Well it is 2010, what happened to the last decade? It only seems like yesterday I was celebrating the new millenium. I was on a caravan rally because we all figured that if the so-called millenium bug was going to bring about the destruction of life as we know it then we might as well be self-sufficient and away from the major urban centres that would be chaos without lighting and heating, with floods of sewage, self-destructing electrical equipment and airplanes falling from the sky. It was also a good excuse for a hell of a party and no-one would need to drive home. The party was great and we crawled to bed as dawn was breaking. The fireworks were good too and the only damp squib was the much hyped millenium bug that amounted to nothing, even my computer still worked and still does.
In the intervening years there has been one scare after another and each time it has amounted to very little. I could list everything here but I won’t however one example is swine flu, which seems to have been little more than another bad cold and in fact less people seem to have had this strain of flu than any other I can remember, but according to the doom merchants it was going to kill millions. There have been so many of these scares over the past ten years that I think the public are getting blasé about everything that government and their scientific advisors say. You can only cry wolf so many times.
The jury is still out on so-called global warming, but I am a firm believer that this is a natural phenomena and I don’t think there is a damn thing we can do about it or the next ice age, which we are well overdue for. If there is anything in it why would anybody believe the bunch of self-serving liars and thieves that run every government on this planet?
Picking up the papers over the last ten years I am left wondering if indeed I could save the planet whether I would even bother. Is mankind worth saving or just a blot the landscape of the third rock from a b-list star? The Christmas message should be that of ‘Peace on Earth, goodwill to all men’. If only everyone would actually take that message literally then mankind might be worth saving.
I hope everyone had a great Christmas and start to the new year. Mine was spent at work and was no fun at all. Freezing for twelve hours at a time in sub-zero temperatures trying to do the near impossible has left both my mind and body feeling somewhat numb. While everyone around me partied and celebrated I worked or slept. What a contrast to that time ten years ago when we partied like it was our last day of Earth. If I felt what I was doing had any value or point then I could feel slightly better, but I think if we had all gone home to our families no-one would have noticed. To add to the gloom everything is broken again anyway.
I tell myself it could be worse and speaking to friends in various parts of the country I think we have got of lightly with the weather at least. Talking further afield I hear of -30 centigrade in Norway and it makes -4°c here tonight seem almost warm.
One thing I really missed this Christmas/New year was being able to get on air and pass greetings all my friends. This morning (3rd Jan 2010) was the first chance I had to do much on the radio and it was great to work lots of SOTA stations who were out for the ‘Winter Fun Day’. Top of my list today was Joerg DL1DLF who was in Belguim on ON/ON-009 Iverst, which only leaves me one Belgium summit to work. I wonder if I will get my last English summit before I get my last Belgium one?
The Scottish SOTA stations had me wondering about the sanity of the fun day idea with Jack GM4COX telling me of walking through chest high drifts and taking an hour longer to reach his summit than expected. His comments on the snow seemed to be confirmed by first Robin GM7PKT from his West Scotland summit and then in the SOTA reflector by Andy MM0FMF who could not get out of his road and Alan MM0XXP who had to dig himself a space in the car park at Middlefield Law GM/SS-184.
The SOTA activity made a nice change but I had to leave the radio shack at lunch time to get a few hour sleep before heading to work and missed about half of the activity, including some good friends on local summits operating on less usual or higher bands such as 4m and 23 cms.
Time, I think, to get out on the hills myself and blow away these winter blues that are getting me down, to stand on a summit and look down on the world and once again believe this world is worth saving, to talk on the radio and restore my faith in human nature, to feel my heart beating, the blood surging through my veins and know what it is to be alive once again.
The sequel to Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001 A Space Odyssey was 2010 and subtitled The Year We Make Contact and it seems appropriate that as radio amateurs we should try to make 2010 The Year We Make Contact with each other and spread peace and goodwill to all men.