The Tales of Flashover House – The Outcast

There was an air of disquiet over Flashover House and it was all to do with the strange behaviour of Weasel. The other residents have never warmed to him since they discovered that he has a computer hidden in his wardrobe, but this was something different.

Outwardly everything seemed normal. He was still managing to get the marmalade on his tie with pin-point accuracy, and his dentures were still clicking like castanets, but if you caught him in an unguarded moment, there was a nasty smirk on his face which offended the eye. This gave rise to a certain amount of conjecture. Was he, perhaps, up to something with Matron suggested a “B” licenced G8, who got most of his original thoughts from the News of the World. This theory was discounted because, as much as they wanted to hate the man, there are limits.

Then, suddenly, Weasel started to get furtive. He took to peering through the lace curtains in the direction of the drive, and it became fairly obvious that he was looking for the postman.

The distribution of the mail at Flashover House was a minor ritual. Matron would collect the letters from behind the front door and place them neatly in piles on the polished table in the lounge. Not that these letters contained anything exciting. There were usually a few special offers on incontinence trousers, and confidential documents of the “Pay for your funeral now while stocks last” and “Congratulations! you have just won a Rolls Royce” variety. On a good day there could also be a free sample of shampoo.

It was obvious that Weasel was looking for none of these things and every day he became more despondent. He toyed with his breakfast rasher and gazed upon his cornflakes with disfavour. Then, suddenly, one morning, there it was – a small parcel on the table addressed to him! Weasel scooped it up, disappeared into his shack, and slammed the door. The others stood in wonderment as they heard the bolts being slid across. “What is he up to?” asked one. “Let us look through the key-hole” said another.

This was easier said than done. In Flashover House the two most popular maladies are sciatica and failing sight, and those who could bend sufficiently to bring their eyes into line with the key-hole were not able to see anything, and the sharp-sighted ones couldn’t get down as far as the key-hole.

“That parcel looked like a book to me”. said big Angus. “Readers’ Digest” said Rees Morgan “Readers’ Digest that’s what it is. There is no escape when the Readers’ Digest get their hooks into you. My brother-in-law Jenkins the Milk sent away for a street map of Cardiff. This resulted in a torrent of unwanted literature, and they finished up by totally destroying his letterbox while attempting to deliver a bronze figurine of Rasputin the Mad Monk.”

“I don’t think we want to hear any more about your relatives Rees Morgan.” said the senior G2 sternly. “Some of us still have the memory of your sister Blodwen.” Things settled down a little as the day went on. Weasel came into the dining room wearing a cherubic smile which the rest of the hams liked even less than the smirk.

The following morning, after breakfast, it was time for the Thursday net when, from their own shacks, the inmates spoke to a group of friends in Australia. They had just about managed to establish contact, when, suddenly, “GLEEKBURBLEBURBLECLONKCLONKZONK”. The ancient ones yanked off their headphones in dismay and came leaping out of their shacks. They had no need to ask who the culprit was. They flung open the door of Weasel’s shack, and there he was, red-handed with PACKET on his screen!

“The man should be ostracised” thundered Rees Morgan. That idea was voted out because half of them didn’t know what the word meant, and the other half didn’t think it would make any difference at his age.On the table they saw the contents of the previous days parcel. “What is that?” asked the G2. “That is what they call a TNC” replied Weasel “It stands for Terminal Node Controller.” “I thought it meant terribly noisy conditions,” commented a 75 year old newcomer who was too young to know that joviality has no place in amateur radio.

Gradually the lynch-mob seemed more amenable and, against their better judgement, they were becoming slightly interested. They agreed to overlook Weasel’s outrageous behaviour in this instance, but of course, none of them would even consider going in for packet themselves. Strangely enough, across the lounge, Rees Morgan was thumbing through the adverts in his RadCom, and in the opposite corner Big Angus was totting up the contents of his sporran!

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G3MGQ’s Month on the Air

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UK repeaters

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GB3EB 2m in Uckfield- Active
MB6EB 2m DStar Node in Eastbourne - Active
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Popular pages

Get your amateur radio licence - Find out more about amateur radio licence training.
Month on the Air - G3MGQ's popular monthly DX contest/expedition list.
Wilf Gaye Memorial Cup - The clubs annual operating event in the memory of Wilf Gaye M0GYE.
St. Richard's College Buildathon/STEM/ARISS - HERC attends St. Richard's Catholic College for their various events surrounding the Tim Peake ARISS contact.
G3BDQ - John Hey's Rare QSL Cards.
Sussex Electronics Radio Fair - SERF Sussex Electronics Radio Fair 2016.
Vital Spark - A selection of articles re-published from the Vital Spark.
RSGB News - Find out how to get RSGB news on your mobile or PC.
Experimenters Corner - A selection of Proteus projects by Bob Gornal (G7DME)
BBADL - Bath Based Distance Learning Course.
Conquest Hospital Radio - Presented by HERC member Antony (G4CUS).
Radio Rallies 2016 - An up to date list of radio rallies scheduled for 2016.
Club QSL Cards - A selection of QSL cards the club has received over the years.
Other Newsletters - Excellent newsletters and magazines from other clubs.
TX Factor episodes - Take a look at the TX Factors YouTube videos.
John Taplin - A bio of the late John Taplin.

Amateur Radio Resources

Other Radio Clubs & RAYNET

BSARS - Brede Steam Amateur Radio Society

RAYNET - The Hastings and Rother RAYNET Group.

HERC members sites

Sigord - Gordon Sweet
Hastings Radio Comms - Andrew Haas-Campbell
Hoofbags - Liz Costa