the other night discriminating against tent pegs on the basis of their sexual orientation: bent or straight. Then I swore at the pile of bent ones, which was bigger than the straight pile, and threw them out. No letters please.
I used to bend tent pegs with my foot, which was slow and tedious, but since buying a mallet I’ve discovered that I can bend many more in the same time. Now I regularly bend a quarter to a third of all my pegs on every camping trip, which would be good news for the plethora of outdoors shops in Manchester if any of them could lower their pretensions sufficiently to sell tent pegs instead of wackily-patterned “x-treeeem” trousers. Of course, it helps that I can uneeringly locate the rockiest patch of ground in any campsite, the one place where three inches of topsoil hides six feet of hardcore. I can’t teach you how to develop this ability - it’s a gift. Rather as some people can divine the presence of water underground, I am a rock diviner. Some innate sense guides me to the single worst place to pitch a tent in the whole of Wales. Often when I vacate a pitch, quarrying concerns and aggregate companies immediately move in looking for fresh granite reserves.
Once bent, tent pegs develop an incredible flexibility that allows them to be bent more and more into an infinite variety of shapes - every shape except straight again, in fact.
I also love camp cooking - don’t listen to anyone who claims they’ve often heard me moaning about how awful it is. There’s something about crouching over a blackened stove full of dangerously flammable liquid, clumsily stuffing burnt fragments of sausage in your mouth with your fingers, that causes everything to just fall away: centuries of civilised behaviour, appetite and weight chief amongst them. It makes me want to hammer a bone through my nose (if I can do that without bending it) and paint some cave walls. X-TREEEM!!