Friday, March 31, 2006

The evening was spent in Restaurant Los Abrigos. This excellent place looks west across the harbour and gives a fine view as the sun sets over San Blas.

Gorse Fox should say a few more words about theis restaurant. Firstly, he highly recommends it for those of you who like fish. The restaurant has its own fishing boat, and a wide selection of fresh fish from which to select.

You are invited to come and select your choice of the fresh fish available that day. Gorse Fox chose squid, which was superb. The Silver Vixen chose prawns. Now, GF has seen prawns before... but not like these. These were the size of bananas, and whilst the SV only had 5, they were more than enough.

If you are ever in the area - go try the fish, but get there early as it does fill up. Posted by Picasa
Heading back south we crossed the beach and made our way towards the finely sculpted dunes. The sandstone-like rock has been etched by tide and wind and left a unique landscape that is currently protected - but threatened by plans for the port. Posted by Picasa

El Medano

This is a view of El Medano looking across from it's small harbour.

This could all be at risk as some industrial group wish to build a huge mega-port in the area in order to serve the industries of Grenadilla.

Environmentalists are fighting this all the way to Europe - quite rightly. Posted by Picasa
It is hard to think that the Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox have been here a full week already. He could become quite accustomed to this lifestyle (if there were decent internet links).

There was a slight haze over the Island as the intrepid duo set out for El Medano. This little town is about 10kms from the bungalow, and is parallel to the airport. It is marked by Montana Rosa, which is the remains of a small volcano, jutting out into the sea. This area is named after the dunes that form in the constant wind that catches this corner of the coast.

We walked first through the town, noting that it was quite busy compared to many of the places we had seen this week. This is the surf centre for the Island and is alive with kite boarders, wind surfers, and all their friends. A vibrant town with some decent beaches nestling between the sculpted dunes.

At the far end of the town we retraced our steps, but continued past the car along the beach towards the mountain. the wind and tide had etched, carved and in places flattened the sands and rocks and we managed to walk up to the base of the mountain. All the time the waves pounded the beach and the wind and kite surfers jockeyed for position in the wide bay. This are would be worth a specific walking trip, and the GF will return at some point to walk up the mountain.

On returning to the bungalow we spoke with both the cubs - one with laryngitis, the other with a chest infection - and settled down to make the most of the sunny afternoon. Friday is one of the big change-over days in tenerife, and we seem to have gained neighbours on both sides today.

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Did this execrable government think they'd get away with it just because the Gorse Fox is out of the country?

These steaming, self-serving, hypocrites have decided to top-up their pensions from the taxpayer's purse. These are the same bottom-feeding scum that steal £7Bn per year from private pensions, reinforce Civil Service pensions whilst requiring the private sector to work longer to pay for it, then sell your chattels to pay for any long term care you might need in your old age (unless of course you live in Scotland).

The Gorse Fox has always had a low opinion of politicians, and a lower opinion of the current Government and the cretins that voted for them, but this reduces them to a level of oleaginous sel-serving organised crime that he cannot believe.

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Canon Can

Firstly a word about the GF's new camera. He was concerened that the Canon S2 IS was going to be problematic because of its use of normal AA bateries. Well, he need not have worried. He has just changed the first set, after about 550 photos, lots of playning with the zoom, lots of downloading and erasing, and use of the flash.

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Inside the Basilica del Virgen de Candelaria. The Virgin is the patron of the Canary Islands, and was worshipped even before the Spanish brought organised Christianity to the islands. Posted by Picasa
Large bronze statues of the Menceyes (the indigenous Guanche kings) dominate the eastern side of the square.

Gorse Fox couldn't avoid the attractive looking recycling bins in the foreground! Posted by Picasa
Looking across the square at the Basilica de la Virgen de Candelaria.

They were starting to build staging and scaffold in readiness for the Holy Week ceremonies. Posted by Picasa
The street leading to the Basilica Calle del Obispo Perez CaceresPosted by Picasa
Large sculpted nautilus shells stand guard outside the Ayuntiamento.

There is much evidence of inward investement and urban renewal in Candelaria, and the smart new town hall was a prime example. Posted by Picasa
The first view of Candelaria, looking south across the harbour towards the Basilica at the far end of town.

Gorse Fox had parked at the northern end of the town and with the Silver Vixen was strolling back towards the harbour. Posted by Picasa
The Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox decided to visit (or was it revisit) a town that they weren't sure they had toured before. If they had been it was back in the 80's when they first visited the Island... but memory is hazy and they couldn't be sure. (GF thought they had been there, SV thought not - needless to say, SV was correct).

Heading 50km up the east coast, along TF1 the intrepid tourists dropped down into Candelaria only to find many of the roads through the town were being dug up and re-laid. This was probably due to the exceptionally wet winter the Canaries have had, and this has undermined many of the roads, requiring a lot of work all across the Island to put right. The diversions seemed to direct us away from the advertised parking spot, so we made our way along the coastal strip until we could find somewhere to stop.

Candelaria is a significant town with a small working port and, at the southernmost end, a huge square dominated by the Basilica of the Virgin of Candelaria on one side and nine statues of the indigenous Guanche Kings on the east. This realy was a most charming town. Having spent some time wandering the streets and the square, we entered the Basilica. It was a bright and airy church, with a contemplative stillness about it. It lacked the shock and awe that you sometimes feel entering one of the great gothic Cathedrals with their soaring perpendicular style, but it had a homely and welcoming feel about it... and it was clear that it was well used by the locals, as there was a steady trickle of folk popping in with flowers, or to light a candle, or just to kneel and pray.

Leaving the Basilica, the Silver Vixen was transfixed by the nine statues of the Guanche Kings, and made here way along them taking photos. The GF was similarly transfixed, but by the high tide as it dashed against the rocks, hurling spary across promenade. This was too nice a place to rush away from, so we stopped at a cafe in the square and had a light lunch, whist watching the world go by.

Leaving Candelaria we decided to take the high road. TF28 runs parallel to the Autopista (TF1), but several hundred metres further up the mountain. This road hugs the cliffs, and winds in and out of the gorges and bluffs, knitting together dozens of small villages and towns. This is not a drive for the faint hearted - it is hard work, and added 35 km to journey back - but some of the views that were afforded by the route made the trip well worth the effort.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The pebble-strewn beach that marked the end of the path, and therefore the end of the walk for the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox. Posted by Picasa
The waves continue their endless attempt to erode the hard volcanic rocks on the south of the island. Posted by Picasa
One of the small coves near Amarilla Golf as the path weaves along between the sea and the golf courses. Posted by Picasa
The Silver Vixen accompanied the Gorse Fox to Bencomo in Los Abrigos for dinner last evening. As usual we were accosted by several reps as we wandered through the harbour, but we had already made up our minds where we'd eat. We took our seat overlooking the harbour with a flourish and a crash of glass as the Silver Vixen caught the table with the menu. The waiter, whom we remembered from last year, made a joke of it and cleared up without a fuss. The food was as good as we remembered it, and the service excellent and good humoured throughout - a pleasant evening and a recommended restaurant.

Blue skies and mid-20s, with a slight north-easterly breeze. Another super day in Tenerife. After yesterday's time in the car, today demanded a stretch and some exercise. We walked down to where the marina was being built. Several yachts now sit at the new berths and the final landscaping is being completed. Passing the marina we found a path west towards Amarilla Golf and followed this as it hugged the coast, leading from one inlet to the next. The little coves were being pounded by the waves and refreshing spume coolled the walkers.

Some of the coves were noticeable for their undercut cliffs, and deep caverns into which the waves thudded letting out a audible whoomp as the air was forced out of the enclosed space. Zircon blue waves rolled towards us, peeling into bright white surf with trailing whorls of turquoise and green. It was enchanting and kept us entranced for ages.

Eventually the path petered out at a pebble strewn beach. The Silver Vixen, though able to walk on the flat, cannot manage pebbles or rock-strewn beaches. The Gorse Fox scouted to the other side and could see that the path re-formed and led off through the Costa del Silencio and onwards towards Ten-Bell and Las Galletas. He turned back and rejoined the Silver Vixen and they started to retrace the coastal path following back past the marina, and onwards past San Miguel Village and up into San Blas.

All things being equal, this beats a drive to Worcester !

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Pico del Ingles

Leaving Chamorga the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox headed south-west through the mountains. The views were excellent as we could see sometimes to the left, sometimes to the right over the sides of the island.

Stopping at Pico del Ingles we had to wait a few moments for cloud to clear and reveal El Teide ahead, with La Laguna nestling below in the valley. Posted by Picasa
The village of Chamorga. This is the northernmost village of the island that is accessible by road.

Dominated by cliffs it snuggles in the lush vegetation that covers these northern parts. Posted by Picasa
Cresting the mountain at El Bailadero we were able to look down on both the noeth and south sides of the island.

This view, taken as the sun broke through some low cloud, looked along the northern side of the Anaga Mountains. Posted by Picasa
North of Santa Cruz we headed into Las Montanas de Anaga.

Zigging, climbing and zagging we made our way up the serpentine road before stopping to look back towards San Andres. Posted by Picasa
The Gorse Fox leapt from bed unable to believe he had slept so long. Opening one eye he had glanced at his watch, seen the time, added one hour becuase he was too stupid to remember how to adjust his watch, and realised how late it was. This is not good. Things to do... etc. Once up, about, washed and dressed, ready to greet the day he idly looked at his mobile phone. It was not as late... his watched had obviously received a stray signal overnight and adjusted itself. That's technology for you!

Those of you who might be regular readers may wonder "Why no photos?" Well GF promises there will be. It's just that what blogging he is managing is limited to 28k line, so photos are out of the question really. They will have to be retro-blogged once back in the UK or he locates a faster link here.

It is nice discovering new parts of the island. Though SV+GF have visited many times, we have never strayed to the far north. Today we decided that the Anaga Mountains deserved a trip.

Head up the east coast we dropped down to Santa Cruz and along the main road running through the port. Continuing north for a while until clear of the city we then headed west alnong TF12. This road twists, turns, climbs and drops up into the Anaga Mountains.

At the high point of the road there is a smaller road (TF123) that heads a further 12km north along a single-track, with passing places and stopping points. The views from this small road were exceptional. Deeply folded mountain sides carpeted with lush vegetation plunged to steep sided valleys down towards the sea. Peering over cols, Santa Cruz could bee seen in the distance and the east coast of the island lay before us.

At the end of TF123 was the smal village of Chamorga which seems to be the northernmost town on the island accessible by road. At the heart of the village was a small square with two goals set up for football, and a tiny church that had room for 8 seats. This really was off the beaten track. Nevertheless it did seem popular with walkers who seemed to use it as a starting point for one of several marked trails up to the north coast.

Heading back, we rejoined TF12 and made our way towards La Laguna. As the road twisted and turned towards the south Mount Teide dominated the skyline. We stopped at Pico del Ingles and Cruz del Carmen viewpoints. Cloud was drifting across as we watched Teide appear and disappear in the mist, but patience paid off and the view was magnificent.

By late afternoon we were back, having covered just over 200km and seen some wonderful sights that will certainly warrant a further visit.

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Monday, March 27, 2006

La Caleta, where the path ends.

We stood and watched as the tide washed and reorganised the rocks on the beach. Then, changing its mind, it rewashed them and moved them about again. Posted by Picasa
Walking from cove to cove along the path from Casa del Duque, the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen watched as the Atlantic rollers (a little known populer beat combo who preceeded the Bay City Rollers) beat themselves upon the volcanic outcrops. Posted by Picasa
The high, grey cloud that seemed to cover the island was not going to prevent the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox from enjoying their day. Heading off in the car they rounded the southern tip and started heading up the west coast. The on-shore breeze was allowing the sun to shine through along this stretch.

Parking in Cosat Adeje, SV+GF walked down to the promenade and headed off along the Geranium Walk. This is a walk we had done many times before, but the deeply etched coastline is always worth a visit. The winds were bringing in some large waves and these were crashing spectacularly against the outcrops.

We stopped at a beach bar at El Duque for a coffee, and sat and watched the world wander by. This brought a number of observations:
  • There are some very ugly people about - they should be more considerate and stay indoors watching TV
  • Evidently few people have heard of Sun Protection - a long procession of "lobster-people" walked painfully by.
  • Evidently the rule about not taking kids out of school during term-time doesn't count up north (probably a special rule brought in by John Prescott)
  • There are some people that just should not be allowed to travel and certainly shouldn't be allowed to breed.
  • Elderley German women seem to get dressed up to go to the beach - and even wear their jewellery

The walk continued round from to cove to cove until we got to the end of the promenade at La Caleta. We stood and watched as the tide shuffled the rocks in the little harbour and then turned to head back. A restaurant beckoned us for lunch - it was one we had seen being built last year, and commented on its prime location - so we stopped. The food was good and nicely presented, though the prices were a little steep; the waiters occasionally condescended to stop talking to each other long enough to take our order or serve the food. The Maitre D' looked as if he should be carrying a violin case, and kept the odd horse's head out back for stroppy customers. Not a place the Gorse Fox would recommend as he believes it is the service, as much as the food, that makes a restaurant.

By late afternoon we had returned to the bungalow to sit in the late afternoon sun and devour a few more pages of the odd book.

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The little old lady (we will call her Vera) was walking up the hill as the Gorse Fox walked down to the shop.
"Good morning"
he said
and in a voice that sounded like an escapee from Emmerdale or Coronation Street, she replied

The Gorse Fox went on his way, collected the shopping chatted with one of the residents and then headed back up the hill. Walking towards him was Vera looking confused.
"Hello again" said the Gorse Fox. "Is everything all right?"

"Well," she said "is there another road behind this?"

The Gorse Fox explained that ther was not, and that the dwellings to which she was pointing all looked out over the golf course.

"Well, I'm looking for 88" she said.

The Gorse Fox explained it was just a litlle further up on the left

"I know" she said "but that's not the one. It has mesh at the window, and mine doesn't. And the pavement surface has been painted, and mine hasn't"

Gorse Fox suggested "Maybe you have the wrong number, and you were staying a little further up the hill? The surface there still hasn't been replaced."

"Maybe they resurfaced it overnight?" She was grasping at straws, by now.

Being Sunday night Gorse Fox suggested that was unlikely. By this point they had arrived outside 88. "is this it?" he asked.

"No" she said, getting flustered. "There's only one thing for it, I'll have to knock at each one until my son answers"

And so the Gorse Fox left her. Later as he was setting off with the Silver Vixen he passed Vera again.
"Oh, hello" she said. "I found my son. we were in number 80"

So all was well.

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Down by the harbour in Los Abrigos, the Gorse Fox shelters from the sun under a straw hat. The lilly-white legs show that he is a recent arrival to the island. Posted by Picasa
Looking down on the harbour of Los Abrigos from the volcanic scrub that separates the village from San Blas.

All this will soon be built up, with some nice homes, a hotel, and an ecological park. Gorse Fox is sure it will be very nice, but observes it is directly under the final aproach to the main airport. Posted by Picasa
The clocks leapt forward but the Gorse Fox was having trouble with technology... he couldn't remember how to reset his watch (which normally resets itself from the atomic clock - but is out of range here in the Canary Islands). After giving up on the watch he read the papers and made plans for the day.

Walking south and east from the bungalow brought the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox through San Blas and under the flight path of arriving and departing flights. From there they headed down onto the volcanic scree that forms a small beach and walked across to the neighbouring village of Los Abrigos. This beach is currently a scene of desolation as various buiding projects grind slowly onwards just up the valley. Eventually it will all be landscaped and have a proper promenade, but for now debris litters the volcanic outcrops and GF couldn't help but think of this in terms of John Prescott's impact on England - fruitless, destructive, desolate, and awaiting someone with imagination and intellect to make good the neglect.

Finally the duo arrived at Los Abrigos. This lovely fishing village nestles round the harbour which is lined with restaurants. over the years SV+GF have eaten at several of them and always been delighted by the service and the food.

Trying several times to call Cousteau-cub in Thailand proved fruitless so SV+GF moved on from their perch on the harbour wall and headed back towards San Blas where they stopped for refreshments. The afternoon was spent with books in the back garden. Some thin, high cloud moved in and it became very windy for about an hour, but soon quitened down.

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Saturday, March 25, 2006

A view from the complex looking across one of the pools up to Mt. Teide Posted by Picasa

Montana Rosas

Montana Rosas as seen from our bungalow. Posted by Picasa
Gorse Fox started the day as a hunter gatherer, as he he usually does on these trips. Hunting round the local shop, he gathered the comestibles that would contribute to a hearty breakfast.

Our first trip in the hired car (Ford Fiesta) proved it to be too uncomfortable for the Silver Vixen, so on return from the Supermercadona we had a word with Patricia and swapped to a brand new Mitsubishi. With shopping unloaded we got back to the serious business of the vacation and spent a quiet afternoon in the garden, soaking up the rays, and rattling though our books.

The evening saw attendance at the traditional BBQ that has been held at El Inti since the beginiing of time. Hugo made evryone welcome and we were able to watch the football whilest tucking in to Canarian potatoes, salda, paella, steak, pork chops, sausages, and so forth.

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Friday, March 24, 2006

Blue Peru

The Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen met Hugo at dinner. He gave them the sad news that Fernando had lost his fight with cancer a few months ago. A sad way to start a vacation, but all the sadder for the loss of such a wonderful friend, and such a lovely man.

It is rare in ife that you meet a person of such open spirit, kind heart, and welcoming manner. He touched people's lives... and was like a kid brother - full of enthusiasm, full of ideas, full of determination. He's gone. He will be sorely missed.

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San Andres

It is nice to be back. Blue skies, white walls, and bourgainvilia. Posted by Picasa
The Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen, after an early start, found their way to the Airport in time to board a plane that was coincidentally going to where they wished to travel. By early afternoon they were meeting up with their friend Patricia outside Tenerife's reina Sofia airport and were soon checking in to their home from home.

Aspects of Tenerife are so familiar that a vacation here is immenely relaxing. No pressure to do things, or visit things,,, thay have all been done or visited before.

Once into the familar domicile, and cases unpacked a quite time was spent in the garden making the most of the warm afternoon sun and absorbing futher pags of the current books.

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Blogging Forecast: Intermittent activity expected for a couple of weeks.

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Another beautiful bright sunny day in Sussex. Cold, crisp and bright - the sort of day that makes you heart soar.

Gorse Fox has been pondering, overnight, whether to just give the Robber baron Gordon Brown The Man that Stole your Old Age all of GF's income and request a small allowance on which to scrape by. This pernicious man has eroded our present and continues to destroy our future. GF is so glad he is not a pensioner who had fought for our freedoms during WW2 - he would feel so betrayed and depressed that the once fine edifice of British Parliament now thinks so little of the dedication and sacrifice of a generation that it continues to drive them to penury.

But wait, GF forgot, these pensioners will entitled to cheap bus travel... that's all right then! (Note to self: try and locate a bus)

GF wouldn't feel so irritated if he believed the ruling underclass actually had any respect for its employers (us). They seem to think we are a bunch of ignorant cretins who won't understand that they are being short-changed at the same time that the ruling underclass are feathering their nests.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The run-up to a vacation tends to be be frantic. This week's enforced lay-over in Sussex has meant the GF has managed to catch up on most of the administrative and technical chores that normally induce pre-vacation stress. Though busy, he is within the "zone of control" - this could be a first!

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A Spark of Humour

Old father taime has sent the Gorse Fox another proiceless email. As usual GF knows not the original author, but is grateful for this almost Darwinian report - and will offer his deepest sympathy when he stops laughing:
Last weekend I saw something at Larry's Pistol & Pawn Shop that sparked my interest. The occasion was our 22nd anniversary and I was looking for a little something extra for my wife Toni. What I came across was a 100,000-volt, pocket/purse-sized taser. The effects of the taser were suppose to be short lived, with no long-term adverse affect on your assailant, allowing her adequate time to retreat to safety...WAY TOO COOL!

Long story short, I bought the device and brought it home. I loaded two triple-a batteries in the darn thing and pushed the button.

Nothing! I was disappointed. I learned, however, that if I pushed the button AND pressed it against a metal surface at the same time; I'd get the blue arc of electricity darting back and forth between the prongs.


Unfortunately, I have yet to explain to Toni what that burn spot is on the face of her microwave.
Okay, so I was home alone with this new toy, thinking to myself that it couldn't be all that bad with only two triple-a batteries,. right?!!!

There I sat in my recliner, my cat Gracie looking on intently (trusting little soul) while I was reading the directions and thinking that I really needed to try this thing out on a flesh & blood moving target. I must admit I thought about zapping Gracie (for a fraction of a second) and thought better of it. She is such a sweet cat. But, if I was going to give this thing to my wife to protect herself against a mugger, I did want some assurance that it would work as advertised. Am I wrong?

So, there I sat in a pair of shorts and a tank top with my reading glasses perched delicately on the bridge of my nose, directions in one hand, taser in another. The directions said that a one-second burst would shock and disorient your assailant; a two-second burst was supposed to cause muscle spasms and a major loss of bodily control; a three-second burst would purportedly make your assailant flop on the ground like a fish out of water. Any burst longer than three seconds would be wasting the batteries.

All the while I'm looking at this little device measuring about 5" long, less than 3/4 inch in circumference; (pretty cute really and loaded with two itsy, bitsy triple-a batteries) thinking to myself, "no possible way!"

What happened next is almost beyond description, but I'll do my best..... I'm sitting there alone, Gracie looking on with her head cocked to one side as to say, "don't do it master," reasoning that a one-second burst from such a tiny little ole thing couldn't hurt all that bad.. I decided to give myself a one-second burst just for the heck of it. I touched the prongs to my naked thigh, pushed the button, and HOLY MOTHER, WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION @!@$$!

I'm pretty sure Jessie Ventura ran in through the side door, picked me up in the recliner, then body slammed us both on the carpet, over and over and over again. I vaguely recall waking up on my side in the fetal position, with tears in my eyes, body soaking wet, both nipples on fire, testicles nowhere to be found, with my left arm tucked under my body in the oddest position, and tingling in my legs. The cat was standing over me making meowing sounds I had never heard before, licking my face, undoubtedly thinking to herself, "do it again, do it again!"

Note: If you ever feel compelled to "mug" yourself with a taser, one note of caution: there is no such thing as a one-second burst when you zap yourself. You will not let go of that thing until it is dislodged from your hand by a violent thrashing about on the floor. A three second burst would be considered conservative.

SON-OF-A-.. that hurt like hell!!! A minute or so later (I can't be sure, as time was a relative thing at that point), I collected my wits (what little I had left), sat up and surveyed the landscape. My bent reading glasses were on the mantel of the fire-place. How did they up get here??? My triceps, right thigh and both nipples were still twitching. My face felt like it had been shot up with Novocain, and my bottom lip weighed 88 lbs. I'm still looking for my testicles? I'm offering a significant reward for their safe return.

Still in shock,


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Monday, March 20, 2006

GF tried to drive the car... he has to get to Staines tomorrow. Not easy, and not comfortable. Just have to hope that the drugs kick-in overnight.

He has decided that there is no Worcester trip this week... which is a shame as he has a new team starting, and wished to greet them and brief them. He will have to leave this his trusted colleagues instead.

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Very impressed with new Troll-fighter. He phoned the GF today and volunteered to stand-in for him in a number of battles... did so... and emerged successful. The Gorse Fox is pleased that his new ally will work out well.

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At the Silver Vixen's behest, the new prionter has been put through its paces today. GF is impressed. Very good quality photo-prints, very silent, good scanning software, good envelope handling. This is leaps and bounds better than its predecessor.

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Gorse Fox's friend Mr Amazon has come up trumps and delivered the new printer just after breakfast. It didn't take long to set up the Canon, and it seems to be robust. It also has a far more sensibe paper path than the HP junk.

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Diagnosis is that GF has a trapped nerve in his hip. This has left right leg fine on the flat but useless on stairs or sliding in and outr of cars, or sitting.

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Clarkson is on form today in the Times Online:
Yet that’s what the modern day Trots and Bolsheviks want. For you to replace your BMW with a cow. Even though a cow produces more global warming gases than a BMW. And also doesn’t have electric windows.

he goes on
The government, however, is even more idiotic. It wants us to buy the car, pay the Vat, and the tax, and the tax on the Vat, and the tax on the Vat on the fuel in the tank. And then it wants us to leave it at home and go to work on the bus. We are being governed by window-lickers

and he finishes with the flourish:
Because unlike the eco-mentalists, I’m not sure what the planet will do next. I do know, however, that there is nothing more dangerous than the illusion of knowledge.

Having just read Michael Crichton's "State of Fear", the Gorse Fox is with JC on this one.

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The Gorse Fox's normally robust constitution seems to be giving a little trouble. A minor discomfort of yesterday has escalated to the point that GF has spent much of the night trying to get comfortable, and time on the phone with NHS Direct this morning. He now awaits their return call.

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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Delving through the attic for a bag in which to pack the odd sliver of clothing for a future vacation, Gorse Fox realised that the old soft bag that he has been using is practically falling apart - zips parting from the fabric, fabric frayed, supporting rods broken.

GF feels a shopping expedition approaching. However, Urban-cub is getting her car today and will no doubt bring it round to show the Silver Vixen... this will delay things.

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Seeing the press articles this week regarding Google buying Writely, the Gorse Fox remembered that he had tried this out several months ago. Logging back on to his account he notoiced a number of features that he did not remember from last time, including the ability to post to his blog.

This is an example post from Writely to his blog. Though he has not made use of the many word processing features at his disposal, he muses that this would be a great wysiwyg editor for future releases of blogger, gmail etc.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Dead hen bird flu tests negative

Wednesday's flurry of late afternnon excitement looks to have proved un-remarkable (as expected). The BBC reports Dead hen bird flu tests negative. It surely will happen, but this wasn't it.

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The Gorse Fox has just had to order another multi-function printer.

The HP All-in-One 6210 has turned out to be a huge pile of pooh. Print quality is at best average, ink-cartridge life is short (and replacements expensive), paper jams are frequent, it is limited to fairly normal paper (no card or thick photo-glossy), there are problems with the carriage... and in general it has lived down to every expectation the GF has of HP. He really should have known better after the half-life afforded by its predecessor.

GF has opted (this time) for a Canon. It seems to have some super write-ups, and if it is anything like the quality of his cameras, then it will be just fine.

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Littlejohn, in today's Daily mail dubs the Robber Baron Gordon Brown "the man that stole our old age" and feathered his own fat index-linked pension (and those of his cronies) from our taxes.

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Catch 22

The Gorse Fox was reading a Government Department's bulletin last night. The following caught his eye:
The policy regarding the provision of home broadband has now been agreed and remains as stated in the previous issue of this Bulletin. There are a number of principles that were considered as part of agreeing this policy. They were that:
  1. The Department does not currently require any member of staff to work from home or not to have a base office. Home working is encouraged and will be enabled, where appropriate;
  2. There isn't an unlimited budget forfunding broadband, so broadband must be provided in the most cost-effective way;
  3. The provision of broadband is a taxable benefit if the individual gains personally from it. The way in which The Department provides broadband will take this into account;

All well and good sof far... it then goes on
The policy states that The Department will only fund an individuals home broadband service if the following applies:
  • the individual is required to work from home and has no office base;

Err... Gorse Fox believes point 1 in the first list, precludes the condition in the second.

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Frantic end to the working day yesterday, but managed to get away at a sensible time despite the excitement. More on this at a later date.

Dinner in Bromsgrove with Esteemed Client at a fine Thai restaurant. The food was excellent, and the estanblishement certainly worthy of further visits if the Gorse Fox stays in the area again.

Returning to the hotel he climbed into the manic depressive lift to return to his room. He is staying in a purpose built, modern hotel by the motorway. Rooms are pleasant enough, though sound echoes through the corridors. The talking point, however, is the manic depressive lift. Pressing the button the elevator arrives at a leisurely pace, opens its doors and moans "Ground Floor", then it sulks for a bit before telling you it will close the doors. On arrival at you destination floor, in the voice of a suicidal teenager it announce "First Floor" opens its door with a shuddering sigh and you exit the lift. It briefly pulls its doors together and slopes off leaving you wondering whether it will still be there in the morning, or whether it will have slit its cables overnight.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Looks like the Gorse Fox now has a new ally in his ongoing war with the vacuous and malicious trolls. New ally started for real today, and is already spoiling for battle.

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Gorse Fox and the Mighty Atom were both staying at Droitwich, so went in tandem to "The Dilshad" a local seller of Indian-styled meals. It was a good meal, and very good value for money.

Back in his room GF had an early night, but it was continually disturbed by a large contingent of Irish visitors who seemed to spent most of the night knocking on each others doors and discussing their winnngs and losses at the Cheltenham festival.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Tuesday finds the Gorse Fox in Worcester. Several meetings throughout the day, but a really positive day as some of GF's colleagues are now taking over aspects the plan.

The Cheltenham Festival is on this week. This means that all the hotels in the area are pretty full, and have bumped up their prices. As a result GF is staying in Droitwich overnight.

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Monday, March 13, 2006

Which way?

Some things catch the Gorse Fox's eye. Some things make him go "Hmmmm". Some things amuse him. Some things perplex him.

This bus in Cape Town did all of those things. Posted by Picasa

Tea bag solicitation

Gorse Fox was talking to a colleague who had also been in Cape Town:

"What did you do after the dinner?" GF asked solicitously.

"I headed back on the coach," he related. "On getting back to the hotel this gorgeous girl seemed to latch onto me. She probably thought I was one of the cyclists[*] She was hanging off me wherever I went and kept saying she wanted a cup of tea. Eventually, I headed for my room. she even followed me there. I opened the door and closed it firmly, leaving her on the outside, then grabbing a tea bag I took it back and handed it to her and she went away."

That's the trouble with these tea-heads.

[*] There was a major cycle race in Cape Town on Sunday.

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Gorse Fox is back in Sussex after yesterday's long flight. He's busy catching up on emails, listening in on conference calls, and doing a little light retro-blogging.

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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Light blogging forecast for today. GF is just leaving for the Airport and is unlikely to get many further opportunities.

For a preview of what might get retro-blogged, see the GF's Cape Town set on Flickr.

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Saturday, March 11, 2006

It's too late to blog now. GF has to get up in four and a half hours to get the flight home. He will retro-blog the sights and sounds of the evening when he gets a chance.

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The evening finished off with dancing in the light rain of the Cape Town night. This was an opportunity for various Starship Troopers to strut their stuff an dance the night away.

A scurrilous rumour spread that the Gorse Fox was seen to be cutting a swathe across the dance pit. His legendary terpsichordian prowess is carefully guarded at all times... so he could not possibly confirm this assertion.

Because of his advancing years and overwhelming good sense regarding the 04:30 start on the following morning, GF decided to excuse himself from the festivities and head for his hotel. Posted by Picasa