Day 3

Location – Café green

Wind speed – 14mph and increasing. Southerly.

Humidity – 72%

Cloud cover partial

 

There’s a lot of wind about at the moment. I don’t know why, but it’s a really windy week! It’s hampering my efforts to be sure. When the wind is like this it’s all I can do to get a few bubbles off the ground in quiet moments between the gusts, when what I really need is a nice still constant wind of about 4 or 5 mph.

It doesn’t give me much satisfaction but on the positive side, I’m thinking if I can get used to this now, when it comes to the record attempt itself, life should be a lot easier! Like practising tennis with a really heavy racket, or the piano, with weights around your wrists.

What is actually happening with the wind is that it is constantly changing direction and speed, so sometimes it’ll be still, and I’ll bring up the poles to full height. I’ll open them up only to be hit with a gust that causes my film to shatter like glass. Other times, I’ll open it up and the wind will suddenly be coming towards me, causing me to try and get out of the way of the bubble. This way is never going to get a giant.

 

My focus is on the strings as they come up and up and up for what almost seems like forever out of the bucket. It’s like snake charming an anaconda. The tips of the poles need to be together so that the strings remain closed and aren’t blown apart by a sudden gust before I’ve even got them out the bucket.

 

A lot of excess juice comes off the strings, especially when I open them up a little, and I’m conscious that I try to keep this in the bucket, rather than on the grass. But sometimes, I throw caution to the wind and bring the strings up quickly, which sometimes get’s reasonable results.

 

This is one of the funny things about making bubbles. You never know when they’re going to pop. Sometimes I practise ‘tubes’ which is where you just keep the strings open and see how long the film will stretch. So I don’t try to close/complete the bubble (which I WILL have to do for the record, but it’s a good test of the strength of the juice). Sometimes this tube will go on and on, and yet another moment in similar feeling conditions, it barely gets a few feet away before exploding.

Why?

It’s like there could be a particularly pesky cloud pixie out there with some kind of vibration gun. I imagine that the bubbles which do go to full length (or the occasional large sphere which completes, are the ones in between the cloud pixie’s shots, when his attention has been diverted by a kid with a kite.

 

I pick up my standard set of sticks, without extendable poles that I used for the last time I made a giant bubble for a project. They seem so small! Suddenly I realise I am well into getting used to this new size, but also that the bubble I made that time was a real monster, considering the dimensions of the strings I was using at the time.

 

I’m not getting that big now with these bigger strings, so know I’m really going to need a breakthrough before I can break the new record of 20.65 meters.

 

Day 4

Wind 14mph increasing over the day – Westerly.

Humidity 72%

Partial cloud cover

Location – Café green

 

Setting out early and alone, it was quiet in the park this morning. An occaisional jogger. A leaf rolls around, playing with the squirrels. And a few dogs, walking their people.

I realise and remember that my personal calmness is crucial when making big bubbles. You have to stay relaxed and remember to take lots of deep breaths. Yoga would be a good idea. Meditation even. I always find that breathing helps.

 

My arms ache.

 

I focus again on the strings, and this time, notice something new – my strings are twisting at the bottom. Not massively, but there tends to be several twists in my cords which only unravel as I pull the strings apart. This concerns me because it puts stress on the bubble and flings juice off as they come apart. Does it affect the bubble? Well, maybe not as the bottom is probably the least of my worries in terms of bubble wall thickness – all the juice drips down there. But it makes it hectic, and I long for calmness.

I consider cutting the strings and trying to unravel them, but decide to go ahead with the session and do this at home.

I’m glad I do – once I get over this, I notice for the first time that I’m beginning to free myself up with this. I’m moving my feet and enjoying the bubbles a bit more, and it seems to me like the bubbles know this and are rewarding me by doing what they want a bit more! I follow down this road a bit more and attempt a few tricks – splitting the bubble with the strings, encasing a smaller bubble in a bigger one.

 A lady passes by and kindly takes a picture for me. It's not much, but it's the first i've got of me attempting this - i always seem to be on the other side of the bubble where photo's are concerned.

 

I think Reuben's bubble on saturday was better!

It’s a nice morning and I use a full batch. I am making my juice each day, though sometimes like today I’ve come back from the test and have already made tomorrows juice. And the next day’s. Sometimes the juice ages well, and so I figure it might throw up some new improvement in results.

Time will tell.

 

Looks like the wind is going to start to drop tomorrow (Tuesday) and improve as the week goes on.

Written by Sam Heath — March 03, 2015

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