Tuesday, May 31, 2005

GF started the day with another trip to Shoreham to get the last tile required for the completion of the bathroom. That done, and back at the keyboard he began the final tinkering and final reviews of the documents that he plans to release at the end of the day. It was going to be bloody. So much to review, so much to edit.

Silver Vixen was feeling brave. She took the Golf out for the first time, and second time, and thrid time! Her verdict:
I could get used to it.It's difficult to keep to 30mph. It keeps wanting to go faster!

GF agrees, but it probably wouldn't stand up in court.

SV was meant to meet Urban-cub and take her to the hospital for a pre-admission check. She allowed the statutory 20 minutes to get to U-c's work, and 90 minutes to get to the hospital at Chandler's Ford. Due to road works and a broken down lorry, it took her 90 minutes to get to Ford to collect U-c... so she was running well behind schedule. However, as she is not a policeman, she couldn't make up any of the lost time by traveling at 159mph (even if the car went that fast).

Monday, May 30, 2005

Change of Plan

To say we had a plan for the day would be an exaggeration. We decided to go for a walk, so while the Silver Vixen was getting ready, Gorse Fox sat with his laptop plotting some suitable routes. By the time we were ready, however, the weather had become showery, with hail mixed in. We decided to conduct a referendum, a la Francais, and like the French, we voted Non!. So the plan changed.

Whilst away last week, making use of the ubiquitous Corby trouser press, Gorse Fox became conscious of the wear and tear that his business suit has taken, and feared an impending wardrobe malfunction. Plan B, therefore, was to visit the emporium of Messrs Marks and Spencer at nearby Southwick. After causing a near melt-down on the plastic GF walked off with a number of jackets, trousers, shirts, ties, and so forth. The newly styled Gorse Fox was ready to meet the world in a dapper new style. The Silver Vixen had tried hard to foist pink shirts upon the GF, but just like visiting Wales, you have to draw the line somewhere. Trinny and Susannah would be proud.

We headed inland looking for a suitable hostelry for lunch. Steyning had been our initial destination, but we had picked the day of their country fair, and it was heaving. We moved on along the foot of the Downs and eventually stopped in Washington. (No not that one, the one in West Sussex). We had an unassuming lunch at the Frankland Arms and then headed home.

By late afternoon the showers had blown away, the natural order of things had been restored, the sky was blue, the sun shone and Kingston Gorse sighed as it nestled peacefully against the shore.

The Liberty Cadre : Lights go out over Europe

The Liberty Cadre : Lights go out over Europe. This cogent analysis of the ramifications of the French "Non!" in their referendum had the GF chuckling!

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Domesticity

With Medallion man all but finished, it was time to remove the fine layer of plaster, grout, dust, and sawdust that had permeated the house. Sunday, therefore, was a day filled with domestic chores. Gorse Fox wielded a mean Dyson whilst SV wiped every static surface in the house (and probably a few mobile ones too).

GF also had a chance to catch up with some more genealogical updates to his website, and send a note to kinfolk informing them how they could use an RSS feed to stay up to daye with the family website. GF is wondering about a "blogging" or even "wiki" experiment with the genealogy website, but needs to ponder a while longer to determine how he might get the most out of it.
Yesterday's family celebrations were great fun. As always, everyone got on well, and the day was filled with mirth and happiness. The weather was a bit mixed with a cool south-west wind keeping people on the move (and ducking inside to warm up occasionally).

Sue, in her usual generosity, had provided food for all of us, but the GF suspect she was also expecting the Brighton Gay Pride march to stop by for a snack. Certainly the table groaned under the weight of food, and as the BGP march did not stop in, there was plenty left at the end of the day!

Saturday, May 28, 2005


Beck, Trevor and the Silver Vixen Posted by Hello

Ken and Caroline enjoy the air Posted by Hello

A cluster of Taylors (what is the collective noun for Taylors?). Eleanor and Alan sit waiting while Trevor and Craig sacrifice at the altar. Posted by Hello

Trevor tries to juggle wine glasses, Alan and Denise look on while Ken tries to make things more difficult by filling them. Posted by Hello

Dr Craig's waiting surgery Posted by Hello

Denise and Veronique share a joke Posted by Hello

Jean, whose birthday we were celebrating, takes a knife to the cake. Posted by Hello
GF & SV are going to a family event in Brighton today. An aunt is celebrating her 75th birthday... so the clans are gathering. Should be a good day (they usually are). Cousteau-cub won't be joining us, as she's on night duty, and Urban-cub won't be there as she is still upset over the house move fiasco, and does not want to discuss it. Which is fair enough, and perfectly reasonable.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Expense Policy

A new expense policy has been released for these times of economic prudence:

Changes will be made to the Business Travel Standards and Procedures Manual. The following revised procedures apply from Tuesday next week:

LODGING

All employees are encouraged to stay with relatives and friends while on business travel. If weather permits, public areas such as parks should be used as temporary lodging sites. Bus terminals, train stations, and office lobbies may provide shelter in periods of inclement weather.

TRANSPORTATION

Hitchhiking is the preferred mode of travel in lieu of commercial transport. Luminescent safety vests** will be issued to all employees prior to their departure on business trips. Bus transportation will be used only when work schedules require such travel. Airline tickets will be authorised in extreme circumstances and the lowest fares will be used. For example, if a meeting is scheduled in New York but the lower fare can be obtained by travelling to Glasgow, then travel to Glasgow will be substituted for travel to New York.

MEALS

Expenditures for meals will be limited to an absolute minimum. It should be noted that certain grocery and specialty chains, such as Tescos, Asda Safeways Costco, Macro etc., often provide free samples of promotional items. Entire meals can be obtained in this manner.

Travellers should also be familiar with indigenous roots, berries and other food sources available at their destinations. If restaurants must be utilised, travellers should use "all you can eat" salad bars. This is especially effective for employees travelling together as one plate can be used to feed the entire group.
Employees are also encouraged to bring their own food on business travel. Cans of tuna fish, Spam and corned beef can be consumed at your leisure without the unnecessary bother of heating or costly preparation.

MISCELLANEOUS

All employees are encouraged to devise innovative techniques in an effort to save company money. One enterprising individual has already suggested that money could be raised during airport layover periods which could be used to defray travel expenses. In support of this idea, red caps** will be issued to all employees prior to their departure so that they may earn tips by helping others with their luggage. Small plastic roses and ball point pens will also be available to employees so that sales may be made as time permits.

PS
Material for the creation of hitchhiker-sign is on own expense.

**Items marked thus must be returned to the Company on return from the trip. You will be charged for any damage to said items.
Big day today. GF has to go to London to present to the "great and good" on the project he has been running. Opportunity to raise the profile of all the work being done at the Esteemed Client, and also to get some visiblity for his team. Not totally happy with the slides at present, but have a few hours to polish them this morning and whilst on the train.
Urban-cub and Sir Lancinglot have made the decision not to proceed with their house purchase. GF+SV think this was the right decision. There were too many question-marks hanging over the purchase. The Inept Financial Advisor had made two significant mistakes in his arithmetic... who knows what else would have cropped up. So, difficult decision, but right (and brave) answer methinks. At least U-c still has her own flat as a fall-back.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Urban-cub was due to move home today. Would everything go smoothly? Would it hell!
  • First she gets a call that the money transfer has gone through, but been lost. "Don't worry, it's not your fault. They'll trace it, and it'll be ok."
  • Then they found the money. everything was all right. Wasn't it?
  • No. The solicitor phoned. There as a 9k discrepancy in the funds. The IFA had struck again.

Scuppered... at least for today. She is not a happy bunny. A "Plan D" has turned up, but the question is whether they should actually proceed.

The Abbot and the Gorse Fox took the long way round to the pub, passing the magnificent Worcester Cathedral Posted by Hello

One of the older properties in Fish Street, just along from the pub where the Abbot and the Gorse Fox met up with the other reprobates. Posted by Hello
The Abbot arrived with a mobile phone attached to the side of his head and we headed out into the heaving metropolis that is Worcester. Finding our way to Fish Street we met up with Clint, Stoker (and eventually the Cardinal) for a pre-prandial libation. After concluding that Bomardier was indeed a very fine ale we trooped down to the restaurant that was to host the evening's activity.

Brown's is evidently an old riverside warehouse on the quay on the side of the River Severn. It has been transformed into a modern airey restaurant. Toffee was there when we arrived, so quorate, we began. Without reciting the menu, GF would say that the food was very, very good; the wine (studiously and judiiciously selected by the Cardinal) luscious, and food always tastes better when surrounded by good company.

Conversation, rippled round the table with stories of football, rugby, DIY, work and other heroism. By the middle of the evening text messages were beginning to punctuate the conversation with dispatches from friends and loved ones watching the UEFA Cup Final. With only two Everton supporters part of our group the progression of the game became even more tense. UltimatelyLiverpool won. Good triumphed over Evil, and the City of Liverpool actualluy has a successful football team. (GF ducks at this point).

Eventually, with wine stocks running low, conversation turning to work, the Everton supporters feeling suicidal, we called it a night. But a damned fine night it was.
The Gorse Fox arrived the hotel. Three loud-mouthed businessmen were in front, giving the receptionist a run for her money. Eventually they leave and GF checks-in. The Abbot followed close behind. Agreeing to meet at 7 we headed off to our rooms.

At 7 GF was down in reception waiting for the Abbot. A low hum signalled the arrival of the lift. The doors opened quietly and, with his back to the door stood one of the loud businessmen... and he just stood there. Now GF should explain that these lifts are entered from one side, but exited from the other. This was evidently beyond this chap. So he stood there. And stood there, until alerted by the doors starting to close he hurled himself between the narrowing gap. Looking up sheepishly he smiled, muttered and wandered over; GF explained it was a Pantomime Lift and you must remember "It's behind you!" Salt duly rubbed into wound, GF walked away.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

GF always sleeps on the left side of the bed. The huge acreage of bed available at the hotel last night tempted him to be rebellious and sleep on the right. Trouble is that in the middle of the night he turned over the wrong way and ended up on the floor.

Busy, busy day. Consultants and exec everywhere, twittering and preening. Won't comment further.

Urban cub was having a problem with Plan A and Plan B, and she was reconsidering the house move. The mortgage lender has been "difficult" and penalised her for paying early... because as a result some payments are more than 30 days apart. Beggars belief, doesn't it?
She and Sir Lancinglot were going to have to make a decision today. Not sure what it will be.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Busy day in Worcester, but you don't want to hear about that.

Staying at a "Sleep Inn". reminiscent of a private hospital. Very antiseptic. Lots of blond wood, and subtle (low-energy) lights. No character, but clean. Dinner at a nearby Brewer's Fayre... really classy. Condiments served up in whicker baskets. Not higgledy-piggledy, but neatly lined up in rows.

Fellow diners were a cross section of bored businessmen eating alone (like the Gorse Fox); and a few young couples.

Ssshh

GF had an early start. He had to get to Worcester for early meetings. Being a considerate soul, he normally performs his ablutions downstairs so as to cause the least possible disruption to the sleep patterns of the Silver Vixen. Now, Medallion man is still working on the downstairs bathroom (we at least he was during the day, we let him leave over night) so GF had to use the en suite.

How do you have a shower quietly when you have a powerful pumped shower and also an extractor fan. These are noisy, so GF tried to do without the fan by opening the window. This caused the door to rattle and woke the SV anyway. A cup tea brought to the bedside was suitable penance!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Feeling Peckish?

If you fancy a snack, may I recommend you visit Cynical Cyn. Cyn has found this culinary delicacy for when you just want a little nibble.

IFA

Urban-cub was a bit narked.

She and Sir Lancinglot were getting ready to move home. Notice is almost up on the flat, most services are disconnected, everything is packed in boxes. Then she gets a call. Her IFA** has miscalculated by £4k. They are going to be £4k short on the purchase of their new house. The problem is not so much where she will find the money... it is more about the time she has to do it. Moving day was meant to be this week.

Anyway, several phone calls seem to have got things back on track; and just in case there is a Plan B, and a Plan C.

IFA** (in this context) Inept Financial Advisor.

(Reposted to correct typos)

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Gorse Fox has a genealogy website for family members across the world. Some are direct relations, others share one of the many variations of the family name, but are still family. It occurred to the GF that providing an RSS Feed would allow the dispersed family to be alerted when changes are made to the website. You're with me so far? Good.

With great dexterity he created an xml file describing the syndication. He then subscribed to it from bloglines, et voila an initial entry appeared. Still with me?

Now the question comes, how does great aunt Ethel, 17th cousin, twice removed, living in the middle of the Nullabor plain click on something on GF's website and thus get the updates... or doesn't she. Does she have to use a RSS reader or aggregator. GF's assumption is the latter... i.e. it only works if she has some tooling or uses someone else's.
Paint continues to flow in the Fox's Den. The ceiling, done yesterday, is satisfactory. Now the first coat is on the walls. The rather interesting colour, initially chosen, never saw the light of day. A last minute review caused a change in plan. Now a fine Capuccino color bedecks the painted wall areas (most is tiled, not painted). Capuccino seems somehow appropriate for a bathroom. As the GF stands in the shower the colour will urge him to get that first shot of caffeine.**

We may change our minds again... but we'll see how this beds in.

**Of course, in real life GF is so short sighted without his galsses that he won't be able to actually see the walls from the shower!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Good vs Evil

GF and SV have just watched the FA Cup Final. Those of you that know the GF realise that this is a game he would like both teams to loose. He supports neither team, but does like good football. So what did he think?

GF thinks the Forces of Darkness (FoD) prevailed, despite being played off the park. The FoD chopped, whinged, complained, committed two handballs in the penalty which were ignored, and finally won in a penalty shoot out. GF is worried that this bodes ill for mankind, there seems to be a pattern emerging:
  • Spurs' goal against Man Utd was disallowed though clearly over the line
  • The FoD were inferior yet won the Cup
  • New Labour won the election
  • Yobs seem to rule the streets in parts of the country
  • Speed cameras are proliferating further
  • Project trolls still exist

In the continuing war of Good-vs-Evil, evil seems to be on winning streak!
GF has used "Bloglines" for quiet a while now. As the list of blogs that interested him increased, the task of keeping track of them became more time consuming... and when he checked, they hadn't always been updated. Enter Bloglines... it acts as an aggregator. GF has told it which blogs interest him and it keeps tabs on them, bring him their latest entries when they change. No longer does he flick around 43 separate blogs... just the one bloglines account. GF commends it to you... though would guess it screws up blogger's staitistics.
Heavy overnight rain has given way to brilliant sunshine. Order has been restored. Forecast for the weekend is fairly mixed, but we have work to do.

GF+SV need to get the walls and ceiling painted in the bathroom as it emerges from its dust chrysalis. An interesting shade has been chosen, with the certain knowledge that if it is not liked it can be quickly hidden.

Friday, May 20, 2005

The wet start to the day was only a blip. By late morning the normal status of bright sunshine had resumed.

Silver Vixen wanted to make a start on clearing some of the dust that Medallion-man had created with his various tile cutters. He pointed out that he still had more tiles to cut so there'd be more created throughout the day... so she decided to leave it for now. Meanwhile a fine white dust has settled wherever the doors had been left open.

GF thought it might be worth gathering up the white powder to sell to C-list celebraties, however as he doesn't know any C-list celebs, that seems pointless though potentially lucrative. It conjures up a number of thoughts:
  • is there much of a market for crack porcelain?
  • it wouldn't cause destruction of the septum, it would neatly decorate it
  • it gives a new slant to a night on the tiles

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Trolls

A note has a arrived:
Input required for Account Plan for Esteemed Client
Please expedite.
COB today

So the project trolls are doing their plans. Well get stuffed whoopee!!!

GF and his team are preparing deliverables to meet his project delivery date. He is not going to drop everything for trolls. he has decided to send them his "Strategy & Roadmap" and let them work it out... (snigger, not sure if a project troll can read a 70 page paper).
GF had to make his way to Shoreham, first thing. Medallion man has been making great progress, and jointly we had discussed and decided on a slight change to the tiling. This meant we needed some more tiles of one particular type. Leaving early GF was there when the supplier opened his doors, picked up the tiles and headed back. GF was home and online by 8:45... so was pretty pleased.

As if by magic...

GF was talking to Stoker on the phone. Together they were picking the bones of the last chapters of the strategy document for the Esteemed Client. The problem was not so much needed to be said; more how to say it and how to illustrate it.

Then, as if by magic, the answer was there. Clear as a bell. A route to end game.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Guidelines

GF's company has just provided some formal gudance on blogging. Very refreshing, and very encouraging.

Some of the points made:
  • To learn: As an innovation-based company, we believe in the importance of open exchange and learning – between the company and its clients, and among the many constituents of our emerging business and societal ecosystem. The rapidly growing phenomenon of blogging and online dialogue are emerging important arenas for that kind of engagement and learning.
  • Blogs, wikis and other forms of online discourse are individual interactions, not corporate communications. You are personally responsible for your posts. Be mindful that what you write will be public for a long time—protect your privacy.
  • Respect copyright, fair use and financial disclosure laws.
  • Don’t provide ours or another’s confidential or other proprietary information.
  • Don't cite or reference clients, partners or suppliers without their approval.
  • Respect your audience. Don't use ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity, etc., and show proper consideration for others' privacy and for topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory – such as politics and religion.
  • Find out who else is blogging on the topic, and cite them.
  • Don't pick fights, be the first to correct your own mistakes, and don't alter previous posts without indicating that you have done so.
  • Try to add value. Provide worthwhile information and perspective.
  • Don't forget your day job. You should make sure that blogging does not interfere with your job or commitments to customers.

This is not the complete list, and GF has edited it to maintain a degree of privacy... but GF thinks this is enlightened. GF will adhere to this perhaps with the exception of slurs against politicians and project/contract trolls !!!
Battery on laptop is fine, you'll be pleased to know.**

Gorgeous day in Sussex again today (no trips to Worcester this week). Silver Vixen is out in the garden dealing with a weed insurgency. Medallion man is marking up the bathroom ready to start tiling. Various last minute options have been reviewed... and in most cases discounted. Original plan stands.

GF is beavering away at real work. Stoker sent some draft material, but further work is needed. GF needs to "see" the completed image in his mind before he can, well, complete the image. Moving towards end game, and should get drafts out for review this week.

** Actually, you probably don't care one jot. But it is a great relief to the GF.


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

MMmmmm. Battery on laptop doesn't appear to be charging. Little worrying. Last time this happened it was because the battery wasn't quite seated. Will remove and replace, then wait for machine to cool down before plugging in again. It runs ok from the mains power, so theres no panic yet!

Watched a re-run of an old Top Gear. This is the second or third night running. I must say I'm hooked. It's not the cars... its the comedy and sheer un-PCness of the whole programme.

Queen's speech today - England ignored. Well I guess it makes sense, England didn't vote for this government, so they are framing all of the legislation for the Celtic fringes. I guess the Celtic fringes will then decide what England gets to do (oh no, I forgot, they already do that).
The plasterer has been at work since first thing. There are many skills that the Gorse Fox admires, but when it comes to building work: plastering is a joy to behold. These guys somehow create a perfect surface from fine dust** and water. GF is also surprised by the speed with which they achieve this... but guesses it is just a practised professional at work.

Real work for GF continues. Document now growing rapidly as fog clears from brain. fairly pleased with content so far, but dependent on input from Stoker. Spoke with him earlier, and he is trying to draft something up.

Spent time on phone to project trolls. Minimum of disruption this time round. (They'll obviously rectify this, next time).

** Technically it's not dust. GF knows this !

Monday, May 16, 2005

Killer Sauce

A NEW chilli sauce goes on sale today that is so hot it could KILL.

Ultra-concentrated “16 Million Reserve” is the hottest science can make. The sauce is 30 times hotter than the spiciest pepper and 8,000 times more fiery than Tabasco.

Diners must sign a disclaimer recommending “protective gloves and eye wear” — but even sweating testers in safety gear were blinded by tears for 30 minutes.

Just 999 bottles of it are on sale at £105 each.

Medical experts fear it could kill asthmatics or hospitalise a user who touches a sensitive part of the body afterwards.

It is made of pure capsaicin, the chemical that makes peppers “hot”. It takes tons of peppers to make 1lb of capsaicin.

Creator Blair Lazar, 35, specialises in “extreme food” in New Jersey, US. After trying it, he said: “It’s like having your tongue hit with a hammer. Man, it hurt.” The sauce is named after its score on the chilli heat measure, the Scoville Unit. Reserve scores 16 million units, while a Red Savina, the world’s spiciest pepper, measures just 570,000.

(This article from "The Sun" By HEATHER BROWNE brought to the GF's attention by the plasterer)
So much going on.

Medallion man arrived mob handed today. The electrician started first-fix, the plasterer started dry lining, and Medallion man rushed hither and thither keeping everything on track. Must say, so far, GF is very impressed with his (and his team's) work.

Real work meant flipping between pricing spreadsheets, contract documents, & risk calculators. Once that was complete there were diagrams to draw based on Friday's discussions, and then they needed to be incorporated into the document that is finally evolving for the Esteemed Client. Toffee sent a first draft of his document, and that is looking good. All in all, GF is pretty pleased with progress.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Hamstrings are like violin strings this evening. The day spent in the garden relocating weeds to the compost bin proved interesting. With hamstrings this tight, Gorse Fox fears he won't be selected for the England squad for the upcoming US tour. However, the good news is that we have now worked our way all the way round and the garden is looking good.

GF also managed to spend a great deal of time updating the personal and the family web sites. There was quite a backlog, but it's almost clear.
Gorgeous start to the day, here on the coast. The sun is shining, the sea is calm. Looks like (another) perfect day.

GF started the day by trying to make a small indent on the backlog of genealogical data he has been acquiring. Notes, emails and photos have been accumulating, over a number of weeks, from family and distant kinfolk (what a strange word). Family Tree data needs to be updated, certificates and photos filed, and web sites updated. A small start has been made, but there's a lot to do. (GF will have to pace himself).

But then again, it's such a nice day... one should really be outside.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

'Tis a quiet day in deepest Sussex. Medallion Man turned up early, with Mrs Medallion Man in tow to act as his labourer. That was a bit of an unexpected turn up. Soon after starting his circular saw proved insufficient for the task he had set, so Gorse Fox had to help out by press his band saw into action (nice to feel useful).

Electrician turned up late morning for a final survey before getting started on Monday. Seemed like a nice bloke, but had the most revolting coloured Porsche 968 that GF has ever seen. For those old enough... remember that insip blue/green that the Renault Dauphin seemed to sport... well it was like that but with more green in the mix.

Weather has been a bit dull and wet, so hasn't really enticed, but GF+SF spent some time examining paint colours for the developing bathroom.

Friday, May 13, 2005

GF had to spend some time secreted amongst the Surrey Hills. He left mid morning and spent vast amounts of time sitting behind drivers who:
  • cannot see over the steering wheel
  • have not yet discovered second gear
  • are disconcerted by oncoming traffic (even on dual carriageways)
  • are disconcerted by following traffic
  • SHOULD NOT EVER be allowed near any motor vehicle (unless they are embalmed and encased in a fine wooden box)

But of course this list actually defines the usual credentials of holding a driving license in West Sussex.

Now the GF is a fairly patient and pretty careful driver. He uses cruise control to maintain approximate legal speeds... but by the time he had spent 20 minutes getting no further than 5 miles from home (without being delayed by the railway crossing - for a change); even he was beginning to lose his equanimity. GF suspects that we should create some new roadside cameras to trap these menaces who have overdosed on their Stupid Pill then got into their car for a mobile nap. GF thinks that these people actually are a major cause of traffic accidents because you feels such a surge of relief when you finally get ahead of them that you just want to floor it.

Anyway, the time in the Sussex Hills was fruitful. Interesting meeting with a colleague, and lots of progress made. Also had a chat with the Teddybear and Dr. Bognor. GF suspects he narrowly avoided being fingered as portfolio owner for the Esteemed Client. That would have been a very poor use of GF's skills and a sure recipe for disaster.
Medallion man is hammering away in the shell that was once a bathroom. The framing-out continues, and he's making good progress. Silver Vixen is keeping photos of the progress so that we can look back in our old age and reminisce. Not sure that such photographic mementos add greatly to the wealth of knowledge that has been accumulated by mankind... and so, you will be pleased to know, they will not be appearing a blog near you in the near future.
The Gorse Fox would like to apologise. He hasn't been ignoring you, but found that the the realities of working for a living overtook his capacity for updating the blog yesterday. It was a fairly frantic day, with workshops starting first thing and running through until lunchtime. After lunch there was some admin to get out of the way before setting off for the return to Suusex,

Once in, Medallion-man wanted to update the GF on progress, phone calls came in from work, and GF had reading to do, prior to an evening meeting. Medallion mand had gutted the bathroom and started framing out the changes that we had specified. No real surprises had occurred, and the few minor queries were quickly resolved.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Everything ok today?

It should be.

Gorse Fox spent last evening, with Stoker and the Cardinal, putting the world to rights. So everything should be sorted, now. Just get on with it, and make the most of it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Urban-cub is having some further investigation on here degenerated discs this morning. GF phoned first thing to wish her luck, but guess she'll be feeling pretty bruised later.

Medallion-man should be starting on the bathroom. So chaos will reign for a few days.

Evolution

GF is staying in a fine country hotel in Malvern. One of the vicissitudes of such trips is watching breakfast TV. As the GF's eyes cleared this morning he pondered the ongoing evolution of mankind, and how the human race adapts to new challenges.

The latest adaptation apears to be the development of homo televisiens which has adapted to life as a TV newsreader. Knowing that most of their life will be spent in close focus head shots, their heads have grown huge, and their bodies shrunk. This seems particularly prevalent among the female news readers, whose shoulders are barely wide enough to hold their arms.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

You know when you are just driving along, minding your own business. Cruise-control set. Radio on. Traffic fast moving, but light. Content with the world.... Crest a hill; check mirror; adjust cruise slightly; indicate; pull-out and overtake slow moving vehicle; check mirror notice the Hercules aircraft heading for you over the hill. Indicate... WHAT !

In fact it was two Hercules transport aircraft, at very low level, chasing the Gorse Fox up the M5. As they got closer they filled the rear view mirror. (It was touch an go whether anything else would be filled, for a moment or two). Then they peeled off and headed towards Malvern.

Bodes well for an interesting couple of days.

Monday, May 09, 2005

What a day! GF has been hard at it since first thing, fingers worn to stumps from typing.** This frantic activity was briefly interrupted by the arrival Medallion Man.

Medallion Man is the contractor who is about to rip out the GF+SV's bathroom and rebuild it. This morning's trip was a final confirmation of the requirement/design before he starts work. He has several items in his favour:
  • He's been recommended
  • He seems like a good bloke
  • He has thought about the job and come up with some damn fine ideas
  • Several ideas have saved money

He can also talk for England!

Back at the keyboard - fingers flying - Project Change Notes completed, new financial estimates completed, contract management chased for extension to the Cardinal's contract... the admin seemed to go on forever.

Between all this he cracked on with the development of Esteemed Client's strategy. He feels that it is beginning to take shape, and is beginning to feel a little more "at ease" over the document. Still a long way to go, but can finally see how to get there.

**As a tried and tested method of self protection, GF only users three or four fingers for typing. That way, erosion is limited to just a few of his digits.

Another Triumph of Human Rights

BBC NEWS | Health | Care refusal spread TB to others. So it is our inalienable human right to infect other people.

Sunday, May 08, 2005


The profile of the walk. It certainly made the GF's blood pump, varying in altitude from -27 ft to 455 ft. Not exactly the Himalayas, but good exercise, and probably far less busy (GF only saw 6 people during the 6.3 miles) Posted by Hello

The route of GF's walk, starting at the george and dragon at Burpham (the westernmost point on the map) Posted by Hello

A view across the valley to Arundel Castle Posted by Hello

Returning back to the car, GF passed this picture-postcard cottage at Wepham. Posted by Hello

GF has a thing about trees. (You may have noticed). This was a magnificent stand passed during the walk. Posted by Hello

At this time of year the route (Monarch's Way) was littered with bluebells luxuriating in the dappled shade. Posted by Hello

Part of the "Monarch's Way", which was the route taken by King Charles on his escape from Worcester to Shoreham. (As a regular vistor to Worcester, the GF recommends the M5, A417, M4, A34 & A272 instead... but King Charles obviously thought he knew better) Posted by Hello

From the top of the hill looking west across the Sussex countryside, with a glimpse of the sea. Posted by Hello

Heading across the fields that hill was the first strenuous part of the walk... though when GF took this photo he hadn't realised that was part of the route ! Posted by Hello

The Gorse Fox made the most of the fine weather for another walk around the Sussex countryside. Today's walk started at Burpham, near Arundel. As GF left the car park he was greeted by this majestic copper beech. Posted by Hello

So much for Democracy

A a report from the Adam Smith Institute reveals that it takes 22,000 votes to win a Conservative seat in Parliament... but only 16,000 to win a Labour seat. Interesting article... Gorse Fox commends it to you.

One begins to wonder about proportional representation... then looking at the voting patterns wonders again whether that would ever result in a government with a majority, or just a succession of coalitions (and whether that would be a good or bad thing).

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Cissbury Ring

Cissbury Ring has a history going back some 5000 years. For more information the Gorse Fox recommends the following links:

The altitude profile of the walk. At the end of the 4.8 miles the GF found a local hostelry and availed himself of a fine Sussex Ale and a ploughman's lunch. Damned Fine excursion. Posted by Hello

The route taken by the Gorse Fox as he walked the Cissbury Ring. The starting point was the Coombe car park in the bottom centre of the map. Posted by Hello

Looking north west at the riot of colour that is the South Downs in the springtime. One of the items that really stood out was the Copper Beech trees punctuating the woodlands. In this picture they can be seen best at the bottom of the top right-hand quadrant Posted by Hello

Looking across from Cissbury (south west) to Higher Salvington and the windmill. Posted by Hello

The GF captured by the time delay on the camera sited on the triangulation point at Cissbury. Posted by Hello

A view eastwards from within the enclosure, over the ramparts. On the horizon are the white cliffs beyond Brighton. GF had thought to bring his binoculars with him. Look west he could easily pick out Chichester Cathedral, and the new Millennium Tower in Portsmouth. (Cissbury stands 184m above sea level). Posted by Hello