Archive for July 2007

New tent – Vango Spectre 200

Posted by on July 24th 2007 in Shiny new kit

Behold - the Vango Spectre 200. Not exactly a super-lightweight backpackin' tent, but quite good fer less than 63 notes delivered.

It's been pitched in the back garden fer the last 6 nights, nae quite campin' in the wild but 'tis the best I can manage at the moment :-( Mind ye, the weather's been dire durin' that time, 20cm o' rain has fallen an' there be some tree-fellin' winds.

Anyway, 'tis quite black, but contrary t' expectations 'tis quite bright inside, where there be plenty o' room fer 2 + gear.

The porch be a bit slim, but the inner can be dropped t' make masses o' space if 'tis needed.

There's quite a bit o' storage space under the fly at either end, too.

I've spent one rainy night in it so far, an' can report the followin':

  • There were bein' no condensation at all, so the ventin' must be effective;
  • There be room fer 2 shortarses (like me) t' sit upright in the central third o' the inner;
  • It's very stable when the TBS be deployed;
  • There's hardly any wind-flap;
  • The zips on the inner (mesh door) be a faff, they need some lube;
  • The groundsheet be very slippery - maybe this will become less o' a problem after a period o' use.

I'll post a proper review after 'tis been used in anger.


Houston, we have cleared the tower…

Posted by on July 24th 2007 in Blog on Blog, Projects

Welcome t' the new blog.

I'll start wi' an apology t' all ye folk that be followin' me auld blog ( usin' RSS feed readers - I know it'll be a hassle t' change the settin's t' follow this one, sorry about that!

And then there all them there hyperlinks t' change on all them there blogrolls...

Why the move? Shiver me timbers! Well, Windows Live Spaces were bein' fine as a starter blog, bein' a simple one-page format, but as me plans developed it were bein' becomin' clear that WLS would nae be able t' accommodate all that I want t' achieve, avast. This free WordPress blog be a step closer, I'll give it a try-out fer a few months an' then decide whether t' stick wi' it or go fer a full hosted WP jobbie an' all the customisation potential that comes wi' it.

As (or should that be "if"?) ye trawl around the site, please bear in mind that some bits be still in the construction phase, an' others be experimental an' liable t' change. If ye find any glarin' errors, or just want t' make yer mark, slin' me some feedback on the appropriate page, an' I'll attend t' matters ASAP.

Have fun!


Another dickhead

Posted by on July 23rd 2007 in A bit of a rant, Driveway-blocking feckwits

Will the driver o' the blue Renault Espace, registration number L489BWP, please note that the next time ye park across the entry/exit o' me driveway, I'll be reportin' ye t' the police again.




Posted by on July 17th 2007 in Projects

Yesterday I mentioned that I 'ad some secret significant projects in the offin'...

Guess who were bein' on the phone early the next mornin', tryin' t' get me t' spill the beans?

Nice try, WD, but ye've no chance.

The new tent’s here!

Posted by on July 17th 2007 in A bit of a rant, Name and Shame, Shiny new kit

Yup, that's right, avast. It's here.

But it di'nae come from Gear-Zone, as they eventually condescended t' respond t' me emails, tellin' me that their supplier were bein' still out o' stock, that I would be waitin' fer weeks rather than days, an' would I like a refund? Have ye seen the size o' the cabin-boy's hornpipe? Aye, I replied, I'll warrant ye. It'll take up t' 14 days workin' days, said the response. Suffice t' say that copies o' all o' our email correspondence be sent t' the Visa Debit Card Services dept. o' me bank, as per their request. I'm still waitin' fer that refund, though.

Oh, did I say that I 'ad been in touch wi' their supplier, an' that there isn't a stock problem there?

Anyway, I bought this tent (same maker, same model as the one that Gear-Zone can't supply) from Gaynor Sports, Ambleside. Fire the cannons! Ordered Saturday, arrived this mornin'. Fetch me spyglass! Top service, a good price an' wi' free delivery. They'll go into the "Preferred Retailers" list on here as soon as I can sort it out. Prepare t' be boarded! Tomorrow I'll be performin' the standard "pitch it on the back lawn an' try t' stop the cat p155in' on it" test, maybe I'll take a few etchins too.

Methinks that I'll be startin' a new black-list on this blogsite. All I need be a catchy title. Walk the plank! Ahoy! Contenders so far be: "Sh1te Retailers", "Thievin' Robdogs", an' ""These shops dern't stock what they advertise (but tell ye that they do) but still take yer dubloons when ye order, then they sit on yer cash, make interest an' excuses, then claim that the problem be caused by their supplier". If ye have any other suggestions, just let me know an' I'll give 'em due consideration.

And now for something completely different…

Posted by on July 16th 2007 in Projects

Apart from the "actually gettin' out there an' doin' it" stuff, I've a couple o' significant projects in the offin', one o' which be so "super secret" that even Weird Darren doesn't know about it!

Geoff C blogs!

Posted by on July 14th 2007 in Blog on Blog

Just 'ad an email from Geoff, tellin' us that he be now got his blog up an' runnin' at

Nip o'er an' have a look - 'tis very picturesque.

A Fine Summer Morning

Posted by on July 9th 2007 in Great Escapes, LMAO!, Rambling on...

I woke early t' find the Sun were bein' up afore me. The low shafts o' golden light flooded me surroundin's wi' an unexpected warmth after the stormy weather o' the previous days an' nights. At last… a warm mornin'... a calm mornin'... a dry mornin'. Stow that bilge, Bos'n, we'll keel-haul ye! The prospects fer the day were good.

Old habits die hard an' this mornin' were bein' no exception. Water on fer a brew, tea an' vittles consumed an' then the first ciggy o' the day sent curlin' veils o' smoke driftin' away on the light breeze. There were bein' a special quietness about the place, the sort that makes ye feel guilty when ye break it.

I pulled on me boots an' stepped out into the world. An extended family o' blackbirds were foragin' nearby, nae seemin' t' mind me intrusion into their territory. Slowly the other resident wildlife announced itself t' the new day... voles scuttled around in the undergrowth... a hedgehog rustled in the leaf-litter on a quest fer worms an' slugs... a thrush 'ad found a juicy snail an' were bein' busy thrashin' it against a well-used anvil-stone, this latter fact bein' borne out by the adjacent pile o' discarded shell-shards.

I strolled through the long dew-laden grass, marvellin' at the variety o' wild flowers an' seed-heads. Each step sent a shower o' silver droplets into the air around me feet, an' soon I were bein' wet from the knees down.

I wandered o'er t' a hoary auld willow tree an' stood beneath its canopy o' weepin' branches. Load the cannons! Have ye seen the size o' the cabin-boy's hornpipe? The ground were bein' drier there, an' beneath me feet a multitude o' insect lives were goin' about their daily routines, oblivious t' the giant standin' amid their microcosm. In the branches above, more birds were wakin' from their overnight roosts an' the chorus were bein' soon in full swing.

This were bein' a place t' tarry a while, t' soak up the atmosphere, t' appreciate the wonders that Nature puts in even the wildest o' places. Aarrr! I sat back against the trunk o' the tree an' relaxed wi'out a care, watchin' the world go by at its own pace.

I were bein' so engrossed in this place that it took a long time fer me t' realise that I were bein' nae alone. Yaaarrrrr! Load the cannons! Lookin' back down the slope I noticed a lone figure approachin'. An' hoist the mains'l! Yo Ho Ho! Not wantin' anyone t' spoil me appreciation o' the mornin', I slipped around t' the other side o' the tree in the hope that the intruder would pass by wi'out noticin' me, but it were bein' t' no avail. When the newcomer reached me place o' rest I looked up, smiled an' ventured a polite “Good Mornin'”.

The reply o' “Haven’t ye cut that bloody lawn yet?” wasn’t entirely unexpected.

Name and Shame

Posted by on July 6th 2007 in A bit of a rant, Name and Shame, Shiny new kit

Remember me blog entry last week about me new tent purchase?

Well, thin's aren't much better. Yaarrr!! Prepare t' be boarded! They've still got me dubloons, an' I still dern't have the tent. Load the cannons! I've sent many more emails t' the retailer, an' 'ad no replies t' any o' 'em. I've been phonin' daily but nobody picks up. I 'ad t' Google fer contact details fer 'em, as there be no address or phone number on their website. Googlin' brought up an interestin' thread on UKC, 'tis worth a read. Mind ye, Google brin's up a lot o' similar complaints about this company, it seems that I'm experiencin' what be common practise fer this retailer.

Well, tonight I decided that I'd 'ad enough, so I've referred the matter t' me bank an' t' me debit card company, they'll get the matter sorted in due course. I've been told that I can expect either the goods or a full refund, it'll take a few weeks but it will happen. At this time, they can't say which I'll get, so I'm banjaxxed fer a while... Break out the biscuits 'n weevils! do I buy a new tent elsewhere an' risk eventually gettin' the original tent from this retailer, or do I go wi'out a summer tent fer another month an' go stir-crazy? I've already 'ad t' miss three campin' weekends because o' this delay, 'tis seriously pissin' me off.

Anyway, if anybody else out there be havin' difficulty findin' contact details fer this retailer, this be what I've managed t' find out so far, I hope that this information be o' use t' somebody

Gear-Zone Ltd.

17 Westlegate, Norwich. NR1 3LT. Yaaarrrrr, by Blackbeard's sword! Tel: 01603 630 298, Fax: 01603 615051
8 Burnet Rd, Sweet Briar Road Industrial Est, Norwich, an' a bucket o' chum. NR32BS. Tel: 01603 410108

Web:, emails:

Registered at Companies House, Registration Number 04305618


Less is more??? (updated)

Posted by on July 5th 2007 in Photo hosting, Rambling on...

Aha, I think that I've just found the most recent change at Zooomr...

It's quite a significant change...

New comments in the Official Zooomr Blog be disabled. Comments made afore the switch-off be still visible if ye look at the individual blog entry (click on the blog entry title).

To quote Kristopher:

"Avast Friends, in an effort t' improve our groups system on Zooomr, we’ve disabled new comments on the Zooomr Blog in hopes that everyone will use our groups system on Zooomr."

So, nothin' t' do wi' preventin' scallywags leavin' adverse comments on there, eh? Let's nae forget that this censorship comes from a nation that advocates the right t' free speech...

(Edited t' correct some mistakes that I made!)

Blog Widget by LinkWithin