Friday, September 19, 2014


Quiet-ish day. We had an appointment with the Orangery developer to go and see a similar design to that we have chosen. It was a worthwhile trip as it gave us a clear view of what we could expect and alerted us to a possible design-flaw they had fallen in to - but we had avoided.

Afternoon was spent marking out the garden with the hose to show the dimensions and place the windows and doors. This was followed by more computer designs so that we can send some final requirements to the developer on Monday. Still some more to do, but it's progressing.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Signals, fixings, and searches

Fairly productive start to the day with a completion of Tuesday's list. Fixings for the downstairs cloakroom, mirror for the bedroom, whiteboard for the study, and re-hanging the doors on the Silver Vixen's storage unit after they were bodged by the removals men. Very satisfying.

Next the Gorse Fox noticed a change in the display on the house phone. The phone line has been activated, finally. At first he was worried it was but a single phone line, but then realised he had a faulty telephone cable. A quick swap and it was apparent that all phone jacks are active. Now he can start working on the change of address cards as it is clear that the number they revealed several weeks ago is in fact the right number. Another 30 minute call with BT revealed, however, that it is still likely to be October before the Broadband is available.

Another neighbour is moving in today. It's nice to see them as they were somewhat constrained by a holiday that was booked and the end of their rental agreement.

The Silver Vixen went out for the afternoon, being Thursday. A quick trip to Chi followed by the after school sewing club that she helps with. This left the Gorse Fox and Jasper the cat. Jasper was under close supervision in the garden whilst the Gorse Fox called the various utility companies to ensure the accounts were closed for the rented house. All was going well until the door bell rang. The Gorse Fox answered to a chap offering window cleaning services. By the time he got back to the garden Jasper had disappeared.

The Gorse Fox started to search the garden, the downstairs rooms, the upstairs rooms and cupboards and all of the places he usually hides. Nada. Nothing. He then did another circuit with the box of treats that Jasper likes. Still nothing. The Gorse Fox was concerned. The Silver Vixen hadn't been gone for more than 30 minutes and the Gorse Fox had lost the cat. He peered over the fence where he had escaped last week. Then headed out to the front and walked round the local roads, alleys, and courtyards. Concerned neighbours were probably hiding behind their curtains watching as an old bloke with a strange case of Tourettes wandered about shouting "Jasper!". 

He returned home empty handed and hoped that the errant feline would find his own way back when it suited him. Taking one more spin round the house, he heard a rustle - there was the little devil hiding under the bed, snuggled right down between some storage boxes. He looked up the Gorse Fox as if to say "What?".

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

BT connection

It would appear that we now have connectivity between the house and the exchange and the nice chaps from BT Openreach came in and fitted the master socket for us so that as soon as the exchange is activated, we should be set to go.

Hodgson's Rejects

The Gorse Fox joined Hodgson's Rejects. As it is increasingly unlikely that the Gorse Fox will be picked for one of Roy Hodgson's new-look England squads, he has joined the local "Walking Football" team. This is arranged by Brighton & Hove Albion's community programme and run by one of their coaches.

It was great fun with gentle warm up exercises, followed by static passing, then pass and move drills. As we didn't have sufficient members for two teams we played an attack-v-defence game. This then swapped over so everyone got a turn.

The Gorse Fox notes that it is immensely difficult not to run. He also notes that the mind still manages to write cheques that the body cannot cash - as he got the ball stuck beneath his feet several times and miscued a number of shots.

As regular readers will know, the Gorse Fox has problems with his feet - and is now interested to see if there are any after effects. If not, he'll be back next week.

Left hand does not know what right hand is doing

Left hand vs right hand. The Gorse Fox was alerted by the Silver Vixen. BT Openreach were outside our neighbour's house. This, thought the Gorse Fox, was a wind up. 

He went outside to speak with them to find out what they were doing. "Jointing and cabling" came the reply. At this point the Gorse Fox pointed out that there was already cable running into the houses and showed them what was in the "media cupboard". This seemed to come as a surprise and so they put a signal on one end of the cable from our cupboard to check that it was connected through to the joint box. Things are looking positve. (BT Openreach chap said "I thought we did did all these about 3 months ago"... Gorse Fox suggested that the did but it wasn't recorded).

More later (the Gorse Fox says hopefully)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Not in plan

Best laid plans. The Gorse Fox would start the day with a plan of the activities and tasks to complete today. It started well with the Gorse Fox completing a backlog of admin.

Then a number of calls were exchanged with the coffee supplier and their distribution company. Surprisingly this seemed to do the trick as the coffee finally arrived late in the morning.

From there on things went down hill. A quick refresher - the Gorse Fox was chasing BT for phone and Broadband since early August. The development has been in place for a couple of years. Promised for 3rd Sept it slipped to 10th Sept and then to 17th - now BT tell the Gorse Fox that works won't complete until 3rd Oct and they will then re-book. The Gorse Fox is not pleased.

Next on the agenda was to install some bathroom furniture. Should have been easy. Oh no. In order to get the towel rails to be sturdy it took three attempts to fit, remove and re-fit. Eventually Gorse Fox had to use hollow-wall metal fixings that open up behind the plasterboard. Then it was clear that towel ring was on a solid portion of the wall - and that needed another fixing type. Finally the robe hooks were screwed to the door, and the screws bent as they went into the hard wood. These needed drilling out and then unscrewing with molegrips. Several trips to B&Q punctuated the day... and the final trip got some screws that sorted out the robe hooks in a couple of minutes. A job that Gorse Fox had expected to take an hour took most of the day.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Msg, txt, SMS

The Gorse Fox is easily pleased. Do what you say you are going to do, when you say you are going to do it. Coffee supplier is in the Gorse Fox's bad books. He is displeased. Coffee still hasn't arrived after a couple of weeks and several follow-up calls.

What did please the Gorse Fox was a little test we ran in the new car. The Silver Vixen sent the Gorse Fox a text message and the car picked up the message and read it out loud when prompted. Neat feature! (Not that the Gorse Fox gets many text messages). 

Much of the rest of the day has been looking for household bits and trying to decide on some light fixtures. Not an easy task - yet we only have a few lights to worry about. The Gorse Fox thinks we both have vague ideas of what might be nice and definite ideas about what we don't want.  Unfortunately the choice is huge.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


That's it - all the boxes are now empty.

Things are squirrelled away all over the house and the family bathroom is full of stuff that is destined for one of the Gorse Fox's favourite local dumps. GF is always amazed at how the Silver Vixen can take a pile of things occupying several cubic kilometres (a size that would be visible from space), and make it disappear into a couple of small cupboards and a drawer.

Gorse Fox is beginning to wonder if it would have been quicker to have the removal men take everything to the dump and we just retrieve the bits we wanted!

Saturday, September 13, 2014


Today saw the beginning of the expedition. It had been planned for quite a few days. All was in place, we just had to pick a time when the weather was clement. The Gorse Fox kicked off, blazing the trail into the depths of the garage. The Silver Vixen gained access from a different base camp.

Bit by bit we hacked our way through box after box, reducing each to its flat pack equivalent and separating the useful trinkets, tools, and gadgets from the casualties of consumerism and hoarding which were quickly dispatched and given a suitable burial at the local tip.

The Gorse Fox is excited to report that this is yet another tip, with a whole new bunch of helpers to become known by. It's also only 2 miles from home, so is very convenient.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Lost shades

Quiet day - relatively. The Silver Vixen was due at the hairdresser's and the Gorse Fox thought it a good excuse to go and see Angus to get his hair cut also. This gave him a chance to take the new car for a little run, to see how some of the technology works, and to fill up. Oh, yes. Filling up means remembering the filler is on the opposite side of the car, it uses petrol, and has a smaller tank. So whilst he may have to fill up more frequently it is a bit quicker and a lot cheaper.

The Gorse Fox stopped off to see the designer who is working on plans for the Orangery. There were a few clarifications that were needed and some ideas to discuss. Interestingly he showed the Gorse Fox an orangery on a house in Felpham which had the exact design the Gorse Fox had drawn. We have asked to take a look at the finished article.

The Silver Vixen wasn't best pleased on her return from Chi... she had misplaced her prescription sunglasses and walked her feet to blisters as she zigged and zagged back through the town looking for them.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


As fuel to the Gorse Fox's Grumpy Old Git fire, the first appointment of the morning failed to turn up. Not s good start. When GF called to chase it was clear that the guy had no record of the appointment - so much for Office 365 and its cloud functions! We re-arranged and, to be fair, he turned up on time and was most helpful. The question we now have to address is whether we really want shutters, or not. We need to think on this - it would be a costly decision to get wrong!

Drawings have come through for the proposed Orangery - perhaps unsurprisingly, they look very similar to the drawings GF provided them. Looks ok, but we do need to see what the pricing would be.

New car has been delivered. GF was very sorry to see the Passat CC go, but it doesn't make sense to hang on to it. New car looks very smart so the Gorse Fox will spend the afternoon reading the manual while the Silver Vixen goes back to Fontwell to help with the first of the after-school sewing clubs of the new school year.

GF has also been invited to go and have a chat with some ex-colleagues about setting up an independent consulting practice. He will probably go along for the initial meeting, but isn't yet convinced he really wants to do any more "work", so doubts very much that he will get involved in anything other than an advisory capacity.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Grumpy Old Git

BT are rapidly turning the Gorse Fox into a Grumpy Old Git. Originally the commencement of service for the new phone was 3rd Sept, then it got moved to today, 10th between 0800 and 1200. This was confirmed by BT on Monday.

1130 this morning the Gorse Fox gets a call to say they are not turning up. There's still external line work to complete. They'll fit us in on Friday. Then Friday morphed into 72 hours during the call. Disgruntled Gorse Fox ended the call.

Then a text arrived, the 72 hours had morphed into a week. They will deign to call next Wednesday.

The Gorse Fox called them to express his displeasure. Thirty minutes later he had learned that Openreach still had line work to do and that would not complete until 14th. At that point BT would reschedule the engineer. Whatever the date given, they promised they would escalate to bring us forward as a priority. Yeah, right!

And the Gorse Fox missed the Walking Football


Yesterday was relatively quiet. Final clean at the old house and handed back the keys to the agent. It seemed quite cathartic - closing the book on that episode of our lives, now that we are working on the first chapter of the sequel.

Busy day scheduled - BT Engineer first thing to put in the phone line. Not sure how long that will take, but at least we will be able to send out the change of address cards once the number is confirmed. Hopefully, this will mean that we can get a Broadband service again in a few days. Then, if the engineer finishes early enough, the Gorse Fox is going to go across to Angmering to try the "Walking Football" that has featured in recent advertisements.

After lunch we should have the chap from John Lewis fitting the new TV and also the chappy to fit the satellite dish.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Green side up

The turf laid at the new house was not taking well. We did not have to mention it - the builder's Customer Care department spotted it. The whole back garden was stripped yesterday and today they have prepared and laid new turf for us. Looks very smart.

Monday, September 08, 2014


It has been another busy day. News has come through regarding Gorse Fox's new car so then he had to speak with the insurance company. As usual this was a fight through the telephone system before getting to a human and then fighting tooth and nail to stop loads of extra charges from being added.

Next the New England styled furniture, ordered last month, turned up and once placed allowed some more boxes to be emptied and the existing stuff to be shuffled about.

The afternoon saw a chap arrive to discuss our requirements for an Orangery at the back of the house. Give it a few days and we'll see his design,

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Design Solutions

The Gorse Fox has been struggling with finding a good solution for housing some of his technology. The stuff in the study is no problem, but there is a cupboard under the stairs where all telephone cables enter the house and where the aerials all come together. It is the obvious location for the ADSL router / WiFi hub and the Sonos bridge. The Gorse Fox was looking for a flexible solution that would allow fairly simple access and the ability to move things about.

After wandering round B&Q for a while looking at plywood, at fixings, at corner blocks and goodness knows what else, he had a bit of an epiphany. There was a plastic peg-board designed for tool storage. A little bit of dynamic redesign and he strolled out with bits and pieces and a vague idea.

A couple of hours later the peg-board is held clear of the wall with magnetic catches to allow simple removal. In the gap behind the peg-board the cables are hidden, and on the front Gorse Fox has a 4-way power block, the Netgear router and the Sonos bridge. All very neat and very successful. Incidentally everything, font and back, is held against the peg-board with cable-ties so that everything can be easily removed or re-arranged.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Jasper de Gama

We had spent some time last night chatting outside the house with our neighbours. In the course of the conversation we had mentioned Jasper. we explained Jasper was a house cat, and though we let him out in the garden he doesn't stray. Jasper was clearly listening.

This morning we let him run about in the garden. Going in to make some tea we left him to it. He promptly disappeared. We searched but couldn't find him. A little while later our intrepid explorer was seen sitting on top of a shed five or six houses away. We called and he ignored us at first, then eventually deigned to leap down and stroll back to us.

Little devil.

Checking out

Today's clear objective was to finish all the tasks needed to release the rental property. The Silver Vixen hopped on board, bringing her broomstick to help sweep up round the garden. The Gorse Fox stopped at B&Q for decorating supplies and 10 minutes later we were pulling in to Fontwell.

The Silver Vixen headed out to the garden whilst the Gorse Fox masked up the areas that needed to be painted. First cutting in round the perimeter, the wall lights, and the plug sockets was carefully completed. Then the roller and tray came out and the wall quickly conformed to the intended colour across its whole landscape - rather than the few blobs where the Gorse Fox had tried to touch up some blemishes. From the study he went upstairs to apply a similar treatment in the Silver Vixen's sewing room.

While the paint was drying, the Gorse Fox did a final cut of the lawns. He must say they look very smart. Finally, the garage was swept clean and a second coat of paint applied in the study.

Dropping off our detritus at the dump we headed home. Urban-cub and Pistol-Pete were there waiting for us. Urban-cub was collecting Gorse Fox's old filing cabinet to help here organise all here paperwork. (A problem Gorse Fox no longer has as he has adopted a ruthless read-and-shred, or read-scan-and-shred approach to mail).