Balloons and Klingons

Up at 5am this morning to go to the Balloon Fiesta. It’s the biggest in Europe — in fact, only the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in the USA is bigger, but since we started going 25 years ago, Bristol’s event has  shrunk to a fraction of it’s former size. This morning the attendees numbered probably nearer hundreds than thousands, whereas in 1985 they were in the tens of thousands. Those who didn’t go probably assumed (correctly) that there would no flight today.

The number of balloons flying also seemed markedly less than in the Fieta’s glory years, which are shown in the pictures attached here. That’s almost certainly down to the recession slashing corporate advertising budgets, which are the fuel of balloon flights through sponsorship. Car parking -which used to be free- now costs almost ten pounds per car per stay, discouraging people from coming and going. And it may be that the night-glow has cannibalized morning attendances. Whatever the reason, I hope that the Fiesta has many more years of success.

Meanwhile, elsewhere I’ve posted an interview with Hugo nominated writer Lawrence M. Schoen -known as Klingon Guy, due to his work on the fictional language- over at Suite101. (I bet you wondered where the Klingons came into the title…) Lawrence is a thoughtful and thought-provoking writer who provided an entertaining interview.

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• August 15th, 2010 • Posted in General • Comments: 0