The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

TGOC Food Logistics

We didn't get out for a walk over the weekend just gone. Having spent all day on Saturday at the Backpacker's Club Lightweight Fest we ran out of time to fit a walk in amongst all of the chores and errands we had to complete on Sunday - chores and errands which have been subjected to reduced timescales thanks to Mick needing to fit in a quick trip over to Las Vegas between now and the TGOC to attend his eldest son's wedding.

One of the top priorities for Sunday was to make sure that we are sufficiently organised for the TGOC and the top priority there was to make sure that we have got the food situation sorted.

With two final meals whirring away in the dehydrator, I was happy that we had enough evening meals prepared*, but I was also acutely aware that we will only be passing two shops in our 13 days of walking and that experience has told me that I would rather not carry more than four days worth of food at a time if I can help it.

That meant that we had to be more organised as to food than we have ever needed to be before (more so than at any point on our LEJOG, when the longest we went between shops was 5 days) and that meant that we had to make decisions at this stage as to what breakfasts, lunches, evening meals and snacks we would need for each day before working out what we could buy where and what would need to be bought in advance and sent ahead in a resupply parcel.

Soon I was tearing my hair out over a ridiculously detailed spreadsheet and was getting so concerned that I would miscalculate and end up on top of a mountain with no lunch to eat and no chocolate in reserve that I called for assistance from Mick.

So, then there were two of us poring over the ridiculously detailed spreadsheet, with Mick questioning and me trying to explain my thinking.

I think that we got there in the end. We now have a huge shopping list comprising the breakfasts, lunches, and snacks that we will be taking with us for the first few days and that we will be posting ahead for the last few days, but we are happy that all of the other food we will be able to buy in Tyndrum and Blair Atholl.

Perhaps my memory has simply faded, but I would swear that no part of our four months of backpacking last year was as complicated as planning this two-week jaunt across Scotland!

(*Actually, after we finished poring over the spreadsheet we concluded that we've prepared more meals than we need)

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Backpackers Club Lightweight Equipment and Tent Show

Never have I seen so many people wearing Paramo in one place. They called it the Backpackers Club Lightweight Equipment and Tent Show, but to an unknowing bystander it might have been a Paramo Fan Club extravaganza (of which Mick & I fully partook; me in my new Velez Adventure Light, Mick in his trusty Vasco – well it was forecast to rain…).

We left home bright and not-quite-early this morning to make the hour-long journey up to Ashford-in-the-Water with the thought that we would probably not know more than a small handful of the people there and that the kit on show would not take us more than a short while to peruse. Our expectation was that we would be back home again by early afternoon.

Our expectations of the show were completely surpassed.

What I hadn’t expected was the number of people who stopped us to say “Are you Mick and Gayle?”.  It really was very nice indeed not only to meet those people but also to hear the very nice words they said about the Blog – so thank you all for taking the time to talk to us, it really was very much appreciated (such unexpected kind words do make all of this clattering away on the keyboard worthwhile!).

As well as the heretofore-strangers who said hello, there were unexpected meetings with people we had previously met, and so much time was very pleasantly whiled away chatting.

Then there was the gear-fondling – and considering that there were only three retailers (plus Satmap) there, there was a significant amount of gear to appreciate. Outside, on one side of the entrance, there was with Bob & Rose being constantly surrounded by people admiring their wares, and on the other side of the entrance was Satmap (with whom we did stop for a chat late in the day after most people had left, but I’m afraid that despite the salesman’s best efforts the product just doesn’t appeal to me (nowt wrong with the product, just not my cup of tea)).

Inside were two main stalls, and either I was being very unobservant (completely possible) or they weren’t displaying who they were. Upon examination it was evident that one was Alpkit, and I’m pretty sure that the other was Ultralight Outdoor Gear.

Despite having no intention of going there to spend, there were some things that just begged to be bought and my bag did get progressively heavier as the day went on.

The haul wasn’t outrageous. We patronised each of the retailers, and took away the following:


From the bottom left:

From Bob & Rose: A silk shopping bag (this is to supplement my previous one and I can’t speak highly enough of them if you want always to have a bag on you to save having to resort to disposable carriers) and a Nalgene hipflask (for Mick to fill with Brandy for the TGOC).

From Ultralight Outdoor Gear: 2 MSR Ground Hog Stakes (to replace those of our Alpkit Tykes which we have bent); Mick also got very tempted by a Thermarest Neo Air, having finally seen one in the flesh, but with a remarkable show of will, managed to resist.

From Alpkit: A pack of three pairs of socks (they said they were size 3-5; looking at them they looked bigger than that and trying them on at home they do fit me, but would be too big for a smaller foot, so I suspect they were actually size 5-8 (me being a 5)); and three roll-top waterproof stow-bags. The stow-bags look remarkably similar to the many Sea-to-Summit waterproof bags that we proved quite conclusively on our travels last year are not waterproof, however, we’re hoping that not-quite-waterproof bags inside of not-quite-waterproof pack-liners will prove to be waterproof.

With a total expenditure of £35 it didn’t feel like we had been too outrageous.

Our day possibly would have ended with a round of the retailers and much chatting (oh, and with a trip to the tea-room in the village, which served us some excellent food and tea), except that Trentham Walker strongly recommended that we swing by the tent show – and we were mightily glad that we did. Okay, so we don’t need another tent, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t appreciate what’s on offer, and we spent a pleasant hour or so taking the walk up to the campsite and looking around the many and varied tents on offer (including a brief sojourn inside the TN Laser Photon when it started raining again). I can’t think of any other place where you could possibly see such a good range of tents on offer (Lightwave, Vaude, Go-Lite, Terra Nova and …ummm…someone else, I think).

More people were then met and chatted with as we returned to the Village Hall and just as the event was due to finish we finally made our way towards the car for the homeward journey.

If it hadn’t been for following our Sat Nav’s instructions on how to get home (we had ignored it largely on the way up, so thought we would see the route it suggested for the way back) going past the entrance to the campsite where the tent show was being held, we would have gone straight home. However, as we were passing we thought we’d pop back in because we’d barely had chance to say more than two words to Darren and there we things we needed to discuss with him (stoves, quilts, TGOC, that sort of thing).

With another hour or so having passed we did many times say goodbye to people and make vague mentions of leaving before we did finally drag ourselves away. We really should have stayed over!

It was a truly excellent day (far more interesting than The Outdoor Show, and only a tiny fraction of the size), which was well and truly made by all of the nice people to whom we talked during the day. I wouldn’t even think twice of going along again.

Friday, 24 April 2009

On This Day Last Year

We left Launceston (and unfortunately missed meeting Daryl May, who was walking the other way)

P4240049a A while later we passed the curious spectacle of half a house

P4240051a As usual, we saw some lovely countryside


Then I got side-tracked by an interesting tree stump


Then after skirting the edge of Dartmoor

P4240056awe found ourselves at a campsite (on the hardshoulder of the busy A30), only to be met with our nightmare scenario after a long day: it was fully booked up with a caravan rally. Fortunately, the owners were most accommodating and offered us either their lawn or the area in front of the barbeque area. We spent a comfortable night.

The original of the day can be read here.

Unfortunately this year is not anywhere near as interesting as last year – hence my lack of posts lately (cor, that was a long-winded way of saying “I’m not doing anything right now” wasn’t it? But at least it has caused me to post some of the never-before-published LEJOG photos).

Sunday, 19 April 2009


What an absolutely glorious day for a walk!

It seemed to be a pretty unanimous opinion, between us and the thirty thousand other people out on the Chase.

It was just over 15 miles today (2000 feet of ascent) with full packs.

Mick did well, considering that it was only an hour or so before we set off that he declared himself over the cold from which he has been suffering. But, he did end the day significantly red in the face. It’s back to the time of year where nothing short of factor 50 will save him, and yet we were out there in the blazing sun with no suncream at all (“When will you think to apply suncream without me telling you to?” I asked; “When I grow up” he replied; “When will that be” I asked?; “A lot of years yet” he confirmed).

Much of the entertainment for today’s walk was provided by Podcast Bob’s recent podcasts (some of which seem to have been around for a while without me noticing). I particularly enjoyed the two-parter with Peewiglet on the subject of the GR20. The new podcasts don’t seem to be shown on The Outdoorsstation yet, but you can find them via the linky thing at Backpackinglight or from itunes.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

A New Arrival

There was a knock on the door yesterday afternoon. As Mick went off to answer it, it was to my chant of “Is it my sleeping bag? Is it my sleeping bag? Is it my sleeping bag? Is it my sleeping bag?”

It was.

A few seconds later whatever I was in the middle of doing at the time had been abandoned, the packaging was ripped open and out came the bag to fluff up to its full potential – which turns out to be very fluffed-up indeed.


I challenge anyone with a new sleeping bag not immediately to crawl into it and my first try-out on the living room floor proved that, like my Minim 300 it fits me perfectly.

The weigh-in showed it to be slightly heavier than advertised, but still 550g lighter than the bag that it’s replacing.

Is it wrong to now hope for a freak late cold-spell to give me the chance to use it, rather than just now packing it away until next winter?


Unrelated to that, in downloading some photos today, I came across some of me modelling my new Paramo Velez Adventure Light last weekend:

P4110029aIf you can overlook the large pile of walking boots behind me, the very tasteful zebra slippers on my feet and the huge whisky bottle next to me, and just concentrate on the jacket, what do you reckon to the length? Looking at that photo, I’m wavering back towards thinking that it’s too short.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

A Year Ago

Mick sent me an email at 9.40 this morning, asking where I had been exactly one year ago.

It took me just a second or two to think back before I responded that we were a few miles beyond Marazion, battling the wind and that a few hours later, at the end of our day, we would inadvertently misplace the coast path (how? I still wonder; keeping the sea on your right seems so simple) and find ourselves walking a bit of a detour. We then found that our campsite was up a hill and I may have whinged a little bit.*

It was Day 2 of our LEJOG. Happy days indeed – and my goodness, doesn’t time fly?

Of course LEJOG season is now back in full swing and once again this year there are people sacrificing their evenings to keep up entertained by blogging it as they go.

First off there’s Litehiker Geoff, who set out a week last Sunday. He’s walking solo, using a bivvy and tarp arrangement, is raising money for the Multiple Sclerosis Research and Relief Fund and has already had many good experiences with the kindness of strangers. His blog also looks remarkably similar to how this one looked a year ago – although I note that the Pocketmail has a slightly different annoying footer attached to each sent message this year!

The other current LEJOGgers of whom I am aware sit (to my mind) firmly in the category of ‘nutters’. Now admittedly most people to whom we disclosed our walking plans before we set off did think that we were mad, but in my opinion walking for 12 weeks is a perfectly sane pastime. Running the length of the country though? That’s a special kind of mad! Their daily blog posts are short and sweet, so if you’ve not followed their progress so far it will be quick (and worthwhile, in my opinion) to catch up. It seems that thus far they’re having a bit of an issue with mileages being longer than they should be... They also have a website, where donations can be made to their chosen charities of Marie Curie and Macmillan.

I look forward to continuing to enjoy their respective journeys as they make their way up north.

(*I wrote that description off the top of my head. Having just re-read my blog entry for that day, it seems that I’m either dully predictable with my choice of language or that the day stuck well in my mind!)

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

On Sunday Last

In the absence of having planned to go anywhere else, Sunday saw us with our good old fall-back of a walk on Cannock Chase, this time with heavy packs and with determination to walk further than we have on any other single day this year.

It was a lovely day for it, with initial cloud cover, but still and warm, so with our brains in neutral (this being our umpteen-hundredth repetition of a familiar route) we set off at quite a lick. A freak incident resulting in a collision between a dog and a small child on a bicycle (both appeared fine, even if they child was wailing loudly - but then he did hit the ground with one heck of a clatter) provided a small diversion for us, and a brief detour over a few lumpy bits took us away from the masses for a short while.

Having more or less kept up with Mick's pace-setting I was more than ready for a break and some sandwiches when we reached a bench at the place that in my mind is called 'the high point' (but I think it's probably identified somewhat differently on a map). Having forgotten to make a flask, my focus from there on was the Visitor Centre, where we could get a cup of tea.

By the time we reached the Visitor Centre I was so warm that my longing for a cup of tea had been transformed into the need for an ice cream, which was consumed amidst consideration of what to do next.

A number of options were contemplated, and a concensus reached that to make sure that we walked a good distance we would simply turn around and walk the same route back to the car, but before we did that, our break was extended as we popped into the Great War Interpretation Centre that opens for just two hours each Sunday afternoon (we've seen it open a few times now and were feeling that it was rude to so repeatedly pass it by).

It dawned on us as we started retracing our steps that despite having walked our circuit on this part of the Chase umpteen-hundred times, we have always walked it in the same direction (and thinking about it I could come up with no reason why that has been the case), so it was something of a departure for us to be appreciating the views in the other direction.

The only modification made to our return route was that we omitted the three lumpy bits added on to our outward journey. I was feeling sufficiently exercised by that point without the extra effort and was focussed more on a Hot Cross Bun Break at the next picnic table we reached. That break was blissfully boots-off (gosh, it was warm!), then feeling slightly refreshed we covered the final distance back to the car.

In all seventeen miles were covered, with a reasonable smattering of ascent. Although the terrain wasn't representative of what we will find in Scotland, having completed the distance with plenty of energy remaining it did make me feel slighly better prepared to be setting off in less than a month for a stroll across Scotland.

I had intentions of fitting another walk in on Monday, but when the day turned out to be fine our attention was diverted instead to attacking some of the weed-fest that is our garden - an activity that left me aching far more than walking 17 miles ever has.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Paramo Ladies' Velez Adventure Light

Continuing my recent trend of kit indulgences, last week I added a Paramo Ladies’ Velez Adventure Light to my collection. This item only hit the shops a couple of weeks ago, and although a new Velez (in black) was at the top of my wish list, I was resisting well the lure of the new lightweight version. My resolve started to crumble when I read a few very positive initial reports on OM, and the nail in the coffin was when I found that The Mountain Factor had them at 20% off and with free P&P. An order was placed on Thursday afternoon, and despite being well after the shop's advertised cut-off time for same-day despatch, an hour or so later I had an email confirming that my shiny new smock was on its way to me.

Postie obliged my eagerness to get the item in my hands by arriving three hours earlier than usual on Saturday morning and my first impression when I took the parcel out of his hands was "Gosh, this is light". My second impression when I liberated the smock from the package was "Gosh, this is light and it feels absolutely lovely."

Then I tried it on. It was lust at first feel as I stood there (still on the front door mat) wearing the jacket and grinning like a fool.

One of the reasons I like my old Velez so much is that it feels just like a jumper, rather than like a coat. The Adventure Light is not only lighter, but is even more comfortable. And the hood! What an improvement on the detachable hood of the standard Velez. The peak is bigger and better and because it zips up, rather than closing with poppers, there won't be the need to stop, go cross-eyed in trying to see the poppers to unite them and curse when the wearing of mittens thwarts the first four attempts to do them up (which usually involves me thinking I fastened one then realising that the mitt is caught inside of it).

Then, fast on the heels of my delight, came disappointment as I noticed the lack of length in the body. Although the jacket is a vastly better fit on my body and arms than the XS unisex of my standard Velez, Paramo seems to have worked on the basis that skinny birds must also be short (but long in the arms). Thus, the hem finishes a couple of inches higher than my old Velez - and that's at least an inch shorter than I would want it to be. My grin wavered.

Then I considered my options (at quite some length; don't underestimate my ability to ponder a point when a not-cheap purchase is involved!). I could: 1. Have a jacket that is shorter than I want it; 2. Go a size up, have a jacket that is too volumous in the arms and body, but which is long enough; or 3. Concede that this jacket just doesn't come in an appropriate size for me.

Option 3 was quickly discounted. My existing Velez doesn't fit me well, being far too big in the body and baggy in the arms, and I still like it enough to want another, so the question quickly became one of "is it better to have a jacket that is too wide or one which is too short".

I’m not sure if there is a definitive answer to that question, but, oh how I pondered. It kept me occupied for a good few miles on the Chase on Sunday. I think that I got to the decision that too short was the best option*. That way I'm not carrying around excess material in the body and won't have flappy arms. Plus, if it's raining enough for me to worry about where the water will be running off my jacket then I'll be wearing waterproof trousers anyway.

Now I find myself in that need-to-test-a-new-waterproof situation of actually wanting a bit of a downpour (just a bit, mind!) next time we're out so that I can test the most important qualities of the jacket.

(*But I am female and thus am at liberty to change my mind on the point, so I haven't cut the tags off quite yet and will probably try both my old and the new Velez on a few more times before I reach a final, irreversible decision).

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Edale – Some Photos

I’ll start with a bit of a compare-and-contrast:

March 2009:

P3100054April 2009:

P4050002aMore impressively – March 2009:


April 2009 (the angle’s different because this time I didn’t have to struggle up a ridiculously steep grass slope to bypass the falls):

P4050007aAnd just look at that sky!

Taking the interesting route:

P4050011Mick (a very smug Mick) shows off the Stow-on-the-go feature on his shiny new Osprey Exos:

P4050009aInteresting stone:


Mick demonstrates the shelter that can be achieved under an interestingly shaped rock:

P4050015aThen he gesticulates his thoughts on the shapes of the rocks ahead:

P4050016aThey are good shapes:

P4050018a   And finally, the Downfall, complete with water (albeit a pretty poor snap of it):


Monday, 6 April 2009

Sunday on Kinder Scout

We woke up to a stunning morning in Edale yesterday. The clear skies had given us a chilly night, with a bit of a ground frost*, but led to a truly superb day for walking.

By 8am we were parked up in the still-empty parking area at Upper Booth and after no small amount of faffing (principally involving Mick making sure he had everything he needed in his shiny new Osprey Exos (along with lots of stuff that he didn’t need but was using as representative weight for this training walk)) off we set down the road.

Anyone who knows the area will appreciate that ‘down the road’ is not the most obvious direction in which to head from that car park, but I decided on my previous trip that the slight backtrack to take a route across fields was much more pleasing than the walk up the road.

The walk itself was to be something of a repetition of what I’d done on the second day of my Edale Adventure a month ago. On that occasion, as I made my way up Crowden Brook, I thought that Mick would have rather enjoyed the route, so this was the return journey to test that theory**.

As we made our way up the side of the brook I could scarcely believe the difference to a month ago. It was difficult to reconcile this happily burbling stream, with pretty rock beds and steps, with the immense raging torrent that I had previously encountered.

Whereas last time I was unable to cross the water where I needed to, this time we skipped from side to side without even getting the soles of our shoes wet (and there was me thinking it would be a good test of my new boots, it being the place where I discovered the leak in the original pair).

Although not as spectacular, the lack of a raging torrent did have its advantages and we were able to take a more interesting route up the stream with a few scrambly bits thrown in at the top.

We met no-one else on our way up to the plateau, but within three minutes of reaching the path along its edge, I had already seen more people than I encountered in the whole of my previous 2-day trip. That’s a warm, sunny, Spring Sunday for you, rather than a shitty-weathered-out-of-season Tuesday!

Around the edge we went and I couldn’t believe the difference there either. The vast sections of peat bog that I had encountered (waded through, in fact) were now dried to such an extent that, with a little care, they could be trodden on without the danger of losing a leg to the knee. It struck me that either I was exceptionally unlucky with the underfoot conditions last time, or exceptionally lucky this time; my feeling tended in the direction of the former.

We skipped along, enjoying the clear views, and taking the time to take photos of things that caught out attention*** whilst basking in the warm sunshine.

By and by we reached the big cairn where the edge path meets the Pennine Way and this time I was determined to make the detour to the Downfall. With many a “How Do” as we passed endless numbers of people, we made our way along, feeling the chill that was still in the air when the sun went in and we lost shelter from the wind. Finally we came upon the Downfall and I heard before I saw that it did have water in it.

Our packs were dumped near the top as we wandered down to get a view and sure enough, even in the reasonably benign conditions the water was doing its party trick of being blown back up.

We tarried a while with snack bars until I was well and truly chilled and until our contemplation of the map had resulted in the conclusion that our only real option in the time available to us was to retrace our steps to the big cairn and then make our way down Jacob’s Ladder.

I had been tempted to try a route across the middle again, because it had struck me, on the evidence available elsewhere, that the nightmare I had there previously was probably during the wettest underfoot conditions of the year and if the dried-outness of the edge path was anything to go by, the middle would be a lot more passable now. However, a route across the middle didn’t make sense in terms of where we had left the car and our ascent route, so we stuck with the safe, but less interesting option.

There were still hoards of people ascending as we made our way down and as we reached the road, I couldn’t believe how busy it had become; with the car park full, there were cars abandoned in all sorts of inconsiderate positions. Still, we freed up a space at an early enough hour that it was probably reused and back home we tootled, to complete all of our chores before the long commutes to work beckoned again this morning.

* Given the time of year and the weather forecast, I really don’t know what I was thinking in selecting Wendy as our accommodation for the night. Actually, I do know – it was the fact that she’s so quick and easy. What I can’t fathom is how I overlooked the fact that she’s really the most unsuitable tent for two people in cold, still conditions. She’s fantastic with one person. She’s fantastic in warm or windy conditions. Cold, still and full occupancy she struggles with. As a result it was a condensation-wet start to the day.

** I wasn’t wrong. He did like the route.

*** I had good intentions of posting some photos in this post. The laptop thwarted those intentions by refusing to play ball (an hour of whirring before I could do anything useful with it – time for a new laptop, do you think?). I’ll likely post a few photos sometime later in the week.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

The Plan … The Reality

According to the plan we should be somewhere atop a hill right about now. Where I actually am is sitting on the sofa.

I can trace the root cause of the plan going awry. It was when yesterday morning I decreed that I would rather spend last night in our comfy bed rather than camping and that instead I was prepared to get up early this morning to make our planned outing into a daytrip.

By the time we retired last night our bags were packed and in sitting by the front door, ready for a quick get away this morning.

At 6am the alarm went off. There was a groan as I turned over and hit snooze. Then Mick complained that he hadn’t slept well and was too tired. “Shall we not go?” I mumbled in my sleepy state and turned the alarm off.

We awoke two and a half hours later, which had eaten too much into the day for a daytrip.

All is not lost. I am determined that we will be out walking tomorrow. To make sure of that, we’re back to the camping plan. We will set off within the next couple of hours and Wendy is coming with us. As an added bonus, we have time on our journey this afternoon to swing by a gear shop or two. Mick has his eye on an Osprey Exos and a Thermarest Neoair, so it would be nice if we could track those down.

Friday, 3 April 2009


There is a fan-heater-esque whirring noise coming from the kitchen. With only a tiny bit more than a month left until the TGO Challenge (eek!), and with a distinct lack of at-home time available, it seemed prudent to start the dehydrating exercise to make sure that we have enough food to see us between food-serving establishments.

In a frenzy of activity, Mick has cooked himself a large and potent chilli, whereas I took advantage of bananas being sold off at Tesco and bought a dozen, which have duly been skinned and sliced.

We now have two dehydrators on the go, with four trays of bananas and four trays of chilli creating an interesting aroma.

I have my doubts that any of the bananas will see the Challenge. Given that they don’t need to be rehydrated, they have a tendency to be eaten well before the trip for which they were intended.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

In Praise Of Terra Nova

On the way home from my Edale Adventure at the beginning of March I popped into Terra Nova (TN) to return the inner of Vera Voyager. We had noticed during our Wet Highlight Washout in October that the groundsheet seemed to be leaking and although we tried initially to put the issue down to condensation as time went on that explanation just didn’t (hmmm, wash? hold water?) ring true.

Over the course of the following months I came up with various elaborate plans as to how I could test the waterproofness. Fortunately before I put one of those elaborate plans into action I had an attack of common sense, took a mug out of the cupboard, put an inch of water in it, pulled the fabric tight over the top and inverted the mug. The water came through. I repeated the exercise in various places and established that the entire groundsheet had become porous.

Given that I bought the tent in the middle of 2006, and it lost its waterproofness in 2008, my noddy (but conclusive) test was enough for me to return the inner under TN’s lifetime guarantee (thank goodness I kept that receipt!).

I think that it’s generally acknowledged that TN make jolly good tents, but anecdotal evidence is quite clear that their customer service can be a bit hit and miss, so I wasn’t convinced that the guarantee would be honoured without a fight.

Today I was pleasantly surprised. Although I didn’t find a parcel in the shed when I got home, nor a ‘sorry you were out’ card on the doormat, I did find a letter from TN. In it they confirmed that they had checked the inner and had found the groundsheet to be lacking. They also confirmed that they will provide a new inner. The only question they had for me was whether I wanted them to mail it to me or whether I wanted to collect.

This is my second dealing with TN over a warranty issue and the second time that they have come good. Either I am one of the lucky ones*, or their customer service is improving.

(*And perhaps it may have helped that the week before I returned Vera’s inner, I bought Susie Superlite from them).