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.