Monday, January 26, 2015

Drops

It is pleasantly mild, but looks like rain could set in later. The Gorse Fox made the most of it and headed out for a quick walk. Slowly, he is becoming able to join up all the cartographical dots as he becomes familiar with the back roads, footpaths and cut-throughs. He was only out for about 30 minutes, but briskly covered a couple of miles and explored some areas he hadn't previously visited. He managed to get back before the rain, though it was looking touch and go.

Fixings

A package dropped through the letter box. It was the missing fixings for the third of the glass end tables we had ordered before Christmas. At last. Gorse Fox set about putting the unit together and ten minutes later we were set.

Talking of construction. The latest we have heard is that our builders will start in the second week of Feb because there has been a delay in getting the bricks, but that they are due to be delivered next week.

Noon Image: 26 Jan 2015

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Better

That's better. With the ankle strapped up, the Gorse Fox was able to play pretty normally today. It was a good, though fairly intense game, and we won by a whisker. It was turning quickly that was the challenge, but by nursing the ankle a bit through the turns GF played a pretty good game as sweeper, striding forward to score a couple of good long-range goals.

GF also has a new best friend. Dave Tumbledown(*) turned up for the first time in a while. In fact it is early December since GF last saw him. His first comment was to observe how much weight the Gorse Fox had lost. This may or may not be true (GF never weighs himself), but it was an endearing observation... Now, where's the Ryvita?

(*) Not his real name, but he does seem to be rather a victim of gravitational anomalies, which drag him to the floor and seem to hold him there much longer than you would expect.

Noon Image: 25 Jan 2015

3G Onion seeds

The trouble with 3G Astroturf is that your boots tnd to pick up the tiny plastic granules that form the substrate. Trying on his boots early, Gorse Fox has now managed to leave trails of these granules - that look like onion seeds or mustard seeds - all over the floor. An unplanned circuit with the Dyson was necessary before heading out to the game.

Friction

The Gorse Fox has noticed that when there is a hard frost, the pavement outside the house becomes lethal. Absolutely no grip whatsoever. So it was that he gingerly crept out to the Silver Vixen's car to de-ice it ready for her annual trip to the quilt show at Ardingly. He did manage to remain upright, but it was touch and go at times.

Talking of remaining upright, he has just donned the ankle brace ready for football. Just hope that he can get the boots on!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Address

A redirected item of mail dropped through the letter box. This triggered the realisation that we had yet to formally change our address with the Bank. So it was that, at lunchtime, we pottered in to Chi and wandered in to the Bank. It has clearly been refurbished. Though the outside is still a lovely historic building, the inside is very modern with various zones satisfying the different needs of the customers. GF was impressed. A few minutes later a very nice lady had waved her magic wand and our address had been updated - and passed on to the credit card issuer. Done!

In turn this triggered  the realisation that GF still had to inform N7SI (The Premium Bonds) of our new address. After lunch, the relevant forms were completed and dropped in an envelope, giving the Gorse Fox an incentive to go out for a short walk to keep strengthening the weak ankle and to get a bit of exercise.

Noon Image: 24 Jan 2015

Friday, January 23, 2015

Support

The Gorse Fox ordered some ankle supports. These have arrived so, with luck, he should be able to play football on Sunday. He is still awaiting his protective glasses, though. This despite chasing them.

Noon Image: 23 Jan 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Err, that wasn't the plan

The service engineers turned up. We had a couple of minor problems with the combi-oven and it was still under warranty. Though the Gorse Fox had explained the problems when booking the visit, it was clear the engineers had only sketchy information. One problem, however, was covered by a recent bulletin from the manufacturer and they had the spare parts with them. Gorse Fox talked them through all of the various issues and they set to wrk.

The front was removed, and the door dismantled. They fitted two new seals and set about putting the door back together. One gasket kept falling off - in the the end GF had to intervene and suggest they held it in place with some sticky tape. Then they couldn't fathom out how the door component fitted together. The Gorse Fox suggested the newly fitted panel was upside down - this proved to be the case. Then it was just a matter of clipping all the components back together. Again, this proved too much for them until the Gorse Fox suggested the way in which the panels clicked together was partly mechanical and partly friction. This, again, proved to be the case - but in putting it together they managed to break the panel. It appears that they will return for further coaching next week, when the complete replacement door comes in.

Shakes head. Slaps forehead. Tuts. Wanders off.  

Noon Image: 22 Jan 2015

Walking Football JAN 2015





The Gorse Fox, watching from the sidelines whilst his ankle improves.... A few cold moments from early in yesterday's game.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Cold comfort

It was cold, damp, and at times downright wet. The Gorse Fox gave comfort to his tender ankle by not playing football - but decided to go an watch the lads anyway. Standing by the side of the 5-a-side cages was frustrating - he so wanted to join in, but had to give the ankle time to heal. GF if home now, and trying to warm up.

Noon Image: 21 Jan 2015

Blast

Ankle/foot is still much too tender and stiff for football. GF is definitely side-lined today. The Gorse Fox is not amused.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Get set...

Well the electrician turned up to isolate the external power, ready for the builders to get started. It was a bit of a nightmare as the external power turned out not to be a spur from the obvious socket... oh no! It turned out to be a spur from the back bedroom. Anyway, all got sorted.

Football was fun, though chilly. Gorse Fox is now nursing a twisted ankle, however. He hopes it doesn't come to anything and is keeping it gently mobile at present - he will be most annoyed if it isn't better by morning - he doesn't want to miss a game.

Noon Image: 20 Jan 2015

Brrr!

There's a cold start to the day. Not cold compared to Scotland and the North - but cold for the southern coast. It'll take a while to get the joints and muscles working for today's football.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Getting by

Oxfam have produced a report stating that the richest 1% of the World's population will have more wealth the other 99% by some time next year.

This sounds incredible - and you start to think of the extravagant lifestyles of the Oil-rich Arabs, the Russian Oligarchs, the Landed Gentry, the Software Billionaires, the talentless Celebrities, the great Sporting Legends... but you should read on.

If you have assets in excess of £526,000 - then you are in that 1%. So, if you own a decent house and have paid off your mortgage in or around London, or in the more affluent parts of many of our cities or regions - then you are probably part of the 1%.

Makes you think!

Gas

That went well.

A letter arrived. Our gas supplier was asking for a reading, claiming they couldn't get access to the house. The letter was addressed correctly - but the address of the house to which they were trying to gain access was completely different. A long phone call ensured.

They have acknowledged their error... and taken the Gorse Fox's reading as an opening reading. That means that all of the gas consumed to date has been free-of-charge. Errors like this may be a problem to sort out - but as long as he gets results like this, the Gorse Fox is not complaining.

Noon Image: 19 Jan 2015

Coconut

The Gorse Fox, whilst working in Edinburgh, became somewhat partial to the Beef Rendang served at Nanyang (a brilliant Asian restaurant). He noticed, in Sainsbury's, a paste for rendang and so last night we tried a Chicken Rendang. This worked out beautifully. The chicken pieces were fried up in the rendang paste, then some mushrooms were added, and then some coconut milk. It simmered away for about 30 minutes and then was served on a bed of fine rice noodles. It was not as dry as that served in Nanyang, but it was certainly delicious (and not too spicy).

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Bake off

The Gorse Fox headed off to football. The Silver Vixen hit the kitchen. The slow cooker was prepared and loaded and left to do its thing, then the baking equipment emerged from the cupboards. A gluten-free bake was scheduled. Following the recipe to letter the SV waved her magic wand and a dozen blueberry muffins appeared through a cloud of flour. Delicious.

The football was well-attended. We ended up playing 7-a-side, which on a 5-a-side pitch is not ideal. All in all it was a good work out - GF playing sweeper, goal-keeper, and midfield at various parts of the game. As we approached the end it was all square , so we decided on a "golden goal" to settle things. GF managed to duck and dodge a few tackles before letting loose and scoring the decider. Very pleased with GF's outfield play - but his goal-keeping was mediocre today.

Noon Image: 18 Jan 2015

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Lies

The Gorse Fox watched a segment on the local news last night. It was featuring the waiting times at A&E in local hospitals. This is obviously a concern for all. However, the BBC (political wing of the Labour Party) seems to have taken Ed Miliband's request to "weaponise the NHS" to heart. To that end they completed the the segment with an interview with the local union rep who said, without blinking or embarrassment "this is a result of the Government's £20Billion in cuts". The BBC allowed this statement to go through unchallenged - as they would! This is a blatant lie. Examining the figures from the treasury we find that, since 2010 the budget for health has continued to rise each year and now stands at £133Bn; not only that, but with inflation at 1.5% the 2 latest figures are well above inflation (also don't forget the Government pledged an extra 2Bn for this year):

2010116.9
2011119.8
2012121.2
2013124.3
2014129.5
2015133

If you pay tax, 35% of all your tax goes on Health and Welfare, 23.6% on Health.

There is a vast amount of misinformation being spread by all parties at present (particularly Labour); don't just believe what you are told - go and look up the numbers from the ONS, or the Treasury.

Noon Image: 17 Jan 2015

Friday, January 16, 2015

Scanned

That's better. Feeling righteous now that the scanning is done and the documents digitally filed, mirrored, backed up offsite, and physically shredded.

Admin

A quiet day today, predominantly focussed on admin. GF has a pile of documents to scan, but is finding it difficult to motivate himself to do it. He suspects the bullet need biting.

Noon Image: 16 Jan 2015

Thursday, January 15, 2015

On your marks...

The Gorse Fox received a call. It was Darren, the builder. He's talking of starting work on our extension next week and wanted to come and assess the site. He was with us for about 30 minutes and then resolved to check with the builder regarding access to skips and so forth. Gorse Fox had made it clear that he did not want a skip sitting outside the house - in deference to our neighbours. Still waiting to get confirmation of his start dat, but it sounds like next week.

We headed for Chi. We were looking for kitchens fitments and it seemed like a good idea to have a look in Covers. ((Covers are the biggest local builders' mechant). We were unable to get what we wanted, but they did point us at a suitable website.

Noon Image: 15 Jan 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Pah!

Pah! Despite a dreadful forecast of high winds and possible sleet - we all turned up for the football. It was cold, but the sun was shining and the winds were nothing to write home about. A very pleasant game - though we were a man down after about 10 minutes, with one chap going off with a pulled muscle.

There's still an alert for this evening regarding the winds and rain, but we'll worry about that when it hits.

Noon Image: 14 Jan 2015

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Second

Well the weather didn't quite manage to remain clement for the football. Of the three matches played, two were in sunshine and one was in a torrential downpour. We are hardy souls, however, and carried on regardless.

GF was pleased that in the three match round-robin, his team won two games and lost one, ending up second. Very satisfying that after nearly 90 minutes of exercise (GF turned up early and made use of the empty nets) he wasn't tired or puffed out. Fitness is generally improving - even if the weight is not changing by much.

Noon Image: 13 Jan 2015

Improving

At 6:45 this morning (when Jasper, the cat, dragged the Gorse Fox from under the duvet) it was cold and very wet. It did not look promising for today's football. It may be played on an all-weather pitch, but it is still pretty exposed when the weather is bad. Fortunately, the clouds have gone and the sky is bright blue. It may still be cold, but at least it is no longer raining.

On a related subject - the special glasses GF (thought he) had ordered for football never actually hit the order system. GF has now re-ordered and this time has all the expected confirmations. Now, lets see how long they take to come through. If this works out, he may well order some new general purpose specs online - he seems to have worked out all the variables that are required to place these orders - Sphere, cyl, axis, prism, base, Dist, Int, Near, PD, width, arm, bridge, diameter and so forth.