Last weekend Dad and myself decided to attend the National Hamfest in Newark, planning for the trip started a few months ago with getting a very good deal on train tickets (thanks thetrainline) but the day was going to turn out slightly different to planned.

Train to London Paddington

Up bright and early and at the Oxford railway station for the 07:01 fast service to London Paddington changing for the underground to make the quick crossing to Kings Cross where we met Paul (M0TZO) for the final leg of the journey to Newark the time on the train soon passed by Twittering, chatting and playing with Pauls iPad.

After 3 hours 30mins, 3 trains and a short taxi ride we made it! the weather was dry and we made are way round all the stalls seeing what goodies were on offer, long the way stopping to chat to friends as we passed. I didn’t really go with any intentions of buying anything but by the time we’d left I had picked up an MP1 Chapstick portable vertical and a new callsign badge, sadly non of us won anything on the raffle!

The venue was nice plenty of room to move around between traders and better catering then last year, Its nice to see much more ham radio related things being sold and less computer bits (Maybe due to computer fairs) and less junk than some of the other rallies we’ve been to in 2010.

Soon after 3pm we left back for Newark north gate, this is where the trip would take a dip for the worse travelling back to Oxford was a very uncomfortable experience, as I noticed a lump behind my right ear had grown during the day from a small lump to something the size of a golf ball and was growing by the hour, the pain was like my head was being bashed with a baseball bat.. and I’ve got to admit I’ve never been bashed with one!

On arrival back in Oxford I decided it would probably be wise a get some medical attention, so decided to give NHS Direct a call and with a call back later I was in A&E having a cannula fitted and being told I was going to have to stay in, as I had an infection in the bone behind the ear (Mastoiditis) by this point it was around 4am Sunday morning and Mum left me when they transferred me to a ward for a night.  Doped up on pain killers I got some sleep although they seemed to wake me up very time I got into a deep sleep for checks and more medication.


I have to admit I was treated very nicely by the hospital staff, both medical and general staff making sure I had a comfortable as expected stay, I even had my own private room for the whole stay! Monday arrived and they gave me the indication that they might discharge me (heck I even tweeted the news) this didn’t pan out though and I had to stay till Tuesday to make sure the antibiotics where actually hearing up the infection. but the following day I was out and rather pleased although I’m now at home and now slightly deaf in the right ear.. they do hope this will return to normal but it could take months.

View from my hospital bed window.

Lets just hope the next radio event I attend isn’t so eventful! oh and I’ve still yet to take the MP1 out of its box 🙁