Admittedly I’ve only gone as far as our back lawn and pitched it overlooking the pond. The weather is fine and I don’t really need this little pop-up igloo of a tent but I need to practice putting it up and – the trickier part – folding it up and getting it back in its dustbin-lid sized bag
When I first bought it, I was glad of it when drawing rocks on the beach at Whitby. It rained quite heavily but I was able to finish my drawing from the shelter of the tent however I could not work out how to roll/fold it up again.
The life-guards of West Cliff, a helpful family by the Whalebone Arch, even a tattooed man who looked as if he’d be an expert at striking camp after a music festival were unable to help me and we drove home with the half-folded tent, like a restless Chinese New Year dragon, springing about in the boot.
This afternoon, for the first time ever, I folded it up in one go. The secret is not to try and understand how it folds up – that’s multi-dimensional thinking that would baffle Stephen Hawkings – you’ve just got to start rolling the naan bread-shaped collapsed tent from bottom to top and you’ll find yourself flanked by two small bicycle wheel-sized butterfly wings which you concertina into the bag, being careful to tuck in any overlapping canvas between the hoops so you don’t catch it in the zip fastening of the bag.
I look forward to using it again as I’m convinced that after six or seven years I’ve finally got the hang of it.