When I first started this blog I was inspired by other bloggers most of whom over the intervening period between then and now seemed to have dropped by the wayside. You know what I mean; For a while they post every day or every week and then all of a sudden weeks or months go by with nothing posted. I never really understood why, but gradually it dawns on me as I look at my own blog and a lack of posts the denies the fact that I haven't really run out of things to say. It is not even as if I have had one of those "When did it become a chore?" moments either. It is all just down to being too busy. I have had to look at each day and say to myself "What should I concentrate on?" and as a result even my log book is looking like I have lost interest in the hobby, which clearly is not the case.
I have been somewhat tied up at work with a change of employer (same job), training and covering colleagues holidays and then I have had two rather wet weeks holiday with the family in Scotland and a week away with Helen to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. In both cases poor or none existent Internet access did not help. My 3 mobile broadband dongle when it could get a signal was painfully slow (and it is faster than my landline at home) and although we had occasional access via BT Open Zone that too got very slow when my kids tried to use it too. My O2 mobile phone was even more useless with no access in three separate holiday cottages. Text messages occasionally made their way through including SOTA spots that I receive via Twitter, but often they were three or more hours old before I got them.
While I was away I did have HF set up and another indication of how things have been going is that I still have not transcribed my logs from our Scottish trip. Even the logs from my SOTA activations are still in the form of scribble on a reporters pad.
For my birthday Helen bought me an Icom IC-7400, which is still in the box waiting for me to make space in the shack. It is almost sacrilegious to have such a wonderful piece of kit sitting there unused, but I have just not had the time.
My 2m/70cm/23cm collinear is lying in the garden too, having developed a fault that I have not had time to trace. Time for a complete overhaul of the antennas and a rearranging of the shack, but when will I get the time?
At least one worry is over, the club sale went down a storm. There were a couple of mutterings from folk who expected a full blown rally, but they were fortunately in the minority. What do people expect? Even if we hope to turn the event in to something approaching a full blown ham fest it is unlikely to start out that way. Why had a fair number of traders who in the main sold 'not much' but the private sales did a roaring business. Most of the traders said that they enjoyed the event even if the did not cover their costs and as one of them said "It is much about meeting people as selling stuff." His logic was along the lines that "If folk know me then next time, when they want something I am selling, they will come to me (their old mate), rather than someone they don't know", it sort of makes sense.
The Mold club stall made enough money for the club for it to have been worthwhile. The silent key sale sold everything bar the Elecraft K3 and then at the end we had a reasonable offer for that too, that was a big relief for one of our members who had been unable to get in to his garage due to all the equipment stored there. The bar takings meant the Rugby club would be kept happy to.
When I arrived (late straight from work) everything was in full swing and after getting a pint I circulated around the stall owners to thank them for coming. I missed at least one stall owner who initially had a large crowd around him, by the time I got back he had sold everything and gone. From what I gather all the private sellers and club stalls made it at least worth their while. I felt particularly sorry for one trader who managed to pick up a puncture and not just a fixable little nail but a fist size hole in the sidewall. He told me he had taken £97 but a new tire would be £100. Ouch! At least we did not charge anyone to be there. Maybe the message to the traders is "Are you really selling what people want to buy and at the right price?" Time for you guys to think about that one before Saturday & Sunday, 29th & 30st October 2011 and the 24th North Wales Amateur Radio Show. Meanwhile I need to get my shack sorted so that when I head to Ysgol John Bright, Maesdu Road, Llandudno LL30 1LF for the rally I have my shopping list up to date.