I spent this weekend mostly dodging showers.
British summertime was at its best in Coventry this weekend, with fantastic sunshine one minute followed by heavy downpour the next, clearing to sunny again within another 10 minutes.
Normally, I'm quite stoic about this - it is normal after all.
However, when you have a tent to fix this is very inconvenient, especially when there is a deadline approaching (i.e. I want to use the tent this summer) and you work fulltime, limiting the days you have available to work on said tent.
Saturday morning, I woke to sunshine so happily started preparing to work on my bell tent's door flap which I'm repairing by replacing the zip with eyelets. I waited for a few hours to make sure the ground was dry before hauling the tent out of the shed and laying it out on the lawn. Dave wasn't here (it being a Maelstrom weekend) so I was working on my own and with a currently dodgy arm/shoulder, that bag of canvas was painfully heavy, but I was determined.
Next up I gathered my tools, finding a suitable holepunch, a small piece of wood, a nylon hammer, a tiny anvil, my pointiest awl and of course a pencil, plus the required eyelets. I set a test eyelet in scrap of canvas, just to make sure I hadn't forgotten how, then marked out where the eyelets had to go on the top door flap. I also periodically instructed the cat (Charlie) to get off the canvas, which he wanted to help wrestle into submission.
Finally, happy that I had everything under control I nipped indoors for two minutes and was heading back outside when Missy came in to tell me it was raining.
Missy is a smart cat who holds a very high opinion of me. If the weather isn't to her liking she will come and find me, complaining about the situation bitterly and looking at me like I should now fix it. No matter how often I explain that I can't stop rain, she never stops acting like its a serious afront when I fail to do something about inclement weather.
But I digress. I rushed outside to find a heavy shower in progress and my previously dry canvas tent was getting wetter by the second. There followed a frantic two minutes as I bundled the tent up, carried it awkwardly into the shed before returning for the tools.
Some twenty minutes later, the rain stopped. I waited as the sun came out, waited some more for the ground to dry and then retrieved the tent from the shed, laying it out on the grass as I repeated the above... Until the heavens opened once more.
And so it went for the entire weekend.
After lugging that tent in and out of the shed more times than I care to admit, I finally set all of the eyelets for the top flap Sunday afternoon, finishing at 4:50pm. Each eyelet needs about ten to fifteen minutes of whacking with a hammer before they're in to my satisfaction. By that time, my knees were complaining, my hands were hurting and my arm was throbbing. And that's only half of them done!
So here we have seven eyelets, set 20cm (or 8 inches) apart, which seemed like a sensible distance to me. If you look carefully, you can see I've closed the original zip here and used the top flap to mark the position of the eyelets on the back flap. Which I will undoubtedly hope to do next weekend...
The cats were also spending the weekend dodging the showers, with the view from my back door alternating between this...
Around that point, Missy realised I was watching so started to mew happy girly squeaks while rolling over to beam at me, while Charlie watched in a bemused fashion.
I did try to get a picture of her the right way up, but when I stepped over her Missy got wind of the camera and her paperazzi issues kicked in and she ran off. Charlie posed for a moment or two though...
(Note the single orange hair lying on his forehead - now I wonder who put that there?)
And then got all excited by the attention, bouncing around the garden for a while before trying to wriggle under the patio.
(As always, click on the pictures to see bigger versions.)