Thursday, 20 April 2017

Taking A Break

My marriage came to an end almost two months ago. My second failed marriage in fact! (I must be doing something wrong!) This resulted in me moving to a new address.

My new home is in the coastal community of Seathorne, just up the road from Skegness. I have a small top floor flat (there are three flats below me), situated right by the sea and with my own access to the beach.

It seemed like a good idea to rent such a place at the time as I thought this would lift my spirits. DXing right at the beach, etc.!! While this might sound like a DX dream come true, the flat is quite small and my enthusiasm to play radio has taken quite a tumble.

On the occasion when I do listen to band 2, using just a barefoot Sony XDR-F1HD and an unamplified Triax FM5 beam in the living room, pressed up against the east-facing window looking straight out to sea, I hear dozens of German signals from as far as the Baden-Württemberg and Thuringen regions and even the nearer parts of Bavaria, sometimes with noise free signals!

This is 'scatter', mostly aircraft scatter of course, but with some other interesting ducting effects, all of which are very much more apparent than at my old place. The problem is, it's the same signals over and over again. Dutch stations proliferate! I want something new.

It's all very nice and I'm sure that many radio enthusiasts would dream of DXing from such an advantageous location, but it's not really registering in my life at the moment.

My Körner 9.2 antenna would surely bring in some amazing scatter at this location were it on the roof, but it stays at the old place for now.

Medium wave DXing is not really possible at the new flat. My flag antenna and Perseus receiver are still at the old place, lying dormant. I don't really have much room for storage at the new flat, so some things will have to remain at the old address until I can find somewhere larger. I have a six month contract unfortunately, so I may not be able to escape without losing my deposit.

Right now, I am trying to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the new location, but I am struggling. If I am able, I might move away and try to make a fresh start somewhere else, but I don't know where. The thing is, I can't really afford to at the moment so I will have to stay put. There are much worse places I could be though.

Pleasant early morning walks over the dunes in the bright morning sunshine is very pleasant indeed. I usually take my 'IF narrowed' Degen DE1103 with me and hear the same continental stations coming through.

If I can develop the enthusiasm, I might try some overnight MW sessions out in the wilds of the nature reserves around The Wash. Maybe I'll give 10m a go again, but I really hate having to try to get through lengthy pile-ups in the hope of working someone. Not my idea of fun.

If this sounds like self-pity, I won't try to deny it. I am not myself at the moment and have no get up and go whatsoever. I am struggling with my work and have started lagging behind with orders, but I am eating reasonably well again. (I couldn't eat a thing for the first two or three weeks. My general health has suffered a little, but I have lost some weight, which isn't a bad thing! :O)



  2. It is very sad. In fact I am severely depressed. My world has come to an end. In fact, I am considering seeing my doctor to ask for antidepressants. Life is just that bit too difficult at the moment. Should I be embarrassed by this? I don't think so. I hope you are never unlucky enough to be hit by a hellish situation like this. It's unbearable at times. But thank you for your concern.

  3. Hi, it's Catherine from Skywaves and I've just come across this.

    No need to feel embarrassed about seeking help. I had to do this myself, as my old job was impacting my mental health after the company I worked for underwent a restructuring which meant some changes to my role, which I wasn't happy with and which I couldn't do much about. I was applying for new jobs and had about 10 interviews, but no job offers, and the constant 'rejection' made me feel awful. I was prescribed antidepressants which made me feel more like my normal self and helped me cope with my situation. I also attended some CBT sessions on how to deal with negative thoughts. I don't think I realised just how bad I'd felt until I started to feel better!

    In December 2016 my whole department was made redundant, which gave me an excuse to leave that company! The antidepressants kept my spirits fairly high while I was unemployed. I'm hoping to reduce the dose and eventually come off them once I've settled into my new job as an agency worker (not permanent, so not ideal, but it'll keep me going).

    How are you feeling at the moment?

  4. Hello Catherine.

    Thank you for your message. It's really nice of you to get in touch and write in this way.

    We all have ups and down in life. This particular down has hit me hard, but people are telling me that I have picked myself up very well, considering the circumstances. I still feel like shite. I have moments where I find it difficult to breathe. Probably some kind of panic attack.

    I have managed to keep away from the doctors as I hate taking medicines of any kind. I think anti-depressants just half knock you out anyway and you can't function properly. But I felt I needed something to take the edge off. So far so good.

    Sorry to hear about your work issues. I hear things like this a lot these days. It's really annoying to learn that such things are so commonplace. I could tell you several people I know who are having their lives made hell in the workplace right now! Employers don't often care.

    I have heard wonderful things about CBT sessions. Not sure if anything exists like that around here. It's impossible to get in to see my doctors for anything as it is. Sounds like it really worked for you.

    We are all being made aware about "mental health" issues lately. It sounds scary in a way, but it's simply a case of the state of health of your mind. Difficult situations can leave us all feeling less trustworthy or apprehensive. If something bad happens more than once, it really knocks it out of us.

    This is one reason why I refuse to work for anybody. I am self-employed and have been for most of my life. I wouldn't have it any other way, but self-employment comes with many negatives too. Nothing is ever ideal.

    At least I have found my way back into radio over the last few days. The interest is slowly returning.

    For me, I need to do other things too, so I have become a volunteer at a local theatre. It's going to be quite daunting and I'm not even sure that I will be able to hack it, but I need to force myself into doing something challenging and getting out and about and meeting people.

    Skegness is a tiny place and definitely NOT the place to be on your own. I think I need to move to a bigger area where there are potentially more opportunities. Not sure where though. I'd like radio to feature in that choice, but it won't be the priority.

    I have many challenges facing me in the immediate future. It's not looking good. Of course, it could be worse. I know that. My main problem is being on my own. I hate it! I think most people do.

    Wishing you all the best and thanks again for your message.


  5. Hello again,

    Good to hear you are functioning better!

    I haven't had any major side effects with my medication. After the first couple of weeks I was functioning better than before I started it. I think it's been more helpful than the CBT.

    It's true that work problems are all too common. Although my old employers DID care, the real problem (staff shortages) was unresolvable due to a lack of money!

  6. Thanks Caroline.

    I am still not ruling out any medication, but I think I am functioning OK for now. I worry that any medication will stop me being able to 'think' ... something I am having trouble with at the moment. My mind tends to shut down when I get stressed. I stop taking things in. I hear nothing. It doesn't matter if somebody is talking to me, I just don't take it in. I worry that any medication might make this worse.

    I am still in a state of shock and disbelief at what's happened. I just need some inspiration from somewhere to get the strength to move on. The future is so bleak at the moment.

    As it happened, I was chatting to somebody yesterday evening who gave me a similar story about their work place. They too were finding work impossible to deal with. They had a really unpleasant boss too.