The time of my life!

You are about to see penguins fly!

You are about to see penguins fly!

There must be something about August!  Apart from it being the height of an English Summer and my wedding anniversary month, I seem to have some of my very best memories from then. You have no idea how ridiculously excited I was to be going to the Bristol Balloon Festival!  And I wasn’t even flying (maybe someday?)

I won’t share with you the whole saga right now.  Sufficient to say that it was a very long walk home (even by Restlessjo standards), and that the people of Bristol are some of the nicest folk I’ve ever met.  Are you ready for this?

It all starts with the moment that life is breathed into these beauties

It all starts with the moment that life is breathed into these beauties

Look Mum! I'm surrounded by balloons!

Look Mum! I’m surrounded by balloons!

Even a square one!

Even a square one!

I had arrived at the showground early, and been royally entertained with flying model aircraft and the beautiful gardens at Ashton Court- all in radiant sunshine.  But there was no doubt of the spectacle that everyone wanted to see, and excitement began to build as the teams drove out onto the field.  The baskets were tipped inelegantly on their sides and the balloons draped around them.

As the first one juddered and stammered to life, a thrill went through the crowd.  And then it was proudly erect!  Pink, white and perfect, it waited patiently while all the other balloons performed their own ballet.

Faster and faster they rose!

Faster and faster they rose!

As the baskets were righted and the excited passengers climbed in, it was the job of one man to hang on to a rope for dear life to stop the balloon plunging away.  In moments they were airborne, one after another, amid the gasps of spectators.  Necks craned and we waved as the passengers waved back.

Against a mackerel sky

Against a mackerel sky

Who could help but smile?

Who could help but smile?

And wave!

And wave!

Although the skies were clear and bright there was still some doubt as to how many balloons would be able to take off.  The occasional gust of wind across the airfield gave no real sense of how breezy it might be in the skies overhead.  But one by one they pulled away, and the excitement never faded.

A certain twosome were eagerly waiting

A certain twosome were eagerly waiting

And then there was Swatch

And then there was Swatch

Anyone know these guys?

Anyone know these guys?

Airborne at last!

Airborne at last!

Don't forget the polar bears!

Don’t forget the polar bears!

In minutes they were clear of the trees and gone, in the direction of the city and Clifton Suspension Bridge.  Part of me wished I was waiting by the bridge, but there is no guarantee in which direction they will head, air currents being vital to this.  On the field, the numbers of balloons dwindled, but I remained rapt.

Two red letter days?

Two red letter days?

But look whose turn it is next!

But look whose turn it is next!

Totally adorable!

Totally adorable!

'Balloons' was one of the last to take to the sky

‘Balloons’ was one of the last to take to the sky

And then it was over, for a little while.  Wilkinson Cup began to be deflated and the balloonists were off being collected from their respective landings.  That would be fun to see too!  Then began the wait for evening and Nightglow.

The cup takes a curtain call

The cup takes a curtain call

Without ever seeing Paula’s Guest Challenge this week, I knew that the subject was Time, and that with Debbie in the driving seat there wouldn’t be much of it to spare.  Mine is rather a large ‘snippet of time’ but a very special one, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it with me.  Please click on the links to see Debbie’s wonderful post, and Paula’s interpretation of it.  I hope I can play my part in making Thursday special.

And I musn’t forget a mention of a very special friend, whom I was lucky enough to meet in Bristol.  Viveka, this one’s for you!

157 comments

  1. That was certainly a very special snippet of time. One I would have loved to share in person, but you have portrayed it very well Jo. I love the posts where we get some of your verbal description as well as photographic. You have a great way with words.
    You have most definitely captured the excitement in your shots – I think the minion is my fave (I do have a soft spot for them) but Balloons is a clever idea.
    Most definitely added to my bucket list!

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  2. What a joyful post! So much happiness spread from you to your followers and back to you again. That’s one of the reasons I love following you, Jo…you throw the best blog parties! 🙂

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    1. Elisa, I stayed part of my weekend with a friend for over 40 years, who I hadn’t seen for 20. How could I not be joyful? And then I met Viveka! Time of my life seemed wholely appropriate 🙂 And here you come and make it even better! 🙂

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  3. Last Sunday, I packed up clothes snd moved in with my son, wife and their combination family of 4 children. Monday, baby Hendrix arrived in a big way and on Wednesday, first day of school for 3 of 4 grandkids. My week allowed a few peeks, even a poem of Arrival and my pre-planned doors post. But here I am checking out and getting my “Jo” fix 🙂
    I showed the multiple hot air balloon to grandkids and of course, their favorites were Minions and the Penguins. Thanks for sharing all the joy of this fun event!

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    1. What a lovely thing, Robin! So glad to bring a little fun into the household. Had I known you had company I might have posted my Shaun the Sheep photos. They would have loved those. 🙂 Many congratulations on the new arrival. Hugs all round!

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  4. I love all of these, Jo. Is there one there that looks like ‘hundreds and thousands’ or is it a whole lot of coloured balloons together? Whatever it is, it’s my favourite! The minions are so cute and the Swatch very clever. Happy Anniversary month to you! 😀

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    1. I have since had my education broadened. Am I the only person in the world not to be familiar with minions? (sorry, capital ‘M’ 🙂 )
      You would think so, wouldn’t you? (house 🙂 ) Sorry, Heather- I’m full of good intentions but getting to yours is a rarity. 😦 Be there in a day or so 🙂 Nice to have your company.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Absolutely adorable! I love everything, but the minions are my favourite. LOL! What an exciting time you had Jo, and I can see you had lots of fun. Even I am tired after this lovely walk. 😆 Great shots too! Thanks for sharing. 😀 ♥

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      1. I can see you enjoyed Jo and I am glad it didn’t. I am glad you were there to share the beauty with us. I just love my virtual travelings with you. 😀

        I have no complaints whatsoever darling. Thanks for asking. ♥

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow! I love the minions, the penguin and the one that looks like a bunch of balloons. So bright and colourful, our dogs would go absolutely ballistic if they could see them all. What a fun day Jo, thank you 🙂

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  7. Your exuberance with the balloon festival was a delight, Jo. The photos of the balloons in their before and after stages is really cool. The sky was gorgeous, the balloons wonderful. What a thrill for you and for us. Thank you!

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    1. Viveka just posted her version today, Jet, and she points out that they had the best weather for 20 years! We were SO lucky 🙂 And yes, I did have a fabulous time and it was a pleasure to share it. Thank you so much for enjoying it with me 🙂

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  8. happy Anniversary Jo! Ohh I love balloon festival, they are so unique to see and always colorful! Thanks for sharing your adventure, it reminds me of my first time seeing the Balloon festival in the Netherlands – I was super excited 🙂

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    1. I’d probably be like jelly if I got my wish but it’s something I’ve always fancied. Brave and me never appear in the same sentence, believe me! Thanks 🙂 🙂

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  9. You took such gorgeous photos, Jo! The balloons are so colorful and perfectly clear against that beautiful blue sky. With all the enthusiasm that you have for the balloon festival, I hope that sometime you’ll be able to find a way to hitch a ride! 🙂

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