Beechlog‎ > ‎Feb 2000‎ > ‎


The on-line magazine of the Burnham Beeches Radio Club.

I thought I might have to explain my transceivers and talk about TR61-01, but in no time I am out in snow-covered windy Boston.

The next hurdle is the car hire. Not too bad, but the girl is confused that my booking is through Europcar. This is handled by Dollar in the US, it was just as well I had checked this before I left the UK because otherwise I would not have known which rental firm to visit! I end up with a Hyundai something which luckily has a good heater.

It's always an adventure coming to Boston. The next stage is to get out of the airport - I ask the girl at the car rental, she laughs, but gives me directions. Last time I ended up going in the wrong direction, but this time bingo! What you have to understand is that the right road out is a single lane turning of a six lane highway. It seems most unlikely, but with a minimum of swerving between lanes I am in the queue for the tunnel. You have to pay $2 to go through the tunnel, but it squirts out on the road I am looking for. Driving on the wrong side thankfully doesn't terrify me any more, so I am able to drive the 30 miles to the hotel without needing a change of trousers.

So here I am again, the sun is shining, it's freezing cold, snow everywhere, I've just missed a blizzard. As I write this it is twenty past nine in the UK, I am yawning, but it's six hours to bed time.

After broken 'sleep', I get up at about six. There has been a gale blowing outside, very unpleasant. I met a senior manager from Slough at breakfast, and get accurate directions to the office.

Stepping outside, it's like going into the arctic. It doesn't get this cold in Slough. The temperature is zero Fahrenheit, about minus 18 Celsius. It's still windy, the wind chill makes it minus 40 F, about minus 40 Celsius. Luckily the car starts OK, so I sit in it for about 10 minutes until the heater warms up. Then off to work. The office is about a mile away, and easy to find. I park about 100 yards from the door. By the time I had walked this 100 yards, both hands were numb, each breath was painful and lung freezing. It took about 10 minutes before I started feeling human again! Everyone is complaining about the cold. Apparently it was in the 50's a week ago, and the winter just got switched on a few days ago.

Today is Martin Luther King Jnr Day, a public holiday in Massachusetts, but plenty of people have come to work as normal. The office is huge, a mass of identical corridors. Goodness knows whether I will ever find my way around this place. I manage to set up my laptop on the office network, and am able to find my Slough mail server. All too easy. Time goes quickly, soon it's time to go back to the hotel. It has warmed up a bit, it's now about 4 degrees F, and less windy. Just as well, 'cause I can't find my car in the dark! Anyway I find it after a few minutes, and drive back. Of course, in the mile back I get into the wrong lane twice, but American drivers are more tolerant than in the UK, and don't hoot at me when I ignore the "left lane must turn left" signs.

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