Our caravan trip thus far has not been uneventful.
First off, we arrived at our first port of call to find that two of our long-time camping friends were waiting there to surprise us. They'd only a few days before picked up a motorhome, then secretly arranged to join the Caravan Club rally on the pretext that we weren't allowed to know they were coming.
On arrival at the rally field, we thought it was a bit odd that the rally officer raced off out of sight while his wife kept us chatting (he'd gone to tell our friends that we'd arrived and to get in their van and keep out of sight).
He then guided us to our spot beside a large motorhome with a swingball set up outside. I sighed and remarked sotto voce to PP that we'd drawn the short straw and had a (probably noisy) family with children pitched next to us.
Undaunted, we set about unhitching the car from the caravan, when the motorhome door opened and someone said "I don't suppose you'd like one of these would you"? while offering us each a cold beer.
My first thought was that the lady in question looked a dead ringer for one of our camping friends.
I'm not always very quick on the uptake so it took several seconds for my brain to process what my eyes were seeing, and several more seconds before my happy squeals subsided sufficiently to make coherent speech possible.
After an excited reunion between the four of us and all the dogs, PP and set about putting up our awning, a task which we've whittled down to 20 minutes with no 'domestics'. At that point I took my backpack out of the car and rooted around to locate my phone.
After emptying the (not inconsiderable) contents of my backpack I came to the conclusion that no matter how many times I picked through the assorted old Tesco receipts, Small Dog's poo bags (empty), pens, bunches of keys and miscellaneous detritus..... my shiny new smart phone definitely wasn't there.
Cue much wailing and gnashing of teeth as I contemplated a whole 17 days without internet access, FB, messaging, texts etc. Thankfully PP isn't named Perfectionist Partner for nothing, and in no time at all came up with a damn fine plan to reunite me with my phone, involving a phone relay across East Sussex, starting with our house sitters who were able to locate it, then pass it on to other camping friends who will be joining us tomorrow and will be able to hand it over then.
In the intervening period I've gone cold turkey and am just about out the other side. The first three days we had no electric hook up therefore couldn't use laptops to get online. Our latest site does have WiFi but it's been intermittent so only today have I been able to get online for long enough to write a blog post.
However, tomorrow, due to kind friends, I will have my smart phone back and although it will be pronounced dead on arrival and need to be resurrected, I'll once again have the world at my fingertips.
Not before time.
For Small Dog aficionados, you'll be gratified to know that she has gone feral. This always happens when we're camping for longer than 3 days and we suspect it's because she's so meticulous about her pitch perimeter guarding duties. She spent ages yesterday keeping a close eye on a pigeon which threatened to stray unwittingly within her range. She will brook no intrusion on her territory by any creature, no matter how small and inoffensive. On a slow day she'll even harass passing insects.
The weather thus far has been fairly good. Lots of sunshine, the odd shower but overall not too bad. Until this afternoon. We're all snuggled cosily in the caravan listening to the rain pattering on the roof. Small Dog is lying flat out on a cushion in the front window, to all intents and purposes fast asleep but the position of her ears lends me to believe that she is merely feigning sleep and will immediately snap to attention if another dog passes by.
The timing of today's rain is unfortunate, as we'd been planning to take down the awning later in advance of moving to our next site tomorrow. As it is, we'll probably have to take it down sopping wet and stow it in the shower cubicle in the morning, as we'll be putting it straight back up again when we get to our next destination.
The odyssey continues......