Thursday, June 30, 2005

After a tip-off from an Englishman regarding the rather splendid looking "Google Earth"... the Gorse Fox admits to his location for users of said Google Earth.
The Gorse Fox is back in Sussex. After yesterday's success at the E-C's board meeting, and the subsequent sign-off of documents, the pressure is off (slightly). GF now has to catch up on all the tasks, requests, and emails that he has ignored for the past two weeks. Not exciting... but necessary.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Cardinal is here in Worcester today. It's his last day on site, before being defrocked. Shame to loose him. GF enjoyed working with him. Boston and Stoker are going out to dinner with him tonight... GF will miss it, as he is heading home to Sussex (he's missing the Silver Vixen).
Presentation to the Board went well. Accepted all recommendations.
Today is the Gorse Fox's sister's birthday. GF would like to wish a very wonderful day to this old relic.
Last evening was interrupted by some fairly spectacular (if short-lived) electrical storms, here in Worcester. The first one broke just before Gorse Fox left the office. By the time he had travelled the 2 miles to the hotel, it was over.

GF again went walking, but ever mindful of the threat, stuck to the city centre and carried an umbrella (the Silver Vixen would be proud of him).

Silver Vixen was with U-c when we spoke. They were "sorting out" the flat. U-C & Sir Lancinglot were moving their stuff back to Porpoise Place... and GF would gues things were fairly chaotic.

Today sees the big presentation to the Board. GF has finalised the material, but is still eager that it goes well. The Abbott is coming up to attend, so GF will have some moral support.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Irony

Perusing Esteemed Client's intranet GF finds the headline "New guidance on accountability and blame published". On examination, the author is not identified.

Perfect.

Half Timbered


IMG_2624
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
One of the many half-timbered buildings that punctuate the city centre in Worcester. Most seem to have been converted to shops or pubs.

The Kleve


IMG_2623
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Walking along The Kleve (which seems to be the name of the river bank walk) and looking back towards the Cathedral.

Severn


IMG_2618
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
The River Severen was picture of tranquility as it flowed quietly through Worcester.
All was not as it seemed. There was some form of concert in the park on the other bank. Bursts of loud rock music split the evening as they tried to get the sound levels right for later.

Edgar Gate


IMG_2616
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
GF remembers taking aphoto of this "Edgar Gate", by the Cathedral, last November. It was dark, and the light made the image quite eerie.
On a bright summer's evening it was far more imposing.

Canal


IMG_2615
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
This canal was bounded on the left side by the Commandery and on the right by this collection of roof lines (one of which being a pub).

Commandery


IMG_2614
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Just behind the hotel where GF is staying is the Commandery. This is now a museam that charts the story of Worcester during the Civil War.
It was closed, being mid evening, but looked like a splendid setting for a museum.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Pottering around Worcester

Staying overnight in Worcester, on such a lovely summer evening is no real hardship. Once checked in to his hotel and changed, Gorse Fox headed out (camera in hand) to have a wander about.

GF will post some photos later (or maybe tomorrow).
GF's morning was punctuated by phone calls from all and sundry. Meanwhile, he was trying to complete some presentation material. By late morning all was done... and he set off for Worcester. Good run through except for usual heavy traffic around Chichester (because the Odious Deputy Prime Minister won't invest in roads in the South of England).

Spent afternoon revieing presentation with E-C, ready for board meeting on Wednesday.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Silver Vixen has returned from the show. With her she has brought numerous articles of cloth, pattern books, magazines and pattern. One is called The Stitch Witch. GF rests his case.

As soon as she was in GF made the SV a bucket of tea. Then Urban-cub started to rifle through the fabrics, and promptly dropped the only one with a white background into the tea. Muppet.

This was the altitude profile for the walk.
Lowest point was an altitude of 120ft, and the highest was 785ft.
Total distance (with diversion) was 7.4 miles.
 
[File under: ]Posted by Hello

Country Church


IMG_2611
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
There is something quintessentially English about the well manicured country churchyard with its lychgate.

GF headed from here back to Sutton where he stoped for a foaming ale before heading back to the coast.

A walk like that makes the spirit soar (and the knees sore - it's the downhill bits that get you!).
[File under: ]

Leaving Bignor


IMG_2610
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Leaving Bignor GF walked past this beautiful old cottage (Yeoman's Cottage). Another superb example of medieval building still surviving in the Sussex countryside.
[File under: ]

Bignor Roman Villa


IMG_2607
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
GF diverted from the planned route to visit Bignor Roman Villa. This was discovered in the 1800's, and turned out to be a significant villa of some 77 buildings covering 4.5 acres.
Within the buildings some incredible mosaics were found and are on show (one is 24 metres long).
This picture was taken in a room where the hypocaust has been excavated. This is a small section of the much larger mosaic which is on display.
Here's a link for more information on Bignor Roman Villa
[File under: ]

Descent


IMG_2603
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Starting the descent GF came across a few fellow walkers.
Prior to this, GF had only seen 2 people and 2 motorbikes (scrambling along a bridleway that had a big sign saying "No entry to motor vehicles" - I assume the noise they were making came from their trousers as they couldn't possible have been ignoring the sign, could they?)
On the descent, once back into the wooded slopes, GF saw 2 more deer. Again he was too slow with the camera to "shoot" them.
[File under: ]

Bignor Hill


IMG_2601
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
From the top of the hill the view was awesome. A slight heat haze made distant views less crip, but this photo is looking south-west from Bignor Hill towards Bury Hill (behind which nestles Arundel)
[File under: ]

Tunnel of Green


IMG_2581
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
As the Gorse Fox started the climb the trees closed in forming a tunnel of dappled green light.
Moments after putting the camera away a deer wandered out onto the path in front of the GF. Not quite sure who was more startled, but the deer was the one that did a runner!
[File under: ]

Setting out from Sutton


IMG_2579
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Starting from Sutton this was the tranquil scene that greeted the Gorse Fox. That hill in the background was the first significant target.
[File under: ]

This was the route chosen. Starting in Sutton at the top point of the map, and then travelling anti-clockwise up onto the Downs, then up further to Bignor Hill, before descending through to Bignor and back to Sutton..
[File under: ] Posted by Hello
Silver Vixen was off withher coven to an exhibition today. GF took her to pick up the broomstick coach first thing ten returned to read the paper and plan a walk. On a glorious day such as this there's much to choose from, but GF decided on a route that took him through up and across the downs near Sutton and Bignor.

Checklist:
  • GPS
  • Map
  • Compass
  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Camera
  • A little cash, and a card.
  • Boots

And, off course, a plot of the route.
[File under: ]

Saturday, June 25, 2005

TV Licensing

Reading Boris's diatribe on TV Licensing has the Gorse Fox asking himself:
Is the TV License fee any less of an anomaly than the CAP?


Both fund hopelessly outdated, inefficient groups of protected workers in for the enrichment of said groups and the detriment of the rest of us.

Ooops. Sorry. Not sure what came over the GF there!

Norm's bandwagon

Jumping on Norm's bandwagon here are the Gorse Fox's names:
  • My porn star name (name of first pet owned plus street name of first address): Joey Gowermews
  • My West Indian cricketer's name (surname of the US president in year of your birth plus last seaside town visited): Truman Worthing
  • Star Wars name (first car owned plus the name of any medication you're on): Riley Flixonase

The bedrock of socialism

Gorse Fox was reading that great philosopher of our time, Jeremy Clarkson. The article was reviewing one of the great evils of our time, a 4x4. Within the body of this article, GF found the following salutory quote:

"I found a clue recently in a road test of Aston Martin’s DB9. It appeared in The Guardian and it had been written by the red-headed, red-blooded, red-flagged Robin Cook, MP.

Let me give you some of his observations. He said its sheer wanton opulence was “positively repugnant” and that if you want to build a “cohesive, fair society” the Aston is a car you should avoid because it makes you “very nasty indeed”.

You see the problem here. When I look at a man in an Aston Martin I think: “One day I’ll have one of those.” When Cook looks at a man in an Aston Martin he thinks: “One day I’ll have him out of that.”

He’s consumed with jealousy, and jealousy of course is the bedrock of socialism."


GF wishes he could achieve such eloquence in expressing such a self-evident truism.
The storms of yesterday never really came to much here in this part of West Sussex. About 30 minutes of heavy rain, and some significant lightning. It has not cleared the air, however. This morning there's a light northerly breeze, and bright grey cloud cover. It is still very warm and quite humid.
Here ends the weather report!

Friday, June 24, 2005

There's quite a storm rattling through. It looks as if we are getting the tail end of something spectacular, judging by the pictures on the BBC website. GF is taking no chances, computers are switched off and unplugged. This entry is being typed on the laptop which is also disconnected.

GF finds electrical storms fascinating and can stand and watch the celestial pyrotechnics for hours on end.
They are forecasting thundery showers. So far the day has been gloriously sunny, though GF's hay fever has been somewhat problematic.

Siver Vixen to Urban-cub to have the staples removed from her back. The instrument looked like a pair of stainless steel pliers with hooks at the end - certainly looked barbaric. U-c asures the GF that it was actually painless and took less than a minute.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Meetings and workshops filled the day in Worcester. Very successful.

Good drive back... but feel pretty zonked now.
Gorgeous drive up to Worcester. Clear roads, bright weather, quick run.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen are feeling smug. Both Cousteau-cub and Urban-cub are staying over. All of us back together, however briefly. Moments to cherish!

Moonlight


IMG_08241
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
The sound of the alarm may have woken the GF, but the view of the moon in the southern sky was well worth the disturbance.
Gorse Fox has frequently mentioned tranquility in this blog. You have to recognize that GF lives in a small enclave of immense peace. Houses are separated on large-ish plots, there is no through traffic, we are a mile or so from the railway, and as neighbours we sign a covenent regarding control of noise (e.g. not having building work done outside normal weekday working hours, not using machinery or power tools after lunchtime on Saturady etc.).

Tranquility.

At night the only sounds you can hear are: the lapping of the waves, the snoring of the Silver Vixen, and the wind. Last night, however, this peace was shatterd by a house alarm piercing the calm. GF got up and checked for neighbours' homes/cars, but it was further away... and so it continued to shatter the night. After 20 minutes it switched off, but soon after it started again and continued for 20 more minutes. The last vestiges of sleep driven from GF, he lay there... and lay there... and lay there.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

BBQ

With thanks to Old Father Time, who sent this to the Gorse Fox, one remembers that at this time of year the BBQ is a wonderful opportunity for all men.

It's the only type of cooking a real man will do. When a man Volunteers to do the BBQ the following chain of events are put into Motion:
  1. The woman buys the food.
  2. The woman makes the salad, vegetables, and dessert.
  3. The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill -- beer in hand.
  4. The man places the meat on the grill.
  5. The woman goes inside to organize the plates and cutlery.
  6. The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is burning. He thanks her and asks if she will bring another beer while he deals with the situation.
  7. The man takes the meat off the grill and hands it to the woman.
  8. The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces, and brings them to the table.

  9. After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.
  10. Everyone praises the man and thanks him for his cooking efforts.
  11. The man asks the woman how she enjoyed "her night off."

And, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that: there's just no pleasing some women!

The art of words

The Law West of Ealing Broadway: Off-Topic (Again). GF directs you to this post. Is any other language so rich in its usage?

Project Prevention Trolls

GF has been waiting for over a week for the arrival of a new contract request from the Esteemed Client. Chased it daily. Guess what! Our project prevention trolls have had it for a week now, and were busy, so hadn't passed it on.

Conservatively, GF estimates that was £10,000 - £15,000 revenue thrown away.

Fair Play #4

BBC NEWS | UK | Rail 'congestion charge' proposed
GF notes:

  • Proposals for road usage charging will penalise people for travelling on major roads during busy periods.
  • Solution is to get on the trains provided as part of the country's integrated transport network. (Ooh, GF is sorry. Not sure what came over hime there).
  • So we will increase fares during peak hours to stop over-crowding.

Is it fair?
Longest day of the year today (in the Northern Hemisphere), and it has started with blue skies right up to edges and bright sunshine. Not a sound can be heard except the twitterings of a few birds. Even the waves are hushed as they lap against the beach. All is tranquil.

This morning will have seen a bunch of folk gathered around the great stones of Stonehenge** to see the sun rise. Sunrise is GF's favourite time of day, but despite this he can wait for the winter to watch it at a more respectable time of day.

** Note to GF... seems like a good day to listen to some Ten Years After, e.g. Stonedhenge.
Second note to self. Having checked, GF hasn't got Stonedhenge on CD, only vinyl - must order new copy.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Fair Play #3

BBC NEWS | England | Devon | Pensioner prepared to go to jail

Pensions & Council Tax


  • The state pension is increased occasionally as a sop to silver voters
  • Council Tax rises irrespective of a pensioner's ability to pay
  • A pensioner has little or no ability to supplement their income
  • If they fail to pay the Council Tax they are prosecuted, if they do pay it they are worse off year on year.

Is it fair?

TV - observations

I see that Kev has a new Bev. In fact both Kevs have new Bevs. GF finds this mildly disconcerting, and unrealistic. How could both Kevs find new Bevs, and within a year both be upgrading their cars. GF's worry is at several levels:
  • What is the chance of both blokes finding new partners with the same name as the old ones?
  • What is the chance of either of them still having disposable income after the split?
  • Why do I care?
  • Calm down - it's only and advert
Methinks GF is watching too much TV.
Urban-cub has just phoned. C2BAX has been round and she can come home. Silver Vixen is planning to head off just after the rush hour and pick her up. Everyone's delighted with her progress.

Alarm

GF must have failed to set his alarm. Monday morning entered his and the the SV's consciousness with the sound of the Recycling run by the bin men.

GF should explain. Every second week these noble knights of the bins visit the Gorse to take away that waste which is deemed to be recyclable. They say that bins should be out, by 07:00, at the roadside. GF's wasn't. Leaping from the bed and grasping for his glasses, your hero hurtled down the stairs and out to the garage. Then, clad just in pyjama bottoms, he trundled the bin down the road after afore-mention noble knights.

Wary of the alarm such a sight may cause amongst the neighbours, and fearful of said neighbours hurting themselves as they swoon, GF quickly disappeared back inside. Job done.

Note to self: put bin out the night before!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Frightening effects of global warming


IMG_2575
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Evidence continues to mount regarding the detrimental impact global warming.

As a direct result of today's soaring temperatures the Gorse Fox revealed his legs.
Shock waves will, no doubt, be felt across West Sussex.

Father's Day


IMG_2574
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Evidently Urban-cub thinks the Gorse Fox is getting old and losing his mental acuity and eyesight.

She gave the GF this dinky little (pocket) calculator as a Father's day present. As you can see it would not fit neatly or unobtrusively in one's hand. Indeed it is bigger than the laptop it is resting on!

Urban-cub


IMG_2571
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Urban-cub up and about, roaming the corridors of the hospital.
Not a sight we expected quite so soon, after the pain of Thursday.
What a beautiful day. Temperatures up around 30... and we'll soon hear the whinging of people saying
"Oooh! It's too hot".
Pah! says the Gorse Fox. If you don't like it move to Tromso or some other northern spot.

GF & SV drove across to Winchester this morning to see Urban-cub. She was doing well, but starting to get bored and wants to come home. Her expected stay was due to be another week, but talking to physios and the nurses, we suspect she may come home early. She is now moving about independently, and whilst she needs help (and will do for many weeks), she does not need nursing care. Given that SV and Cousteau-cub have both been through similar procedures - we are pretty expert at providing the support needed.

"Shhhh. What's that? Ah, GF thinks he can hear a cold beer calling his name"

Fair Play #2

Returning to the Gorse Fox's theme of Fair Play. This week sees the following:

Home Improvement Tax


  • You got to the DIY store and buy tools with which to work on your house. You pay VAT on their purchase - and part of their purchase price was calculated to cover the tax incurred on transporting them to the store.
  • You go to the store for decorative coverings. You pay VAT etc.,
  • You go to the store and by lumbar, bricks, and mortar. Tou pay VAT.
  • You spend the few hours you have free to improve your home using the above. You have paid tax on all of items used, but will actually pay tax on the improved state of your home. Is that Fair?

Pensions


  • You now work until the end of May before earning any money for youself - prior to that it all goes to the government.
  • In addition, they steal £5B from the pension schemes
  • MPs receive an exceptional pension.
  • Civil Servants recieve what is known as a "gold standard" pension
  • The governemnt is worried about the blackhole forming in pensions schemes.
  • To solve the problem they want you to work until you're 70. Is that Fair?

Cretins


  • You are trapped in a traffic queue (because the Odious Deputy Prime Minister has again decided against the Arundel by-pass).
  • Right line filters right, Left lane is left turn only. You sit patiently in right lane.
  • A cretin in a BMW sweeps up the lft lane and forces his way into you lane in front of you because he cannot be bothered to a) follow the rules of the road, b) recognise that the traffic will actually clear quicker by following the rules, c) recognise that other human beings occupy the planet. Is that Fair?


This theme will continue !

Saturday, June 18, 2005

GF and the Silver Vixen went to the hospital during the afternoon. Urban-cub was quite chirpy, and got up out of bed for a walk several times while we were there. It's hard to comprehend the change in 48 hours, and the speed of recovery. The hot weather had made the hospital oppressively hot, but U-c had blagged a good fan that was taking the worst off it.
A glorious day in West Sussex. Temperatures in the high 20s. Not a cloud in the sky.

As a follow-on from last weekend, GF had to hit the hedges in the back garden. Ladders, platforms, extension leads, hedge trimmers, hat, gloves... and off he goes. An hour or so later, the hedge was back under control.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Just back from visiting Urban-cub. What a difference a day makes. She is chirpy and positive, relatively pain free, and has been up out of bed twice today. Now starts the long build up of strength, and the recuperation.

GF wonders... is recuperation the act of restoring a souped up Mini?
Spoke to Urban-cub this morning. She had a much better night, and she is feeling much happier this morning. pain levels are under control and she's sounding quite positive.
Government has now admitted plans to revalue houses for council tax will take into account the home improvements that you have made. God help us all. Will these thieving, dishonest despots stop a nothing to penalise hard working**, decent citizens.

** Apologies... GF forgot that you cannot say hard-working as it may offend those who do not work hard. In this continuing attempt to stem our Freedom od Speech, GF notices that Nottingham Council is insisting that comedians sign a pledge to be PC, or they will not be allowed to play Nottingham Theatres. GF respectfully suggests that comedians give the East Midlands a wide berth.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Trolls again

GF knew that the trolls were circling. This time it's those aligned to the Esteemed Client. They are querying the latest contract for GF's time.

Why is the contract for this period of time?


Err, because that what you asked for in your request !

Why are the expenses estimated based on driving to the site, you should use a train?


Err, if GF uses a train it will add £2000 to the expenses, and involve 11 hours 40 minutes on the train for a round trip. Assuming that GF would charge for that, as that is well beyond any reasonable commute time, that would add, say £2000 per trip... at say 30 trips. You do the sums !!!

Actually, when GF recalculated it all he realised he'd under-called the estimate by several hundred pounds. Hah!

It does raise another interesting anomaly, however. If Esteeemd Client pays GF's company 25p per mile, and GF's company only pays him 9p per mile... is GF being stitched up? Methinks so!

Withdrawal

It has been a frantic week, and GF has had little or no time to peruse the blogs he normally follows. He is beginning to get witdrawal symptoms.
Silver Vixen seems to have helped get things under control. U-c is still very uncomfortable, but after discussions regarding oramorph, tramadol, paracetemol etc. they have now put her on a PCA so that should help control things better.
GF has just spoken to U-c. She's having a very rough time of it today. She is in a great deal of pain, and the morphine isn't helping at all - just making her tired. She was very tearful. It is so frustrating when there is nothing you can do to make it better.... and being a man, the GF always want to solve problems, not just discuss them.

The Silver Vixen arrived at the hospital whilst GF was talking to U-c. GF has no doubt that she will get to the bottom of things and get it sorted.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Just been in contact with hospital. U-c is back on the ward, comfortable, and doing well. What a relief.
Today sees the start of Urban-cubs second phase of treatment. She is back at the hospital this afternoon, and we expect the second operation this evening. This should provide internal stabilisation of the affected part of the back. She's obviously very nervous about the procedure, but hopefully the result will mean that she is as fit and able as Cousteau-cub. Sir Lancinglot has taken a few days off, and is accompanying her for the admission. Silver Vixen followed on a couple of hours later. GF wishes he could be there for moral support, but has work that he must get finished.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Lottery

GF sees that the thieves government is about to redirect money from the poor tax lottery to NHS. So the renege on yet another commitment. What a surprise.
A day full of meetings finally ended, spewing the Gorse Fox out onto the roads and back towards the Sussex. The countryside was looking just fine; shadows and highlights cast by sun and cloud made the Cotswolds, Berkshire Downs and South Downs lift the heart.
A fine meal last night. Stoker and the Gorse Fox had booked in to the Bank House Hotel. Deciding that on such a lovely evening it would be wrong to stay in, we walked back towards Powick and found ourselves at the doors of The Bear and Ragged Staff. This Public House of note is blessed with a superb menu featuring sea Bass, Crayfish, Monkfish, Rib-eye steak and much much more. The selection was excellent and we enjoyd a most pleasant meal. Interestingly, we noticed the Esteemed Client was there, having dinner with Snake-Oil.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Made a good start on the changes required for Esteemed Client's documents; and also had a useful meeting with our Viking colleagues. As usual E-C's diary was somewhat jumbled and the 14:30 meeting had still not materialised an 17:00. Hey ho!
An early start finds the Gorse Fox esconced in the office in Worcester, despite the attempt of a youngster near Chichester trying to wipe GF off the face of the planet with his car. Fortunately, quick responses and ABS came to the rescue.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Taxing questions

Given that GF pays tax. He wonders how many taxpayers there are in the UK.

Assuming a population of 60M, there are probably about 20M people under the age of 16 or over the age of 65... so that leaves 40M adults who are possible tax payers. Of these there are say 1.5M unemployed, 2M disabled, 6M working below the tax threshold... leaving say 30M. Of these, let us assume 5M are non-employed (by this GF means people who choose not to take employment, i.e. home-makers). So that brings us down to about 25M income-tax payers.

Well my estimate above would imply that loss of the EU rebate would mean that my Euro-tax contibution would increase by 120 Euros p.a. to about 600 Euros per annum. (Based on UK's 2003 contribution of 15B Euros)

Would anyone care to correct these figures? Do we all realise that we are paying that much Euro-tax?

Fair Play

A lazy start to Sunday. GF was up first and spent a while persuing the web, the papers, and the magazines. Several things merged into a single thought about the quintesential nature of being English. GF thinks that this can be summed up as "Fair Play".

GF feels uneasy when Fair Play is not seen to be practised - and this was the theme that emerged whilst reading the weekend papers.
  • The EU rebate is essentially about fairness. It is not unreasonable for rich countries to contribute more, and indeed contibute more that they receive, to the benefit of poor countries. Pray tell why this should benefit the inefficiencies of French farming however - and they whinge about our rebate when their net contibutein is so much less.
  • The EU referendum has dismissed the EU Constitution. Is it therefore fair to continue the debate as if there is still something to be salvaged? Is that fair - the game was lost, the refereee can't change his mind and alter the rules.
  • Perpetrators of crime get more protection than victims.
  • Pressure groups don't like the use of ASBOs - well GF doesn't like anti-social behaviour and bleeding-heart do-gooders who care more for the thugs and yobs than they do the communities which they terrorise.
  • Travellers' sites seem to be immune from planning regulations. This is about fairness. When Councils try to enforce the regulations, the ODPM (Odious Deputy Prime Minister) overturns them. This is not an issue of whether sites should exist (of course they should), but rather whether they should have to conform to the same planning laws as the rest of us. If we breakk planning laws and enforcement notice is served; if Travellers do, nothing happens.
  • Christian symbols are ruthlessly wiped out for fear of offending non-Christians, yet we have to show the greatest defference to the Koran. GF says sorry but NO!!! Enough is enough. Respect everyone equally. Fair is fair.


GF can't help but feel this festering sore Government's idea of making things fairer, or better is to make them unfairer or worse for some... not to try and make them fairer or better for all.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Victory over the privet was not total. GF is suffering from a major hay-fever attack and has retired indoors to peer through rheumy eyes and drip quietly in private.

GF also finds it mildly unsettling that on visiting the lavatory he found a significant number of privet leaves had taken up residence in his underwear. This particular guerilla cell has been eliminated, but how many more may be waiting?

Privet property


IMG_2566
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Several hours later, it is tamed. Under control. Subdued.

Gorse Fox is knackered.

Fortunately, he had the help of Sir Lancinglot to clear up all the clippings.

Hedge Insurgency


IMG_2563
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
The insurgency of this 50 foot hedge is total. Top, sides, front and back. Gorse Fox estimates the hedge to be about 2400 cubic feet of rampant privet.
It has to be tamed.

Hedging bets


IMG_2562
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Saturday's prime objective (beyond the usual living, breathing, eating and general survival) was to trim the front hedge.

Friday, June 10, 2005

U-c wanted to watch Big Brother.

GF thought about for about a nanosecond and said "Sure!". Then because he could almost feel IQ points draining away for even agreeing to it - retired to the study.
Leaving Worcester, GFcalled Urban-cub to find out what was going on. She was sitting in the hospital with the Silver Vixen, but had been given the OK to come home for a few days. They were waiting for the Friday afternoon traffic to die down... so GF said he would meet them there.

Two hours later GF walked into the hospital. The traffic was still appalling so we left it for an hour before loading the car and heading home. The journey was pretty hard for U-c, and she was feeling pretty sore by the time we got home. Now she can have a few days of TLC from the Silver Vixen before going back for the next stage of the procedure.
What a day !

The plan for today was Esteemed Client's review of recent documents. GF was up and on the road soon after 05:30 and headed for Worcester. The drive was very pleasant with very few delays.

The review was long, and intense, and has brought some additional work for next week. This is not a major problem, as GF had expected a fair few changes.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The effect of Gorse Fox's intervention in local planning decisions was, obviously, immediate. GF has checked the results of the Development Committee and sees that the plans were accepted. Arun Councils' view is (evidently), and I paraphrase:
  • Neighbours - irrelevant; get stuffed.
  • Estates committee - irrelevant; get stuffed.
  • Parish Council - irrelevant; get stuffed.

A triumph of democracy.

But then, if it had been a referendum would it be any better? Current European moves imply that the voters are an ignorant irrelevance and should be ignored.
Have spoken to Urban-cub. She's bored, so was delighted when GF told her the Silver Vixen was on her way. She had a very good night's sleep; and has been up with the physio today. Progress is good, and the physio is suggesting she may do the stairs tomorrow - in which case she may be able to come home. Apparently, S-L visited again yesterday evening which is good of him. It's quite a trek (the hospital is near Winchester), and to do it twice in a day is dedication indeed!
Another stunning day in West Sussex. Pure blue skies, bright sun, you'd almost thing summer was approaching. (Some bright spark on TV last night pointed out that the nights start drawing in in a couple of weeks - GF bets he was a bundle of fun at parties, like Leonard Cohen a warm bath and a razor blade !!!)

Busy but successful morning working on pricing estimations for Esteemed Client's strategy. GF decided the only way to provide the information in a way that he could justify (and would stand up to audit) was to link the numbers to a spreadsheet that explains the logic, the inputs, the granularity and so forth. GF likes spreadsheets.

Tried to call U-c this morning but she was in the shower. SV is on her way to visit for the afternoon, so GF will give a call soon to find out the latest.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Urban-cub is feeling a lot better, and is now making a lot of progress. She has seen the physio a couple of times today, and has been up out of bed. First time was difficult and she got quite light-headed, but each time gets a bit easier (though she obviously needs help). All of the wires and tubes are out, and she is finding it easier to turn and move in bed. She's getting her appetite back, and was looking forward to her supper turning up.

Paranoia

Being paranoid, GF is concerned about backups. It occurred to him that he is not in control of, nor aware of the backup policy for Blogger's accounts. Deciding that discretion is the better part of valour, he decided to do something about it. Not sure if this is the best policy, but have found some code that will mirror the whole site. The software is called HTTrack, and seems pretty good.

Cousteau-cub and Urban-cub


108_0801
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
A sisterly moment (from last year) as the cubs play. Gorse Fox is immensely proud of the cubs.

Silver Vixen

Silver Vixen
Silver Vixen,
originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
One of the Gorse Fox's favourite pictures of the Silver Vixen (taken earlier this year). She has gone off to visit Urban-cub for the afternoon, but GF thought he'd use
this picture to try out the Flickr blogging interface.

Normal service will be resumed soon!
Esteemed Client called to find out how Urban-cub was. GF though that was nice. It is so refreshing to work with a client that is actually a fully paid up member of the human race.
Cousteau-cub phoned first thing, on her way back from work. She was hoping to send a photo to U-c... but will arrange through Sir Lancinglot. Her hay-fever is beginning to play up, and she was feeling dreadful on her way to work, but was better now. GF noticed the onset of symptoms yesterday... so it must be in the air!

Urban-cub had a better night. She's now off morphine, and beginning to eat properly. SV said she was sounding quite bright this morning. She has an X-ray later to see that the disc implant is correctly seated.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Hmmm. It's daylight, but still there are project prevention trolls circling. The Gorse Fox's mouse is glowing pale blue (like Frodo's sword).
Busy morning trying to get the cost estimates that Esteemed Client was after. Have now got a number of sources and must construct a suitable turn of phrase that will pass muster with the legal eagles.
Oops wrong blog first time round !

U-c had a pretty uncomfortable night, and is still feeling pretty sore. She's hoping to have another dose of morphine in the next hour, that should take the edge off it. She's very sleepy, linked to input and output tubes, and still on oxygen. Apparently C2BAX is likely to pop in later to see how she's doing.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Was contacted by someone today. The person had found the GF via his genealogical website. The person was interested in how GF was linked to a certain individual. GF explained and asked the correspondant to reciprocate. It turns out that the correspondant is the daughter of the "certain individual" and was adopted at birth. The correspondant is about to become a parent, and was wondering about biological links.

GF has promised confidentiality, but offered to broker contact if ever it is required. Intriguing, eh? It's nice when you find a new relative!!!

Talking of which, GF was also contacted by someone researching part of the Silver Vixen's line. After a quick review, said person turns out to be the SV's 5th cousin, once removed. So GF has connected the family trees, and so the data grows.
Silver Vixen called. U-c is sleeping, but all observations are excellent. S-L has gone home to get some rest, before spending the day with her again tomorrow.

A great relief.
U-c's first procedure is over, and she is back... feeling very sore and very groggy. Silver Vixen is en route.
We spoke to Urban-cub first thing this morning. She had had a good night's sleep and was awaiting the arrival of C2BAX to talk her through the op. Sir Lancinglot (S-L) was there, having driven across first thing, and arriving at 6:30! At least he was there to hold her hand and see her off.

S-L has just called to say she has gone off to theatre (it's nice that they provide entertainment whilst she's in hospital). The performance procedure is expected to take a couple of hours.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Planning

GF decided it was about time he had his say in a local matter regarding the building of a house in a neighbour's garden.

Development Control Committee
Arun District Council

Dear Sir,

I understand that the recent application for planning permission to erect a chalet bungalow on the Land to the rear of Sea Breeze is to be discussed this week, after a recent site visit.

I would be grateful if you would consider the following in your deliberations:

  • The plans show a significant house with rear windows overlooking the neighbouring gardens. My garden is one of the gardens that will be overlooked, and thus we would lose the privacy that we have enjoyed since moving here.

  • The "in-filling" of the plot increases the density of the dwellings, and changes the amenity and character of the area. Plans have been submitted in the past for this same plot and rejected for this reason. The nature of the area has not changed, and therefore the basis of the rejection must still be valid.

  • The existing dwellings of Sea Breeze and its significant rear annexe already fill the southern end of the plot. The construction of the house in the northern end of the plot will seriously reduce what rear garden the house has. This may be acceptable to the current owners, but this effectively increases the density of the housing, and allows little privacy or separation.

  • The proposed bungalow significantly fills the plot providing for little or no garden or parking facilities, again changing the character of the area.

  • Assuming that access will be via Seaview Avenue (which is very narrow) building access will be a serious disruption to the neighbours.

This is potentially a dangerous and unfortunate precedent. There have been numerous letters of objection, the Kingston Gorse residents do not want this, and the Parish Council have objected to this. With the clear intention of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister wishing to put more control back into the hands of the local people, anything other than rejection seems perverse.


GF awaits the outcome, but suspects trolls may be involved.
Urban-cub goes into hospital today, in preparation for the first of her operations which is scheduled for tomorrow. She is about to have two of her discs replaced, and tomorrow sees the first stage of the procedure. Yesterday she spent the day "out" with Sir Lancinglot, and today GF+SV are meeting up with them in Port Solent for lunch; and will then go along to the hospital to get her settled in.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Good morning world.

Saturday is another exciting day of bist and pieces. Filling screw holes prior to painting the built-in unit in the bathroom was the first activity, giving the filler time to set whilst the Gorse Fox got on with other chores.

SV has wanted a poof pouffe gay footstool for a while now. Medallion had left some offcuts, and GF was feeling creative. So with the whine of the table saw, the hum of the electric screwdriver, and squelch of glue, GF obliged. A quick trip to the hardware store found a suitable set of castors et voila a po pou ga Footstool.

SV was eager to clean properly now that M-m was finished. So she washed, cleaned, vacuumed, wiped, dusted, and scrubbed.

By early afternoon it was time to sand back the filler - and needless to say, there was one bit that dropped out and had to be refilled. So here sits the GF waiting to crack on, while the filler slowly, very slowly sets.

Friday, June 03, 2005

The phone doesn't seem to have stopped all day. Bad news - still having trouble digging out the costings that Esteemed Client requires; Good News - the trolls have finally released the contract change (a month late) and the new contract (3 weeks late). Now it's over to the client's trolls. My bet would be 14, no 21 days minimum.

Cousteau-cub called for a chat - she's suffering the slings and arrows of dial-up connections at present, so is finding it difficult to travese cyberspace with any speed or success.

Heard from the SV. She had an horrendous drive up to Bkm. Two separate incidents added an hour to her journey. She's seen Auntie P. and is now on her way back.
Apologies for brevity of posts yesterday. GF was zonked by the time he had driven back from Worcester at the end of the day, and couldn't quite stir himself to enter the blogosphere.

Medallion man has completed the bathroom and done a superb job. It's nice to find a conscientious craftsman... and assuming there are no nightmares that we have yet to discover we would certainly use him again, and recommend him for any general building or plumbing type work.

A quote came through for the floor covering we had selected. GF knows that he he has a sense of humour, but he doesn't expect it to be tested in pricing estimates. We need to rethink what we are going to do, because we could plate the florr in gold cheaper than this quote for vinyl.

SV has taken the Golf again today and is heading up to Jimi's place to visit Auntie P. The weather looks nice, so hopefully she'll have a good journey.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Grey and damp drive through hill fog as the GF headed for Worcester.

Had a broad review with Esteemed Client, and was not surprised to hear that we need to provide some additional pricing input. This will prove problematic, as GF will probably have to get some trolls involved.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

A brief flurry into genealogy diverted the GF's attention for a while this afternoon. A firtle about through the 1861 census revealed a few more missing links in the family chain. GF always finds it exciting to track back a bit further, or find some new siblings for a known ancestor, or make contact with a distant (and previously unknown) cousin.

So what has GF achieved with his research, probably not that much in the great scheme of things, but in round numbers his family tree:
  • Maps 1169 individuals
  • Through 305 marriages
  • Stretching back to 1738
  • Covering 11 generations
  • and 268 surnames
More to the point... it's fun.
SV & U-c had a fairly torrid time with the traffic yesterday. In the end they were 35 mins late for the appointment, but thanks to the marvels of mobile telephony ths was not an issue. Appointment went well, and U-c is ready to go into hospital at the weekend.

Medallion man is back thi morning, finishing the built-in unit. GF has helped by getting his table saw out and allowing M-m to use it - you get much more accurate cuts than with a hand held, circular saw. He's as pleased as punch.

Project documents got shipped last night - on schedule - so GF is relieved. Now we just have to worry about the review and sign-off cycle, but that can be lived with!!!