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Random ramblings of a programmer, photographer, journalist and runner

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Guitar Glow

On Chains Of Creativity and Balloons

Creativity definitely breeds creativity, in odd and unexpected ways.

As previously mentioned, I went into town on the boat the other day, and noticed a poster on the boat for the Photo of the Day exhibition. And I went to the exhibition with my friend Nicki, and her friend Nicki.

That didn't, in fact, inspire me to try to take a photo every day for the next year -- or rather it did, but I'm at least self-aware enough to know that I should be concentrating on one thing at a time, and that the excitement would soon wane. I did, however, put my camera in my bag with the intention of keeping it with me more often, rather than only taking it out on special occasions.

Last night I heard lots of load fireworks, and realised I'd missed this year's Balloon Fiesta Night Glow, which I normally go along to. Curses.

This morning I was walking along to work, having forgotten all about the fireworks, and I saw loads of balloons from this morning's launch drifting over Bristol. So I got my camera out (hurrah!) and took a few photos.

Trying for a better angle on some of the shots, I walked further along the actual harbourside than I normally would. I was taking the last few pictures when the cross-harbour ferry arrived, and I saw it was crewed by my friend Nicola. (And yes, this is yet another Nicola. If this was fiction, I'd have given these people distinct names, but this is the messiness of real life, so this story does, in fact, involve me and three completely different Nicolas.)

I wandered down to the landing stage and nattered to Nicola, taking the odd photo here and there at the same time. We talked about the balloon fiesta, and I wondered aloud about finally getting around to going to a morning launch this year, bearing in mind that I'd missed the nightglow. I've never managed to drag myself out of bed early enough to go along in previous years.

And that was when Nicola mentioned that the ferry company are doing a "Champagne Breakfast Balloon Fiesta Special" trip down the Avon gorge on Sunday morning, starting at 5:30am. Nice. So, me and visiting friend Nicki might just be getting up very, very early on Sunday morning, and I might have some cool pictures to share, assuming that it's even possible for me to work a camera before 10am without benefit of caffeine. (I have to say, I'd prefer an Espresso Breakfast Balloon Fiesta trip, if I have to get up at 5am.)

So. All this from just seeing a poster for a photography exhibition, and taking a photograph of it so I'd remember to put it in my calendar when I got home. Such are the branches of possibility which seem to open up left, right and centre when you open up your mind to creativity.

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I got up unreasonably early one year (four o'clock or something like that) for the morning launch, several years ago when it was still mainly a balloon enthusiasts' festival (the balloons were just sitting in a roped-in enclosure in Ashton Court, without the funfair and market and carpark and crowds that accompany them these days). It was really beautiful. It's a very serene feeling to be awake at that time of the morning watching balloons floating through a blue sky.

Last time I went was in the afternoon four or five years ago, and it took us something like two hours to get out of the car park and on to the main road at Leigh Woods.

It must have been rather lovely back then. I imagine you still don't get too much in the way of crowds for the 6am launches even these days, though, at least.

Luckily, I live close enough for it to be an easy walk, too.

It probably still is lovely, especially if you can walk to it.

Just after Christina got married I spent a week in Bristol with Chris house sitting while the rest of his folkes went on holiday. He mentioned the Balloon Fiesta and I thought that would be good... he woke got me up at 4.30am to get there for 6am. Luckily there were other people there to stop me from tying him to the basket of the Cadburys Caramel Bunny Balloon seconds before it went up :)

Was a lovely sight though to see them all drifting away in the sunrise and it being peaceful and quiet, one that really sticks in my mind was the one that looked like an electricity pylon with it's legs wafting around!

You are more than likely returning home as I write this from my bed.
I've been to a night glow and it is special. It is a pity about the crowds and I think I would prefer them without.
If can organise myself next year I think I will pop along.
It would have been nice to have gone this year but I had Jason, Tina and Nina staying over.
No I don't have a problem with Nicola's, its Michelles for me :)

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