Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Nip and Tuck

Wanda: Peebles ~ Moffat Wanda, snoozing on the recent Peebles ~ Moffat trip. Pitched as best as poss...

In a previous post, in the comments section, "Nielson Brown" asked how many nights Wanda had "done". His is a mean blog and so the reply needed to be considered and handled with care.

That meant I had to scratch the thinning pate and canter through the blog and my diary as not all trips are posted up on here - some are distinctly "Private - Keep Out!" [Get Orf My Land?]. But it was done and done well. Pocket calculators were employed in the process. Serious stuff.

The answer was a surprisingly low eighty three nights since Wanda came into my care and protection. Thirty seven nights in 2007. Just 19 nights in 2008. 21 nights in 2009 and so far this year; a miserable 6 nights. That figure will of course improve as the year progresses.

But yes. Wanda is a lightweight but amazingly strong young lady. This lass spits out Aktos into the dust, screaming "EAT MY SHORTS!" Pound for pound she is a prime prizefighter. The "Sugar Ray" of the tent world. Muscle. Style. Integrity. Room to spare.

But this comes at a price. I recently had to get to work on Wanda; to revitalise and refresh her worried brow. The upper vent elastic required a stitch or two. Her seams needed attention [her seams throw her silhouette into rapturous curves...] and her gossamer skin a little moisturiser. Her pelvic floor needed a little work (come on now; who's doesn't at our age?)

But on the Daunder I realised that one of Wanda's blind pole-pockets was no longer blind - her highly tempered pre-curved pole slipped all the way through the no longer blind pocket. But these are just trifles. Wanda has a summer cold ~ a little hay fever and a few well place stitches will restore her to her adolescent prime.

I foresee many, many happy years with my Wanda. When I took up with her, she was a risky venture. A complete unknown. A wayward madame. But now she is my assured companion. My haven in a storm. Big enough for a proper party. For company, if pressed.

So then: A Question to our Congregation: How many nights have you slept with your lady of the night? Is she good to you? Tell me your stories of faithful companionship by jotting a few notes in the comments. If you haven't commented before, do not be afraid; post anonymously. You do not need a Google / Blogger /Blog account. Just tell us who you are and all about your your nylon mistresses...

Wanda is waiting to hear your tales...


  1. Just to be clear, this is the number of nights in the tent, as opposed to the number of days backpacking with it, which is higher.
    The figure is always a lot lower than you think: I've pitched my Lasercomp only 30 times on the hill, it seems like many more.

    I've made peace with the pole hood, I leave it attached all the time without any hassle. I can pitch it easily to near perfection every time now without any extra contrivances.
    The great thing is that there is no redundancy in it: just the right amount of space, nothing superfluous, minimal weight for the job.

  2. Hi Geoff: Yes - it's nights that count here. Your Laser Competition sounds a sweet gal - you are obviously getting along fine. She sounds like a slim little thing; not a trace of love handles...

  3. My Hilleberg Aktually has done 127 nights since I bought it in April 2005.
    Its got some zip accident holes in the little flap thing above the door (sorry to be technical) and the wire came through the same bit in a gale on Caer caradoc and some of the elastics aren't very elastic.
    Apart from that it seems fine....
    Tuff things them Aktoes

  4. I have an Akto that I got cheap from a retiring Challenger, not shy retiring, on the contrary, but retiring from the event after 10 crossings and so far I have spent no nights in it and haven't a clue about how to put the thing up but. I also have a second dwelling called a Phoenix Phreerunner which has been a constant companion on all my Challenges since '95 except the last one in 2009 when I used a Macpac Microlight which was too small so I sold that after 4 nights in it. The Phoenix I got in 1983 and it was replaced in 1984 when I damaged the first one. I don't have a clue how many nights I've spent in it but it has been a loyal shelter. I think.

  5. Pieman: I sorted my knackered elastics by tying them in bigger and bigger knots as the years went on. They went after only six or seven years.

    Des: "it has been a loyal shelter. I think." You cannot be sure about the little minx, can you?

  6. It is still very early days for my relationship with my new Challenge companion. Only 6 nights so far ..

    .. but what nights!

  7. "You cannot be sure about the little minx, can you?"

    She's a devil! She went off in a huff once in the foothills of Scafell Pike. It was around midnight and may have been the gale of wind, or possibly the several pints I'd taken, I'm still not sure, but I eventually managed to coax her down from a small tree and persuade her to spend the night with me.

  8. On the subject of elastic - the akto stuff appears to be nothing more special than that which used to appear in knickers, or to keep socks up.
    As the wife or loved one is a knicker elastic expert, I may just ask her to replace the tired old stuff with some new, vibrant, flexible stuff.
    Cheaper than a new tent...

  9. Andy: "Only 6 nights so far ... but what nights!" Sounds like you and Daisy (Duomid) will be fine!

    Des: Sounds like Phoebe likes to be treated nicely - not manhandled by rough ol' drinkers with a bad case of wind...

    Pieman: I am not sure that this blog is the right medium in which to discuss your wife's vibrant, flexible knickers. Send pictures?

  10. Thanks Alan, I have had several relationships, but none to match yours, soon I will be starting a new relationship which I have no doubt will continue for many nights.

  11. Perchance the Phoenix Phreerunners come out on top. Mine was bought sometime in the 1980s and has probably averaged about two weeks a year for much of that time - I've probably spent 200 to 300 nights in it, quite a few of them with Sue - it's a perfectly adequate two person tent. Last week in Challenge country it competed well (I could say 'outperformed') in all respects except weight with a brand new Laser Comp.

  12. Martin: I think the Phreerangers have probably won out because they are a bit like your Granny rather than your mistress: They are a little bit leaky and have quirky dress sense, yet you just don't feel like putting her in a home as there's life in the old girl yet!

  13. Hmmm
    It's a Phreerunner, actually, and the 'seepage' - it's not enough to call a leak - is minimal. Certainly rather less than the condensation we get in the Nallo. A bit of Fabsil over the next few days may solve that anyway.
    'Quirky dress sense'? You can talk!

  14. Our Coleman Adrenaline may not be overly techy or lightweight, or even common, but we've comfortably spent five nights in her, snug and dry.

  15. Martin: "Quirky dress sense" I am beautifully co-ordinated this year - my lovely green Rab Microfleece turned up yesterday which goes swimmingly with my stealth Paramo...

    Louise: Does your Coleman not have a name? How do you cope when talking with her? Five nights and yet un-christened! Heartless. That what is is: Heartless!

  16. Needs to be a sturdy and reliable name, something like Gertrude. But more attractive...


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