Weekly Photo Challenge: A Day in My Life

Saturday… Get up; have a shower – nope… no photo of that!

Go do the shopping…

Jute shopping bags from Waitrose and Tesco - used every week in preference to plastic bags.   There's even an old receipt loitering in there!

Jute shopping bags from Waitrose and Tesco – used every week in preference to plastic bags. There’s even an old receipt loitering in there!

Nowadays, I usually go to Waitrose. Note the ‘I’ – the weekly shop is usually done by me on my own.

Come back and put the stuff away in the cupboards, fridge, etc…

This Saturday is the first day of a contest on the radio – the CQWW WPX contest…

The CQWW WPX internet page outlining the rules.

The CQWW WPX internet page outlining the rules.

…An annual event this contest requires Amateur Radio operators worldwide to contact as many other Hams as possible and seek to gain points based on different callsign prefixes and countries (to summarise for those of my readers who would rightly find the full details boring). Anyway, I like to participate, albeit in a fun role – I still have to abide by the rules but I don’t have to submit an entry. 20mins or so into the activity and this is what my radio station looks like…
Contest in Progress

Contest in Progress

…Note the notepad where I’m recording the stations that I work – I have to allocate a sequential number to each successful contact. I use the bottom of the page as a scratchpad of stations heard that I may be able to work (assuming they can hear me). Note also the mug of tea – an English Ham’s essential when operating. With time ticking on (I have a football match to attend too) I enter the stations I’ve spoken to in the electronic log…
Electronic log entries.

Electronic log entries.

…Those of you with sharp eyes will be able to read the locations worked in the remarks column. Different parts of the world become possible to work as the propagation of radio waves changes through the day – Central Europe was the general flavour during the pre-lunchtime period with the eastern seaboard of the USA and Canada just starting to become contactable at the end. Unfortunately I can’t continue as it’s time to go to the football…
The Abrahams Stadium on a wintry afternoon.

The Abrahams Stadium on a wintry afternoon.

…So I walked up to the ground with my Son with a threatening sky and the occasional flurry of snow. It was bitterly cold but we were treated to a great match between promotion contenders Wealdstone and our side, Wingate & Finchley, desparately hoping to avoid relegation. Wingate’s man of the match and loyal servant of the club was Danny Neilson in a match that finished as a 1-1 draw…
Danny Neilson puts in a good block.

Danny Neilson puts in a good block.

…Wealdstone will feel that they should have won it in the first 30mins and we feel that we should have nicked it in the last 30, so a draw was probably a fair result. A couple of pints in the bar afterwards and then home on the 382…
The 382 Bus Home

The 382 Bus Home

…and so to write this post before returning to the CQWW WPX contest… πŸ˜‰



  1. a productive day martin! love your shopping bags, they are much smarter than ours, although of course usefulness is the most important criteria, and i canimagine it would be fun to be making new contacts on the radio … but football in snow flurries is not my idea of fun!

    • LoL Christine – snow flurries are a pain when your job is to record the match! πŸ˜‰

      Glad you like our shopping bags – that nice herring-bone pattern is on the handles of some Waitrose bags. It’s always fun making new contacts on the radio but also fun hooking up with old friends too – had a great laugh this afternoon (Sunday) with Trevor at Fort Paull operating GB0BB for their Blackburn Beverley aircraft. I’ve spoken to them a couple of times and they’re a great bunch πŸ™‚ This is going to become a new post because… Just too much to convey in a reply! πŸ™‚

  2. That was indeed a threatening sky! Wow! I’m intrigued with the list of countries in your contact list. It must be very exciting to reach so many other ham operators. You certainly have many different ways of talking to people all over the world. I know how much I enjoy Internet connecting, but it would be something altogether even more exciting to have voice to voice! πŸ™‚

    • Voice to Voice is fun although in a contest it’s a very simple report to confirm basic details. Outside of contests, chatting depends on what the station at the other end wants to do and you take your cue from them. Relatively local stations are more likely to want to have a longer chat than a station on another continent who will be trying to make as many contacts as possible while the propagation exists. There are other modes of contact, the oldest being Morse. There are a number of more recent digital modes too where the computer drives the radio rather than the voice. Perhaps a post about these in future? πŸ˜‰

  3. Sounds (and looks) like a fun day! I can see you get a lot more accomplished on a typical Saturday than I do (no surprise there though, of course)!

  4. Lovely day, packed full of such a wide variety of interests, Martin! Slipping in the ham contest before the football was real sleight of hand….lovely photos, as usual.

  5. The Ham radio contest sounds interesting Martin. I remember back in the day of CB radios when I was in my mid teens that I once contacted a bloke in Portland, Oregon, USA. It was the 1st & only time I’d ever spoke to anyone outside Australia on my CB. Must have been exceptional weather conditions for radio waves

    • Yes, sounds like a bit of tropospheric propagation Tony. You can experience that on the 6 and 10 Metre Amateur bands. CB is on 11 Metres so in a period of very high sunspot activity I’d certainly expect such long range communications to be possible. Must have felt really good πŸ™‚

      • For a teenager who at that time had never been out of Tasmania it was amazing. He even sent me a QSL card. I was over the moon about it. Great proof for all my local CB friends who didn’t believe I’d got hold of someone that far away

      • I’m impressed that he sent a card – that’s a bonus. You were rightly proud of your achievement! Hope you put that card away safe πŸ™‚

  6. Busy day. Glad you enjoyed the football match, even on a cold day.

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