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The little tent… needs some loving care.

A bit more than three years ago, I made myself a new tent for the market stall – with a little help from my friends, and with a good dollop more mishaps and related adrenaline highs than I had planned for. The tent, dubbed “the TGV”, has served me very well, and I totally love it. But these days, it’s in need of a little loving care, and a bit of tweaking. (In case you missed that story: the tag “the tent-making saga” lets you read all about it.)

This is the newly finished TGV – the cloth in the apses goes straight to the ground, as it should.

Since the tent was made in a pattern that was cut a little, uh, alternatively, it has stretched differently than a normal tent in that form would have done. Especially in the apses, the stretching of the fabric has led to a curious form of sagging where the tent can still be set up with some tension on the lines, but the bottom part of the cloth lies right on the ground. That effectively shrinks the floor space in the two apses.

See how the feet have sagged? It’s even worse these days.

Now, most people would be able to deal with a little bit of shrinkage. The TGV, however, is… small. And when I go to an event by myself, I have all my clothes, my two little chests, my firewood and other fire stuff, the box with odds and ends, my wares, my sales table, and my decoration stuff in there. Oh, and my bed. Or what I call my bed.

The bed is just large enough for me to sleep in, and it just (really just) fits in one apse. Or I should say it used to fit – I can still squeeze it in, but then part of the tent cloth is already touching the bed. That’s no problem… unless it rains. Oh, and one of the tent poles is so close to the bed that I am always a little afraid I will one day roll over in a bad dream and just kick out that pole, and with it all the tent would go down on top of me.

From opening up the front, the front flap has also stretched quite a bit, but that is not as incommodating as the apse shrinking. So last Friday, our garden has seen the tent go up, the tent received some pencil markings for the new location of the peg loops on the apses, and the ridge pole has a new hole – set a bit inwards from the end, giving me more sleeping and moving space in the apse. Now I only need to move the peg loops to their new place, and the tent will be fine for the next few years of service. And I’m really looking forward to having just enough sleeping space again instead of just not enough!

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