Demonstrating Calendar feature on mobile phone in Kent leads to locked gates in Sussex

As we seem to be lacking in contributions to the site, with the notable exceptions of Hirundine and Simon, I thought you might be amused in this sequence of events that occurred to me last week. 

A week ago last Friday Doug Rae and I were giving some shooting instruction near Flimwell Dave Toye coaching at the 2001 Games Fair on some land adjoining Bewl Bridge reservoir. At the end of the day Doug asked me how to use the Calendar function on my mobile as he has the same type of phone. After extolling the virtues of being able to sync my phone to Outlook on my computer (he doesn’t have a computer so this was a bit of one upmanship), I gave him a demo. He thanked me and we said our goodbyes until the following Tuesday when we would both be instructing again, this time at Lower Lodge (Web site designed by me incidentally. Contact me for advice re: Internet and Web sites!) at Five Oaks.

After Doug had driven away I put my hand in my pocket to find my van keys. No keys to be found. I searched high and low for the next hour without success. Luckily I have a spare car key hidden on the chassis of the car and was able to start my journey home. Just past Tunbridge Wells Doug phoned me from his home in Brighton and gleefully told me had my keys. He had accidentally taken them from me whilst I was demonstrating the mobile. As I had a spare front door key hidden at home as well, I told him I would not drive down to pick them up, but would see him next week at Lower Lodge.

Sunday night I stayed at Pete Setterfield’s (former resident of Stanford Cottages in Sedgwick Lane) house in Petworth. Pete is now Regional Director of the Countryside Alliance and also a fellow BASC shooting coach. We both had a Monday 6am start to attend a day for The Guild of Shooting Instructors three hours drive away. By the evening I was knackered and intended to have an early night but decided to slip down the WhiteMy Springer Spaniel Bundle through the window Horse at the last knockings for a couple of pints. When I got home (I wasn’t drunk on two pints of excellent Weltons Dorking Pride 2.8%) I reached for my spare house key, which was hidden in some bushes. My heart sank as it slipped from my fingers and dropped into the flowerbed. Needless to say after groveling around for 15 minutes or so in the dark, with the dog looking out the window wondering whether I had lost my senses, I gave up.

Luckily I have a camper van, so I resolved to sleep in that for the night and find the key in the morning. I was up at 7am and after dismantling the flowerbed plant by plant I was still unable to find my key. The dog was looking out of the window even more perplexed than the night before, but with both back legs crossed. I was due to see Doug in the afternoon but could hardly leave the dog inside for all of that time and so I phoned him on my mobile. When he had stopped Camper vanlaughing he said I could pick the keys up from him at his shooting ground near Shoreham where he would be in the next half an hour. I drove down to Shoreham and picked up the keys. He asked me to leave the gate open on my way out, as his shooting client was about to arrive. I got home and was able to let the dog out much to its and my relief.

When I saw Doug in the afternoon at Lower Lodge he told that when his client had arrived he was unable to get in as the gate was locked. I assured him that I had definitely left it open. Apparently, as I was driving out one of his neighbours had spotted my camper van and thought that I was a reconnaissance party for the pikey’s, so he threw a chain over the gate and padlocked it. 

Excessive microwave radiation not the only hazard associated with mobile phones!


Dave Toye 17th September 01

PS If you see my van locally there is no need to padlock your gates.