Well, it seems this is only second blog post of 2021! Better late than never. I’d like to think there’s been extenuating circumstances, and there has, but I’m still surprised!
It’s been quite a year here, in fact it started just before Christmas last year, when I caught COVID for the second time. I think this was the slightly mutated ‘Kent’ strain and I picked it up doing the weekly shop at Tesco. I know this because I’d not been anywhere else that week! The infection itself was a little worse than the first time, but it did leave me with long covid. This lasted until the middle of March, leaving me fatigued, with terrible brain fog and unable to do much at all. This eventually got a little better and then I had my two jabs, and it came back shortly after the second one in July. This started to get a bit better in October, but even now I need to manage my energy carefully, otherwise the symptoms come back. I can now walk for about an hour, but not much more. So my SOTA activity has been severely curbed, with only a few managed this year!
I’ve still been quite busy writing about amateur radio, but for various publications here in the U.K. instead of my blog. I’ve been co-authoring the regular VHF/UHF column in RadCom (the monthly journal for the RSGB), I’ve written three product reviews there, my Top 10 FT8 Operating Tips article was also published in Practical Wireless and I’ve had five articles published in RadCom Basics (their online magazine for new amateur’s). With all this writing for other publications, it’s not left me with too much to write about on my own blog! I’ve already got a few print articles ready for publication in 2022.
I’ve been active on all bands from 160m through to 23cm, with 2,911 contacts made this year. I’ve worked 27 new DXCC this year (after reaching 100 DXCC confirmed last year). This included some nice countries worked for the first time on 6m, with Anguilla, USA, Algeria, Mauritania, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Market Reef, Puerto Rico and Qatar making the log during the summer Sporadic E season.
The antennas are all down at the home QTH now, as we’re in the process of moving house. Hopefully this completes soon and I can get some antennas up at the new QTH!
All in all it’s been a heck of a year (again), where amateur radio featured prominently, but was forced to take a backseat due to health. Happy new year and thanks for reading the blog. Here’s to a better 2022!