Monday, October 31, 2005

Busy day. Design meetings in London with all and sundry. It started a bit chaotically, but slowly took on shape and eventually came up with a fairly good result.

Then off to see Gregor for a sense check.

[File under: ]
A wet and grey morning** greets the Gorse Fox as he prepares for the day's adventures. He is off to London for the day for some design meetings. He's got out of the habit of commuting, so finds these trips tiresome.
**Wet and grey is not supposed to happen in Sussex. That's what Manchester is for.

[File under: ]

Sunday, October 30, 2005

More Walk Photos

If you should be interested in some of the other photos taken during the walk, Gorse Fox has made them available on his Flickr account.

[File under: , , , ]

Walk Profile

 We returned to the starting point and that was another walk over. As you can see the "W" profile of the walk covered about 9 miles, we ascended a total of 1088 feet, with a high point of 472 ft and a low point of 0 ft.

It had been a moderately easy trek, made more fun by the good company. The weather had been kind, and the predicted rain never arrived. Gorse Fox would like to thank his companion for a very pleasant few hours.



[File under: , , , ] Posted by Picasa

Traction Engine


Traction Engine
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Descending from The Burgh, we passed Canada (yes, all of it), dropped into North Stoke and turned north towards Houghton. Crossing back across the River Arun we skirted the River and as we started the final leg we saw this Traction Engine leading a queue of traffic as it trundled towards Amberley. We assumed it may be based at the Amberley Working Museum.

[File under: , , , ]

Climbing to The Burgh


Climbing to The Burgh
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Climbing up from the valley floor towards The Burgh the view behind the intrepid walkers gave a good excuse to allow the heart rate to settle and take a photo.

The couple at the bottom of the hill were out walking their dogs. These black alsations were the size of shetland ponies, and one started to bark as we approached. "Don't worry, they'll ignore you" said the lady. "Just as well" thought the Gorse Fox!

A flash of white on the hill to the right caught Mark's eye. GF rummaged through his rucksack and pulled out the binoculars. Sure enough, there just below the crest of the hill was white deer (hart?). GF admits that even in his long and varied years, he has never before seen a white deer.


[File under: , , , ]

Jacuzzi?


Jacuzzi?
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Near Stoke Hazel Woods was an interesting fold in the Downs. There near the bottom the descent was this sheep-jacuzzi. GF's young companion, Mark, decided it was worth a further look. Here many hunderds of metres from anywhere was this cistern and despite its remoteness, a ballcock floated on the surface and masde sure it was kept full.

[File under: , , , ]

Ambereley quarry side from High Titten

Another gratuitous picture of the view from from High Titten. This was the first spot where we stopped to take on fluids. (As no pubs were nearby we had to make the most of the Adam's Ale GF had brough in his rucksack).

We had been concerned by the forecast that predicted heavy rain, however a strong onshore breeze seemed to be keeping the darkest of the clouds well inland from us. There were the odd spots of rain, but nothing that sent us scrabbling for waterproofs



[File under: , , , ]

Amberley Working Museum


Amberley Working Museum
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Within the old quarry site below High Titten nestles the Amberley Working Museum. GF made a mental note that he must return to go round the 36 acre museum site. Looking down on it it was possible to see the visitors moving around the site, and enjoying rides on the old open-topped bus.

[File under: , , , ]

High Titten


High Titten
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Climbing High Titten we found the road was perched on the edge of an old quarry. Mark was familier with the road, but had realised what a steep drop existed at the side. Looking back over the edge, the colours of autumn were evident (though again, the grey skies did their best to flatten the colour).

[File under: , , , ]

Amberley Castle from the railway

Down on the flood plain, deep in conversation about Trades Unions, Ulster, post-terrorist activity, and cows we crossed the railway bridge. There to the north of the bridge was Amberley Castle sitting squat and proud across the landscape.

[File under: , , , ]

North Stoke from Bury Hill


North Stoke from Bury Hill
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
As the hedgerows thinned, the view opened up to the south. This was a view of North Stoke (or Houghton) nestling at the foot of the Downs in the river's floodplain.

[File under: , , , ]

South Downs Way - Bury Hill


South Downs Way - Bury Hill
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
The Gorse Fox was joined on his walk by a new companion. Mark from the excellent Blognor Regis decided that the Gorse Fox needed a touch of youthful company on his walk. James was not with us today, after recently moving house he was told he could not come outh to play today.

As we descended the east face of Bury Hill, slipping and sliding on the wet chalk the trees tried to show off their finery. The overcast sky flattened the colours, but still it was a fine sight. The hill that is evident in the background is part of the route, but at this stage it seemed a long way off



[File under: , , , ]

Whiteways - North Stoke - Houghton

 This weekend's walk like walking the sides of a big "W". Starting at the westernmost point (the car park at Whiteways) the route looped clockwise to the South Downs Way, down the side of Bury Hill, across the River Arun, then up High Titten, across the downs to the Monarch's Way and back down to North Stoke, along the railway to Houghton and back to the beginning.

[File under: , , , ] Posted by Picasa
The Silver Vixen is going out with Urban-cub and Sir Lancinglot's mum to a wedding fair. The Gorse Fox believe that with over a year to go before the "event", he could forego the "excitement".
GF has walk planned. In fact he has several, and will decide on which after due consultation with a new walking companion. It looks as if it'll be blustery at first, and wet later...

[File under: ]

Saturday, October 29, 2005

1-1

The Forces of Darkness were not able to prevail over the good of White Hart Lane. It ended evens. GF is satisfied, if not ecstatic.

[File under: ]

Avian Flu

Good to see a few words of support for a change, amidst the mass hysteria of the general media. This article in the BBC website tells us:
The UK's plans to deal with bird flu are "as good as if not better" than other leading nations, the government's adviser on infectious diseases says.

Professor Roy Anderson said the Department of Health was backed up by a "very strong" scientific community with experience of dealing with epidemics.
Now of course his expertise, and the strong scientific community is no match for for the 4th Estate... but it's nice to get an occasional voice of reson slipping through.

GF wishes he could say more.



[File under: ]
Ahhh, David Davis has addressed one of the greatest iniquities of our current thieving government. The Telegraph reports:
A Conservative government led by David Davis would make it a priority to reverse Labour's £5 billion-a-year tax grab on pension funds.

Mr Davis, interviewed in The Daily Telegraph today, said that Gordon Brown's raid on pensions was one of the "great scandals of the last decade - we have to look how to put that right".
Now that makes the Gorse Fox sit up.

We have a pension crisis and to make it better the current governemnt steals £5Bn per year from the pension funds... and then has the effrontary to tell private sector workers that they may have to work longer... whilst caving in to the public sector workers over their retirement age and benefits.


[File under: , , , ]

Balance

Wouldn't it be nice to be governed by legislators with a sensible perspective? Gorse Fox has just received an email from an acquaintance in Singapore. He says:
I wish to bring to your attention to this particular comment by the then Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew when questioned by the press:
"In legislation, our priority is the security & well being of law abiding citizens rather than the right of the criminal to be protected from incriminating evidence"
How refreshing, legislators who actually treat the victims as their top priority, rather than the perpetrators.

[File under: , , ]

Supercomputer doubles own record

Gorse Fox has spent his career working with computers, and for a period of time was a specialist in supercomputing techniques and designs. He was impressed by the BBC's information:
The Blue Gene/L supercomputer has broken its own record to achieve more than double the number of calculations it can do a second.

It reached 280.6 teraflops - that is 280.6 trillion calculations a second.

The IBM machine, at the US Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, officially became the most powerful computer on the planet in June.

The article goes on... and again catches the eye with:
In a recent demonstration, Blue Gene/L achieved another first by running a materials science application at 101.5 teraflops, sustained over seven hours on the machine's 131,072 processors.

Errr, how many? Makes GF's PC look a bit feeble.
GF remember that when said machine was conceived, there was concern over the amount of heat it would generate, the vortex that would be created by the hot air as it rose, and the initial installation was expected to weigh more than a 747.

[File under: ]

Friday, October 28, 2005

And you are from...?

Gorse Fox is always intrigued to find how people arrive at his blog. Some recent routes are:

  • Google: Anti scald Ireland Hotels
  • Google: Wales trip Richard Clayderman**
  • Technorati: revernge
  • Yahoo: New Year's Eve parties Arundel
  • Google: Fox Fireams
  • Yahoo: real Silver Fox Demons
  • MSN: John Callahan Fox Shotguns
  • Yahoo: Jenny Bond posh to posh***

Have you had any odd callers?
** This one really worries the Gorse Fox
*** And this one worries him event more!

[File under: ]
The "Forces of Darkness" come to White Hart Lane on Saturday. Good will try to overcome them, but with all that's happening in the world, evil seems to be on the rise.

[File under: ]
GF notices that Gorgeous George is quoted by the BBC:
I have never had a penny through oil deals
Could it be that he is telling the truth? Could it be that Saddam paid him in some denomination other than pennies?

[File under: ]
Dr Bognor's up in arms. "Why aren't we working on the new project?", "Why haven't we had the design meeting?", "Who's holding things up?"... and so it goes on.
As GF is responsible for the technical solution he explained:
  • GF does not go to a design meeting "half-baked"
  • You can't build the solution until you have the design
  • You can't do the design until you have the requirements
Now get of GF's back, or suffer the consequences.

[File under: , ]
Happy blogday. Today is the first anniversary of the Gorse Fox starting his orbit in the blogosphere. What an interesting year it has been (not necessarily for readers of this blog, but for blogging in general).

[File under: ]

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The England Project: The foot soldiers of tyranny

John has view on the smoking ban/fudge announced yesterday The England Project: The foot soldiers of tyranny. Gorse Fox would point out that he welcomes the ban, as he would like to spend some time in pubs, but currently chooses not to because of the smoke in those places.

Gorse Fox is rabidly against smoking... but would defend a poerson's right to smoke anywhere as long as they do not exhale. If a smoker must exhale, then GF supports a designated smoking area, and suggests Wales** as a candidate.

** Because it's a long way from Sussex



[File under: ]
Yesterday's initial meeting of the project board was tortuous. There seemed to be 1001 stakeholders represented, and every one wanted their say. At least it should wind down to a sensible number for future meetings. Lots of posturing and threats of dire consequences... but ultimately it was the usual problem:
  • Media hysteria stirs EU into action
  • EU tells member states to do something
  • Member states jump
  • HMG commits to something in the House, without consulting those that have to actually do it
  • Those who actually have to do it, sit there and wonder what planet these jerks inhabit.


[File under: ]
Good Morning. It's hard to believe but here on 27th October, the sun is shining and we are expecting temperatures of 20C. If this is global warming (as opposed to a Low Pressure area dragging in warm winds from southern Europe and North Africa) then bring it on!** (Note to self: go out and buy a big gas-guzzling 4x4).
** Deliberate attempt to irritate the envionment fascists who only quote scientific studies that support their agenda.

[File under: ]

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Bright start in Sussex after the last couple of stormy days. GF starting the day at home, but has to go up to the big city to attend the initial programme board for a knee-jerk new project. the words "cloud", "cuckoo", and "land" come to mind.

[File under: ]

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

EU approves exotic birds import ban

Ahhh, according to the Times Online the EU (bow down in gratitude) has permitted a ban. Methinks a (sensible) reaction to the media hysteria.
The article also refers to the exotic pet dealer. Gorse Fox has always wanted to be descibed as exotic.

[File under: ]
GF is back in Sussex after a long day in Worcester. The workshop that had be planned had been hijacked by "events"** Despite that, it was a useful exercise, though perhaps lacked some of the detail the GF would likes to have seen.

The workshop was interrupted by a long teleconference. Colleagues needed to understand GF's view of a number of items including last week's trip.


It is becoming evident that said "events" are beginning to take precedence over GF's normal day job, thanks to the media induced hysteria.

**Bless You!

[File under: , ]
Quite a storm blew through overnight. As the wind howled acros the shoreline and battered the house the window frames flexed in their openings. As they flexed they squeaked. As they squeaked they disturbed the Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen. Note to self: Call the window company.
GF is just finishing breakfast before hitting the road to Worcester.

[File under: ]

Monday, October 24, 2005

How can writing up notes from a 2 hour meeting take longer than the meeting? Gorse Fox has spent all day writing up his notes (in between phone calls) and it seems to have taken longer than the original meetings on which they are reporting. He may as well have recorded them!
Oh well, Worcester tomorrow...

[File under: ]

Revenge

Gorse Fox is intrigued.

Last week he talked whimsically of revenge on the hell-bitch occupying the hotel room next to him. He classified the post in Technorati revenge, and thought no more about it.

Looking at his blog stats this morning he is amazed (if not slightly worried) that most of his "hits" this weekend have come, courtesy of Technorati, from people looking for Revenge. Surely this hell-bitch couldn't have offended so many people over such a wide geography? or is it just people offended by GF's disturbed night who wish to take revenge on his behalf?



[File under: , ]

Sunday, October 23, 2005

How old?

Wikipedia tells us that today is the anniversary of creation. According to Ussher-Lightfoot Calendar, which analyzes the Bible for an understanding of when the earth was created, it's happy birthday to us.
Ussher's chronology provides the following dates for key events in the Biblical history of the world:

* 4004 BC - Creation
* 2348 BC - The Great Flood
* 1921 BC - Yahweh's call to Abraham
* 1491 BC - The Exodus from Egypt
* 1012 BC - The founding of the Temple in Jerusalem
* 586 BC - The destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon and the beginning of the Babylonian Captivity
* 4 BC - The birth of Christ

Now, we must look at this with a degree of scepticism!** Another article Dataing Creation explains that different cultures have different start dates.

Many historical calendars were based on these dates.

* Maya civilization - August 11 or August 13, 3114 BCE
* Judaism - 25 September or March 29 3760 BCE
* Western Christianity - September or October 4004 BCE
* Byzantine Empire - September 1, 5509 BCE
* Big Bang Theory - 13.7 ± 0.2 billion BCE

In the interest of balance, and recent learned debate, GF also refers you to the scholarly Flying Spaghetti Monsterism. What is not clear from the latter view, is when the Creation actually took place.


** Surely not? It must be true.


[File under: , ]
The Mail tells us today: Ulrika splits from husband and also that Kristin's marriage turns to a handful of dust.
Oh dear, oh dear. GF guesses he'll have to change his mobile phone number again. He gets so fed up with their constant harrassment and begging.

[File under: ]
Gorse Fox seems to be having a lot of trouble with blogger in that last day or so. Posts are being created, but not showing up in the blog for several hours. He's perplexed.
[File under: ]

Edyoukayshun

So "Prescott Revolts Over School Plan" we are told by the Sunday Times.
At two cabinet meetings last week the deputy prime minister clashed with Tony Blair over a white paper that will wrestle control of secondary schools away from local education authorities (LEAs).

Given the track record of the Honourable Tub of Lard, Gorse Fox would think that this a clear endorsement that the white paper is on the right track.
“Prescott thinks the white paper will create elite schools at the expense of others,” a cabinet source said yesterday.

Err, let's anlayse this.
  1. "Prescott thinks" clearly shoddy journalism. There has never been any proof or even indication that he has reached an evolutionary level that renders him capable of rational thought.

  2. Is it wrong to "create elite schools". Clearly NOT, every parent wishes their child to strive for excellence.
  3. "at the expense of others". STOP. The Gorse Fox can only read so much b*ll*cks this time of the morning. Every fibre of the Tub-of-Lard's being has been dedicated to doing things at the expense of others. This is totalitarian hypocrisy.
    • Comprehensives schools exist "at the expense" of Grammars.
    • Regional grants for the North exist "at the expense" of the South.
    • Regional Authorities exist "at the expense" of democracy.
    • Indeed the Labour Party govern "at the expense" of the English voter.
Apparently David Cameron's comment on this was a perspicacious:
“It shows the extent of Labour’s failing and wasted opportunity that nearly eight years after abolishing grant-maintained schools they are effectively reintroducing them,"

[File under: ,, ]

Saturday, October 22, 2005

The very highly respected Pedant-General put the Gorse Fox on to this useful item of self-analysis.
You Should Learn Japanese

You're cutting edge, and you are ready to delve into wacky Japanese culture.
From Engrish to eating contests, you're born to be a crazy gaijin. Saiko!

Interestingly... that was exactly what the Gorse Fox did, several years ago. He has never used it, but it was fun to learn.

[File under: ]
Gorse Fox is home in the bosom of his family. The very comfortable BA flight arrived early and GF was back at the car in no time (having completely missed the client in the Arrivals hall). Out of the habit of nipping back and forth over the Atlantic, he succumbed to the a couple of hours in the arms of Morpheus once back at home.
The afternoon was taken up with a trip the PC World to replace the, now defunct, HP crap All-in-One printer, to pick up a chair fro the Silver Vixen's sewing room, and a new sewing machine that is prtable enought to be taken to he coven meetings**.

** Evidently tall black hats and black coats often get ripped.

[File under: , ]

Friday, October 21, 2005

So revenge complete the Gorse Fox met up with the client and we headed off to Dulles Airport for a flight to Albany. Leaving Washington in heavy rain the weather cleared as we approached New York. The hinterland of the Hudson Valley looked superb as we headed up along the course of the River to the State Capitol.

Gorse Fox mused that when looking at the kaleidoscope of leaf colours, the word Autumn seems so much comforting than Fall when looking down from 20000 feet.
Knowing the Hudson Valley pretty well, GF was able to pick out a number of landmarks that made hime feel quite nostalgic.

The meeting took place in an office just a few minutes from the Airport. GF thinks that the party learned all they needed, and that overall the trip had been valuable.

Soon after lunch it was back to airport for the return leg to Washington and the flight home.

[File under: ]

Revenge...

Gorse Fox is always bright in the mornings... even after the night from next door to hell. As he set about his ablutions he became conscious of the silence from the next room. Hell-bitch had obviously decided to go to sleep. Gorse Fox discovered a series of new pleasures while dressing:
  • Singing*
  • Whistling**
  • Dropping can of shaving foam in empty bath
  • Banging elbows on wall as he showers
  • Sneezing without restraint
  • Banging his suitcase as he packs
  • Dropping his change*** on the glass topped table

* out of tune


** also out of tune, but loud.


** English coins are so much more satisfactory for this item.



[File under: ]

To sleep, perchance to stay awake

We need to be in a taxi by 06:15 to get to the airport. Sense would tell you that one should get an early night and wake refreshed. Sense was fine, but did not take into account the pea-brained social misfit who was occupying the room next to Gorse Fox. This excitable loud-mouthed denizen of hell decided to invite some equally loud co-demons to her room at 02:00 and proceeded to have a party.
"Securrrdy" were eventualy called and byt 03:30 they had shut up.
The hell-bitch airhead was, however, not tired and proceeded to turn her TV up full, and watch TV...
Then at 04:30, the Gorse Fox's phone rang... "Bother and damnation" or words to that effect.

Not sure when the GF will get a chance to post this, but it's nice to get it out of his system!

[File under: ]
Off to Albany, NY at dawn... probably won't get a chance to report in.

[File under: ]

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Washington Monument & across to the Capitol


IMG_3577
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Gorse Fox liked this spot.
Great view of the Washington Monument and the Capitol poking up in the background.


[File under: ]

GF and Mr Lincoln


GF and Mr Lincoln
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
The Gorse Fox meets Abraham Lincoln.

[File under: ]

Sun Up


IMG_3570
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
The sun burst forth as Esteemed client charged across to another vantage point.
It really was a tranquil spot, deserted at this hour of the day.

[File under: ]

Sunrise approached


Sunrise approached
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Sun was rising from its slumber and the sky was looking fresh. It promised to be a good day.

[File under: ]

Jefferson Memorial


Jefferson Memorial
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
On the run, the next sight was the Jefferson Memorial.
Hopped out of the taxi, ran to the edge, took photo, ran back to taxi... clock was ticking and meetings beckoned.

[File under: ]

Early Morning Traffic


Early Morning Traffic
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
As you can see, early morning traffic is light. Nice open streets. nice feel to the City (at this time of day)


[File under: ]

Casa GWB


Casa GWB
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Gorse Fox got up early and headed out with Client for a whirlwind sightseeing tour.
First stop was the White House, just one block from our hotel.

GF loitered for a bit, but GWB didn't invite him in for breakfast.

[File under: ]
Excellent flight yesterday, but long day. Arrived at Hotel in Washington around midnight. Already had messages waiting. They will have to wait!

[File under: ]

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Stress-free travel

Over the years the Gorse Fox has made many hundreds of business trips to destinations across the western hemisphere. he has a few words of advice for the inexperienced traveller...
  • Do not agree to last minute changes
  • Allow plenty of time to get to the Airport
  • check-in early and watch the world hustle by.
  • Write patronising entries in your blog.
Simple really.

The GF has a thing about being on-time. Being on-time means arriving everywhere earlier than necessary. he would rather be two hours early than one minute late. this has resulted, before now, in him arriving at JFK 5 hours early because there was a weather warning of snow and he didn't want to be stuck in a blizzard when heading south for his flight. Stupid, yes. Stress-free - absolutely.

As you age certain things become more clear:

  • Agreeing to every request does not help - only agree to do what you can achieve in the hours you have available
  • The number of hours that make up your life is finite, final, and unknown - do not squander them on things that don't matter.
  • Working smarter is better than working harder
  • limiting your working hours does not damage you career, not limiting them does damage your health and family.
  • Cherish silence


[File under: ]
Letters to the media from the uninformed continue to score cheap points over preparedness for Avian Flu.

Gorse Fox again refers you to his earlier post Avian Flu which lists a number of sources of current information regarding the disease, its containment, and what people should know.

[File under: ]
Busy morning preparing for trip.
Extra meetings have been crammed into the agenda. Looks as if GF may be only person from Starfleet as Dr Bognor was taken ill over night. He will confirm one way or the other at lunchtime.

GF feels as if he is juggling with live grenades at the moment and has one pin for all of them, that's between his teeth, and he wants to sneeze.

[File under: ]

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

e-Gov

Gorse Fox has just renewed his car tax, online. About 90 seconds from start to finish. Impressive.
Much easier than queueing at the Post Office with 40 people who insist on telling you that they're "97 you know", then get to the counter and have forgeotten why they're there.

[File under: ]
"Bother", he said with great restraint.
Gorse Fox's HP All-in-One 5110 multi-function printer has packed up. Reading up the reviews, he should not be surprised... and he guesses, working for Starfleet, he should know better. GF has tried all the trouble-shooting suggestions on their site, in the manual, and from the web, to no avail.
Maybe this is the only way HP can make money by making disposable printers with a life span of 14 months (and warranty of 12).
The choice of a multi-function (photo-capable) printer that includes copier and fax seems fairly limited. GF fears he will end up with a newer version of same.

[File under: ]
Ah, sense has prevailed. Gorse Fox has been downgraded (as he deserves) to Club class. Thanks you all once again for you generous tax contributions which have enabled this comfortable form of travel.

[File under: ]

Religious Sceptics

Gorse Fox has just found a "Did you know" in Wikipedia
The Canon Episcopi, which was inserted into canon law by Burchard of Worms in the 11th century, demanded that Roman Catholics be skeptical about witchcraft

Now several things are noticable here:
  • Scepticism was demanded - like politics today!
    (Is politics the new witchcraft?)
  • Fancy being called Burchard of Worms - like being known as Gorse Fox of Nematode

GF also notices that
Burchard died in 1025, leaving to his sister a hair shirt.
Sis, You have been warned!

[File under: ]

The Trouser Quandary Resolution

GF follows about 60 blogs on a regular basis, and other than his blogroll rarely comments further. However, GF would like to bring to your attention: The Trouser Quandary Resolution. This must be the most surreal blog he has seen.
Go read it, and enjoy. Now.
Ooof.
GF has just received his travel itinerary for his trip to the USA later this week. He notices that HMG has been kind enough to provide First Class travel. What generous tax payers we really are. GF would like to thak you all for your kind donation.

[File under: Travel
Silver Vixen is off to Brighton to meet up with Cousteau-cub for the day.

GF will be toiling over a number of hot keyboards as he tries to re-jig several interconnected programme plans that cover the next 3-4 years.

[File under: ]

Monday, October 17, 2005

Home at last. GF has had an excellent day. All the meetings were immensely fruitful.

What has irritated GF is the day's newspaper and continued hysteria over Avian Flu. GF is in a privileged position. In his role he has a fair exposure to HMG's plans. He feels the press coverage and cynicism is un-warranted. The contingency plans are NOT developed by politicians, there is not value in spin, they are developed by civil servants who really care. People who are passionate about their job, and passionate about doing what's right.

[File under: , ]
Gorse Fox is whistling across to Worcester for the day. See you later.

[File under: ]

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Route summary

This was the route profile for today's walk. As you can see there were some steep stretches.
In all the Gorse Fox:

  • Covered 10 miles
  • Climbed 998 feet
  • The lowest spot was 8 feet above sea level
  • The highest spot was 668 feet

There are more pictures of the Gorse Fox's walk available on Flickr.


[File under: , , , , ] Posted by Picasa

Deer at Parham


Deer at Parham
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Strlling through the deer park at Parham, GF could hear a snorting and clattering. Looking into the trees he saw two deer charging each other. By the time GF had drawn his camera one of the deer had run off into the thicket. The other turned to watch your intrepid adventurer.

[File under: , , ]

Parham House


Parham House
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Walking on from Storrington GF entered the estate of Parham House. You will have seen the view of Parham from the top of the Down in my earlier post. this was the view from ground level with the Downs in the background.

[File under: , , ]

Carved Door


Carved Door
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Now this isn't something you expect to see in a Sussex wall. This intricately carved door at the end of Browns Lane caught the GF's eye.

[File under: , , ]

Storrington


Storrington
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Approaching Storrington across the fields, the church seems to dominate the skyline.

[File under: , , ]

Cloudscape (2)


Cloudscape (2)
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
By this time the Gorse Fox was heading north and west. The clouds were again radiating, but now from the west.

[File under: , , ]

Descending Chantry Hill


Descending Chantry Hill
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Descending a steep hill takes its toll on the knees, almost as much as climbing them does on the heart!
The sun shone diagonally across the hillside, and the trees were obviously on the change, but still rifling through their wardrobe before selecting the best autumn colours.

[File under: , , ]

Storrington from Chantry Hill


Storrington from Chantry Hill
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Just after mid-day, but look at the length of the shadows. This view of Storrington from Chantry Hill made the GF realise that he still had a very long way to go!

[File under: , , ]

Chantry Hill


Chantry Hill
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
GF was about to start his descent just over this ridge. The Sussex Weald stretches out in the distance.

[File under: , , , , ]

Cloudscape


Cloudscape
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
The clouds seemed to radiate from the east. It was still bright and there was no sign of the forecast rain.

[File under: , , , , ]

Springhead Hill


Springhead Hill
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
The South Downs Way continued eastwards,a the final significant hill (Springhead Hill) of the route loomed on the horizon. Soon after that the Gorse Fox would start his descent.

[File under: , , , , ]

South Downs in the Autumn Light


South Downs in the Autumn Light
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
This misty view of the Downs shows the area that James and the Gorse Fox walked a fortnight ago.

[File under: , , , , ]

MotoCROSS


MotoCROSS
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Gorse Fox is happy to share the Downs with walkers and cyclists, but draws the line at trailbikes. He feels the noise and damage they cause is unnecessary.
Thinking about this problem GF believes it is reasonable to permit walkers to carry firearms to cull this menace before it spreads. It's firm, but it's fair.

[File under: , , , , ]

Parham House from Rackham Hill


Parham House from Rackham Hill
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Gorse Fox continued eastwards and upwards. From Rackham Hill he could see Parham House nestling at the foot of the downs.

[File under: , , , , ]

Amberley Mount


Amberley Mount
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Looking back along the South Downs Way from Amberley Mount.

[File under: , , , , ]

Amberley from Amberley Mount


Amberley from Amberley Mount
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
As the Gorse Fox headed eastwards along the South Downs Way, he marvelled at the views. This was Amberley from Amberley Mount.
The sun was out, it was warm, and at this point GF hadn't seen another walker (though had dodged several mountain bikes).
The only sound was the distant crack of shotguns. There was obviously a shoot at The Dover, but GF couldn't help but think the constant sound of gunfire must be like living in Manchester, Nottingham, or Reading.

[File under: , , , , ]

Amberley from Highdown


Amberley from Highdown
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Leaving Amberley and crossing the old turnpike, Gorse Fox started the climb up the side of the Downs.
Looking back he got this view of Amberley and Amberley Castle (though he hadn't passed the castle on the route itself).
This view was taken just short of High Titten and Highdown House.

[File under: , , ]

Amberley (2)


Amberley (2)
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
There were plenty of pretty cottages in the village, and it seems a shame to pick out just one.

[File under: , , ]

Amberley (1)


Amberley (1)
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Gorse Fox had drive through Amberley many times on the main road. Picturesque enough, but only when he walked these back roads did he find some of the more "chocolate box" views.

[File under: , , ]

Quintessential Country Lane


Quintessential Country Lane
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Boots dripping, Gorse Fox sprang over a stile and headed along this country lane towards Amberley.
As you can see, the autumn leaves are turning, but are not yet really trying their best.

[File under: , , , , ]

Autumn Shades of the South Downs

The Autumnal shades and haze-induced soft-focus presented many atmospheric views. Many stretched the capabilities of GF's camera, but this one (taken near Rackham) looking east along the Downs was GF's favourite.

[File under: , , , ]

Towards Rackham Mill


Towards Rackham Mill
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Gorse Fox was by himself on this walk. James is busy buying and moving into a new house - which GF thinks is a bit extreme when it comes excuses!!!
Leaving the car, he headed out across the dew-drenched fields lit by the low autumn sun. Though warm and bright there was a haze that emphasized the autumnal feel of the day.
This stretch of the walk headed through the firelds by Rackham Mill towards Amberley.

[File under: , , ]
This was the walk the Gorse Fox had planned for today. The weather forecast predicted rain in the afernoon, so GF got going soon after 10:00.

The route started at the "P" in the top left hand quadrant, on Rackham Street. Proceeding in an anti-clockwaise direction your intrepid adenturer crossed the fields towards Amberley, the climbed the Downs and followed the South Downs Way up Amberley Mount and Rackham Hill, across Springhead Hill and up Kithurst Hill before plunging down Chantry Hill, through Storrington, on through the Parham Deer Park and back to the car.

[File under: , , , ] Posted by Picasa
Silver Vixen had an early start. She is going to London for an exhibition with her coven. The Gorse Fox has quiet day in the Sussex sunshine. He has a walk planned for the morning, but more on that on that later.

[File under: ]

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Storming on

Well, according to Wikipedia
The Great Storm of 1987 occurred on October 15 and 16, 1987, when an unusually strong weather system caused hurricane force winds to hit much of the south of England. It was the worst storm to hit England since 1703 and was responsible for the deaths of approximately 23 people.
It seems incredible that that was 18 years ago. GF remembers it as if it was only a couple of years back. Abiding memories of that night:
  • The house actually vibrating and humming in the wind
  • Hearing the dustbin blow away down the road
  • Going out (in pyjamas) to retrieve the dustbin and realising its lid had blown elsewhere
  • Tracking down the lid just as all the lights failed
  • Going back to bed listening to the chaos.
  • Waking up to the news of the devastation
  • Missing a business meeting for the only time in his career.
  • The storm caused substantial damage over much of England, downing some 15 million trees (including six of the seven famous oak trees in Sevenoaks and most of the trees making up Chanctonbury Ring), blocking roads and railways and leaving widespread structural damage to buildings
  • Several hundred thousand people were left without power, which was not fully restored until more than two weeks later. Local electric utility officials later said they lost more wires in that single storm than they had in the preceding decade


[File under: , ]
It his been a quiet day. The weather in Sussex has been stunning. Bright sunshine, no cloud, and people wandering around in shorts and t-shirts. In Worthing the cafes were busy with customers sitting at tables along the streets.

The Silver Vixen has taken over as Newsletter Editor of her coven. GF spent some time helping her set up a template for the Newsletter, and helped her search the web for some free spells that she could include.

Some shopping in Worthing followed, and a very nice lunch at the Fish Factory.

[File under: ]

Friday, October 14, 2005

Avian Flu

Having just read the "Have Your Say" comments on the BBC website regarding Avian Flu, the Gorse Fox is amazed at the mix of sense and hysteria. Don't these people read his blog?

To help educate people, GF refers them to:


[File under: ]
Media Hype... David Cameron

GF feels ambivalent about the hype over DC and whether he took "substances". Several conflicting thoughts waft across the open expanse between his ears:
  • GF does not hold with drugs. He has never even smoked a cigarette. He finds the concept abhorrent.
  • GF has few enough brain cells to be able to squander, re-align or destroy them with "substances".
  • Pass the wine!
  • David Cameron, like everyone has a past.
  • Who cares? If he DID, then he can talk about the subject from a position of experience. If he DIDN'T, then he has upheld the general rule of law.
  • Where are you going to find a person under 40 who has not taken "substances" - that will become ever more difficult.
  • Continuing to prevaricate provides great publicity.



[File under: ]
Long day yesterday, but back to relative normality today.

Interesting to see the mounting media hype regarding Avian Flu.

The incidence of the virus in Turkey has come as no great surprise, and there is now the strong possibility of an incident in Romania. Given the propensity for birds to fly (without regard to air traffic control and no-fly zones) the spread is likely. Gorse Fox sees this in a similar way to computer failure... you have to assume it will happen, and trust that you have adequate safeguards in place to ensure control when it does. It was good to see HMG (Chief Veterinary Officer) actually making a statement on the subject yesterday. GF actually has a few insights in this area, and whilst not dismissing the seriousness of the problem, and the potential work involved, believes the official statement yesterday to be an open, honest and factual assessment.

Gorse Fox does wish, however, that they would try and separate the Avian impact from the Human impact.

It would be quite possible for an outbreak of Avian Flu to decimate the bird population without having any significant impact on humans. This doesn't seem to be coming across. Even the Silver Vixen was under the impression that a human transmissible strain is the outcome of the Avian Strain. Currently this is not the case. Yes, humans can get infected through close proximity, but this is not transmissable at present, and should be treatable with retro-virals.


[File under: ]

Thursday, October 13, 2005

A more famous view. Stormont House in the afternoon sunshine. 
 Posted by Picasa
A view over part of Belfast... 
 Posted by Picasa