It is that first look out the window that does it. The clock ticks over to 0535. I’ve been watching it for the last five minutes, relishing the warmth and comfort of bed, with no likely hood of going back to sleep, I’ve been awake the last hour or sometimes more. It’s time to get up.
Looking out the window gives me the first chance to think about what the day is going to be like. Raining? how hard? If it’s barely detectable I might consider still going out for a walk in my raincoat. Windy? Definitely, the wind always gives a sense of the adventurous. Cold? As long as I can wrap up warm – I have a balaclava type thing, made of artificial fiber, it only cost me a fiver. It is very effective and keeps my ears and head lovely and warm. Although, my headphones do a pretty good job of keeping my ears warm if the balaclava is a bit too much.
The headphones? that’s for my two way radio, that I put into scanner mode, once I am out of earshot of the morning chorus, and then at 0613 I put on to channel 81, ready for the #Breakfastclub. That’s the group of radio amateur friends who just get together for a chat monday to friday, 0615-0700(ish). There are two groups, those on RF (Radio Frequency) and those on echolink. The latter group could literally be anywhere in the world. There’s many a time we’ll have some body from Australia or America (including South America). Most of those of us on RF (and a couple of the echolink users who are not too far away) have met face to fac, at radio ralleys, or more recently in Portsmouth for brerakfast at the Royal Maritime Club (we’ll definitely do that again).
Down the high street, along the esplanade out to the end of the Haslar Marina Pier Wall – where I’ll give a radio report on the conditions; tide, sea state in the harbour, temp, pressure, wind speed (wind chill). Of then to the cockle ponds, are the jelly fish there? I’ve been waiting all winter for them to come back. Up along South Street, past the Asda Turn, past the back of Waitrose, make the turn on to Bury & Stoke Road via Foster, down to my holding point at the end of Peel Road. I have to leave the breakfast club there. 73 (radio speak for best wishes) to everybody, and that is it. By the time I get home it’s usually around three miles. That gets me going for the day.