As another weekend draws nearer, I can reflect that covering the Bothy is going to be a fair task.
It is 23 feet long and 6 feet wide, and the frame takes it to 25 feet by 20 feet. early plans were for a single or two masted structure attached to the van - pushing the canvas into the air and then pegging the sides out in a traditional manner...
Having thought this through, the option to have a self standing structure then presented itself. Using a Festival/Market frame structure, it would be possible to build a self standing frame all around the Bothy and that would remove the need for the guy ropes, and also allow it to stand on hard ground if required, perhaps for future trading if we ever decide to go back to market stall, but as important to make it possible to withstand weather and reduce the area it takes up. Even a 20ft x 20ft tent need another 4ft at each side for the guy ropes - using 28ft square overall.
So onto the next project - the frame stands 8ft tall at the sides - which is practically the height of the Bothy.
The frame came with uprisers for a Banner as shown in this picture, but in practise we decided that we did not need to go this high. As the 8ft sides are almost the height of the van - we only needed to go another 3 feet or so - making it more practical to build.
Of course - as we experimented we missed the obvious, and connected the uprights at the top of the poles - making it difficult to balance and lift, putting the supporting struts afterwards.
In this model, done after the experiments, all the structure is built by adding the support struts at waist height giving the strength to the frame. The plasticine and pins ion the straws were not strong enough to complete the model - but gave enough insight into how best to put the frame up.
Of course, the original idea was to keep the weight down - but this frame is heavy but should withstand bad weather. Still have to work out how to get it into the Bothy for travel. Tending to veer away from the idea of the roof rack if possible. Better to keep the weight low if we can, Looking at sliding it in from the bulkhead and under the sink....
So, to start with - we laid it all out to see what would work... I had planned it on paper and worked out that we would be able to leave half of the weight behind, but in order to give the frame strength it actually needs almost all of the pieces.
But the frame goes up around the Bothy. Here you can see the size of it - also the fact that we did it the hard way - putting the top pieces on first and balancing on ladders!!
Which brings us to the completed structure, with the extensions in the middle. 11ft high in the middle with a central span of 15ft.
And of course it will have the advantage of being a self standing structure if we decide not to leave the van inside. So - we named the Bothy, or rather my granddaughter named her Buffy - the Bothy, so it seemed only appropriate to name the tent as well.
I thought that if we are going to berth the Bothy inside a tent then the tent must of course be called Bertha!!
So Bertha it is...
Which brings me back to the round blob in the sky. While writing this blog - it seems to have disappeared and large dark clouds are looming.. so I had better run down and put Bertha back in the garage before she rusts...