Audio files on this blog
From the desk of Alan RM Jones - first published in Quadrant online

Ballooning over Melbourne this morning

What a beautiful way to start the day!   The Czechoslovakian Princess and I were up at 3.30AM (great idea on New Year's Eve!!!!!) and were airborne just as the sun came up over marvellous Melbourne.





The bloke who owns the ballooning company, Kiff, had a pretty bad prang on his motorbike a couple of years ago.  A firm of transport accident lawyers handled his case and as a result had to visit his workplace - the balloon - to assist in his compo claim.   As a result of that, the firm of lawyers decided to sponsor a balloon with one big difference.   In what I believe is an Australian first, the balloon is certified with the aviation authorities in Australia to take disabled people.   You can see in this final photo that one of our fellow passengers today lives with cerebral palsy.

Kiff told me about a lady he took flying recently who has cerebral palsy too.   All her life, her greatest wish was to fly, up in the sky.   After her flight with Kiff, she said, "Today, I have lived my dream.  For the first time ever, I felt like a person who could do anything."

It was very, very moving.    Kiff was a lovely bloke.   I don't have any deal with him but could I heartily recommend that if you are thinking about an extraordinarily fantastic thing to do, give him a call.   Here's his website, click here.


And I am now sitting in a hotel business centre blubbering.