Thursday, August 28, 2014

New Postcodes

Moving to an established house in an established postal code is relatively easy in comparison to the hassle of moving to a brand new post code. So few online systems provide support for the case where a new post code has been allocated. This means that Gorse Fox has had the opportunity to spend much of the day listening to various "hold music" and diving through multi-level phone menus. In almost every case the systems insisted on telling him that he could save time by doing this online.


If he could he would have, but because you can't keep your PAF up to date, GF is having to call you to update the details.

Never mind... all is now done.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


The Silver Vixen has established a blitzkrieg on the house. Cupboards are being emptied, sorted, and cleaned. There is production line of articles being ditched or sent for re-cycling, and this morning the Gorse Fox was caught up in process. Dispatched to the garage he set about doing a high-level down-selection of stiff to keep and stiff to ditch.

It took two trips to the re-cycling centre to get rid of all of the material - old chairs, old tools, empty boxes, old parasols, waxes, detergents, oils, spirits and heavens knows what else. Fortunately, the guys at the tip were not very busy so they set about sorting out the contents of the car boot and ferrying it to the correct disposal points. (Very accommodating staff in Chichester).

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Knowing that we will be without Broadband for a while, GF looked at getting a 4G MiFi but for PAYG it seemed prohibitively expensive. In the end he dug out his old 3G MiFi and switched it on. He wasn't expecting any response as he had been told the sim-card is deactivated after 6 months of non-use.

Clearly this is not the case.

The MiFi burst into life and said the account needed topping up (it is a PAYG account). £10 later, all seems to be working. So we should be set - as long as we don't try to do some massive downloads.


The Gorse Fox was pleased to make contact with Cousteau-cub yesterday - only to find out that they had been burgled twice in the last week and lost a laptop, the Nexus 7 we bought her, and one of their motor bikes.

Apparently this happens when there has been a poor low-season. Indeed C-c said it had happened to most of her friends over the years - so she had been lucky up until now.

The Gorse Fox finds such behaviour morally repugnant and cannot conceive of what makes people prey on others likes this. He has sent C-c a link which may help her locate the Nexus and if not, may at least lock and erase it.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Bank Holiday

Bank Holiday Monday. At least there's no work today.

Oh yes, just remembered - every day is a Bank Holiday. Feeling insufferably smug.


Well it appears that the forecast was correct. It is wet this morning. Jasper, the cat, wants to go out but takes one look at the rain, imperiously raises his tail and does an about turn. He isn't getting his coat wet. No sir!

Sunday, August 24, 2014


The weather forecast for Monday and the early part of the week predicts rain. This was reason enough to schedule time in the garden today.

Lawns were done and the Silver Vixen did some tidying and pruning/ GF helped out with some brambles and tidying all the cuttings into bags for his regular trip to see his mates at the local tip. It has been a while since the last trip so GF was expecting a guard of honour, and a human chain to empty the bags from the car. He was miffed to find it was quite busy and GF had, therefore, to work alone.

On another note, the timelapse photography application GF established for the Raspberry Pi seems to be working well. GF suspects that if this is to remain a long-running project, he may need to get a UPS so that the RPi could survive power cuts.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


The Gorse Fox is feeling smug.

The front of the new house will look out NNE towards the South Downs. For the moment, the view is fairly uncluttered - a hoarding in the foreground, a little bit of building activity and then the fields all the way to the Downs. This will change as the development continues and, after a year or two, the hoardings will come done and further houses will spring up.

GF thought it would be interesting to see how this develops over time. To that end he has spent the morning connecting up an old webcam to one of the Raspberry Pis and has knocked up a little code to take a photo once an hour, on the hour, between 0900 and 1700 every day. When we move in to the new house this can be set up at GF's study window and we will see a time-lapse storyline building up as things change in front of us.

Code completed, tested and running. (Though currently monitoring change in GF's study).

Friday, August 22, 2014

Quiet day

Well we are heading for a Bank Holiday weekend. As a retired person, it lacks the usual expectation. Every day is now a holiday... And the Gorse Fox is loving it.

Pretty quiet day really, other than a short trip to Chi to sort out some direct debits which had been set up with incorrect account details.

Should be meeting up with Jane an Trevor for dinner tonight at Chris Evans' restaurant in Chiddingfold.

Thursday, August 21, 2014



the Gorse Fox went along to Screwfix. He waded through the catalogue and found that the only Forstner bit that would do the job came not as an individual purchase but as part of a set. And wouldn't you know it - not part of the 5-piece set, but part of £40 16 piece set.

Oh well... it's done now and the desk is back up and fully functional - though 9 inches smaller than before.

Cut, cut, cutting...

The Gorse Fox's desk is in fact two five-foot desks side by side. This will not fit in the room we have designated for the study in the new house. After yesterday's inspection, Gorse Fox was able to measure the space accurately. This morning the agenda was set to adapt one of the desks so that it was 9 inches smaller. Taking the old desk apart, it was a matter of measuring the positions of the fixings as they were, the diameter of the holes and their depth. The Gorse Fox then dug out his big handheld circular saw and performed surgery on the desk.

Almost everything is now ready to put the desk back together, but Gorse Fox needs to pop along to Screwfix and get a 14mm Forstner bit for the last two holes. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Not bad

Well the 90 minute induction appointment lasted 3 hours. No surprise there then.

We worked our way through the house room by room - wall by by wall, window by window, plug by plug. In the end we had a very short list of things that required attention and commitment that they would all be addressed before we move in. It was very satisfying that there were so few snags to address - a testament to the quality of the build and their inspection process.


Today we have a viewing scheduled at our rented house - but more importantly we have the induction and inspection of our new house. A modicum of excitement is creeping in.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Lovely Day

We started our special day with a trip to Fishbourne Palace. - to remind us of our youth :)

Fishbourne Palace is the largest Roman Villa ever discovered on British soil, and stands just to the south-east of Chichester. Whilst, in some ways, the mosaics are not as impressive as those at Bignor; the sheer scale of the site is what astounds anyone with a a rudimentary imagination.

Developed in a number of stages the buildings surrounded an internal courtyard garden that would have been almost the dimensions of a modern football pitch.
After a coffee an sandwich we headed across to the Chichester Canal Basin.

Until 1906, ships were able to bring their cargo up the Chichester Channel and along the canal into the heart of Chichester. Now the canal basis is given over to leisure - with the hire of rowing boats, kayaks, and canoes. Additionally, and more importantly for us, they run narrow-boat trips down the canal.

We duly bought our ticket and waited for our boat.
 A trip on a narrow boat is immensely relaxing. Theres is nothing you can do except watch the world drift by - at a slow walking pace.

The scenery along the canal was lush and a haven for wildlife. Any bird-watcher would have a field day as the various feathered friends swooped, dived, fluttered, or paddled along the route. At one point we saw a terrapin (ok, that's not a bird) sunning itself on the bank.
Passing Hunston junction and on past the tracks of the old Selsey tramway, the canal comes to halt (at least as far as the narrow boat is concerned). An elegant three-point turn saw us reverse the route and head back towards Chichester and the Canal Basin.

Of course, the canal has a towpath. This is a haven for walkers, joggers, anglers, cyclists, and dog walkers.
Talking of dog-walkers, we noticed this as boat was gliding along. The Gorse Fox feels that this approach to "taking the dog for a walk" is not what is normally intended by the phrase and could be the reason for canine obesity.

Back at the basin, we hopped in the car - popped home to change and then headed back out to the local "Amelie and Friends" for a celebratory meal.

A splendid day all round.


Well it's 41 years today since the Silver Vixen took pity on the Gorse Fox and decided to look after him. He confesses that he is still somewhat shocked that she said "yes" and wonders what he did that attracted such good karma.

Here's to the next 41 years.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Production Line

Photograph: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters
According to the local dealer, the Gorse Fox's new car should be built today.

It would be interesting to know how long it takes from start to finish.

It would appear that a new Fiesta rolls off the production line in Cologne every 86 seconds

Here's a quick look at the build process:

Sunday, August 17, 2014


The Gorse Fox likes clarity. He was concerned the spreadsheet on which he had been working was not really showing the full picture adequately. This meant that he spent much of the day restructuring and refactoring the information.

He's still not quite convinced - but feels it is better than it was.

We have received the final account from the Solicitor for the house purchase. That'll knock a bit of a hole in the finances - but a hole we have budgeted for and expected all along. It's still a bit of a chock though when you write cheques that big.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


It's always nice to hear from old friends.

The phone rang. A number we didn't recognise. It was Mrs Tiggywinkle - who, in the great scheme of things, is a few weeks ahead of us - having just moved sett with Badger. It was interesting hearing their tales as they so closely matched many of the issues and frustrations Gorse Fox has been experiencing over the past few weeks.

The important thing is that they have settled in now. We agreed to meet up soon after we are in the new place - whether up here, down there in the West country, or somewhere in between.


After a morning of admin for both the Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen, we had to make ourselves scarce as the local Estate Agent was again showing some house hunters round the current house.

We popped across to the outskirts of Chi and GF wandered into Staples to try and get some more storage boxes for his study. Now back in the study, having loaded the new boxes, GF realises that he still needs more - and that some items just don't fit in the boxes.

Friday, August 15, 2014


Yesterday evening saw the opening of Sonning Place. It was a chance to see the part of the development that has, up until now, been behind hoardings.
 Along with our new neighbours and those already living on the development we had a chance to meet, chat and get to know each other a bit.
 The development, as a whole, looks very smart, and "our" little corner looks lovely. There has obviously been quite a push in the last few days.

We had a chance to chat with the Site Manager and he was convinced that we had picked the best of the plots because of our outlook front and back.
As commented above, Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen had a chance to meet the neighbours. We are all going to be moving in with a a couple of weeks of each other. It was fairly clear that it is going the be a bit of a riot as there are some very nice people all around - a head teacher, an ex-Maths teacher, and ex-Deputy Head, someone who is a driving force at Goodwood, and some retirees.

Yep, Gorse Fox thinks it is looking very promising.