I've been in the Untied Kingdom the last several weeks, so no time to spend writing about the ham radio hobby. (hence the big gap on the blog) Since I've been gone, several of my friends have given up on blogging. It's caused me to wonder why I spend time writing. To those of us who are battered with rising noise levels and operate under less than favorable conditions, this hobby has become more of a challenge everyday. I can understand why they're discouraged.
But I still can't deny my fascination with skipping signals into the sky, and never knowing where they will land, and to whom I will have a nice chat, and learn about their lives in the cities, towns and country where they live. For me, getting on the radio and talking to others is similar to traveling in the world. It doesn't make any difference if they're 50 miles or 5,000 miles away.
I've heard many shortwave stations while visiting distant places in the world. While on this trip to the United Kingdom, I stayed across the street from the BBC in London for a few days. One night I listened to a GREAT program about the guitar player Les Paul which was hosted by another guitar player named Dwayne Eddie. (I take along a little Grundig SWL pocket radio)
I can't imagine living without access to the worlds radio waves. Perhaps it's a form of paranoia but I consider radio fundamental to a thriving and prosperous society. Listening to radio (in any form) is like looking into the eyes and the minds of it's people.
But it's only "accurate" when programing is objective and allowed to flourish without undue monopolization of limited airspace. I thought often about the difference between programing in the United Kingdom and here in the United States on this trip. It was wonderful to actually hear "music" in England, and a well done documentary, about a variety of different subjects. Other than National Public Radio, here in the US, there's no comparison to the drivel heard on our AM stations.
I had a great time while traveling from the tip of Scotland, down through Whales, and into England. (actually it was a coach with a VERY good driver familiar with the left side of the road)
I was especially impressed with the city of London.
I'm disappointed that some of my blogging friends have decided not to write any more. I'd like to read more about their daily lives regardless of their radio contacts. Knowing we have the common bond of radio enhances our lives in so many ways.
I'll miss reading and seeing pictures about their lives on their radio blogs.