Wet Wet Wet

This month has to be the wettest I can remember, I’m not basing this on any recorded empirical evidence, it just seems that all the fields and green areas where I walk Alf are completely waterlogged. The road I use to leave Harlow on has been more or less impassable in a normal car for a week or so. I am a little cautious about this as I managed to bugger an engine on my company car three years ago on this road due to flooding, so I don’t want to do this again. Luckily I have my old Land Rover discovery and I have no problems going through most flooded roads in this area.

Work last week was painful to say the least, I have never had so many staffing issues, at one point last week I was five men down. It gets stressful running this short of men (all off for genuine reasons) and it got to the point where we were only repairing VOR’s.

Anyway next week we have a few more bodies back and things should get easier.

One of my goals for January was to have 31 morse contacts on the radio and while I may be a little way off that target I did manage 5 this weekend. It is becoming much easier and my confidence is building. I have had an offer of a loan of a receiving antenna from a local ham. The reason being is that the noise floor on 80m for me is excessive in the evenings, I think this may be due to a plasma TV, but all the same 80 metres is off limits for me in the evenings. The idea is that you listen through one antenna and transmit on the other, the listening antenna is a loop and is less susceptible to noise and interference. I’ll do a bit of research and see if my radio will support a listening antenna and may take Roger up on his offer.

I dug the 897 out this weekend with a view to do a bit of portable. I never managed to get out in the end due to lack of planning. I fell short in two areas, firstly I have 10 metres of coax which connects to my Pro-whip antenna, I used this with the 817. I had forgotten I used this when I set up my new shack. Secondly, power! I had forgotten to sort out a battery to take with me, I did get my hands on a very good heavy duty motorbike battery with a 13 amp hour capacity. I have put it on charge but it wasn’t ready Sunday morning. I’m not sure if the 13Ah is going to be man enough but experimenting is what the hobby is all about. So the plan is to try the radio out this coming weekend although it may be from the boat in Norfolk.

In other news the pooch hasn’t been to well this week with an upset stomach so a trip to the vets was in order, a load of pills and £200 later he seems to be on the mend. With my workloads as such last week he wasn’t able to get the exercise he normally gets but he more than made up for this the weekend. He has been out with his buddies and it always lifts my spirits to see him chasing around with his mates.

I have had a taste lately of why I don’t get involved in clubs…….in the main its people. I have absolutely no understanding of depression, when someone tells me they are off work for depression I just think to myself, pull yourself together! I had a brother who suffered from “depression” and I felt at that time it was a load of crap and up to now I haven’t changed my mind. The way I see it is that both my Grandads served in world war one, both were badly injured and had to be discharged, one had his house bombed in WWII, and neither to my knowledge pulled the bedsheets over their heads and said “fuck it! I’m depressed”. I think depression is just a con for some time off. I know I’m probably being harsh but I’ve never been around anyone with “depression” that convinced me that anything was really wrong apart from being fed up.

Rant over!

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