What’s In a Name?

Well, I’ve done it…

In response to comments from Jenny, the Lovely Miche, and others, I’ve changed my blog header. I hope you all like the new look. I’ll give it a few days before I decide whether I want to leave it as it is, or fiddle a bit more…

It feels a bit odd – I’ve been “The Short Fat Bald Bloke” for so long that it’s stuck almost as well as my real name…whatever that is. Although I adopted “Gottle” more or less by accident anyway – for those of you who don’t know, my chatroom and geocaching name is “Paul G0TLG”, and “Gottle” is some peoples’ attempt to pronounce it.

And something else I forgot to mention – which the use of my ham radio callsign has reminded me of – is that I did something last weekend that I haven’t done for ages: Many of you will know that this time last year, I had an operation on my wrist, which had been giving me trouble for a couple of years up to then: All through the time the wrist was problematic, I was unable to indulge in my favourite sort of ham radio playing, that of communicating by morse code.

Anyway, last Saturday I was scanning around the frequencies to see what was going on, and discovered a morse code contest happening. Contests are pretty easy, you normally just exchange callsign and serial number with the other station and move on: Whoever makes the most contacts in the contest period wins. They are, therefore, ideal for people who haven’t played morse for a while – you can keep listening to a station having contacts with other people until you’re sure you’ve got his callsign right, and spotted the sequence of serial numbers he’s sending, then make a quick contact and you’re away.

Although I was a bit upset to discover just how much receiving speed I’ve lost – in other words, how out-of-practice I am – I had contacts with stations in Wales, Italy, Russia, Bulgaria and Greece before deciding that was enough for one day. I just need more practice now :-)

I may have another go this weekend. Or I might go caching.

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