In reply to M1EYP:
After a wet and windy day, just before dusk the rain ceased and the clouds started to appear less threatening. The omens seemed good, and I decided to proceed with my trip to Leith Hill. It is just about a fifteen-minute drive from home along country lines, and I was soon in my chosen parking place.
This is not a demanding summit, unless you choose it to be, and it was a gentle stroll up to the the tower through dripping trees. By now the wind had abated significantly and the temperature was a mild 16C. I selected a picnic table with a view across the Sussex Weald and set up. With the contest still some time away, I decided to start with 40m, but my first attempted transmission showed a high SWR. Fault-finding in the dark is not easy, but I eventually found a dodgy connection. With that fixed I commenced calling CQ on 7032.5. My first reply was from S58MU, who I see kindly spotted me on SOTAwatch, but I was then interrupted by a call on my mobile telephone. Returning to the radio a few minutes later found more patient chasers waiting, and a total of eight stations found their way into the log before the frequency again went quiet.
By coincidence the time was now perfect for a QSY to 2m. The band sounded lively, with several big semi-local signals to be heard. With just five watts and a whip antenna, I needed patience to gain the attention of the contesters, as any simultaneous callers were usually stronger than me. Undaunted, I persevered, and managed QSOs with six stations in three squares.
Having worked all of the likely candidates, I moved to the FM section. There were several chats taking place, but no obvious contesters, which was hardly surprising. I called CQ a couple of times on 145.5 without reply, and then returned to SSB for a final sweep of the band, before packing up around 2030 local.
It was a pleasant experience overall, with wonderful views of twinkling lights. By now the stars were shining brightly, and the myriad of aircraft weaving their way in and out of Heathrow and Gatwick added to the effect. By the time I reached the car the temperature had dropped to a still-mild 14C.
I hope to be out again next Tuesday for the 70cm event, but probably from a different summit (weather permitting, of course).
73 de Les, G3VQO