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Recalcitrant tents, dissolving greyhounds and an endless supply of rock

Staggered back to site after 2 days off and as it was raining but not too windy finally made time to get our site tent up, a fairly big square canvas thing like the old scout tents, I seem to remember it was going cheap and they shipped it to Orkney for free. Putting it up was a bit of a struggle as there never were any instructions with it, and way back in 2019 we had someone on site who knew how to do it so we just let them get on with it, and none of us who were there then could remember the tricks of the trade. It wasn't a huge amount of fun in the wet but we did it, but then I somewhat belatedly realised there were two small bags of bits leftover, including a metal gizmo and a few guy ropes. Thinking about it I remembered we were supposed to attach the guy ropes to the very top of the central pole using the gizmo, and this was supposed to brace the whole lot and steady the main pole. As the only way of getting the extra bits in place was to take the tent down again, and by this time we were all wet through & had had enough of tents for ever, if not longer, a policy decision was taken that if it falls down we'll put it back up using the spare bits, and if it stays up then we didn't really need them in the first place.

After that it was back on site shifting more rocks in the wet using our ever reliable trugs:

We had a few new arrivals on site today, Tom (and his luggage) had finally made it after an epic journey from New York, Sarah was in from Canada, and Elvire in from France, all three old hands who are returning for more punishment. I think Tom was hoping that we would've finished uncovering the site but no, we'd saved a fair few rocks for him, together with a special order of rain. We're getting our trug technique sorted out pretty well (we've had lots of practise), fill all the trugs, then human chain them down the beach to the stone pile, then pair them up and human chain them back up the beach and do it all again. At least it keeps you warm in the wet:

Star the site dog was having none of it, she really hadn't wanted to get out of bed this morning after her days off and, having pointed out that everyone knows that greyhounds dissolve in the wet, retired to the site Landrover until the weather improved. I suspect she's been practising that look for just such an occasion:

She did perk up a bit at lunchtime, both because the weather was drying up and also because she got lots of cheese as I was feeling guilty about making her get up just to get wet, and she was fine when the sun came out. Another typical Orkney day - start in waterproofs and end in bright sunshine, and we even had a fair few visitors around.

You wouldn't think it was the same day, and the tent was even still up at the end of it.


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