The Universe recently realised that I'd been blogging since 2004 and decided that it was time to make it worth my while.
So today my blog post won me the coolest thing I've ever seen. Actually, it won me one of those yesterday, when another blogger and I were picked to go on the seven-day Tour of Nilgiris. To do the blissful job of writing frequently and copiously what we want about it, as we like, on our own blogs.
But today, two of those cyclists of Santa Clause took us to Wildcraft, deep in the wilds of Jayanagar (though not on bicycles) to pick up the tangible prize – a three-person, three-season tent!
Rajesh Of The Store actually opened it up and pitched it to show us how (a good thing too; I read the manual later, and no spawn of man is likely to gain shelter that way). As with all people whose work and play have come together, he was so involved that even I learnt how to pitch the tent. He also volunteered instructions and tips on wind, cold and heat, and interesting titbits calculated to keep me awake in it, such as "keep away from fire, it can burn down in 24 seconds". I secretly noted that it's probably worth braving another trip to Jayanagar so I can ask him all my dumb questions about trekking in snow, without fear of ostracism.
Once he'd got it up and ready, the four of us just looked at it in silence for a minute or so – each of us feeling that same urge to a) leap inside to see what it's like and b) pack it up, strap it on and go climb a mountain, ford a river, cross a jungle and sleep under the stars in a deep, quiet meadow.
I can't explain the feeling when you see it all standing up, especially when you've done it yourself (it is such a work of art that I was able to pitch it all by myself the second I got home).
My Dad is delighted with it and wants to pitch it properly outside to test it. As you can see in the photograph, he feels none of the inhibitions we had in the store, and has lost no time crawling into the tent, while keeping up a running narration on the difficulties of the canvas tents he used to pitch. Well I have some experience of those myself, all heavy wooden poles and skin-lacerating ropes and giant pegs that fought back violently.
I love my tent.
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