A few days ago, I just happened to look out of the window and saw this. Not your normal morning vista around here, I can assure you!
So, screeching "Balloons, Balloons!!" at the top of my voice and zapping around the place looking first for my camera, then my coat followed by my stick, like a headless chicken, I was out the door and across the road.......
Not 2, not 4 but 5 beautiful balloons taking off from the mountain car park just across the little bridge.
I didn't know balloons took off from here. Neither did my sister, who had already dreamt up a staff outing in balloons. Now her bosses know this is possible after all. I think it would be such a wonderful additional excursion for the mountain to offer. Once upon a time, I thought I might try paragliding, aka running off the side of a mountain into space. But then I changed my mind. It is no longer on the bucket list. My sense of self-preservation kicked in, and there was also the running bit. A) I can't run and B) I am pretty sure the heels would have dug in at the edge of the cliff and we would have fallen like stones. But happily, we will never know the answer to that one.
Oh the relief.
There they go. All 5 of them. The giraffe one did go up and come straight down again. I am assuming it was because of someone changing their mind about the adventure, because it took off again immediately. Had there been any malfunction, I may have trampled the others to eject myself, and it all seemed very normal and orderly.
The sky was, in fact blue. But the camera was a little confused with all the colours.
And, as I look out of the window this morning I can see blue skies again with puffs of clouds, and paragliders drifting around the peaks. Lots of them. As the balloons soared into the sky, some paragliders flew around them, but my photos are rubbish. I also discovered, as I was looking skywards, that the lens of the camera was really grubby. I think maybe from the cold and the breeze. Whatever. I cleaned it. Six. I can see 6 paragliders coming in to land now. More still flying. If I moved to any other window I would see more. All around us.
Last night there was a really loud popping sound, like fire crackers just outside. I wondered if there were fireworks, but when I opened the door, the village whip crackers were doing their practicing in the middle of the road. Every time I opened the door they stopped. And it was SO frustrating. Mind you, I didn't want those whips anywhere near me either. They accompany St Nicholas (Sammi Klaus) when he visits all the children on 6th December every year. I suspect being good might be a great idea. I found a blog written by an Australian exchange student when I was looking for an explanation of the whole Sammi Klaus event, and she gives a great description of it all. You can go here to read for yourselves. It is a huge thing here in this village too. And those whip crackers were superb. Maybe they will practice again today. Hmmm. No. It is a Sunday. Probably not! I will see if I can get better photos if they do happen to start flinging those whips around. I saw one clip on Youtube where they were yodelling at the same time. Go here if you want to hear the bells and the yodelling and the whip crackers too! (here you are, Vee!)