Loitering Without Tent

Every word of this is true - except that I went in August, which doesn't rhyme with Way!




To perambulate Albion was my intent,

And I eagerly purchased a one-man tent,

But idle sod me favoured procrastination,

For twelve months shunning the bus and train station,

I never got round to putting it up.


I never would shift off my arse, use my legs,

But I’d take out the poles, the flysheet and pegs,

Preferring instead to admire their construction,

Watching videos on YouTube, about its erection,

But I never got round to putting it up.


Then on impulse, I decided the Ullswater Way,

Would be easy to walk on a weekend in May,

The train to Penrith, bus down to Pooley Bridge,

Took me swiftly and easily to Ullswater’s edge,

But the tent…? It never got bloody put up!


Off I strode, nice and bonny through fields and stiles,

On the Dalemain Loop, not much more than five miles,

Sweating cobs, finally reaching a very nice campsite,

I was learning my lesson, I would soon be contrite,

“Check your darned tackle and put your tent up!”


Well thank God that I wasn’t out there on the fell,

I’d read the instructions, they were clear as a bell,

“The blue in the blue holes, the red in the red holes”,

But the shop’s damned suppliers had sent the wrong poles,

A one-man fly with two-man bits won’t bloody go up!


A nearby family saw me knackered and struggling,

Sweating and swearing, aching, and grumbling,

“It’s going to rain”, they said, “Pooley Bridge is too far”,

“Get your bag and your gear, you can sleep in our car”.


The kindness of strangers, and a right royal cock-up,

Taught me “first check your tackle, put your bloody tent up!”

DalemainkindnessPenrithPooley BridgestrangersUllswater Way

Bon Appétit Monsieur Le Tory! ►


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Brian Maryon

Tue 10th Sep 2019 19:15

Hi Uilleam. In answer to your question I have two different views. If you're writing about something truly personal and poignant (such as a breavement) it is more authentic I think to draw on a personal experience. On the other hand, if the piece requires a lot of imagination you need to use poetic licence (ie make it up) so drawing on personal experience can be constraining. Hope this helps.

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Don Matthews

Tue 10th Sep 2019 10:59

A hands-on experience with a tent
Makes it easier for such experience to be lent
To a finger experience on the keyboard
And then to WOL's website be sent

I did not attempt rhyming August with May...😎.

Uilleam Ó Ceallaigh

Tue 10th Sep 2019 10:48

Thanks for reading this Brian, Ray, and Chrystel.

I'd be interested to know whether the vividness of an experience contributes to the ease / difficulty of writing?...

I think I found this relatively easy because it was a very "hands - on" experience.

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Brian Maryon

Sat 31st Aug 2019 17:41

Love it, bloody love it. But then again, I also love licorice...

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