So here we are 6 weeks away from Christmas.
Work continues at a pace, but the light at the end of the tunnel has appeared. After two years of trying to get my staffing levels increased I am only a couple of weeks away from getting some new staff. We offered three people posts and up to now two of them have accepted which is enough to lighten the load considerably. My new men start at the end of November and will be with me after two weeks basic training in Ballymena.
The radio club AGM comes up at the end of November and I think most of the members are hoping it doesn’t turn into fiasco that occured last year. I am currently the Vice-Chairman, a role I took up after the last AGM went wrong. I doubt I will stand for the post again as the VC job really is a job without any purpose, all the other committee and officer roles have tasks assigned to them whereas the VC job has absolutely nothing going on. My thoughts are that it could be combined with another post such as the events manager. So I will have a word with the Chairman next week and see what his thoughts are.
After some chores Saturday morning I managed to play a bit of radio. I went straight to the 10 metre band, as this has been the most active lately. The first station I heard had a bit of a pile up going on and I had to wait a while to get his callsign, it was HI8JQE, I wasn’t familiar with the pre-fix and had to look it up, I was suprised to see it was the Dominican Republic, I have not worked any of the Caribbean Islands so got myself settled in for a long battle trying to be heard above some of the European stations running a lot of power. I couldn’t believe it that on my third attempt I heard him come back with my callsign, fantastic! a new country for the log, which brings my country count since Oct 2012 to 49, this makes me happy. I worked another couple of stations on 10 metres including a ragchew with a Russian station who gave me a 5-9 + signal report, I also received a 5-9 + from a Norwegian station today.
I am getting used to the stove, I was alarmed at first at how quickly the wood burned but I am getting used to the airscrew adjustment and am managing to get the wood to last a little longer than ten minutes. Today when I went in the shack the temperature was 6.5c, once I got the stove alight the temperature was climbing and after an hour the shack was a toasty 20c. I am pleased with that as well.
My pot belly stove on the left
All in all a good week