The Golden Crew, The Friendly Farmer, It's all about teamwork.


When NASA put a man on a missile and shot him into space. 
If I was ever asked what my definition of Team Work is, that's the personal answer I would give. 

I picked that answer above on purpose, because in my opinion, it's the ulitmate definition. 

From my wife Alison, dug down, stuck in and taking stock and responsibility for a lot
that's going on in our small family unit right now to my 8 yr old daughter Aoife, being so grown up and mature for her age, helping Alison out at every beck and call and then this week getting plaudits from her teacher during our parent/teacher meeting. This is just a snapshot of the Team work ticking by in our home. 
Aoife is of course getting her teamwork apprenticeship at an early age, but dare I say it, well capable of it. This young lady is growing up fast. I'm not and don't pretend to be an expert when it comes to rearing kids, but in Aoife's case, I can solemnly swear, you reap what you sew. We certainly did. 

The Friendly Farmer Award

It's not every day you could launch your hot air balloon from a farmers field, enjoy a pleasent flight and land on that same farmers property. We've done it. The farmer in question, apart from having a substantial farm holding, would win a 'Friendly Farmer Award' for ballooning every time. 
So when collecting Aoife from school today, it wasn't a big surrprise to see Farmer Pats name pop up on the caller ID. 
Pat had just read the piece about me in this weeks 'Inspire' supplement of The Meath Chronicle and was calling to wish me the best of luck. What an absolute gentleman. I promised Pat I would be back to his farm next season for more ballooning fun. 


Even when I'm in the Bons Secour, if I'm up to any of my little antics, I always include that team. 
Be it handing out my lapel pins, sharing an email, or explaining to one of the Dr's my little secrets that helped me when loosing my 5 stone of weight that they are in the process of loosing. 

My ensconced medical team can and do recognise the fact you recognise their team, and things then become easier. You see, in Murf's world, everybody gets included, and everybody gets a go. Be it wearing a lapel pin or getting treated to being lighter than air, it doesn't matter. Smiles get infectious, attitudes are warmed up, doors open. These people do 'Teams' very well thank you very much. 



When I got interested in Hot Air Ballooning in the 1990's, the sport back then was structured around a club environment. This wasn't a go it alone scenario. As a newbie just starting off and learning the ropes in this unusual facet of ancient aviation, It was so apparent to me that the only way I would fit in here was to be a strong team player. So as I enjoyed my ballooning apprenticeship, subconsciously my team learning skills were been finely honed. Every time we went ballooning, the pilot would teach me something new, show me something different and back then, the ultimate show of trust, you were thrown the keys of the retrieve vehicle and instructed to chase the balloon and rescue eerrr, I mean retrieve the pilot, crew and indeed aircraft. Oh, and keep the landowner happy. You would get bonus points if you could co-locate a pub close to the landing. 

Of course your first balloon flight is always very special. I got lucky and got to fly with (at the time) the only lady balloon pilot in the country.
We have a saying in Hot Air Ballooning:
"The first flight is free, the second flight is fifty grand". 
Always a treasured memory Carol, Thank you. 
(But you cost me a bloody fortune lol). 

Roll on to present day and where I'm currently at. 
I would rewrite the answer to that Team Work question. 
Everyday since I got ill, that 'Team' word is part of my pulse, my tick to my tock. 

My balloon crew, who coincidentally double up as my closet lieutenants, the Team word is so at home and very important here. I know each and every one of them have my back covered at this juncture.
They know their skipper is not having the best of days. For my part, I have to try and let them take the lead now with the teamwork. 

With Balloon crew livery, it's normal for the skipper to have perhaps a different colour shirt, 
or more often than not, have the word Pilot placed as extra text on his or her garment. 
It's just a personal bug bear of mine, but I always insist that mine says Crew also. 
That's actually quite important to me as flying these things involves a lot more input than just from the pilot. 

My updated contribution for my opening Teamwork question. 
Your health is your wealth, you'll need Teamwork to bank it and then when you do, mind that PIN. 

If you are looking for your team, or you know you have them,
mind them, share with them, laugh with them, cry with them. 
These are special people. 

I found mine. 
They're my Golden Crew and each of them is an Honoury Crew Member.



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