Yes, this is a chat about mobile telephones. We live in a mobile (and broadband) blackspot. For those of you too young to imagine what that is: It’s a place where you can’t use your mobile. OMG – did I hear you say? What do you mean? – did I hear you say? What country are you in? – Did I hear you say? Yes, it’s true. Where we live you don’t have to charge your mobile because it doesn’t work whether its flat or not. When we first came to live here any visitors would arrive and go ‘OMG you have a phone box in the village?’ Well, yes we do. Because you can’t rely on carrier pidgeons what with eagles and cats. Phone boxes are such a rarity these days. I love our’s tho. The thing is that our little outpost with the telephone box being the only ‘villagey’ thing there, is the last of anything for about 114 mountainous kilometres to the next town. You won’t get petrol at our village, or food, or anything else. But you could phone someone to tell them you’re leaving civilisation as you’ve previously known it. Back to the mobile phones though.
If you have one there are certain spots around the area where certain carriers have a small area of reception. Where are these places? Well half way up some mountain, 3 paces this way and and 4 that. If you really want to know exactly where there are two sure fire ways to find out. Ask a teenager. The other way is to wait until friday/saturday nights and you will see them homing in on some forsaken little spot on the side of the road like they are being drawn to a magnetic point in the earth’s crust Of course, it may be a magnetic point, I don’t really know that much about mobile reception and how it works (more how it doesn’t work.)
So, what about the Iphone that I hear so much about these days? Everyone gets so excited and camps out near shops to buy the new one. Funnily enough we don’t have an Iphone shop round here. Several reasons. One there aren’t enough people (well we think there’s plenty, but the Iphone people disagree.) Then there’s the fact there’s less reception than even people. Thirdly, it’s too cold to camp out round here. I had a look at those Iphones when they came out. Hmmm. I bought me a little C3 Nokia. Twas a pretty big step up for me anyways lol. I bought the girl child one for her birthday and found it was so simple to set up for her – didn’t even require the help of the techie two. So it must be simple. Even though those buttons are very little I can still use it. A year on, I’m thinking I’ll have to start wearing my reading glasses to see the buttons. One of the techie boys bought a very downmarket little touchscreen phone. Looked really cute. And I thought AHA! But then I saw what it can do. Well really, it could take me a decade to learn how to manage that little sucker. I don’t really need an Iphone. But what I am thinking nowadays is that I can’t cope with an Iphone. I see so many people with cracked screens. There are new places springing up (even around here FGS!) to repair the screens. What is it with Iphones and their screens? They don’t seem very sturdy to me. Admittedly, when I ran over my last phone the screen cracked. But you’d expect that when you backed the ute over it. These people are just dropping their phones. I drop mine all the time. Sometimes the cover pops off and the battery jumps out – but you just put it all back and voila – it works. So if I’m going to get an Iphone it will not be and Iphone 6 or and Iphone 7 or even and Iphone 10. It will be an Iphone S or and Iphone R. That’s S for Sturdy. Or R for Rural ie able to be run over with the ute or the 4 wheeler.
The carriers are not my favourite people. We have a certain non-Telstra carrier because it was the only one that offered 365 day recharge card for when my daughter was younger and going to stay in Sydney and needed to be able to call me to say Hi. I’m seriously over them. In fact, one day when I’ve got a few minutes I’ll be trying to find out if I can keep that number and change carriers, because I have my business cards in that number. No point giving people a business card and then changing phone numbers! But this carrier has patchy coverage in our nearby town. I went to use it earlier this year in Woollies carpark – no coverage! WTFox! I went to use it half way up the school hill – no coverage! Several other places where I used to use it no longer work either. Then there was a lot of media coverage about how their service was getting very poor and they were about to upgrade all their network. Ummmmm, I think that was about 6 months ago and there doesn’t seem to be any of these places working yet. I forgot and tried to use it in woollies carpark again – I mean really if you can’t use the phone in the town supermarket carparks to find out what was on the list you made and left at home, then what use is the phone at all!
When we first moved down here we lived even further out of town in another mobile-less place. In the holidays there were camps at the farm. And if you happened to mention that you were going into town you would suddenly be in possession of about 35 mobile phones. When you got to town you would do your shopping. Sit down and open all the little txt boxes on the phones so that the txt messages came through. Then put them back in the car and go home. I did find that at the top of the road, where the bustop was you could access the messages from there, or make a hard to hear phone call if you stood on the door sill of the car, held you phone in a certain direction and didn’t move. It was for emergencies only because it was so hard to hear on the other end, and because it was such a pain to do. Over the last 3 years I have found that my phone will suddenly accept txt messages from various parts of the house, and a couple of places in the paddock. There is no making phone calls yet. I do hear that the neighbour across the road has got reception with an aerial on his roof and another carrier. Best go have a chat with him. In the meantime, anyone wants me to remember to bring something with me into town or to their place…..send a message not a voicemail. Because with voicemail I’ll get a message to say I have one – but they don’t even give you a clue about what it is, or who it is from. By the time I get half way into town, no way am I coming back home to get something for ya!
The worst thing for me about living in a mobile blackspot is that I can’t use our phone to call the mobile and find where it is, or vice versa to find the handset for the house phone!