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Monday, 26 September 2011

Camping with critters...

Spent the weekend at Hopleys in Bewdley. It was the SVR steam rally weekend, so being an avid train spotter (actually thats a lie) I joined up with some friends for a camp.

Arrived about 5:30pm on Thursday and got most of the camping stuff set up before dark (how rubbish, the nights are drawing in already)

Being anti-social we pitched at the far end of the field away from everyone else, I took Rhubarb for this meet. The 5m and 3m bells at the front are Annies

Gulliver arrived shortly after, he goes for the more minimal primitive approach. Not wanting to waste time putting up a kitchen utility he prefers to take the easy option of setting up a tarp...30 minutes later and 420 king poles and voila! (was certainly a time saver..)

Next to arrive was Gumball (also known as gadget man). He soon had the Rosas pitched

It's hard to keep gumball still, he's always raring to go...err wake up gumball...

We left gumball on Saturday and went out for a few hours. When we got back evidently he had showered, been on a bike ride and climbed everest...I'm not entirely sure he looks as though he has moved...

Had a friend stop over on Friday night so the 3m bell got used for accommodation (we had more visitors than people camping)

Friday I woke up to find my kitchen tent had small holes in it...along with my bread...biscuits...smarties and worst of all my jelly beans...I borrowed Homers rat to recreate the scene of devestation

Homer put the vermin in his place for the rest of the day

He also recreated the passage of the critter robbers by visiting everyones kitchen tents (he regularly does this in the hope of snaffling any available food)

A few token pics of Rhubarb in his red and black finery, and the new stove in action

Trying out the old paraffin heater

Visiting the posh relations on the ehu pitches, deb & tez. Tez isn't so keen on the colder camping so got himself tucked in with the fan heater

Saturday Annie and me decided we should go look at the trains (as it was the whole reason in theory for the weekend)

We took the mutts for a walk down the embankment near Arley. Highlight for them was trying to rob the fishermans bait, and even better one had cake

OK Mutts, stay OUT of the water, I don't want a soggy tent...err....obedient as ever...

So for any avid steam train spotters, these next pics should be thrilling

a blue train

a green train

back of green train

a different green train

Arty farty pics

I call this one ...umm...leaves

Now this one doesn't look much, but it took 10 mins for old lady in pink cardy to get out of the blummin way so you have to look at it now

Some old posters with old peoples heads in the way

a gate and a fence and more leaves

More oldies than in Post Office pensions queue. Can see old woman with pink cardy getting ready to ruin my pic in background

Went back and had more beer round camp fire, with more guests, Mr and Mrs Bonzo joined us. Gumball had ingenious survival method of opening beer bottle with just a sheet of A4 paper! We were amazed by prospect and gathered round for demo

You just fold the paper like so...

10 minutes later and you just twiddle it about a bit and latch it under the rim...

10 minutes later...evidently is usually works all the time...

So the finished job!!

A quick tug with the can opener out the drawer and the lid was off

In gumballs defence evidently if you do find yourself stranded in sahara with bottle of beer and top to get off, you need a sheet of stiffer A4 cream card in a 65g weight preferably embossed. Bear Grylls eat your heart out.

Gumball got in touch with his feminine side and showed us his glamping stuff..ok it's only 1 tealight lantern but its a start...

Sunday morning Scep and smoky joined us for cake and coffee before clearing off in pouring rain to see more trains. We leisurely packed up.

Trailer was emptier on the way home, as I was minus the 3m bell I had brought along for Annie, and the quechua was lighter with a few holes in it..

Had a patching session this afternoon, put a patch of a ...hmmm...well dont know what it is, but covered the little rodent chewy hole

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Putting up drapes in the bell

Had a play at the weekend to make the drapes go up and down easily in the bell. Just so I can get the nice brothel effect..

Curtains are a thin cotton ready made set from ikea,(there are 3 sets - 6 curtains in total) logic being they will act as a partial inner and retain heat. And look pretty obviously.

First off I drilled an eye bolt into the 4m pole (the 5m will be fine, just use the existing hook as it is higher anyway) - the drapes are too low using the hook thats already on the 4m pole.

I ran a cord through the tab tops on the curtain and then just tied this through the pole hook

I then measured the curtains in the tent and marked where they hit the top of the wall. Sewed a channel here (easier to make it slightly shorter, if its too long the drapes will sag and no way of tightening them. However you can always loosen the top cord to drape them more if they are short)

Threaded through another cord for each of the curtains through this channel

Then tied a hook (bought off ebay) to the 2 ends, and put a hook in each gap of the 6 curtains where they met the wall (the hooks attach to the inner bell tent plastic loops)- the curtains are all separate, no need to sew them together

Tighten the cord and its done

Brothel complete!

Just back today, pic of the drapes in use

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

The painted tents are getting contagious

Can't take credit for these as they're not mine

Painted by a strange woman I go camping with who lives in the welsh valleys, she made a vodka fuelled decision to have a go at painting the tent acquired on ebay

The bright yellow relum izmir didn't look it's best on the ebay profile (we did debate whether she had actually finished off the bottle of vodka by the final bidding) but turned out to be a little cracker when she got it.


The theme is to be daisies and sunflowers. Precutting stencils first (very thorough, mine are just random splats)

The door all daisyed

onto the sunflower trim

Merthyr won't know what's hit it....(actually she's not from merthyr but it winds her up if I say she is)

Shall take some sneaky pics of the finished tent in October when it's pitched and glamped

Saturday, 10 September 2011

New Stove arrived

DHL delivered the new stove yesterday. Have managed to smuggle it in to ever groaning conservatory

My original one is the 4kw workman from K & P, but i find I tend to overload it and get a bit of smoke kickback, and it only stays in for about 3-4 hours overnight.

So for the winter camping I have 'invested' (foolishly splurged out again) in the larger 5kw Woodman stove, also from K & P, which will work off the same flue/chimney fittings.

Pics to show size comparisons between the two (weight of the woodman is about 24kg)

Weather too crap to camp today or might have gave it a test

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Yes have finally lost the plot...

After making the cushion with the dog on it, I decided the red and black theme for the winter bell (has to be warm and not show muddy paw prints) could include a few radley type hounds

But now I realise the obsession is way out of's no good..I can't justify it, the latest purchase for the tent is....

Hamish the door stop....

(the men with white coats are going to come for me soon)

Must be an all time worst buy for a tent ever

Back on the sewing machine tonight...yet another chopped up fleece blanket. Looks less radley like and more like Minnie Mouse with a baby rhino on it. His head was supposed to have an eye shape on it, but looks more like he has a tusk...

Got a bit carried away with the westies....have stopped now...

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Filling in time till camping next weekend

I was supposed to be away this weekend as stupidly suggested we climb Scafell Pike. Weather forecast was grotty, getting fit never happened (gym membership would have been better spent on C & C Club membership) couldn't take the dogs (too unfit) and the Wasdale site you can't take your car to the pitch - which would mean camping in horrid nylony type tent in rain waiting for doom and gloom of mountain climb

So instead I decided Friday to make the stove cover for Rhubarb. As the OH was at the pub it was a good chance to drag him downstairs without getting caught red-handed with a tent he doesn't know exists still.

Was all going well and stove flap cut and started sewing on the velcro...

...that was until the door opened and OH comes home early from the Rhubarb isn't the easiest tent to disguise....gulp

Conversation was like this...

'What you up to?'
'Oh just watching TV'
'No I mean the sewing on the table..?'
'Oh that, I'm just making a cover for hole where the stove goes...'
'So how does that work, all that material goes over the tent..?'
'Err that is the Rhubarb....'


Rest of weekend did a few sewing bits, favourite was new cushion (radley I am not infringing on copyright, my dog is nothing at all like yours. He is savage and has no eye)

Got a bit carried away using leftover scraps of material as well, got enough bunting to go round the bell about 4 times

So housework was put on hold again, dog hair is accumulating under table, alongside material and sewing thread, as I have prioritised my camping obsession as usual

Next weekend is backpacking the Monsal Trail at Bakewell. Will be a killer as fitness grotty and will have kitchen sink in backpack. Shall drag Barley along so she suffers as well...will update when it's over..if I survive

CRAFTY POST - My revolting conservatory-camping-store-room, really needed a makeover....

Finished!  So I get asked, where do I store all my camping kit? The answer is