It has been a strange sort of month for me with my quietest time on the air since July 2005 and yet some really pleasing contacts in the log. The weather does its best to depress me, being almost constantly dark and wet. Work has been slow, we had a supposed one week shut-down that turned in to a slow six weeks lurching from one disaster to the next. However despite long periods on inactivity while awaiting parts and repairs I have worked more hours than would care to due to sickness, jury service and family bereavements amongst my collogues. Quiet twelve hour night shifts would normally be welcome but they do tend to drag and you get on to that slippery slope of the less you do, the less you want to do. The problem is you bring that feeling home with you and just want to slump on the couch and slob out. I do not watch much television but I have freed up 50% of the space on my 'Sky Plus' HDD this month. I would rather be talking on the radio but when I do get on the air my conversation has been somewhat uninspired of late. Even this weblog has been silent for over a week with nothing I have seen, heard or read managing to inspire me.
I have had other things going on to keep me off the air such as my mother spending some time in hospital and me visiting to check up she is okay since she got home. I have also been busy organising the Mold and District Amateur Radio Clubs Christmas Dinner, which might have been easier if I had not been working nights for our last meeting or if everyone had replied to the emails I sent. I finally sorted out the clubs call GC0HRG/GW0HRG with OFCOM nearly a year after our founder and president Eddie Hewins BEM GW3GSJ passed away and we now have both a workable facility and the license to use it.
My band of choice this month has to be 5mHz with lots of new LA (Norway) calls in the log and a handful of new US states, but the prize contact has to be Octavio YN2N (Nicaragua). There was one that had me kicking myself for letting him get away and that was Juilen 9Z4FZ (Trinidad and Tobago) who was booming in on 5.4035 mHz. I let everyone else work him while I finished an email, but when I called he had either gone QRT or the propagation died. Apparently he is on every Sunday night at 00:00z but that was the first time I heard him. Maybe next Sunday?
Tomorrow is at least the start of the SOTA winter bonus period so chance of some much needed activity on that front. If the weather is half decent I may even get out on the local two pointers myself and that should boost both the number of contacts in my log and my mood.
Even if getting out on the hills improves my mood it will not last. I am working twelve hour nights Christmas eve and Christmas day and just to rub my nose in it I start back New Years Day morning. Oh Joy! Maybe I will spend the extra payments on a new rig to cheer me up. Bah Humbug!
I probably would have been even more of a Humbug this Sunday as Flintshire Raynet are in Mold for a 'Santa Dash' but I am working so cannot attend. Maybe I am the only one who does not see the relevance of a fat guy whose name is an anagram of Satan propagating greed and consumerism amongst our children at Christmas, but I am sure my shouting "Get back to hell and take all those credit card bills with you!" or "I hope you have all been Police checked!" through a loud hailer would have gone down like a lead balloon. I might not appreciate the loonies running in their Santa outfits but they are all doing it for a good cause and this one is to raise money for both Nightingale House Hospice and St. Kentigerns Hospice in Denbighshire so good luck to them.
My best news of the Month is that my Land Rover Discovery had a recall for the dodgy brakes and it now actually stops. The Discovery MkIII has been renown for its brakes that sometimes did not work. I know several people who bought one only for them to get rid quick after a scary moment and one guy that ploughed his in to another car in a traffic queue at very low speed but wrote off both vehicles. He had it less than a month. Land Rover have been denying there was a problem ever since the MKIII came out but suddenly years later with the MKIV suffering the same problem we get a recall. I love this car to bits. If I didn't it would have gone the first time I almost didn't stop. Now I love it even more. If only I could get the ATAS working properly so I could work mobile HF on my Yaesu FT-857D I would be ecstatic, but the roof is almost all glass and there is next to no ground plain so I cannot get it to tune.