Martin Roberts

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If bagging the ideal pitch is crucial to your caravan holidays, Martin Roberts knows your pain – rewind to May 2014 as he prepared for a summer of touring

After a million years of calculations, the supercomputer in Douglas Adams’ A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy concluded that the answer to ‘Life, the Universe and Everything’ was 42. My current conundrum is: should it be 46 or 47? Let me explain.

We’ve decided to spend a considerable proportion of our summer in the caravan at our favourite site in Dorset. That was a decision in itself, because in the past, we’ve generally moved around various sites and not stayed anywhere for more than four days. However, this year, we’ve chosen to stay put for two weeks before moving on to our traditional two weeks of touring in Devon and Cornwall.

We’re very excited, because this site has everything that our family and dogs need, from woodland walks to a swimming pool, and from lovely forest pitches to freshly made croissants in the morning.

However, the choice of the particular pitch where we are going to stay has become incredibly important. It’s now as if we are choosing the site for the building of our dream home, as I, in particular, postulate an increasingly bizarre list of questions.

I’ve pored over the site plan and combined this with satellite images from Google Earth and a large-scale Ordnance Survey map of the area. Now, I can narrow it down to two pitches – the aforementioned 46 and 47.

Now things start to get really technical. Nuances, such as wind direction, position of the sun, variety of surrounding vegetation, ley lines, satellite reception and distance to the shower block are all being factored into an equation that even Douglas Adams’ supercomputer would struggle to resolve. My wife took a more pragmatic approach, phoned the site, and asked the lady on reception which one she would stay at.

Assuming that we’re not the only people who undergo this mental torture and holiday planning anguish, I’ve decided I need to create the ultimate equation for picking the perfect pitch. It goes something like this: square footage, multiplied by the durability of grass seed, factoring in the proximity to a loo block and average daily sunshine, multiplied by the probability of seeing wildlife, minus the distance from the dog walk, Wi-Fi signal strength optional.

Unfortunately, a trial run on a previous iteration of the equation concluded that we would be best served by pitching our caravan in the car park of the local Sainsbury’s.

I made a few tweaks and inputted the data again. Annoyingly, it now concluded that we should choose the other pitch from the one the lady on reception recommended. So we are currently holding two reservations for the two plots and, in the absence of being able to make a decision, I’m looking into borrowing a caravan so we can flip between the two during our stay.

Visit Martin’s website for information about him, his books and his property training weekends, and follow his adventures on Twitter
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