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They tell me I lead a very mundane, boring and sad life. After many hours a day spent at the grunge foundry, sitting in front of a computer, I return home and then spend further hours in front of another computer.

Occasionally I put the computer aside, power up the radio kit and don the guise of a radio amateur instead. I've had a 'B' licence for years, G6MFR dates back to 1982. As I've never mastered CW, I gave up any ambitions for a 'Full' licence yonks ago, but a couple of years ago they changed the rules and now G6MFR has changed into a 'Full' licence without me doing anything. So I rushed out 

and got me some HF kit, I'm all set-up. But I still prefer the relative short range of VHF and UHF stuff most of the time. I used to keep 2 metres and 70 cms kit in the car, but it was nicked once and the (Company) car insurance refused to pay out, so these days it's a home brew station, the emphasis being on the 'home'. I primarily use it to chat to a couple of mates, one near Milton Keynes and the other in Leicester and sometimes, my brother on the Isle of Wight. A bit outside conventional FM range, but usually no prob with SSB.

A bit 'sad' really, people have been heard to remark, "Get a life!".

Well just occasionally, I do 'Get a Life' - and drag myself away from my computers, and travel - sometimes (if the Company is paying) to exotic places like Scarborough, Bristol, and even London. Otherwise, if I'm paying, to America, Canada, the Med or Northern Europe. The odd thing is, I try to keep away from those places frequented by other UK travellers, and prefer places where the tourists don't go. America offers great scope for this sort of thing, and UK travel agents have been heard to say, "You want to get where?", when asked how to get to, say, North Freedom Railway, Wisconsin, 1994 Portage Alaska or Wausau Wisconsin. At these times, I still indulge my love for technology. For many years I've been under the delusion that having good (and expensive) cameras makes up for my lack of talent  for photography. I've always had a still camera around and from the late 1960's I used a cine camera extensively.  In the midSan Francisco Tram, 1989 80's, video cameras became cheap enough and small enough to be useful, and since that time, I've been an avid amateur videographer. Nothing special - I always insist that I only take 'kids on the grass' type home videos, a difficult task these days as the kids, now in their 30's, object to playing in the garden. So I ignore 'em, and video the grand children instead. That apart, I take inordinate care in editing and preparing my home videos so as not to bore my audience.

Actually, facts suggest that the Mrs. must have taken the railway and tram photos.

Bray Harbour, Eire, 1995Whilst preferring to avoid those places popular with other UK travellers, I do try to go to places where English is spoken - however badly (even America). This is for no more complicated reason that I don't speak any other language. I've tried the old English adage, that if you shout loudly enough anyone can understand you, it doesn't work. However, I have been known to brave obscure places like France and Denmark when the rest of the family really insist - and Ireland,Tower Bridge London, 1998 now there's a place. Nice food, nice beer, unhurried (except Dublin) and best of all, the nice cool damp environment I prefer.

Every now and then the arrival of overseas visitors prompts more local travels, and doing the tourist bit in London is usually as interesting for me as for the visitors. You know how it is - because you live there, you don't bother to explore it. In all these years I've never seen Tower Bridge open until recently.
Page updated: 04/12/07.