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is an informative, cynical and sometimes humorous look at what is happening in the world of amateur radio.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Christmas Humbugs

According to a survey published by Samaritans and YouGov nearly half the UK population (48 percent) has worried this year about debt and money. In addition, almost a quarter of people (23 percent) describe 2009 as a bad or their worst year ever. For me it has not been quite that bad and there have been some real high spots but the last few months have been pretty crumby. Firstly there has been uncertainty at work, which makes you want to hang on to every penny in case the worst happens. Various friends and family members have been in hospital for one reason or another including my mother. So many reasons to wear my black suit that I do not even want to think about it. Then there is the reminder that it is 12 months since a similarly black period last year. Last night my eldest son was in hospital after injuring his knee. He is now on crutches for the festive season and unable to drive. Fortunately his work as a web developer will allow him to work from home, but that is not a situation that can go on indefinitely. It also meant a 100 mile plus round trip to collect his car.

My work pattern over the festive season has been particularly bad. I was working over the weekend and missed the mass return of the Summits on the Air operators as everyone unperturbed by the cold set forth to grab a few Winter Bonus points in what turned out to be a brief bit of winter sun. I am due to work a twelve hour night shift on Christmas eve and another Christmas day so although I am home for the big event most of it will be spent in bed. Previous years we have been put in to a limbo standby state at work and have effectively only been there to fire watch, but an unplanned seven week shutdown means we are working flat out to catch up. I then have a little break and return to work at 7am on New Years Day morning, so an early night and no celebrations for me then. What I will miss most over Christmas will be my brothers and sisters who I only see a couple of times a year because I am working when they are visiting and my Granddaughter's smiles. New Year's eve and way until the early hours I will miss wishing all those old friends and many strangers on the radio "Happy New Year" while getting mildly pickled and eating left over trifle.

So there you have it. It is dark damp and miserable and as an grumpy old fart with nothing to look forward to I should actually be more grumpy than I actually am. I will just take my pleasures and victories where I find them because I know the sun is going to come up tomorrow. Now only if that sun had a few spots!

Todays highlights were Frank K9HMB on 5.4035mHz USB romping through while I munched my special K and later LA1TPA/P on SOTA summit LA/TM-049 Holtankollen 5.3985mHz USB, followed by Richard GW0VMW/P 144mHz FM on two of the three local summits he did today. I also had a ragchew on two FM with my buddy Mike M1DAP. In between I chilled out by watching some recorded TV and freeing up some space on my inadequate SKY+ box. On Jonathan Ross World Champion Formula One Jenson Button came across as much matured and more sensible than I remember and Andre Agassi changed my opinion of him that had been swayed by shock revelations in the news papers. I never was quite enamored by Terry Wogan but he was mildly entertaining but N Dubz, the MOBO-award-winning hip hop group from North West London(North West = N Dubz get it?) , left me wondering what the hell happened to education in this country and wanting to put every drug addled hoodie I see up against the wall to be shot. I watched some other stuff too but the space freeing was all in vain as I found some more films to record that are on while I am in work and then it was off for a few hours sleep before another night shift. Once again I was not visited by Marley's ghost so maybe I am not as big a humbug as I think, but I still fancy putting up the importal words 'Bah Humbug!' in twenty foot high letters at this time of year.

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