of dead ends, and one way streets and is a talent not possessed by many.

Early morning Sylvania sponsored Balloon awaits it's crew

Bangkok Taxi driver Balloon Crews prepare in the early morning hours

These drivers awake hours before dawn, prepare the balloon and support equipment arrive at the launch location and assist in the unloading and unfurling of the balloon. Then they become the ground launch crew and assist in the critical task of getting the balloon's filled with hot air and in getting the "basket' in an upright position.  It's after all that work that their real skills are put to the test.  If you've ever been in Bangkok and had a taxi ride you'll understand how the ability to find any address or location in that city uniquely qualifies them for this job.  They expertly keep in close visual contact with the balloons as they float helter skelter  across the city in the sky above, taking them where the wind leads.  The taxi drivers following in the chase trucks maneuver their way through the city streets going up one small street or "soi" and down another, maybe through a parking lot or or onto the drive of a private residence or industrial complex to reach their balloon within minutes of it's landing

Chase trucks qued up in the afternoon after the early morning flight begin preparation for an afternoon of tether flights to thrill and entertrain the crouds.

Two young boys from Chiang Mai International School look skyward in awe as the balloons effortlessly make their assent.

A Man and His Balloon

Geoff Lescott is as unlikely a daredevil balloon pilot as you'll ever find.  Geoff  hails from Oxford, England where he's been the head of the IT department at Oxford University for the last 30 years.   Hot Air Ballooning seems like an unlikely pastime for a stodgy Oxford type but it's what keeps Geoff feeling alive and in shape.  Geoff has attended every one of the last 5 International Balloon Festivals in Thailand with the exception of the one two years ago when his balloon made it safely to Thailand but his flight and visit was cancelled due to the Yellow Shirt take over of Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Geoffrey's Balloon can always be seen proudly displaying the British "Union Jack" 

                                           Video of Pilot Geof assessing fuel and winds  
                                           at  456 Feet
Some Mystery surrounds the  origin and naming of Geoff's Balloon.  When I first saw  G-CFAY (The name assigned to the balloon by the Civil Aviation Authority) I thought Geoff was possibly affiliated the the US Navy's operations in Japan.  CFAY of course stands for Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka.  But as it turns out Geoff has been affiliated with Oxford University in England for 30 years.  Geoff is a great admirer of "Lewis Carol who attended Christ Church, Oxford and who penned the famous so called "nonsense poem" Jabberwocky from which Geoff borrowed the name for his balloon, "Brillig".

Twas bryllyg, and ye slythy toves
Did gyre and gymble in ye wabe:
All mimsy were ye borogoves;
And ye mome raths outgrabe.
(Click on the link below for a listen in real English) 

So there is a connection between Lewis Carol, Oxford University, Geoff Lescott, his balloon and Jaberwocky.  As Lewis Carol or should we say, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (his real name) called the poem, a "Stanza of Anglo-Saxon Poetry". 

Poetry and the Zen of Ballooning 
There is one other connection which I would like to assert between a Lewis Carol poem and these intrepid men who are balloonists.  Everyone of the balloonist who participated in this great sport at the Chiang Mai, Internation Balloon, with the exception of Mr Kerry Coate, who is the token "youngster" and is actually making a living full time as a balloonist, have made their careers outside of ballooning.  They are all successful men, in the business world, professionally, financially, and one senses on a personal level they have attained that level of self confidence, awareness and humility to know that life is fleeting, and momentary.  

In the truest sense of the Buddhist precept and goal for awareness, they do live in the present.  Ballooning could be thought of as a tool they use to keep themselves "alive" and cognizant that every day we have on this earth is a gift not to be wasted.  

Which brings me to the other Lewis Carol poem that touches on the temporal nature of life.  When you have lived life to it's fullest and reached a certain age of maturity from time to time.these two stanza's from the prologue to "Alice Through the Looking Glass," must cross one's mind.
"We are but older children, dear, 
Who fret to find our bedtime near"

The complete poem can be found here and a version of it set to music here.

What great fun these gentlemen are having!  If you make it to the next Chiang Mai International Balloon Festival and have an opportunity to meet one of them and see the twinkle in their eye you'll know what I mean.

 Pilot Geoff Lescott making a little hot air.     

Now where did I put that flight plan and 
should I brief the passengers on the restroom 
facilities on board?

Below we have Mr Shaun Douglas
 a commercial and residential architect and 
builder by profession and Hot Air Balloonist
 just for the love of it.  

Mr Shaun Douglas from Bradley England in the Basket and Making allot of Hot Air with that great PTT Natural Gas

Earth Wind and Fire Systems Integrator
Mr. Anthony Nigel (Nigs) Pertwee,  is the force behind the scenes that makes everything come together smoothly.  He facilitates and coordinates activities and schedules between the Pilots, Thai authorities and the Festival Promoters.  Nigs is a long time resident of Chiang Mai, Thailand and his knowledge, and understanding of the culture and area are an indispensable element in making for a successful festival.  
Above Khun Nigs poses with a Thai photographer while he helps to hold open the CFAY balloon as it hungrily gulps a hot draft of air.

Every smoothly run organization needs a "Khun Nigs" who can take charge at press conferences, and meetings and lubercate the wheels of communication between disparate organizations, and people.

A few hunderd feet up after launch from Prince Royal College

View of the Ping River running through the center of Chiang Mai

Aerial view of the Ford sponsored balloon 
flying over some of Chiang Mai's unique
architectural structures 

High above one of many beautiful Buddhist Temples in Chiang Mai

  Pilot Kerry Coate from Bond, England in the Ford Balloon cruises down low over the heart of Chiang Mai. 
Pilot David Baker's balloon and passengers drift 
effortlessly in the misty early morning across the 
Chiang Mai sky.
View of the main bridge across the Ping river and through the  
   Taipei Gate into downtown Chiang Mai.

Four balloons in the early morning haze of Chiang Mai

Pilot Jacqualine Grace, the only female pilot in the
 group, in her balloon CEMU leaping  large 
condominiums in a single bound. 
A bridge over the River Ping.  This is the old "Nawarat" (นวรัตน์) bridge, which is over a hundred years old and an important historical structure in Chiang Mai.

The Nawarat bridge in days past during what appears to be the Songkran "Water" festival.

The Narawat bridge was named after Prince Kaew Narawat or "Chao Kaew Nawarat".  "Prince and King Nawarat was the 36th and last King of Lanna and Prince of Chiang Mai reigning from 1909 to 1939. Upon his death in 1939 the Lanna royalty was abolished and the throne of the Lanna Kings, who had reigned over a Kingdon that was founded in the same period as Sukhothai and which existed for several centuries more, was replaced with a governors seat, a seat which was appointed from Bangkok."

This Ford Escape sponsored balloon was used to actually pick up a Ford Escape car.  You can see a YouTube clip here of the balloon picking up the car.

Balloon Pilot Barry Bower and the balloon “Bubbles” put down in an exclusive private Catholic school, Montfort College. "I guess this is as good a spot as any for a landing."

Thailand Ballooning Season

The Ballooning season in Thailand is relatively short due to normally excessive heat, and undesirable wind conditions for hot air ballooning.  However, a good window for the season is from November through February.  The best ballooning environment is in northern Thailand as it is much too wet in the south to find good landing locations.

Because Chaing Mai, affords the most ideal conditions in Thailand for ballooning along with other factors the Chiang Mai International Balloon Festival organizers, Earth, Wind and Fire Ltd Co.  have committed to making this an annual event in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The video to the left and slightly above show's the landing spot Pilot Geoff Lescott found just off the super highway behind some new apartment buildings near Hang Dong, Chiang Mai, Thailand.  When asked why he chose this location to land Mr. Lescott said something to the effect that he didn't actually choose this spot but rather the wind did.  In fact, Mr, Lescott put the balloon down in some tall wet weeds two or three meters from his intended landing spot on a tiny square of cement.  

American Cowboys rope and tie new calf's for branding on the great plains of the west.   Here a cowboy of a different sort ropes and ties his balloon on the great open spaces of Thailand's plains.   We have tried valiantly here to avoid mixing other metaphor's in this caption such as, "taking the wind out of one's sails" or worse,  "Letting the air out of your balloon."  

As the hot air distorts the image, the top of the balloon begins to look like the view in an old fashioned broken glass kaleidoscope.

Play the video below to see the Grand Finale Night Glow Balloon Animated Light Show.

Once empty shrouds of cloth that seemingly come to life and then delight the heart and mind with wonder and awe

Big fluffy Balloon Pillows to dream on

The winds have welcomed you with softness,

The sun has greeted you with it's warm hands,
You have flown so high and so well,
That God has joined you in laughter,
And set you back gently into
The loving arms of Mother Earth.
— Anon, known as 'The Baloonists Prayer,' believed to have been adapted from an old Irish sailors' prayer.

If you want to attend or participate in next years Thailand International Balloon Festival you can contact the promoters at Earth, Wind and Fire Co. Ltd. here.

Copyright: Nam Bplah   All rights reserved.


AZurek said...

Very well written and interesting post. When the average american thinks of Thailand, events such as a Hot Air Balloon Festival are not what we think of. It is important to bring light to Thailand's progress and show that although their culture maintains tradition, they also embrace modern culture as well.

John Lee said...

Makes me sorry I skipped this one. I agree with you on the beauty of personal freedoms in Thailand. It's lovely to live in a place where you can pretty much do what you want to do - knowing that the consequences for your actions are yours alone to live with.

Ripline said...

Hi Richard,

Happy New Year!

I've only just read your Naam Plah blogsite entry for 2011 - loved it.

As your Pilot, a plea!

To avoid personal embarassment could I ask that you change all references relating to me from "Cambridge" to "Oxford" University, please? There is a HUGE rivalry academically between our respective organisations and Charles Dodgeson (Lewis Carroll) taught mathematics at Christ Church, Oxford. (Free fact - the chess-board motif for the further adventures of Alice (Lidell) was based on the landscape of Otmoor, a wetland to the NE of Oxford, the geometric drainage ditches of which can be see from the high ground at Noke. It also inspired JRR Tolkien's Shire....)

You mentioned the G-CFAY's registration (that is chosen by the Civil Aviation Authority, not by us) but not her name - Brillig. Your readers might not spot the association with Carroll's "Jabberwocky".....

It was a nicely put together piece and I fully recognise the "It's up to you" culture that you describe.

FarmerRicky said...

Geoff, The changes you requested have finally been made. My sincere apologies to you, Cambridge, Oxford, and Lewis Carol.

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