Thursday, August 27, 2015

Mounted

A neighbour called round. We had been discussing backup strategies and he confessed he had stopped backing up his data. This had evidently been playing on his mind so he came round for some advice. He had already determined that he needed and external hard drive and wanted to know what to do next. Old habits die hard. The Gorse Fox asked him lots of questions about his data, how he would reference it in the future, the volumes, his existing infrastructure, and so forth. Ten minutes later he left clutching a diagram and with some instructions. The Gorse Fox also promised to help him if he needed it.

The rest of the morning was spent on the regular admin tasks so that the Gorse Fox could head out to garage this afternoon without worrying that there were spreadsheets to be filled in.

After a bit of fiddling about and a few silent curses the Gorse Fox managed to assemble the stand for the saw, and mount the saw ready for action.

It was a bit fiddly, given the weight of the saw and the fact that some of the work had to be done from underneath.

Noon Image: 27 Aug 2015

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Drying out

The Gorse Fox is now drying out after his second day in a row of playing football in torrential rain. He didn't even attempt to wear his glasses - that would have been pointless. He myopically wandered round the pitch and found the game rather hard-going today. He did manage to get flattened by his own goalie punching him (instead of the ball) and then, as he fell, he smacked his face against one of the other players shoulders. Fear not, it has done no damage to his boyish good looks even if he did see stars for a few moments.

The rain continued until mid-afternoon when the skies cleared and we now have blue sky and bright sunshine.

Noon Image: 26 Aug 2015

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Assembly

With a little help from the assembly instructions, the Gorse Fox managed to turn this garish box into the an empty shell which is destined for the tip.

In order to achieve this he turned the contents into his new saw - all ready for the decking project.
Now all that is needed is for the Gorse Fox to construct the frame on which the saw will stand. Maybe a task for tomorrow.

Glasses

The Gorse Fox shoud remember to put on his glasses before checking the time. This morning he endeared himself to the Silver Vixen by getting up at 5:50 thinking it was 6:50. She asked the time and he told her; she vowed to get up at 7:30.

It was only when he got downstairs that he realised his mistake... annd thought no more about it. Forty minutes later the Silver Vixen wandered into the kitchen. Ooops! She was not impressed to realise it was 6:30.

Shelter

After a very wet couple of hours playing football, the Gorse Fox is glad to be home, showered and warm. It is somehow cozy to be siting in the Orangery (bacon sandwich at the ready) with the rain beating down on the glass roof... but though sitting directly below, remaining dry.

Noon Image: 25 Aug 2015

Monday, August 24, 2015

Very Smug

The Gorse Fox is feeling very smug. After another morning of sorting out in the garage, he has a further 20 feet of shelves in place and has sorted through the remaining 10 crates of tools. The sort process was brutal. Items were selected to keep or were sorted in metallic and non-metallic rubbish for the tip-trip.

When the rain finally stopped, the Gorse Fox loaded the car to the gunwales with all of the stuff to be recycled and after a workman-like bacon sandwich headed to the recycling centre.

The garage was looking clear and with some judicious movement of a the mower and the bike, the Gorse Fox was able to put his car away... and then, just to prove the point swapped the cars round and managed to get the Silver Vixen's car in.

Feeling very smug at this point. There's still some bits and bobs to sort out - and that includes assembly of the new saw, but the bulk of the work is done.

Noon Image: 24 Aug 2015

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Serial Killer

The Gorse Fox is watching his back.

He noticed a scrap of paper with the Silver Vixen's writing on it. Scrawled in the corner were the words "Buried in Cornwall, No.3".

The Gorse Fox is not sure what she did with Nos. 1 and 2... but he hopes he doesn't become No.4!

(Having confronted the Silver Vixen, he is assured it is the name of a book; but he's taking no chances).

20 Feet

No football today - which was probably just as well as we had a couple of hours of heavy rain this morning. The day has now brightened up into a lovely afternoon of bright sunshine.

Making the most of the spare time, the Gorse Fox headed back out to the garage. Stuff was shifted from the left to the right and the drills were broken out. An hour later there was a further 20feet of shelves nestling against the wall. Stuff was moved to its new home, and the old set of bookshelves that had done many years service (indeed we had them when we lived in Hook) were finally consigned to the "take to the tip" pile. Then the Gorse Fox set work on the old metal shelving - again a legacy of our house in Hook - and dismantled the rusty old unit. The "take to the tip" pile got bigger.

Finally the last of the ladder hooks was installed and the ladder hung up in its new resting place. Good progress. There's 20 more feet of shelving to install but the walls are all marked up ready for the Gorse Fox to let loose with the drill. That may be a project for Monday.

Noon Image: 23 Aug 2015

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Little victories

The Gorse Fox was a man on a mission. He wants to get the garage finished and ready to use as a work room for the decking project - and then subsequently use it as a storage location for one of the cars. A bit radical, but we live life on the edge.

He measure the space in the car - but there was no way he's get a 3m scaffolding plank in the back. Plan B was to cut them in half. He headed to Travis Perkins and went into the wood shed. "I would like 4 of your fine scaffolding boards, and be grateful if you could cut them in half to allow me to transport them."

"Can't do that mate; it's 'elf and safety y'see. I can let you cut them." The Gorse Fox expressed surprise and explained that for the last two trips, the chaps on duty have cut the wood without question. "Shouldn't 'ave" came the surly reply. So the Gorse Fox said he would cut them. The wood was retrieved from the racks and placed on the trestles. Then, much to the Gorse Fox's surprise he grabbed the saw and cut the wood. "Thank you, my good man" said the Gorse Fox "I will now go and pay for the boards before placing them in my vehicle"

Well, that was the theory.

Actually, that was when the Gorse Fox realised he had come out without his wallet. The wood was left in the warehouse and the Gorse Fox headed home for the relevant bits of plastic.

Once the wood was in the car, he moved on to Screwfix. The plan was to buy the brackets with which to mount the shelves (made from the scaffolding planks. The young lady took the transaction and then offered the Gorse Fox a loyalty card (which, she explained, expires tomorrow). She stamped all of the visit explaining that the Gorse Fox must have been in before and earned the loyalty stamps. She then explained that if there was anything else he needed this weekend, there would be a £15 discount.

The Gorse Fox thanked her and realised that this was an opportunity to get a discount on the saw and stand that he wanted. Both were in stock and were brought to the counter. The discount was applied and the Gorse Fox thought he's done well. This was not the end of the story, however. She realised that she hadn't printed the receipt for the shelving brackets. She went back into the system. The receipt was printed and it applied the discount again. We had to credit the original payment back onto the relevant card, then re-debit the discounted price. She was so apologetic. The Gorse Fox was delighted, he had merged to get a total of £30 discounted from his purchases.

Little victories.

Noon Image: 22 Aug 2015

Friday, August 21, 2015

Cooking

Well it has been a cracking day here on the south coast. Just a couple of puffs of cloud to give shape to the blue sky. The Gorse Fox started off with some admin and then spent some time planning the next stage of the garage storage solution along with the Silver Vixen. We think that we have finally got an optimal solution. Gorse Fox now just has to make it happen.

The recent rain (yes we do get a little down here) has helped green-up the lawn. Unfortunately it has also made it grow. This meant that Gorse Fox had to head out with the trimmer and the mower. (Can you get ride-on streamers?). Hopefully, that is one of the last times he will have to do the grass as the landscapers should be here in the next few weeks.

Out to dinner tonight with Jane and Trevor.

Noon Image: 21 Aug 2015

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Auto Lift

The chappie arrived mid-morning. This wasn't unexpected. He had come to fit an automatic garage door opener. It had been on the wish-list for a while, but one of the neighbours arranged a good deal based on six of us having them fitted. This turned out to be good value for money so we went ahead.

It took him about 2 hours as he had to make some minor modifications where the original door mechanism hadn't been fitted correctly - but he sorted it out, bemoaning the lack of care the original fitter had taken.

Meanwhile the Gorse Fox had emptied three more boxes of tools and consigned a further crate of mixed detritus to the tip (or at least put it in the corner, ready for the next tip run. He also realised that some of the hooks he had put up last week were placed sub-optimally. These will be moved, allowing a much larger expanse of wall to be kept clear for shelves or storage solutions.

Noon Image: 20 Aug 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Views

Well that was a nice day.

We grabbed the train up to London and dived into the tube to whizz across to the City. By the time we got there we were parched, so we stopped off for a coffee on the corner near the "Walkie Talkie" building.  It was likely to be a couple of hours or so before we had lunch so we even splashed out on a pain au raisin.

We sat and watched the world go by for a while. GF couldn't help but smile as he realised that the hubbub and frenetic activity of rushing off for lunch was no longer part of his daily routine.

We moved round the corner to the iconic sky scraper and joined the queue for our timed entry. (Entry is free, but you do have to book in advance). The queue moved quickly, and after passing through the airport-styled security we were soon in the lift whizzing up to the 35 floor: The Sky Garden.

Leaving the lift, and walking through the sliding doors into the atrium you get a real "wow". The view is just amazing  (and we'll come that in a moment).

The atrium, with its huge glass roof and walls was a lovely sociable space where people could sit and enjoy coffee from a small booth in the centre. Overall, the space was three stories high, the first level opened out onto a viewing deck. Stairs led up the west side of the space across the other two levels and back down the eastern side.

The centre level had some small seating areas, and the top level had views to the north and entry to the two restaurants.

Each of the side staircase rose alongside the roof gardens.

To be honest, the gardens were not as extensive as GF was expecting, but this was more than compensated for by the views and the oveall experience.

We didn't go up and round the garden to start with. The view from the deck was too tempting and we headed out, camera at the ready.


The great thing abot the view is that it is free. You can pay to go up the Shard, which is taller, and get the same view. Well, the same other than the fact you can't see the Shard. From the Sky Garden you can see the iconic building right in front of you, just the other side of the River.

Looking West, you could across to the West End as your eye was drawn by the loop of the river.

Looking east, the view took in HMS Belfast, the Tower of London  and Tower Bridge. Whilst not shown in this photo, you can also get a clear view of Canary Wharf.

We took well over 100 photo all together.

Returning into the atrium we headed up the west staircase and then across the north side, before dropping into the Darwin Brasserie.

This was one of the two restaurants at the Sky Garden and, again, really needed an advance booking. The Gorse Fox had sorted this out a couple of weeks ago.

We were shown to a table which gave us a view out over the Shard. The restaurant was busy and there was a buzz about the place. GF mentioned that it was a great table and that was nice as it was our anniversary. The waitress congratulated us and asked how many years. After ordering some drinks we examined the menu and both ended up selecting the haddock and chips. This was simple but thoroughly enjoyable. We then chose the bitter chocolate bar with white chocolate ice cream. Again this was gorgeous... but we were surprised when our waitress turned up with another platter.
It was an unexpected, but rather nice gesture.

After finishing up, we then completed our circuit of the Sky Garden and then dropped back down into the tube, zipped across to Victoria, and headed back home.

A very excellent day.

Noon Image: 19 Aug 2015

The Answer is 42

The Gorse Fox was lucky enough to marry the Silver Vixen 42 years ago today. What an incredible tie we've had... and plan to continue having!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Wind Up

After this morning's excellent football the Gorse Fox got home to a brown envelope. This brown envelope contained a penalty charge notice for the Dart Crossing. The Gorse Fox was not happy. In fact, the Gorse Fox was wound up.

He has written a polite letter. This points out that he had paid the charge in advance as a block of 4 separate crossings. The first three of these crossing evidently went without a glitch... but the fourth seems to have met with a bug in the system. Needless to say, GF has provided evidence of payment and was even able, from his smartphone location data, to isolate when he had made each crossing. The letter is now in the post. He awaits the outcome.

Noon Image: 18 Aug 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015

Garden

It's not long now before the landscaper starts work on our garden - though the date is not yet confirmed. It was time to do something a bit more definite regarding the trees that we want and for the Gorse Fox to create a cutting list for the deck.

We started with a trip across to Big Plants at Ashington. They never disappoint and we again managed to find just the tree that we want. It's called a Lion's Mane Acer (Je Suis Cecil!) and the nursery have put our name on it - just waiting for us to confirm when it should be delivered. The second tree was more problematic as it is not one that they stock. In the end that had to wait until we got home and was ordered online.

We visited a decking supplier near Worthing to examine the boards. Whilst they had everything we would need, the Gorse Fox was not impressed by the quality. A bit more shopping around is required. GF has, however, now got an accurate bill of materials for the deck, so can try to negotiate some deals.

(Another trip to the tip with more garage junk... almost done now. Just the tools to sort out).

Noon Image: 17 Aug 2015

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Cross-cut

The Gorse Fox has spent much of the afternoon researching his selection of sliding cross-cut mitre saw for the decking project. Sometimes the obvious solution is staring you in the face, but you don't quite believe it. Eventually, after reading many reviews and watching many youtube videos he chose the saw and stand that is currently advertised on the back of the Screwfix catalogue that he had on the table in front of him.

Why didn't he go for it at first? Well, frankly, he hadn't heard of the manufacturer and didn't quite trust the price. In the end he has been convinced... and will order said item in the next couple of weeks or so.

Goals

This morning's football was a veritable goal fest. Neither of the teams seemed capable of defending. Never mind, it was good fun - though surprisingly hard work. It was also very warm.

A Budweiser seems to have mysteriously appeared in front of the Gorse Fox and it would be churlish not to pay it it due respect. Lethargy seems to be this afternoon's meme.

Noon Image: 16 Aug 2015

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Clearing

The clearing and organising of the garage continues. The first trip of the day was to Travis Perkins for another scaffolding plank, to Screwfix for some brackets, and to B&Q for some fixings that the Gorse Fox couldn't track down on the Screwfix website.

Back home the ladder brackets were fixed to the wall and two more ladders stowed in their right places. Then GF started on the brackets for the shelves. This proved a little harder than expected in as much as the high density building blocks used to construct the garage were a lot harder than expected and in the end the Gorse Fox resorted to his heavy-duty drill. Eventually two more shelves were up and the relevant boxes stored in their rightful positions.

Next, another crate of vinyl LPs had to be filled, sealed and stowed in the loft space. Some buckets (used by the Silver Vixen when dying fabric) were lifted onto hooks in the rafters. More junk was identified and moved to the front for the next trip to the tip. Progress is good, but there is still the problem of the tools. Crates full are scattered around and need sorting, culling, ditching, or storing. A task for next week.

We also headed round to Rose Green. We had been told of a Fishmonger/Butcher/Deli there and all who had been gave glowing reports. It's not huge, but the choice of meats and fish was superb. We ended up buying a whole salmon (£12) which he filleted and cut into portions for us. Seemed like good value.

Noon Image: 15 Aug 2015

Friday, August 14, 2015

Drizzle

The morning was quiet. The Gorse Fox offered his bike on the local facebook page... he hasn't used it for several years and really doesn't have space to keep it. Still no takers, however.

This afternoon we went to Chi.  The Silver Vixen had an appointment and GF had various things to get done. The whole trip was accompanied by a constant drizzle, but it was very warm despite the rain.

Noon Image: 14 Aug 2015