Monday, December 31, 2007

Drip, drip

It had been a lovely day and everybody seemed to enjoy themselves. The clearing away was complete, Urban-cub had gone to bed, and we were shutting down for the night. Then GF heard those dreaded words...
"There's something dripping"
Sure enough the Silver Vixen had discovered that the water inlet on the downstairs loo had decided to spring a leak.
Drip, drip, drip.
We rootled around and found a container to catch the drips and headed off to bed. At half past midnight the Silver Vixen stirred - all she could hear was the dripping. Gorse Fox and she looked for a bucket or larger receptacle - but nothing could be found that fitted in the gap. I desperation GF switched off the mains water. The dripping stopped - bed beckoned again.


Up early this morning GF has been trying to fix the leak. So far his every effort has resulted in making it worse. The ironic thing is that yesterday his brother-in-law was here and he's a plumber. If it had only started a few hours earlier!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Be Prepared

Vast hordes of the family are descending on our little hide-away this very day. Yesterday was spent preparing - now we sit an wait. (GF get thinks he understands how the troops at Rourke's Drift must have felt just before it all kicked-off).

"It's the drums I can't stand, the drums."

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Deceptive

The Gorse Fox has finished reading the Council papers and must deliver them to the next Councillor.

It's deceptive.

You look outside the window and the sky is blue, and the sun is shining. A few stubborn puddles linger from last night's rain, but it's essentially dry. A light jacket should be adequate.

Kingston Gorse looks quiet - but then that's what we expect.

That's when the wind caught him. The light jacket was not such a bright idea. He dropped off the papers to a neighbouring Councillor and carried on round to the beach. Very few people were out. The tide was nearly full, and the south-westerly was driving the waves furiously (well, furiously for Sussex*) against the beach. Spume was drifting onto the greensward and the low sun allowed its light to be split into coruscating light shows by the prismatic water droplets that hung in the sky. GF decided he wasn't adequately dressed to enjoy a prolonged stroll, so ducked down one of the twittens that led back onto the Gorse.

*Note: Sussex is a very genteel county. The Sussex idea of fury is writing a stern letter to the Telegraph. A violent fury might actually involve slapping your own thigh whilst posting a stern letter to the Telegraph.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 28, 2007

Only testing

Gorse Fox should have known better.

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

After seeing James's character Elrond, GF thought he'd take the test. Apparantly this shows GF to be:

A venerated sage with vast power and knowledge, you gently guide forces around you while serving as a champion of the light.

Judge me by my size, do you? And well you should not - for my ally is the Force. And a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us, and binds us. Luminescent beings are we, not this crude matter! You must feel the Force around you, everywhere.

Yoda is a is a character in the Star Wars universe. More Yoda information is available at the Star Wars Databank.

One reflection - he can live with that.

MnX

Simple pleasure... lunchtime approached.

Bake some baguettes, slice longways - and butter while still warm.

Finely dice some ham and leftover turkey
Chop some spring onions
Sweat down in a little olive oil
Add four eggs beaten in a little milk with freshly ground pepper.
Fry gently, and finish under the grill

Slice the omelette onto the baguettes.

Devour

Oh yes. Simple pleasure.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Ruling class

As the ruling classes continue to protect their positions (snouts firmly in the trough) in our major democracies - ignoring the wishes of the patient majority, exploiting the hard-working, and law-abiding citizens the Gorse Fox fears that only the extremist will have a voice in the future. He believes that this cynical political class sub-culture across Europe, the UK, the US are creating the medium in which the virus of extremism starts to flourish. Their response is to restrict the freedoms of society in general, without recognising the true enemy.

Bhutto

The Gorse Fox has noticed a great deal of rhetoric, political opportunism and point scoring emerging in the wake of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

Whatever the facts of the case, may God have mercy on her soul.

Sssh

It's been a quiet day. GF thought he was having hearing difficulties - then realised that it was just that Urban-cub was back at her apartment.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Sucks - not

In, what is becoming a seasonal tradition, another major gadget has succumbed to bad behaviour and rendered itself unusable. Last year it was the TV - and that meant purchasing a replacement.

This year it seems that our vacuum cleaner has developed terminal asthma and whilst sucking hard is finding it harder and harder to breathe. It appears that our dying Dyson has found a way of spinning its motor even more loudly than usual and wafts the unmistakable smell of burning about the house.

Gorse Fox fears a trip to the Sales is on the cards (at least on-line if not physically).

Milestone

Today saw a significant milestone in Urban-cubs recovery - she actually started driving again. This is great news all round (more mobility for U-c, less running around for Silver Vixen).

Australia's controversial national ID program hits the dumpster

The Gorse fox notices that Australia's controversial national ID program hits the dumpster
as reported by "ars technica". It just goes to show the benefits of having a new government. (Though GF understands there may be a separate proposal in the offing).

Maybe Australians are not keen on carrying a card just to prove their right to exist to jumped up little jobsworths at every interaction with the State.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

At table

Cousteau-cub was with us in spirit at the Christmas table. A place was set, a beer made available, and her photo and some Thai silk adorned the chair.

A toast seemed in order..

Urban-cub and Sir Lancinglot resorted to horseplay - knowing Cousteau-cub could not respond!
Posted by Picasa

Though far away

Even though Cousteau-cub was far away (and probably underwater) she was in our thoughts throughout the day... hanging around on the Christmas tree.

We did manage to speak to her in Thailand several times during the day (thanks to the marbvels of cell-phone telephony and voice over IP).
Posted by Picasa

Merry Christmas - verse

The Gorse Fox had a somewhat disturbed night and his brain started to process:

Santa was a devil
He woke me with his sleigh
Wide awake at 3 a.m.
Is too early in the day

I couldn't drift back off to sleep
I tossed and turned and rolled
but wrapped up in a duckdown quilt
at least I wasn't cold

I went downstairs and drank some tea
and settled in a chair
and several hours later
dropped off to sleep right there

Have a Happy and Holy Christmas

Monday, December 24, 2007

Ssshhh

The Gorse Fox is still working today. It has been wonderful. Logged on and head-down in documents and spreadsheets for about 6 hours so far and not one single email - and the only phone call was wrong number.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Giblets

The Gorse Fox mentioned the trip to Sainsbury's as a joyous occasion on Friday evening. Apparently the local Tesco was heaving at 05:30 in the morning and again at 22:30 at night. GF & the Silver Vixen were lucky, Sainsbury's was very quiet.

This reminded the Gorse Fox of an email received recently from Old Father Time which included:
A lady was picking through the frozen turkeys at a branch of Sainsbury's store but she couldn't find one big enough for her family.
She asked a passing assistant, "Do these turkeys get any bigger?"
The assistant replied, "I'm afraid not, they're dead."
And remember "A puppy is for life, a turkey is for Christmas"

Exchange

Last month the Gorse Fox was talking to Angus. Angus is like a cross between a championship sheep-shearer and Edward Scissorhands. You sit down in the chair - a hum of electonic shears starts, then there's a flashing of steel as scissors orbit your head and then it's done. Five minutes, max.

Angus was extolling the pleasures of Champagne - the Gorse Fox explained that he and the Silver Vixen were underwhelmed and that whilst he is frequently gifted bottles as awards and "thankyous"... they tend to sit in the corner unopened.

"Do you drink Scotch?" he asked.

The Gorse Fox explained that for purely medicinal purposes the water of life had been known to pass his lips. Angus explained that customers often bring him whiskey at Christmas - and he doesn't drink it. "How about a swap?" he asked.

And so yesterday the Gorse Fox went, clutching a bottle of Piper-Heidseck to get his hair cut - and returned with short hair and a couple of bottles of scotch.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Great quote

From Investor's Business Daily:
...a study in the Royal Meteorological Society's International Journal of Climatology looked at 22 computer models used by the IPCC. Most of the models couldn't even predict the past.
The article also points out:
Heartland Institute senior fellow James Taylor has noted that more than 600 scientists at the Bali gathering could have debunked Gore's warming theories, but the U.N. "censored" them.
If only the UK media would start to pick up on this and begin to provide some balance to the coverage.

Sunset

The day started well as blogged earlier.

It seems that dusk was not going to be beaten easily, however.

The Gorse Fox headed down to the beach as the sun dipped below the horizon and splashed vermillion across the indigo and powder blue wash that remained of the sky. The sea glowed in response and rock-pools punctuated the foreground with shards of colour.
Posted by Picasa

Trollcast

The Gorse Fox was reviewing available podcasts on iTunes. He was amused to find a series on Project Management by Scopecreep Project Management Consultants. So far, there's about 100 podcasts in the series... which probably says all you need to know.

Brand New Day

There is a stunning golden glow to the dawn. The Gorse Fox was up and about in readiness for a trip to see Betty and Barney Rubble - but as his car can barely be seen under the layer of road dirt acquired this week, he thought he should get up early to clean it.

Standing by the back door, tea in hand he watched in wonder as the initial filaments of gold that quilted the clouds began to grow in intensity and as the clouds themselves became suffused with colour.

Then, in an instant the huge globe of the sun became visible and in the following moments the colours peaked then quickly faded.

The phone rang, shaking GF from his reverie. It was Betty... Barney Rubble isn't well. Today's trip is off.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Shops

Last night the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen had a rather disappointing trip to M&S for Christmas victuals. There were some nice items, but most of the things on our list were not available. The upshot of this is that we now need to spend some quality time in Sainsbury's on Friday evening.

Joy to World.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Amazon - new services

The Gorse Fox just checked Amazon to ascertain the status of several Christmas gifts that have not as yet arrived. In doing so, he noticed a couple of new tabs showing new services.

Shoes - he can understand (just), but Babies?

He can only assume this is part of Amazon's "Madonna portal".
Posted by Picasa

Run silent, run deep

Gorse Fox had a great run back to Sussex last night. Leaving Worcester later than planned he found the roads to be very quiet and so was able to keep a steady pace of rapid transit across the country.

The journey overlapped the dead hour on radio. This is the time from 7pm when they only play folk or country & western music. This is just wrong. Both are considered as abominations - and the Gorse Fox believes they are condemned in the Book of Mormon and several of the more enlightened apocrypha (like the Southsea Scrolls, which were found buried in the silt near Portsmouth); some native American tribes even believe they pressage the end of world as we know it and the return of their ancestors to walk the earth.

Gorse Fox used this time to catch up on various (old) podcasts - The New Scientist, Sceptoid.com, the Naked Scientist, etc. It certainly made the journey pass quickly and GF found himself parking up at home in no time.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Taking the p***

The gadget that most colleagues seem to want this Christmas is a Wii. This proved to be the subject of much discussion and debate.
How realistic is the action?

What games are available?

Could we have wii competitions in the office at lunchtime?

Could we have a New year's Wii party? We could invite friends and tell them to bring their own Wii.
And then "She who must be obeyed" came up with the line: "I'd swap my wii for a Nintendo DS".

The Gorse Fox thought about this. It didn't sound like a good deal. Indeed the choice of name does not lend itself to sensible polite conversation.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Woman gropes mall Santa - Boing Boing

Maybe the Gorse Fox got off lightly compared to some Santas. As reported in Boing Boing - Woman gropes mall Santa - Boing Boing

Evidence

Well it seems that there's more evidence of Santa's visit. GF suspects that he may be haunted by these images over the next few weeks. (He trusts that there are no children blog readers as this could well traumatize them).
Posted by Picasa

Santa duty

The Gorse Fox has completed his tour of duty as Sanata at the office Christmas lunch. Fortunately it went well - though his duties were limited to attendance - no chimneys, no mince pies, not hot-toddy were involved.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 17, 2007

Darwin?

Over dinner we commented on black pears and the fact that Worcester Council cordoned off a pear tree last year in fear of a falling pear hitting a passer-by. This led to the Gorse Fox recalling some of the antics he got up to when a lad... and the fact that Health & Safety nazis and spoil sports would never allow such adventures now.

This evoked the response from a colleague: "I'm not sure I'd trust youth today to have such adventures".

This got the Gorse Fox thinking about Darwin. Is this safety consciousness actually a disservice..? Shouldn't we allow people to remove themselves from the gene pool through stupidity?

Work

The week started with the drive up to Worcester. It was frosty and foggy, but the journey was uneventful. Work was diverse with time spent on a new project, the existing project, and some contract clarification.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Treason and Lies

We were promised a Referendum on the EU Constitution, but this week our treacherous prime Minister and his schoolboy puppet signed us up for the Lisbon Treason Treaty.

The Gorse Fox is NOT anti-EU. He is unsure how he would vote in such a referendum. However, he is disgusted by this (sadly not unexpected) treachery. The excuse from the traitor Brown being "It's substantially different from the Constitution".

Well here's some other views:
Here are some of the main points of the European Union's new Treaty of Lisbon: It incorporates the key reforms in the constitution but it discards the name. (Euronews)

The Reform Treaty draws much of its substance from the European Constitution... (Irish Times)

...critics warn is practically the SAME as the ill-fated EU Constitution, which bit the dust two years ago after the French and Dutch rejected it in referendums. (The Sun)

Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, the architect of the abandoned European Constitution, has admitted that the document has been rewritten by EU leaders in a different order just to avoid the need for referendums.

"Looking at the content," he wrote "the result is that the institutional proposals of the constitutional treaty….are found complete in the Lisbon Treaty, only in a different order and inserted in former treaties.."

He made clear that the purpose of the rewritten Treaty (now called the Lisbon Treaty) was to make people think the new version did not merit being put to the people in referendums.

"Above all, it is to avoid having referendums thanks to the fact that the articles are spread out and constitutional vocabulary has been removed," he added.

(The Telegraph)

Is there a Plan B?

With the fatuous self-congratulatory band of zealots returning from Bali, the Gorse Fox wonders if there's a Plan B?

In a few years time when we have reduced the 7% of annual CO2 emissions caused by man by 25-30%, driven some folk back to the stone-age, destroyed the economy and food production, and Climate Change is still happening - what will be rolled out as Plan B?

The problem is allowing politicians and the media to get involved. They have so little comprehension that they are easy to manipulate by pressure groups. (The image of using politicians and mediacrats as a replacement for fossil fuel swims alluringly into view).

BBC - More Deception

The Gorse Fox is amazed that there was nothing in the paper regarding either: a) the deterioration in transport links; or b) the BBC deception.

Perhaps he should explain.

In last night's episode of Robin Hood we had the eponymous hero and his band set out on foot to get from Sherwood Forest to Kirklees in two days, and then having left Kirklees had to take Queen Eleanor of Acquitaine to Hull to catch a boat the following morning.

Being generous regarding the dimensions and location of Sherwood Forest, the first journey is a mere 60 miles... but from Kirklees to Hull is about 75 miles.

Travelling such distances in the time alotted (on foot) is clearly a deception by the BBC or a serious indictment of our existing transport system.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

OO yes

The problem with the mail merge in Open Office is now solved... and the best bet was not to use that feature as such, but to develop the form "by hand".

Friday, December 14, 2007

OO

Gorse Fox has frequently extolled the virtues of Open Office - but has again found that its mail merge is not quite as intuitive as it should be.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Worse for Wear

Overheard:
"I once got a taxi home to Hamilton... forgetting that I'd moved to London four years earlier."
Gorse Fox concludes he is but an amateur compared to some!

Tut-tut

There appear to be a few people with sore heads today. Some, it appears, were still at it at 01:30, some of the more robust were still at it at 02:30, at 03:30 several survivors were looking for a club that was still open. Some don't seem to remember anything.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas do (Mark 1)

Well the Gorse Fox has left them to it. It looked as if they were settling in for a long session, so GF bade adieu and sneaked off.

It had been a nice evening with small cells forming raiding parties at various pubs around the town. By seven, the raiding parties were drifting out of the pubs with and air of nonchalonce as they started to home in on Monsoon. We settled in, as if for a siege. With purpose we started to empty their barrels of Cobra and Carlsberg before moving to the tables and hitting the buffet, It was an excellent repast - with nobody having any excuse to go hungry or thirsty.

The Gorse Fox was set upon half way through dinner. A red bobble-hat was thrust upon him and he was asked if he would dress up as Santa for the Christmas Lunch next Tuesday. Deciding there was no way out, he acquiesced. One was asked if that meant he got to sit on the Gorse Fox's knee - but was crestfallen when the GF replied that only good boys (and bad girls) got that honour. The Gorse Fox is a little worried that he has been well and truly stitched-up (as opposed to quilted).

Back in his room he is conscious that Marks & Spencer are holding their Christmas do and disco beneath his window. So far it is not too loud... but he suspect sleep may be sporadic!

PS - Very few photos were taken (thank goodness)

Groundhog day

GF seems to have found himself stuck in a sort of Groundhog Day. He seems to immersed, once more, in the development of spreadsheets to model an emerging project about which little is known.

The office is busy - everyone has made sure they are around and about to ensure their attendance at tonight's Christmas Party. Once more we are going for traditional food - and having the party at the Indian Restaurant. Should be interesting.

Groundhog day

GF seems to have found himself stuck in a sort of Groundhog Day. He seems to immersed, once more, in the development of spreadsheets to model an emerging project about which little is known.

The office is busy - everyone has made sure they are around and about to ensure their attendance at tonight's Christmas Party. Once more we are going for traditional food - and having the party at the Indian Restaurant. Should be interesting.
A frantically busy day yesterday drew to a close with a quiet drink with Mother Superior and the Abbott, followed by a tip to Pizza Express for a bite to eat with sundry colleagues.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Triumph

Well all the reports say what a triumph last night's Led Zeppelin concert was. Gorse Fox is gutted that he wasn't there.

Talking of triumph... this morning's sunrise was one of the most colourful and glorious that GF has seen in many a month. he even noticed a Highways Agency patrol stop to take a photo of the sky reflecting in the flooded fields near Breedon.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Evidence

The Gorse Fox told you that a storm was rattling across the coast yesterday. He points you at the photographic evidence in this article from the Mail.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Crucible of Insanities

In 1691, a phenomenon sociologists call a "collective delusion" swept the enclave of Salem Village, Mass. As a consequence of social paranoia, hundreds of people were accused of practicing witchcraft, and perhaps two dozen lost their lives. Of course, we enlightened moderns would never succumb to superstition and mass hysteria.
So says this article in the News and Record.
It goes on to say:

Or would we? According to sociologists Robert Bartholomew and Erich Goode, collective delusions have taken place with surprising frequency, and the phenomenon's long and shameful history includes several episodes from the recent past. A relic of the Dark Ages it is not. In fact, global warming could be described as a collective delusion, a modern equivalent to the Salem witch hunt.

Simple but well written comparison with the Witch Hunts...

On the shelf

Almost done.

A final coat of paint is required to finish this off, but the Gorse Fox has just about finished the unit. You may wonder why so few shelves? and why so tall?

The answer is that it is designed to take bolts of fabric which, standing on end, are about 600mm, and by the time you have 3 shelves... you are already getting pretty tall. Add the plinth and the crown mould, et voila.
Posted by Picasa

Pigments

Another storm is rattling across the south coast. The neighbours tree is almost bent double. The house vibrates as the big gusts hit. A day to spend indoors, thinks the Gorse Fox.

Final touches on the shelving unit today.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Mirror Of The Sacred Scriptures & Paintings - Hidden Images, mirror, art, da vinci, history, bible

Following an article in the Telegraph, the Gorse Fox was directed to this site: The Mirror Of The Sacred Scriptures & Paintings - Hidden Images, mirror, art, da vinci, history, bible.

GF clicked the various buttons and was mesmerised by the images that appeared. He makes no comment on the content of the images, but does recommend you take a look at what may well be a new dimension of da Vinci's genius.

Plans

Gorse Fox hopes to spend much of today turning perfectly good wood into smaller pieces of wood that will finish off the shelving unit in the Silver Vixen's sewing room. That is the prime objective.

The weather is foul, so there will be no temptation to hit the hills, and and Silver Vixen is meeting up with a friend who has a stall at a Christmas Craft Market to give her some moral support (and help if necessary).

Friday, December 07, 2007

Got it

GF has spent most of the afternoon and evening trying to resolve a minor error in a spreadsheet. GF has finally got it. He'd deleted three cells by accident.

He can now relax.

Drips

There is a school of thought that water vapour is a far greater contributor to Global Warming than CO2. The Gorse Fox suggests that this is likely. So given that there is so much research my motor manufacturers into fuel cell technology - where the only emissions are water - are we any better off?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Two years

Yesterday the team gathered at The Swan with Two Necks - an ancient pub in Worcester - celebrate the fact that the Mighty Atom had been on the team now two years (second longest "inmate" after the Gorse Fox). After ensuring our stomachs were lined with fine ale we retired to Cafe Mela to enjoy a superb Indian feast.

As usual confirmation was varied:
  • Cars
  • Work
  • Weddings
  • Christmas
  • Dubai (from whence The Abbott had just returned)
  • Sun
  • Sea
  • Shopping
  • Debauchery and
  • Camels

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Trying

It was a good, but somewhat trying day yesterday. The modelling spreadsheet GF had been working on was presented to the multitude... and the seemed generally to go down well - though one person seemed to be arguing to make it less accurate by using irrelevant data as the base. GF remained silent - he finds it is the best way!

In the end, having delved into the details, it seemed to gain general agreement. There's still some work to do, but that shouldn't take too long.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Seconds

Note to self: when you peer at your watch in the middle of the night, do not mistake the second hand for the minute hand. Such confusion can cause the Gorse Fox to leap from bed at 04:20 instead of 04:50.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Frustration

Having almost completed the shelving unit yesterday, it is immensely frustrating to have to leave it and get back to real work today. There's only a few tasks left:
  • Face the shelves,
  • Install the crown moulding
  • Install a plinth moulding

Spreadeagled under spreadsheets

The Gorse Fox seems to be spreadeagled under spreadsheets at present. Having spent several days buried in the pseudo-science of predicting the future (which is probably based on more fact that current Global Warming science), GF has now prepared some slides for tomorrow. It looks as if it is going to be wall-to-wall meetings almost from arrival.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Interposer

So the Gorse Fox continued to work on the shelving unit. He discovered several things whilst assembling the unit.
  1. If you use you thumb as an interposer between a heavy shelving unit and a blanket-chest neither gets damaged. The thumb, however, can turn strange colours and provide intense pain stimuli.
  2. When you lift a heavy unit into the upright position be sure to bend your knees and keep your back straight - and pray that your trousers do not split from crotch to belt as they did for the Gorse Fox.
  3. When you are putting your tools away remember the interposer lesson above. Do not use your cat-like reflexes to allow you to use your other (so far undamaged thumb) as an interposer between gravity and jigsaw with its blade still attached. Doing so can cause the covering (skin) to be ripped and internal fluids (blood) to spray out.
It was time to give up. We would have a stir-fry for supper. The Gorse Fox's thumb had stopped squirting. he was back in control. Put Wok on stove. Add oil, bacon and finely sliced chicken. Wait for a bit until everything is seared. Add sliced carrots, a chilli, and sliced mushrooms. Once seared, add the peppers. Stir quickly. Turn round and try not to use the edge of the Wok as a fulcrum for the spatula. Doing so causes half of the contents of the wok to catapult across the kitchen.

Maybe today the Gorse Fox's biorythms were not at their peak.

Many Coats, Single Colour

Joseph would have been appalled. The clear light of a very stormy day revealed that the existing coast of paint were not adequate to provide the cover that we needed. GF has, therefore, spent several hours putting another coat of paint on the components of the storage unit he is building.

The Silver Vixen is busy in her sewing room, the final coat of paint should be about dry. GF is about to start assembly.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Picking paint

The Gorse Fox is picking paint off his hands. He has finished painting the wood ready to assemble the carcass of the shelving unit he's building. A couple more hours and it should be dry.

The weather started brilliantly this morning, GF made the most of it and popped to the shops for a new jigsaw. Now the forecast storms are beginning to sweep in. Threatening clouds are scudding ominously across the sky. Torrents of rain briefly jet-wash the neighbourhood and disperse. The sun fights bravely what will surely be a losing battle against the prevailing weather.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Re-boot

It's interesting that VW ran diagnostics against the Gorse Fox's car to try and understand why he was getting strange fuel readings. (A situation that seems to have stopped since he re-fuelled, of course). After the diagnostics reported that no fault was found, they resorted to the second(*) most obvious solution - the re-initialised the system.

(*) The most obvious solution would be to fix a new sensor/sender unit

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Chickens and Eggs

The day has been spent up to one's proverbial armpits in spreadsheets, indirect functions, graphs, and pseudo-science. The Gorse Fox is trying to estimate the future costs of what we refer to as Known Unknowns. It's one of those chicken-egg situations... we can't estimate because we haven't got the details of what's wanted - the client wants the estimates before committing to go forward and help develop the details that are wanted. Hence the pseudo science... these are things that are the variables, this is the degree of confidence we have in their impact, this may be the cost based on what we know so far, and here is a list of assumptions.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Watch the dial

The Gorse Fox has discovered an interesting feature of his new car. It would appear to create fuel. He left Sussex with half a tank of diesel on Monday (35L). When he arrived in Tewkesbury he had three-quarters (52L) of a tank (yet had not stopped to re-fuel). VW have obviously solved the problem of fuel consumption once and for all.

Being conservative, GF topped up the tank with two-thirds (46L) of a tank full before driving home.

Or it may be a bug in the sensor!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Office

Back in the Worcester office GF has been trying to catch up with comings and goings between meetings and a his work backlog.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Dahl again

The Gorse Fox met up with the Mighty Atom and The Don at a favoured restaurant in Tewkesbury for some fine Bengali-style food and a chat about what has and hasn't been going on in the past few weeks... this covered:
  • CDs going missing from HMRC
  • The lack of honour that means the Minister didn't resign (or lock himself away with a bottle of scotch and revolver)
  • The English National Football team
  • The Scottish National Footbal team
  • Some quiet sobbing over the beer
  • Comings and goings at the office

Indecision

The Gorse Fox resolved his geographical indecision with a compromise - starting the day at home wading through emails and expenses, then whizzing across the country to finish the day in Tewkesbury working in his hotel room on various tasks that have have found the way onto his stack during his vacation.

This has the distinct advantage that he doesn't have a 5am start on Tuesday to get up here... given that he has to drive back on Tuesday night to be ready for a meeting in London on Wednesday

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Winding Up

The Gorse Fox returns to the fray tomorrow. Mentally he is already winding up, physically he's been trying to distract himself with some painting. He wonders what will greet him on Monday morning... and cannot yet decide where he will be - working from home, or up in Worcester. Either way, he suspects it will be a long day.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Architraves

A brief trip to B&Q saw the Gorse Fox selecting a suitable moulding to use as a crown moulding for the storage unit under construction. A rather elegant architrave filled the bill. (Still some mouldings to find for the plinth - but that needs a little more thought).

That done, we moved on to the paint. We had the colours and the range - the Silver Vixen had used them before. We then found that the range is no longer stocked so had to start seeking a suitable substitutes. Fortunately, they have a mix and match service so we should be able to get the right shade.

In praise of routers

The Gorse Fox had a most satisfying day on Friday. Several large pieces of wood were attacked with a router and now have some lovely straight uniformly deep grooves and rebates ready to accommodate shelves and a back panel.

Everything dry-fits perfectly... so now we need to paint the wood before it all gets put together (and GF has to find the right mouldings to finish off the unit in the way preferred by the Silver Vixen).

Friday, November 23, 2007

In Print

The Gorse Fox was astounded yesterday to find that he was quoted in print.

He wrote a little ditty a year or so back, and the Silver Vixen put it in the Newsletter that she published for the Coven. One of the members submitted it to a magazine... and there it was (and it was even attributed)!

There once was a quilter who lived in a mess,
with cottons and wadding all stuck to her chest,
slowly but surely she vanished from sight
as her collection of fabric exceeded her height.

As days turned to weeks and weeks turned to years
her husband decided to conquer his fears
and wading through mountains of silken fat quarters
discovered his wife and two of his daughters.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Statement

The Gorse Fox would like to formally state that he is not putting himself forward as the replacement for Steve McLaren. Based on recent experience he is probably over qualified having watched several football matches.

Reducing Energy Consumption

Gorse Fox does think there is a simple action that will save a considerable amount of energy - repeal this inane nonsense whereby the clocks are changed in October and doom us all to an extra unnecessary hour of artificial light every evening.

The usual arguments against are:
  • Danger to schoolchildren in the mornings and then they role out the apocryphal story of a rise in accidents when they did experiment with the idea.
    This story is completely untrue and has no basis in fact.
  • Something about Scottish Farmers working in the dark.
    This makes no sense whatsoever. There is still the same amount of daylight, whatever the clocks say and for 60M of us to be plunged prematurely into darkness for the sake of a few farmers in the far north is a ridiculous concept and a eco-subsidy that is not justified.
In case you're worried that GF has become an eco-mentalist he would assure you he hasn't - he does, however, recognise unnecessary waste and pollution and thinks that is wrong. It's a matter of stewardship.

Eco-Mental

Being on vacation, the Gorse Fox has had the opportunity to listen to the Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2. This is not to be recommended. From the samples Gorse Fox has heard over the last few days it seems to be a magnet for the terminally stupid and those who have bought into whatever idiocy is currently being peddled by the media. The fact that George Monbiot was interviewed should have been warning enough... but no GF struggled on.

"Hello, xxxx, what is your idea to save the planet?" asked the eponymous host

"Well, Jeremy, I think we should make it illegal for anyone to work more than ten miles from home. This would mean everyone could travel using public transport and would waste fuel in heavy traffic."

The Gorse Fox stopped for a moment. Ensured his ears were functioning correctly, then started to parse all the different levels and nuances of stupidity that were encapsulated in this statement. Now if you are going to advertise this level of mental deficiency, the Gorse Fox advises that you use an assumed name - and guesses that you had help dialling the BBC's phone number (a phone that was probably installed by a person working more than ten miles from home, eating food that was grown more than ten miles away, using cable that was spun more than ten miles away and shielded by plastics that were formed more than ten miles away, arriving in vehicles that were built more than ten miles away).

Rarely has the Gorse Fox's flabber been so gasted. (However, he expects it will soon be Government Policy)

Splinters

The Gorse Fox was informed his wood had arrived at the timber yard. Hot foot he headed for the back streets of Worthing where he spoke to a very nice man who helped him select some extra wood for the back of the proposed cabinet. Then after relieving the Gorse Fox of some monetary instruments helped him load the car.

GF ius very impressed with the quality of this birch-faced ply and has spent the afternoon marking up - ready to start cutting, routing, biscuit-joining and gluing tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wishes

Several years ago this very day, the Silver Vixen was first seen on the face of this planet. The house has been filling up with cards and presents for several days. She has, again, done very well and her family, friends, and colleagues from the coven have all been very kind.

Possibly the most interesting "card" was an email containing photos from Cousteau-cub... one in particular showed her deep under water in full dive gear, holding a sign saying "Happy Birthday", and blowing a bubble-filled kiss.

Flashes

The Gorse fox, as you know, is not enamoured with speed cameras.

Last night there was a case in point - one of the only two local cameras was on his route back home. He was doing 30 in a 30 zone. He had set his speed warning buzzer, and he had set cruise control to exactly 30 (knowing from his Sat Nav that is is about 28mph). He went through the camera zone smug in the knowledge that he was "legal". A car whizzed along in the opposite direction (not covered by a camera) and as he passed the Gorse Fox he got the dreaded double-flash.

Is the Gorse Fox worried? No... if anything comes of it he will demand the photos, safe in the knowledge that he was within the limit.

Is he irritated? Absolutely, because if it comes to it, he will have the hassle of fighting this nonsense. He suspects it was the car travelling in the opposite direction that caused the camera to misfire - as he has seen it fire at oncoming traffic in the past when there was no vehicle within it own marked zone.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sparks

There was one heck of an electrical storm rattling through here yesterday evening. The rain beat so hard against the windows that it drowned out the TV and the lightning illuminated the house through the closed curtains.

Loving storms (when protected in the dry and warm) we opened some curtains to watch the electro-technics. The storm was almost directly overhead. There was a huge flash and we could see the glass of the patio doors flex in the shock wave - that was close. The thunder was deafening. What a storm.

Insensitive

The Gorse Fox does not like to seem insensitive, but notices that a recent visitor to this blog came from a Google search "how to plan a funeral". As this is not a subject GF has covered before he gave it a little thought. He offers the following as a public service:
  1. Select a body (ensure it's dead)
  2. Make a big box (big enough for body)
  3. Put body in box (it's considered bad form to fold the body into the box, see above)
  4. Dig a big hole
  5. Arrange a service for people to pay there last respects (avoid recessional music such as: "Burn, Baby Burn", "Get on Up", "Sympathy for the Devil")
  6. Lower box into hole (horizontally - otherwise hole would need to be a lot deeper)
  7. Fill in hole
  8. Retire to convenient location for canapes and a suitable libation
Hope this helps

Monday, November 19, 2007

Catharsis

The Gorse Fox has had a cathartic experience (that doesn't mean that he's been working on the exhaust system of his car - that would be a catalytic experience). He's spent the afternoon wading through the mountains of paper that accumulate of his desk. His shredder is glowing hot - the recycle bin groaning, but the desk surface is now visible. GF thinks it's time to lie down, he's feeling faint from the shock.

(Some people really know how to make the most of vacation time!)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Flushed with success

There are some things that you never expect to come across. This article in Ananova: Flushed with success tells of a new "chain of 12 restaurants with a toilet theme".

Yes you read that correctly.

It goes on to say "Seats in the Modern Toilet restaurants are toilet-shaped and napkins are dispensed from toilet rolls on tables."

The Gorse Fox will leave you to read the rest.

Football

Gorse Fox cannot let the events of the past couple of days pass without comment. It was a great shame to see the Scots eliminated from the Euro 2008 competition as a result of an astonishing refereeing decision. It reminds GF of the case of a man attacked by a mugger and then getting prosecuted for defending himself and having to pay compensation to the mugger. Anyway, the Italians got through, so we can look forward to their histrionics next summer.

Then there's the England game on Friday. Competent first half aided by the some superb passes from Beckham... but as the second half progressed and substitutions were made the team changed to 4-5-1 and nearly blew-it, again. When (if ever) will McLaren learn that the best form of defense is attack and that if you must defend, do so on the half-way line not the goal line. With Israel's result against Russia, England live to fight another day and Wednesday will see the crunch match against Croatia. A draw is all that is needed - but GF does hope that more positive tactics are employed. Croatia are a more formidable opponent that Austria.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

IPCC Consensus - The Sky is Falling

You know that concensus on Climate Change... well here's a few links you might like to follow:

Climate Change

Academic challenges global warming theory. 06 Jul 2007. ABC Western Queensland. (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
An Australian academic has spoken out against the popular view that global warming is caused by greenhouse gas emissions. He believes that global warming and climate change are caused by cycles in the sun's electro-magnetic radiation. He says scientists are taking a narrow view and politicians are making policy with the wrong information.
Climate change: A guide for the perplexed - earth - 16 May 2007 - New Scientist Environment
There's a lot at stake with global warming, so for those not sure what to believe, we've debunked the 26 most common climate myths
Global Warming
The truth is, we can't ignore the sun | St Opinion | Opinion | Telegraph
Find the latest comment, opinion and obituaries from the Telegraph.
Ten Second Response: Global Warming: Why Can't the Mainstream Press Get Even Basic Facts Right?
Ten Second Response:Global Warming: Why Can't the Mainstream Press Get Even Basic Facts Right?
SUV's On Jupiter?
Falsification_of_CO2.pdf (application/pdf Object)
Global warming and cosmic radiation — Spacecenter
What does cosmic radiation have to do with global warming? Read more about what researchers at the DNSC think.
FT.com / Home UK / UK - The steamrollers of climate science
The latest UK and international business, finance, economic and political news, comment and analysis from the Financial Times on FT.com
DemandDebate
JunkScience.com -- Steven Milloy, Publisher
JunkScience.com spotlights and debunks faulty scientific data and analysis used to promote special agendas, such as those of activist groups, personal injury lawyers, regulators, businesses and politicians.
DailyTech - Survey: Less Than Half of all Published Scientists Endorse Global Warming Theory
Comprehensive survey of published climate research reveals changing viewpoints
Skeptics_Guide_to_Anthropogenic_Global_Warming_v1.0.pdf (application/pdf Object)
Scoop: NIWA data confirms that NZ is not warming
The announcement by NIWA that last month was one of the coldest Decembers in the last 60 years is evidence that there is no “global warming” in New Zealand, according to the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition.
Climate change: The Deniers
National Post Canada's trusted source for national news, financial news, world news, commentary, entertainment and sports.
OpinionJournal - Extra
.: U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works :: Minority Page :.
U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
Category:Global warming skeptics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Undereducated Opinion: Claiming "Consenus" By Ignoring Dissent: 500+ Scientists Published Refuting Evidence of Warming Theory in Peer-Reviewed Literature
World Climate Report » Questioning 20th Century Warmth
Detailed Comments on An Inconvenient Truth « Watts Up With That?
Undereducated Opinion: Sea Level Expert Says Sea Not Rising
.: U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works :: Minority Page :.
U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
.: U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works :: Minority Page :.
U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
index.cfm (application/pdf Object)
A Hot Topic Blog
The Reference Frame: Climate news
The best theoretical physics blog that the search engine can offer you, by a Czech conservative string theorist, focusing on high-energy physics and the climate change
The deceit behind global warming - Telegraph
Telegraph Earth is your source for environmental and green news and environmental and green issues, with information on climate change, global warming, pollution, green living and recycling, and all other environment issues.
Holland(2007).pdf (application/pdf Object)
Home - Global Warming Petition Project
Home Global Warming Petition We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals
BLOG - Global Warming Hysteria
Global warming, sceptic, hysteria, alarmism, conservative
Science and Public Policy Institute - IPCC Peer Review Process an Illusion, finds SPPI Analysis
Science and public policy institute seeks to find the ultimate truth behinds some of the myths surrounding Global Warming.
Global Warming Hysteria
"There is a clear attempt to establish truth not by scientific methods but by perpetual repetition."
- Richard S. Lindzen, Ph.D. Professor of Meteorology, MIT

The Gorse Fox is fed up with being railroaded! He would also point you to :


Climate Audit
Climate Skeptic
EnviroSpin Watch

Or you can continue to believe without question everything you are told by the IPCC, BBC, HMG and so forth. GF isn't saying they are right or that they are wrong... only that the answer is far from clear and the continued stifling of debate, dependence on discredited science, and dissembling by the Global Warming alarmists is alarming in its own right. It reminds the Gorse Fox of a bully, who when losing an argument based on facts and logic starts shouting and gets violent rather than lose face.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Tickets

Gorse Fox applied for tickets... but missed out. He obviously didn't try hard enough. As this article explains:
Led Zep fan pays 83,000 pounds for reunion tickets

Should he have sold the house?

Home at last

So Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox headed west to see Urban-cub... she was becoming stir-crazy. The superb staff at the Wessex Nuffield had been so helpful that U-c was becoming frazzled by the continuous flow of people in and out of her room asking

Everything all right?
Can I get you a drink?
What do you want for breakfast?
What's your pain score at the moment?
Have you had so sleep?
Have been for a walk lately?
Are you ready for hydrotherapy?
What would you like for lunch?
Are you comfortable?
...and so on. It was driving her mad, but she can't fault the care and attention. She was finally released and would have run to car if she could have.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Dive, dive, dive!

Finally made contact with Cousteau-cub. All is well:
  • It's gone midnight
  • It's still 36C degrees
  • She's diving and teaching theory every day
  • She's loving it
But she's recognising that she's getting older! She says she has to have early nights because she just can't keep it going the way she used to.

At first GF thought this was good - it served he right for having such a great time. Then he got to thinking:

"What does it say about you when your children start to recognize they are getting old?"

Saw far saw wood

The Silver Vixen needs some storage facility for her room of of spells and stitches. We were not visiting Urban-cub today - others are on duty for that... so we started looking at furniture. We noticed a New England Furniture store nearby with a showroom so headed off for a look. The furniture ran the gamut from bedside tables to huge kitchen dressers. Delightful stuff - simple designs, and clean lines. Unfortunately, though there was a cabinet of the style SV wanted, it was not the right size. We left, clutching a brochure.

We dipped across to Worthing and looked around, but were less than impressed. It's evidently time that GF turned some perfectly good wood into sawdust. The afternoon was spent working out the basic cutting list for a re-sized version of what we saw in the first showroom. Orders were placed with a nearby timber merchant and GF now awaits arrival of vast amounts of birch-ply.

(GF has also been trying to phone Cousteau-cub in Thailand... but without any luck so far)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Update

A stop at Novatech punctuated today's run across to visit Urban-cub. The Gorse Fox wanted some cables to connect various devices together. He always likes to nose around technology shops and outlets.

Urban-cub was a bit weary but was at least feeling a lot better than yesterday. The physioterrorist had been and U-C had walked up and down the corridor and also managed the stairs. Her movement was good, but there was just a slight swelling over the wound. The view was that she would probably be released in a couple of days.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sign of the Times

The Gorse Fox noticed a sign on the door of the hospital kitchen. He photographed it but it didn't come out well enough. What did the sign say?

For You Safety

Do Not Enter

Meals in Progress

It sounds like the sort of warning you might expect at the entrance to one of Gordon Ramsay's kitchens.

Quiet and uneventful

Quiet day as far as vacations go. GF started by completing some of the annual appraisals he had to finish... and then headed out west with the Silver Vixen to see Urban-cub.

She was feeling a bit better but very tired. The swelling had gone and she was fairly chirpy considering. We stayed for a couple of hours and then left her to it so that she could rest.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Clots

We stopped for lunch then headed onwards to visit Urban-cub. She was not so bright. The swelling round her wound had not reduced and she was feeling a bit unwell. C2BAX was due in and would check things out... unfortunately he didn't arrive before we had to head back.

We got onto the M27 and the phone rang. Silver Vixen took the call. C2BAX had been and decided that the wound needed to be drained, and Urban-cub was heading back down for theatre. Gorse Fox took the first exit and did an about-face. Hitting the afterburners GF and the Silver Vixen was back at the hospital just as U-C was being wheeled out of her room. We wished her well, and waited.

She was back within 30 minutes, looking bright, and looking relieved. Text messages were flashed around to keep folk up-to-date and soon all was settled and we left her to rest.

Through the Glass

The Spinnaker Tower has a glass floor as one of its attractions.

Looking down gives a terrific view of the sail construction.

Views

The view from the top was superb and cover 350 of the 360 possible degrees.

To the west the view looked down over the dockyards and of course the magnificent H.M.S Victory.



The feery port nestled to the south commanding views into the Solent and providing the gateway to the Isle of Wight.


More views of the Naval Dockyard.

Spinnaker Tower

It was a wonderfully clear and crisp morning. We had to head west to visit Urban-cub... but on such a nice day it seemed like a bright idea to stop off and take in the Spinnaker Tower.

This icon of the south coast was started in 2001 (though originally planned as a Millennium project).

(Oh yes, and you can see it from the South Downs beyond Chichester on a clear day)

World chessboxing champ crowned

There are some sports that you never really get to hear about. Gorse Fox noticed this little snippet (via Ananova): World chessboxing champ crowned

he wonders if this will be featured in the 2012 Olympics along with monopoly-weightlifting and the 10,000 metres sudoku.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Balou's

It has been a nice day. Betty and Barney Rubble came round to visit and we headed off to the always splendid Balou's restaurant down near the beach in West Worthing. It's a tiny and intimate restaurant but food is superb - particularly the fish.

We then headed out to Highdown for a stroll up the hill in the late afternoon sunshine.

Sir Lancinglot was on duty at the hospital with Urban-cub. She was a little less comfortable today - the swelling that has troubled the wound site was not going down and she was not feeling quite so good today. Hopefully, this is only a minor set-back. Of course today was their first wedding anniversary - not exactly the most romantic setting to be celebrating.

Speed cameras: the twisted truth - Telegraph

The Gorse Fox directs you to this article in the Sunday Telegraph: Speed cameras: the twisted truth
It is yet another exposition of the way in which statistics are ruthlessly manipulated by the Government and become part of "folklore".

The Gorse Fox is not a fast driver (generally), but has a pathological hatred for speed cameras seeing them as purely roadside tax raising devices with no redeeming road-safety benefits. It appears that this analysis is right.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Visiting

We headed west. Urban-cub was having visitors. The Gorse Fox's sister and her husband were taking the morning shift. We were meeting up with them for lunch at The Potters Heron at Ampfield.

It was probably 15 years since GF had been there and it had been extensively remodelled since that last visit. They had done a good job. It was very nice, open, comfortable and the food was simple but excellent.

Several hours whistled by... and we headed on to see Urban-cub for the afternoon. She was mobile, cheerful, and devouring DVDs as fast as they would play in her little player.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Mending

Gorse Fox escaped from work. The review had gone pretty well - though as usual the reviewers chose to ignore information they had been given and in several instances made an unnecessary fuss over non-issues.

GF stopped off at the hospital on the way back and spent a couple of hours with Urban-cub. He was quite surprised by how well and relaxed she looked. The pain control had obviously been spot-on. She's been up and walking a few steps and actually escorted the GF part of the way down the corridor when he left.

A Few Questions

The Silver Vixen's gorgeous niece is preparing her University project. She is conducting a survey... GF wil let her explain:
I am in my final year now down at Bournemouth University and am currently completing my research for my major project. I am looking to get 200 people to complete my questionnaire to assist me with my statistics so I can justify doing my project. I have created an online survey and copied a link below. Its on 10 questions long, and should only take a minute to complete.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=V7l05mHoAVhF7AZO0samBA_3d_3d

I would be very grateful to all those who would complete the questionnaire


GF has done his bit and filled it in. He would ask you a favour - can you stop by and reply to questionnaire also. It will only take you a few seconds... but will help Bex get the statistics she wants.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Not Frantic

Not a frantic day by GF standards. Leaving work he headed for Tewkesbury where he's staying this week. Stopping off a Spicey Life for a quick Indian he then went back to his hotel to call Urban-cub and have a quiet evening.

U-c sounded a bit vague still - it was the drugs (as opposed to he blonde hair) though. She said she was feeling pretty good and had not had any pain at all.

Dumbing Down, or is it Up?

The Gorse Fox directs you to the the article: 'Cool Cash' card confusion in the Manchester Evening News.

I seem to remember the sainted Tony Blair coming to power on a promise of "Education, education, and education".

Morning

Very pleasant morning across the Gloucestershire countryside.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Review

GF's interview was brought forward a day. He and the Teddy Bear wandered in and the fun began. All of the areas that we expected they would ask about were indeed covered. We answered all of their questions and pointed to the artefacts in which some of the questions were already answered.

They seemed happy at the end... but the trouble with these reviews is you can never be sure.

Quick update

Have just heard that Urban-cub is back from theatre. Everything seems to have gone well. Silver Vixen is just leaving the hospital now and will return in the morning.

A great relief.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Day Slip

As explained earlier, the Gorse Fox has slipped his days this week to accommodate several meetings in Worcester late in the week. In some ways this is inconvenient as he cannot discharge his role as Parish Councillor this month (by attending the Council meeting), and won't be able to visit Urban-cub in hospital until Friday on his way back. (Fortunately, the hospital is en route between home and Worcester).

We have another government review this week. This is focusing everyone's mind, but takes up a great deal of combined effort.

WAH

GF is (unusually) working from home on a Tuesday. He will head up to Worcester before sun-up in the morning.

The Silver Vixen is taking Urban-cub for her pre-admission checkup at the hospital in her nicely valeted broomstick (now that it's back at ground level).

Monday, November 05, 2007

Don't fret

In case you have been (like the Silver Vixen's broomstick) - in suspense; fear not. The errant ramp was finally fixed - the broomstick lowered to the ground and returned to its rightful home.

Ramping down

The Silver Vixen took her broomstick for its MOT. She arrived at the allotted time to be told they had no record of her appointment.

This was NOT going to be a good day!

She explained very nicely that it was necessary that the MOT was completed today (or she would rip the service managers arms off and beat him senseless with them). They kindly made a new appointment for late morning and she came home.

At the newly appointed time she presented herself (and the broomstick) at the garage. They too the broomstick and she settled down to wait. An hour later she turned up at home, chauffered by a man from the garage.

GF thought the worst. But no! The mechanic had pressed the button to lower the ramp supporting the broomstick. Something went wrong and the ramp plunged. Safety systems took over and prevented it it hitting the floor... but until they can fix the problem the Silver Vixen's broomstick sits suspended several feet in the air on a broken ramp.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Future' Bright The Future's Red and Orange

More gratuitous photos of the fabulous colours of autumn.

If you'd like to see all of the photos (90 of them) that were taken today have a look at Gorse Fox's Westonbirt set on Flickr.









Leaf Peeping

The day started with thick fog. The forecast was that it would clear. With the autumn colours reaching their peak and us being only an hour from Westonbirt it seemed like a perfect detour on the way back home.

The fog thickened as we headed south, then of a sudden it cleared. We burst into bright sunshine. perfect.

Or so we thought. Two miles from Westonbirt the fog closed in once more!

We arrived soon after eleven thinking we would be early visitors. Fat chance. There must have been 5000 cars parked across the fields already. Despite this we ventured on.

We traipsed off into the woods following the seasonal route as it was marked through the Old Arboretum. Despite the lingering mist, the colours were clear to see... though perhaps lacked the vibrancy that bright sunshine would have brought.


At the edge of the wood by Holly Gate this specimen stood alone. Shrouded in to cool autumn mist.


Wherever you looked there were colours and vistas.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Images from the Malvern Hills

Some more of the pictures taken during the walk. (Got to rush now... dinner is calling)







Malvern

The Three Counties Showground near Malvern was hosting a Quilt Show. The Gorse Fox ferried teh Silver Vixen to the event (her broomstick being left behind at home). She was planning to meet up with Gracie Fields and the Stitch Witch who had spent yesterday harrassing people across the country as they made their way to the area. (Mmmm, GF wonders if their arrival coincided with the sun being covered by cloud?)

GF hears that there may be a wine shortage in the area!
Gorse Fox moved on and parked at North Quarry... put on his boots and headed up onto the Malvern Hills. GF normally has a very finely honed sense of direction - but eschewing fine output of the Ordnance Survey decided to follow his instinct. The paths looped up North Hill and came to a junction. Left or right? He chose right and continued up. On his descent he chose a path that he sensed was a short-cut. This proved not to be that case when he found himself near the top for the second time. Lesson to be learnt here.


From North Hill he continued south passing Sugarloaf and then climbing the Beacon. He has not been doing a lot of walking recently and confesses that he would hardly describe his ascent as that of a mountain goat.

The real pleasure of the walk (other than continuing to draw breath) was the array of autumnal colours that spreadout across the patchwork landscape.




Friday, November 02, 2007

Autumn in Worcester

The Silver Vixen made the most of the day. She went to the craft fair and chatted to people from the sewing shops that she had got to know on previous trips, she chatted to a local landscape photographer, and she wandered down by the Cathedral and the river with her camera.

When the Gorse Fox returned from work we headed for Saffron's, a local Restaurant that we have always enjoyed. We weren't disappointed. It was as good as usual. GF recommends it most highly.

After dinner we headed for the cinema and watched "Elizabeth - The Golden Years" which saw Cate Blanchett re-playing her role as Queen Elizabeth - intrigued by the young Raliegh and coming to terms with the threat of Armada. Excellent film that we both enjoyed.

All in all a very good day.

Pasta

The Gorse Fox headed back to the hotel and met up with the Silver Vixen. We joined up with The Don and went out to find some sustenance.

After checking out the quality of the beer at our normal starting point, we strolled across town and opted for an Italian meal at Ask. It was a most enjoyable evening.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

In the swing

Gorse Fox is back in the swing of things in Worcester... a few days away has created a backlog of documents and reports that people want. So GF has a few days of frantic typing to do.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Home

Waiting in one of the lounges for the flight, Mother Superior revealed that our little Ray of sunshine had been using her camera to take pictures during our presentation. She spun through the images. A quick analysis and the Gorse Fox hopes they never see the light of day! He looks like a contortionist doing a song and dance routine at one point.

The flight back from Orlando was pretty uneventful. Being a "red-eye" most people slept and the crew stayed out of the way until we approached land. Mother Superior and the Gorse Fox were quickly through passport control, collected baggage and headed off in separate directions. Gorse Fox to the car and the warm tones of Terry Wogan... Mother Superior to the railway station for the trek back up to Worcester.