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Secret Superpowers.

You have probably have it happen to you – somebody you know more or less well will suddenly turn out to be surprisingly good at something that you didn’t ever connect with them. A secret superpower, so to say.

Well. I have one, too – my secret superpower is… being able to tie off balloons really, really quickly. The reason for this is my home town’s annual fair, where my parents, among other volunteers, have been selling helium-inflated balloons for a good cause for 35 years now. When I was a child, I started helping out a bit, and when my schedule allows, I still go back there to help tying off balloons.

From being a small fundraising thing, this balloon sale has grown over the years, and letting hundreds and hundreds of them fly off at the official end of the fair has become a much beloved tradition. It is a stunning sight to see more than one thousand balloons go up and off with the wind at once, balloons in all kinds of colours (though there are quite a lot of red and blue ones, that being the town’s colours). There’s an added bit of satisfaction and happiness in it for me, knowing that I’ve had a hand, literally, in getting hundreds of these balloons ready. (I’ve calculated that I have knotted at least 700, probably more like around one thousand balloons on that one day. That, at the end of the day, meant very tired fingers, a bit of skin lost even though I’ve liberally, and very early, used tape to protect the skin, and a blister in one of the weirdest spots I’ve yet had one, right on the tip of one thumb. And the pleasant feeling of having done a good job.)

And for you, here’s a little video of ascending balloons – by far not all of them are visible, as I didn’t manage to get to the best spot for filming… but you’ll get the idea.

 

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5 Responses to Secret Superpowers.

  1. Heather says:

    Do you have balloon races?

    Here, before release, a local address can be attached to the balloon, then when they land people who find them can write back to say where they got to. Schools use it to interest children in geography and local heritage.

    A friend had one land from the UK in his garden in the UK, so he took it with him on his next business trip to Cologne and sent a postcard and photos back of the withered balloon by local landmarks.

    A famous one was this:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/beds/bucks/herts/8310816.stm

    • Katrin says:

      The balloons do have addresses attached – it’s not a race as in a competition, but finders of the balloons are invited to write back to say “hello” and where the balloon got to. Most of the time when I released a balloon as a child, though, nothing came back. I guess most are just going down somewhere where they will never be found.

  2. Harma says:

    Over here there is a growing group of envirionmentalists that want these activities forbidden, because the balloons end up in animal stomachs and birds get entangled in the ropes. Spoilsports!

  3. Harma says:

    Question, what are the children reciting? Is that a local rhyme?

    • Katrin says:

      It is a traditional local rhyme, in the local dialect. Basically it says “that was nice, we’re coming back next year”.

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