Uphill Struggle, 1940’s Radar

The mince-pie season was terrific. Home-made successes and bought boxes both gorged on with morning tea and afternoon coffees. The ‘recce walk’ organised by Jim would shake a pie or two off the developing overhang over my belt.

The group gathered to see the easy stroll marked on the map. Jim had a loop-walk planned and it was ideal walking weather. Most of Jim’s walks were famous for being a tad more adventurous than the group expected or were promised. 2/3 hour walks had stretched to 4/5/6 hours. Any hesitation in direction by Jim was always met with a teasing murmur of ‘here we go again’.

The easy walk today met its first crossroads within five minutes. “Let’s leave this marked path and take the Rambla” was Jim’s call

‘The Long and Winding Road” that we left behind would not be seen for another five hours. The easy walk into the Rambla started to narrow and rise not too gently

The undergrowth became overgrowth and difficult for those taller than me (which is everyone really)

Once free from dense foliage we were faced with a Kilometre of rock climbing. Those who had been advised of the folly of believing in the advertised level of the walk (this one set as an easy’ish ‘C’), committed to report back to their friends that they wished they’d listened, and the phrase ‘onwards and upwards’ was cried with a lot of emphasis on the latter

A 10:00 start with a 13:30 lunch arranged – not going to happen! At 16:30 we made the restaurant and accepted that we missed the post walk meal. The landlord was pleased to have an apology, happy we were buying drinks anyway, then coerced his chef back to feed our band. The trials of the walk bonded all over the meal and wine, and Jim’s reputation enhanced as leader of the lost Great folk, great company, I enjoyed every extended minute with them.

The Salsa class restarted after the Xmas break. Prisci was ready to trample my feet and keep pinching the ‘lead’ from me. The break seems to have destroyed the little sense of rhythm I once had. Prisci and Alfonso were applauded as having the best technique. My efforts seem to be in a military style, more “Come Marching” than “Come Dancing”.

Another post seasonal return to normal is the Wednesday volunteer work at the Cartagena Military Museum. The last job before the hols was the breech refit in the cannon. That went well and was a satisfying task to finish the year.

My hopes over the last few months were to take on a project to revive the dormant Mobile Search Radar Cabin. Aerial rotation and a PPI display sweep cursor would look a great exhibit in the yard. Maybe attract people passing by to visit the Museum, which is free to all. <<
Stu and I approached the head of the engineering unit and then the head of the Museum with our wish to take on the project. Not a lot of persuasion required – support for us to run with this task was immediate.

We checked the clearance needed for aerial rotationA move forward of half a metre will be needed Then we posed for much needed pictures for the Project take-on meeting (well we now have a mandate, I had to explain to Stu that it was all one word and not an invite to dine🤷🏻‍♂️) The manuals are in Spanish, which is an incentive to double my Spanglais efforts. I think Prisci has a thought that my doubling a zero effort is still zero – she has has a point👨🏼‍🏭

The system is an American one built for Spain. It was used by the US in the Korean War, and has a strong reputation for reliability. I’ll enjoy the task and working with Stu. There’s going to be serious engineering chat over our cerveza and chips stop at Vicky’s now. First up, Project Title……. Stu dismissed my Project ‘Activate Rotation Search Equipment’ offering as inappropriate initials. Another cerveza and think again then.

2018 is underway, and I have no idea how it will run through in January, let alone pan out. It won’t be a quiet year that’sa cert 🤹🏻‍♂️