Monday, April 27, 2015

Noon Image: 27 Apr 2015


Beautiful blue sky this morning, but quite cold overnight. Jasper wasn't impressed when he went out, and was soon back in to warm up.

Sunday, April 26, 2015


So, Arun Amblers emerged as the winners of the Littlehampton Tournament. It wasn't a big event, but it was fun. We had a good ref who enforced the rules consistently throughout the games. That is always a good start.

Our first games was against Littlehampton FC's old boys. All ex-Sussex County League players. The game was a bit cagey, but we held them to a 0-0 draw. We probably should have been more assertive, but decided that it wasn't worth taking chances.

The second game was against Worthing. These are players we know well, and were expecting a hard game. We were right, but we were also very disciplined. We emerged 2-0 winners.

Finally, we played our own B-team. This was easier for us as we were well acquainted with all of them and their strengths and weaknesses. By half time we were 4-0 ahead. In the second half we continued to pass the ball well and make full use of the space. GF even managed to stride forward and play a one-two with Barry before putting the ball in the back of the net. This was the only time GF crossed the halfway line, but was somewhat satisfying.

The cup is now being engraved and should be ours by the end of the week.

Tomorrow, we field an almost identical team at the BHA tournament.

Noon Image: 26 Apr 2015


Today sees the Littlehampton Walking Football Tournament, and just to keep us on our toes, tomorrow sees a further tournament at Brighton & Hove Albion's Elite Training Centre. We have entered teams for both.

Saturday, April 25, 2015


The great advantage of cordless drills and saws is the flexibility they give. The great disadvantage (if you don't have spare batteries) is that they run out just as you get 40 minutes into a project.

So it is that GF is sitting, writing this, whilst waiting for his drill battery to recharge. The project? Well, he has this picture in his head of some hidden lighting in the lantern of the Orangery. He has finally worked out how to do it, and started fixing an ogee moulding around the bottom rim of the lantern. When finished, he will fix an LED ribbon along to top (hidden) edge.

Noon Image: 25 Apr 2015

Friday, April 24, 2015


No, GF is not talking about the underlying machine language for IBM Mainframes (though would love to wax lyrical on the subject or, perhaps, write an epic poem about it). No today GF was assembling the chairs that were brought back from IKEA yesterday. It didn't take too long, and it has now helped us get a better idea of the room we have spare in the Orangery. We are still debating whether to get some side tables or get one central coffee table.

We also contacted the man who fixed all our blinds and shutters. It seems only fair to give him a chance to quote before we default to Outside Interests, who supplied the Orangery.

Best news of the day (and this harks back to a discussion held last Friday) is that Urban-cub has now been offered a cracking new job at Gatwick Airport. It will mean leaving the prison service after some ten years - but she has learned much and now has the opportunity to put it into practice - an opportunity that was often promised but never fulfilled at HMPS. Well done Urban-cub; we are very proud of you.

Noon Image: 24 Apr 2015

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Cloudless Evening in the Orangery

I always wanted a yacht- view from IKEA


The Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox were feeling adventurous. A road trip and heist were planned. As soon as the man from Ocado had left we climbed aboard SV's trusty broomstick and headed west. An hour later we sidled into Ikea and began to case the joint.

Several hours, and a lot of meatballs (and salmon) later, we left pushing a trolley with a mountain of loot. All we had to do, to get away with it, was to swipe a credit card at the tills. Simple.

The rear seats of the broomstick were collapsed down and all of the swag loaded into the back. Without so much as a look back we swung out into the traffic and made our escape.

Noon Image: 23 Apr 2015

Schedule slip

It seems as if someone else's misfortune may help us. A large contract in London is behind schedule. This may free up some vinyl layers who could come and lay our floor. We won't know until tomorrow, but without wishing problems on the person in London, if they are delayed - we would be happy!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Last of the Landscapers

Well we have now met the last of the landscapers. We gave him the same brief as the others, the same specification and same diagrams. He seemed totally at ease with what we had planned; made some suggestions, and left us to go and start on the quotation.

Over the next week or so, we are hoping to get the quotes from each of the landscapers - and some idea as to when they can do the work.

On other matters, GF's football was very mediocre this morning. This could be because his stiff neck was reaching an acute phase - and he was in a great deal of discomfort. Since then, the neck seems to have eased slightly. Hopefully, it is on the mend.

Noon Image: 22 Apr 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Neighbours were telling us that BT have installed a new wiring cabinet at last. Hopefully that means we should get fibre before too long (though midsummer is the latest schedule we have heard).


Football was a mixed bag. The first hour saw three games where GF was on the losing side. The second hour saw three further games where GF was on the winning team. The stiff neck is not improving, and it makes balance slightly iffy when kicking as he could counterbalance the way he normally did.

News of yet another tournament. GF will be putting in a team for next Monday to play at Brighton & Hove Albion's Elite Training Centre against a number of teams from across the south coast.

Chap came from the flooring company to look at the Orangery and check it was ready for the vinyl to be laid. No doubt we will hear in the next day or so when they can do the work.

Noon Image: 21 Apr 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015


We had another of the landscapers meet with us this morning. She seemed very nice and very thorough (though GF had provided detailed designs and a document explaining the brief). We just need to wait for her quotes to come through.

The stiff neck is problematic. GF has almost no rotation to left or right. The problem is made more ridiculous by his varifocal glasses. These, of course, have a sweet spot in the middle of the lens and in order for things to be in focus you need to look through this sweet spot. This means that GF relies on head rotation to see things clearly. Today he has to do complete body rotation.

Noon Image: 20 Apr 2015


The Gorse Fox has a dreadfully stiff neck. He's not sure of the cause but has almost no rotation, and even forward/backward motion is painful. He is wearing a warm neck-roll at present, trying to ease the discomfort.

Feeling stupid.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


We heard from Cousteau-cub this morning. She is about to start her yoga teacher's course. This is 200 hours of intense study and practice over the next few weeks - 10 hours a day. At the end, GF guesses she gets her certificate, or a refund of her enlightenment. She has no plan to teach yoga, but enjoys it so much that she wanted to delve deeper.


The pitch at LA was on a slight slop and wasn't marked out for small-sided football. On top of this there was a cruel wind blowing across the wide open spaces and it was strong enough to move the ball around quite a lot. We started with a "first team" against the rest and were soon 6-0 up. We rebalanced the teams and played another 40 minutes. To be honest GF had absolute mare of a game. He just couldn't get under way., and his passing was not as accurate as he would like (or expect).

Probably time to draw a veil over this match. Next Sunday we have a tournament, so let's hope GF has got his act together by then.

Noon Image: 19 Apr 2015

Saturday, April 18, 2015


Another potential landscaper came round. He was given the same brief and diagrams as the first. Like the first, he seemed quite enthusiastic about our design and offered various suggestions as to approaches that could be used to achieve the end result. We look forward to hearing his proposal, as we know him and his team; they were, after all, the guys that built our Orangery.

When he had gone, we took a drive up to Chi and looked around the landscape section of Covers. They had some great ideas and we came home clutching an armful of brochures. (GF knew that Covers was big - he has visited before - but he discovered it spreads across 16 acres. Most impressive.)

Noon Image: 18 Apr 2015

Friday, April 17, 2015

Send off

The funeral was a typical event, for our family, i.e. it was a glorious event. We gathered at the Crematorium along with a large contingent of serving and retired Police Officers. As we milled about we introduced ourselves to each other - it is, after all, decades since some of us have met. The police formed up into an honour guard and lining the route to the chapel. It was, clearly, a very proud and poignant moment for the family.

The ceremony was brief. A few words from the Police chaplain, a time for reflection, a eulogy from Mark's son and a flurry of tissues all round.

We gathered in the courtyard to remember a fine man who was clearly very highly respected. This where it morphed into our typical funeral as we, respectfully started to chuckle and joke as we reminisced.

Leaving the courtyard we drove to the Herts Police Sports & Social Club where there was tea laid on. (Though being a Police Social Club, there was also a bar, of course). It was nice to chat with cousins and a thoughtful touch was added when the Police came round with A5 cards for us to write our stories of Mark so that they all be bound into a book of remembrance.

GF said his goodbyes, and took leave at about 1500. It had only taken 2 hours to get there, so he should be home around 1700. Of course the phenomenon that is the M25 and Friday stepped in at this point. He queued in traffic from Rickmansworth round to Guildford, and then, south of Petworth, the road was closed with a long diversion. Two hours had become three and three-quarters. Pah! Still, GF wouldn't have missed the funeral even if had known.

Once home, Urban-cub was visiting, as was GF's sister and Trevor. We had a lovely supper and chance to chat (and perhaps we will reveal more about the subject in forthcoming posts) before they all disappeared leaving GF with the weary but gorgeous Silver Vixen. Say what you will, he is a lucky man.

Noon Image: 17 Apr 2015


The Gorse Fox is going to the funeral of his cousin today. Interestingly, this cousin and his siblings have had little contact with GF over the years - except through Facebook. He hope he recognises them!

Donning his funeral weeds was a challenge. The jacket he had planned to wear has evidently grown whilst hanging in the wardrobe. When he put it on, it was clear that there was room for him and a guest in its capacious measurements. This rather brought home to GF, just how big he had become prior to retirement and how much weight he has managed to lose since.

He'll be off soon, to spend some quality time on Her Majesty's highways and bye-ways.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Thank you, HMRC

The Gorse Fox has commented before that he has been allocated a tax rebate. This is still sitting in his HMRC account, but today seemed like a good day to re-allocate the funds. He has mentioned before that his Samsung Notebook was defunct as a mobile device. It works fine with a cable, but no longer functions off the battery (and new batteries seem impossible to source).

To this end, a brief trip into Chi saw GF in John Lewis, and saw the JLP minions scurrying round trying to see if they had stock. They did. Gorse Fox now has a shiny new MacBook Air. Not a big one - he doesn't need the real estate any more, but a nice sparkly new one with an 11 inch screen. This entry is it's first foray into the wide world.

Noon Image: 16 Apr 2015

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Close Shave

The Gorse Fox was driving home after the football. A large lorry was coming in the opposite direction. As it rounded the bend heading north, it ripped a branch from a tree and deposited it across the road in front of the GF's car. The lorry drove on. The road was completely blocked.

The traffic backed up and several of us south-bound drivers and a few of the north-bound drivers went to examine the obstacle. In the end we decided there were enough of us to manhandle the arborial roadblock out of the highway. Ten minutes of grunting and dragging later - the Gorse Fox was covered in pine resin, but the road was clear. GF headed home, thankful that he was not 10 yards further ahead than he had been. He suspects a branch like that would leave more that a scratch on the car's paintwork.

Noon Image: 15 Apr 2015

Mown down

The Gorse Fox has football this morning, but clearly needs to break out the lawn mower later, or tomorrow. The battlefield (garden) has started to recover from the pasting it received during the building works and the grass is beginning to reach out for a better view.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Double dose

The Gorse Fox doubled his dose of walking football today. He signed up for two back-to-back sessions. This meant he played six 15 minute matches over a couple of hours. He was expecting to find it hard, but in fact it wasn't too bad at all. Obviously his fitness levels are improving.


There's something ominous about an email from HMRC. This, particularly so when Gorse Fox's last tax return resulted in HMRC owing him money.

He logged on to his account and went to the messages. There it was, glaring out of the screen, a message from the tax people. He clicked and opened the message, read it, and sighed with relief. It was just a reminder to fill in his self-assessment befor 31st Jan next year.

Noon Image: 14 Apr 2015