Our House in Totnes, Devon

As usual, click on a picture to see a larger (800 by 600 pixel) version.

Although I had been taking KAP pictures since the summer of 2002, it wasn't until April 2003 that I managed to launch a kite from our garden. The first group of pictures on this page were taken from the garden of our house on April 17th, 18th and 23rd 2003, using my second rig and a Canon Ixus 2.1 Megapixel camera.

I've never been able to repeat the feat - it's very rare for the wind to blow in the right direction, and most of the time the trees have too much foliage for the wind to be steady and strong at ground level. However, I have managed to take other pictures by launching from a nearby car-park (on Sunday, when there hardly any cars). Some of these appear below.

Our house and garden fill most of this picture. Leechwell Lane can be seen on the lower extreme right and I'm just visible at the extreme lower left. At this point I was using only half of the FlowForm's frilly tail - you can see the other half lying on the lawn between me and the porch.
This view shows just how tree-filled the neighbourhood is, and how unsuited to kite-flying! At the top right is a large eucalyptus (70 or 80 feet high). The dark slot running up the centre of the picture is Leechwell Lane. Jan and Suzie are sitting on deckchairs between the two cypress trees (it was from these trees that I suspended my first rig to take the photo of our house shown here).

Another view of most of our house showing the way Leechwell Lane, snaking down the middle of the picture, dictates the shape of the rear of our house. The lane is at least 500 years old while most of the house is less than 150 years old. The Leech Wells are visible at bottom centre.
A detailed view of the Leech Wells. A couple of steps make it easy to climb down into the pit which is about 18 inches deep. Spring water (from Dartmoor) enters the pit through the tree-covered wall that runs diagonally down from right to left, filling three rectangular troughs (two are clearly visible because they are dark - the third is between them).

Another view showing the way the wall of Leechwell Lane shapes and supports our house - and the vinery too.
In this picture I'm standing on our front lawn controlling the kite. The wind was more uneven at this point (April 23rd) and the camera often dropped 15 feet or so quite suddenly. I spent most of the time trying to prevent the line fouling trees or chimneys or the camera dropping onto a roof.

The pictures below were taken from a nearby carpark while extensive building work was being done on our house. The work started in June 2003 and at the time I write this (August 2004) is still going on!

This shows the house in March 2004. You can see the scaffolding around the new extension and the pile of junk all over the front garden (which includes an old bath).

This picture also shows the difficulty of launching a kite from the garden - there are tall trees and houses in every direction!

By May the scaffolding has come down, though there's still builder's rubbish everywhere. Note the steepness of the back garden, the brown mud is actually gravel laid to make it possible to get wheelbarrows up and down then it's raining. At the top left you can see other building works being carried out by a neighbour on an even steeper sloping site.

Another May view. Here you can see that the builder's rubbish is also filling the very top of the back garden (to the right of our garage right at the top of the picture. You can also see, at the bottom of the picture in the orchard, all the earth they had to excavate to build the extension - about 80 tons of it! This picture also shows the Y-shape of the Leechwell Lane footpath. One branch starts at the top middle and the other at top right. The bottom of the Y is at the bottom just right of centre.
This picture, taken in August 2004, shows little apparent change, though a lot has been happening inside. It also clearly shows the unusual curve of the stainless steel roof of the studio. Note the large pile of rubbish still sitting at the top of the garden (at the top right of the picture).

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