To the Back of Beyond

I’ve been to Dorset before but it was so long ago that I really have no recollection about it. So essentially, our journey into Dorset today was taking me into pastures new so I was quite excited. It’s also a bit of a departure for us because we were heading for a commercial campsite, not a Caravan Club site nor a Caravan Club CL (Certificated Location – a field of 5 vans with no facilities which is generally our preferred type of haunt). The reason for this deviation is that this is our twice postponed – once for health and once for snow – New Year trip. Originally, we needed an all year hard-standing site.

We left right on schedule at 10:00 AM and after a pleasantly uneventful 3½ hours of travelling we were checking in. We’d been allocated a pitch so that took away any decision making on our part. We’re sometimes not good at making pitch selection decisions – we’ve only been doing it for 25 years, after all. The grass pitches are still not being used so hard-standing it was; not our favourite but quite understandable. Billy’s mover behaved itself and we were soon pitched up.

I’d promised to call my mother and let her know when we were safely installed. I turn on my mobile and prepared to invest a little cash in maintaining family relations. No signal, not a single bar! Unbelievable!! Are we stuck in the wilds of the Scottish glens? Are we in some forgotten hinterland? Are we in the back of beyond? You wouldn’t have thought so; there are three large campsites down this road and we are a mere 3 or 4 miles from Wareham – not that far from Swanage. This is Touristville, Dorset – a central part of the overcrowded English south coast. There are some trees around and a few less-than-serious hills topping out at about 600 feet but I would have hoped there wasn’t anything significant enough to stop a mobile signal. This technology might be useful one day, when we can make it work.

I wandered up to the main gate where my phone eventually condescended to give me a single bar of signal strength and checked-in with mater. All was well, other than having to strain to hear over the road traffic and cars entering the campsite.

I spotted some other poor soul suffering from technological advancement standing on the grassy play area near the main gate on a mobile phone. Strewth!

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