Friday, October 31, 2008

Alter ego

GF is still trying to track down this new blog from his colleague... but at the moment everyone is being very secretive.

AGM

Yesterday's AGM was the usual bundle of fun. It always amazes the Gorse Fox how much heat can be generated in the discussions without the evidence of light. The estate has a new Chairman (pro temps) who is to be congratulated for handling things with a high degree of sensitivity and   patience, whilst providing clear and firm direction. (He and the other members of the Board are volunteers but often end up pilloried at these meetings).

Not everyone is eloquent, but their point of view is valuable and deserves respect. It is a shame that not all of the attendees had the common decency or courtesy to respect the Chair, the effort put in by the Board, or the views of neighbours and continued to mutter, chunder, and interrupt. There are times when one gets an almost overwhelming urge to tell people to sit down, shut up, and behave.

The major debate yesterday was in regard to installing and electronic barrier, or not. Arguments raged and suffered from fractured logic. The facts, as best the Gorse Fox can determine, are:

  • Existing security guards are not performing effectively
  • Health and safety are demanding better accommodation for them
  • Health and safety are demanding they take comfort breaks, requiring backup cover
  • Residents have been complaining

the Board have suggested and electronic barrier

Arguments against seem to be:
  • We'll be trapped if there's a power cut - refuted, gate can be backed with UPS and unlocked by master key to fail open.
  • Emergency services can't enter - refuted, they are provided a master pin code
  • It removes the Right of Way granted in the Deeds to the properties - GF can't see how this changes the status quo when the security guards have the existing gate down.
  • There's no real problem anyway with non-residents parking for the beach - GF thinks that would very quickly change if KG was known to be open instead of guarded.
  • Burglars would be able to get through - er! Hello! they can now when the guards aren't on duty.
  • Cyclists will be able to get through - er! Hello! they can now with or with a guard.
  • People will randomly push buttons until someone lets them in - as opposed to the guards justy waving them through.
Arguments for seem to be:
  • Gates will be closed at extra times without costing any more - seems logical
  • Won't need to build facilities for the guards - which can't be placed by the gate anyway because KG doesn't own that land.
  • Gates will deter or prevent non-residents from parking on the estate
Gorse Fox feels fairly neutral about the whole issue, but is always amused by the logical fallacies that get trotted out in such debate... and it makes him feel mischievous and want to argue the contradictory position just for the heck of it. Anyway, a vote was held and came down in favour of investigating the scheme further. 

Of course we could just build better facilities somewhere and pay for better guards, put in CCTV, or weapons emplacements.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

For All or was it Four all

An excellent draw in last night's football, where Harry drove the team to a fine outcome at the home of the Forces of Darkness.

GF is a bit overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work he faces. The interrupt-driven nature of his time in Worcester is not conducive to completing things.

Heading back south mid-afternoon to attend an AGM during the evening.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sorry

Sorry but the Gorse Fox lacks inspiration today... thyough he has just
realised he has been maintaining this blog for four years as of this
week.

Silver Vixen apparently had a fairly fraught journey back from
Buckingham due to the various weather related incidents that had
caused havoc across varios trunk roads.

A rumour is going round that another colleague has started a blog. GF
hasn't got to the bottom of thisd yet but will add it to the blogroll
when he tracks it down.

--
Sent from my mobile device

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mex

A strange day.

With the clocks changing at the weekend and the change in the weather,
the Gorse Fox was greeted by icy windscreens in the pre-dawn dark.
Fortunately the heated windscreens quickly cleared the opaque view. As
it was half-term the roads were very quiet as he headed up to
Worcester.

The day was filled with a single meeting that consumed most of the
working day... but has hopefully provided some clarity.

The evening was very different. The Gorse Fox had been invited to the
home of the Mexican and his wife for mexican styled meal which was to
be followed by Cardinal SIn and the Bum Notes weekly rehearsal
session. It was a lovely evening and the food was excellent - only
surpassed by their hospitality.

--
Sent from my mobile device

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Funny Old Game

Football is a funny old game. Spurs have had an atrocious start to the season. The treacherous sacking of Martin Jol last year saw the team he had built win a cup... but then during the summer the main strike force was sold, and nobody of great significance brought in. The Director of Football semed clueless, and Juande Ramos seemed bemused. 

It was clear that their job were on the line... and the rumour mill had started. But the news that they have all been sacked to be replaced with Harry Redknapp is a bolt from the blue. The Gorse Fox hadn't even heard of it as a wild whisper, let alone a credible rumour.

Let's hope this wakes them up and they start to achieve.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Catching up

The Gorse Fox has made the most of a quiet day to catch up on some reading, his expenses, and some of the blogs that he likes but has not had a chance to read for a while. The Silver Vixen is having a quiet day with her patterns and fabrics.

Little to report - move along now now, please.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Cracking onwards

So the RAV4 needed a new tyre. GF had checked the number 235/ 16R9856T/ 100T123765/ XYZ or whatever and looked online. e-Tyres were by far the cheapest in the area and would come to the house to fit it. (GF had checked all this out several months ago).

Going online he ordered the service yesterday... and mid afternoon the chap rang the bell and got started. His van was a fully equipped workshop and the tyre was changed in no time. GF got chatting to him and it turns out that he comes from the next village and has been doing this for a couple of years now - and may end up changing up to about 20 tyres a day across West Sussex. Overall it was very impressive and GF had to fill in a little checklist to confirm that the locking wheel nuts had been returned, that the job was done to his satisfaction, and that the wheel nuts had been tightened with a torque wrench rather than an air gun (to ensure they can be released by hand if necessary).

Excellent value for money... and highly recommended.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Choosing your words

The family had arranged to meet at The Bell in Winslow, near the Funeral Director's. We drank some coffee and had something to eat before heading out.

As we left to head for Funeral Director, where close family would follow the hearse in a limo, the question arose - "Is there enough room in your car? If not we could probably fit another body in ours!" The Gorse Fox bit his tongue - this was not the moment to giggle.

The Funeral went very well - with moving tributes from the family and then we repaired to a nearby hostelry for the wake.

Farewell

Today the Gorse Fox, Silver Vixen and rest of the wider family say farewell to the Silver Vixen's aunt.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

You have to laugh

So the story leaked.

He had bought a Wii and proudly discussed it with his friends. They teased him that he would have to stand up to play it... he looked shocked. He read the instructions for the games and realised that you did indeed have to stand up to play - you couldn't possibly do it from the armchair.

He was distraught.

The following morning he was back at the shop demanding his money back.

Surprise

Some days begin well... and bring surprises. Today was one such day. It began well with a long hot shower and then a leisurely breakfast. (He did get dressed in between - just for the sake of the locals).

He stopped for diesel and some Rombout's coffee and then came the shock - as he waited to pull back into the traffic a BMW 5 series stopped and waved him out). This could be the first time this has ever been witnessed. He considered stopping and taking a photo - but decided that would delay the traffic further.

A generally good day at work was followed by a the journey south through the autumn sunset to Sussex.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Normality

Well, normality has nearly been restored. All of the data has been
transferred to the new laptop and most of the applications are
installed and working again.

Needless to say it didn't go exactly to plan, but wasn't too bad.

Plan for the evening is dinner with Mother Superior at the local
purveyor of Indian cuisine along with the Abbott.

--
Sent from Google Mail for mobile | mobile.google.com

Monday, October 20, 2008

Still going...

New laptop is still rebuilding, but at least the Gorse Fox can get back onto the internet again... though still seems a long way from getting to his work email (which has its advantages!)

New toys

The Gorse Fox has now collected his new work laptop and as he speaks lots of bits are thundering down an ethernet cable as the new one tries to mind meld with the old one and absorb all that it stored over the years.

Good job the afternoon was meant to be filled with conference calls and being offline is not too problematic.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Not Grey

Well the earlier grey start didn't last. The sun is streaming through the windows and it looks like another brilliant day on the coast

More pictures

What a contrast - Sunday is overcast, breezy and a few showers are passing through. This seems like a good excuse to display some more of the photos from yesterday... and to recommend a trip to Tricia's Tales to see her photos of Sheffield Park.





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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Riot

The sat-nav hurled us east from Kingston Gorse and deposited us, some 36 miles later, at the entrance to Sheffield Park, near Uckfield. Evidently, the sat-nav had performed a similar trick for several thousand other people as we were backed up along the road, crawling at a snails pace the last few thousand yards to the entrance and then to one of the overflow car parks.

This is, without doubt, one of the National Trusts' real treasures... and whilst, as members we entered without paying, there was a long snaking line of visitors willing to pay the entrance fee for a glimpse inside.



We were not disappointed. The views soon opened up upon a riot of autumn colour carefully framed by evergreens and huge specimen trees. Wheresoever you looked, there was a vista or image worth remembering or capturing.

A series of lakes ran through the middle of the grounds acting as a mirror, reflecting the powder blue of the sky and the cathedral of colour that poured from the foliage.


A day such as this, with sights such as this cleanse the spirit and clear the mind.


Sheffield Park is indeed a special place - we will return.
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If you wish to see the other 150+ photos taken at Sheffield Park please visit the Gorse Fox's Sheffield Park Flickr Stream

Colours

It is a stunning autumn morning. The sun is wandering slowly across an unblemished sky. The breeze is barely strong enough to ripple the leaves on the trees.

The Gorse Fox is breaking out the camera... he can feel the need to capture nature.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Lessons

The Gorse Fox has received and email that is worth sharing... (as usual GF sends acknowledgements to the original author, whoever that may be):

GORDON BROWN was visiting a primary school and he visited one of the classes. They were in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings.

The teacher asked Mr. BROWN if he would like to lead the discussion on the word 'tragedy'.

So the illustrious leader asked the class for an example of a 'tragedy'.

A little boy stood up and offered: "If my best friend, who lives on a farm, is playing in the field & a tractor runs over him and kills him, that would be a 'tragedy.'"

"No," said GORDON - "that would be an accident."

A little girl raised her hand: "If a school bus carrying fifty children drove over a cliff, killing everyone inside, that would be a tragedy"

"I'm afraid not", explained GORDON - "that's what we would call great loss"

The room went silent. No other children volunteered GORDON searched the room. "Isn't there someone here who can give me an example of a tragedy?"

Finally, at the back of the room, little Johnny raised his hand...

In a quiet voice he said: "If an airplane carrying you and Mr Darling was struck by a 'friendly fire' missile & blown to smithereens, that would be a tragedy"

"Fantastic!" exclaimed GORDON. "That's right. And can you tell me why that would be tragedy?"

"Well," says little Johnny "it has to be a tragedy, because it certainly wouldn't be a great loss and it probably wouldn't be an accident either!"

Worcester's Got Talent

As promised http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=RniWyrVpir4
Also please see link to their Band website in the blogroll at the side. A YouTube search for "GorseFox" (as a single word) will reveal further videos of this supergroup in action.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Aftergig

Last night's gig was a tour de force by the band. Video may well follow (depending on the quality and the opportunity to upload).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Giggin'

Today is the big day. The band formed several months ago after a
musical evening at the pub is having its first gig. Cardinal Sin and
the Bumnotes are about to hit the big time with an arena gig at Spur 0
this evening.

We'll all be there to support them and it should be good fun.

--
Sent from Google Mail for mobile | mobile.google.com

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Move along

The Gorse Fox regrets that there is lttle to report. It appears that
some people have been trying to second guess the GFs design and that
means that he now has to waste time discounting some of these.

Dinner was really pleasant with just a few of us meeting at the Tapas
restaurant for some fine enchilladas and some rioja.

--
Sent from Google Mail for mobile | mobile.google.com

Monday, October 13, 2008

Chuckling

The Gorse Fox is not one to watch
  • Strictly Come Dancing
  • Britain's Got Talent
  • The X Factor
or indeed any of this victim-TV. 

Last night he made an exception and watched Peter Kay's spoof talent show "Britain's Got the Pop factor... and possibly a New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar on Ice". It was one of the most enjoyable and funny TV programmes he has seen in years. Really well produced and acted, it was made to seem absolutely real... but the whole dialogue was laced with wonderfully funny lines - rarely overt - usually very subtle.

Brilliant TV that GF believes will become a classic.

Strange

It has been a strange day. GF was home alone - with the Silver Vixen up with family in the midlands. The phone was quiet, the door was quiet. Everything was quiet. 

The one exception came when a Starfleet Admiral called with some long awaited news. It would appear that the GF can please some of the people some of the time. In return it seems that they can please him.

There was also an inbound email from Cousteau-cub today. All seems well in Paradise and she's obviously getting busy.

Bags are packed and Podcasts are cut ready for the morning's trip to Worcester.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Stupid Pills

The Gorse Fox helped out Urban-cub by purchasing an oil-filled radiator for her flat. Sir Lancinglot, before walking out, had stripped and removed all of the night storage heaters and now as autumn draws on the lack of heat is becoming troublesome.

The phone rang

It was Urban-cub reporting that said radiator did not radiate. Indeed it did not even register that it was receiving power.

The Gorse Fox returned this morning to collect the radiator and exchange it at B&Q. The chap was very helpful and went and checked that the fault was as described... and then sent us to take a replacement from the shelves. Returning to the counter he offered to check that this one worked. At this point silent alarms must have gone off. 

A supervisor swooped in. "You can't do that" she explained, clicking her heels together and slapping her boots with a swagger stick.

The youth stammered "I was only going to plug it in". The Gorse Fox raised an eyebrow.

"'elf and safety" said the supervisor. "If you plug it in, it can no longer be sold to the customer" and then muttered something about only following orders, annexing the Sudetenland and how 'elf and Safety was the new Reich and would last 1000 years.

The Gorse Fox smiled and took the radiator unopened back to Urban-cub's flat where, wearing rubber gloves, rubber soled boots, goggles, and safety helmet he pugged the radiator into a normal socket and went for the switch. Urban-cub and the cats were asked to shelter in the kitchen, neighbours had been asked to put mattresses up against their doors and tape their windows, and the emergency services were on speed-dial.

The Gorse Fox counted down... "Five, four, three, two, one" 

He flicked the switch. 

There was no thermo-nuclear incident. There was no flash. The Gorse Fox was not hurled across the room. The apartment block is still standing.

We had heat.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

RIP

It has been a quiet day, which started with the sad news that the Silver Vixen's aunt had died. This was a blessed relief as she had clearly given up and the spark that made her what she was had receeded further and further into her confusion.

Silver Vixen will be heading up to Buckingham for a few days to try and help sort things out.

Don't think so


Don't think so
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Given the collapse of the Icelandic banks, this seems highly unlikely.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bits

Lots of unrelated work items meant that the Gorse Fox spent the day re-arranging bits and bytes to form recognisable patterns when printed onto paper or displayed on a screen. As Nicholas Negroponte said "Move bytes not atoms".

During the evening the GF spent some time fiddling with his phone and has managed to download the lates map sets and various other applications that make the phone even more useful than it was before.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Committee

The Gorse Fox escaped early in order to get back for a Council
meeting. The best laid plans were, however, nearly thwarted by traffic
in Swindon and and incident on the motorway near Fareham.

GF arrived at the meeting a little late, and the proceedings were well
under way. Fortunately there was little that could be considered
controversial so the meeting finished in good time.

Interesting snippets emerged when discussing the village history...
including a haunted house. What wasn't forthcoming was further detail
regarding the story that Dame Myra Hess lived on the estate during the
40's

--
Sent from Google Mail for mobile | mobile.google.com

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Bank

Well it seems that the Gorse Fox, like most other UK tax payers, now
owns chunks of the UK banking sector. He plans to wanser around a
number of the local banks at the weeknd and see what he should do with
them. Maybe a little re-decorationg and de-cluttering, or maybe some
new furniture. There also seems to be a lot of paper cluttering up the
drawers and that could be recycled into his pocket.

Seems like a plan.

--
Sent from Google Mail for mobile | mobile.google.com

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

All done

It has been an interesting day. The Gorse Fox has been busy helping
re-structure various project aspects - or at least explaining what
needed to be done, and fortunately he now has a practitioner of the
satanic arts to get it done.

There were a few tense moments in the office this morning, but GF was
not involved and everything seemed to quieten down.

The afternoon featured a young colleague demonstrating a product that
Starfleet has recently acquired. It seemed to go well, and chances are
that it will be added to the portfolio.

GF caught up on news from the Silver Vixen and then headed out for a pizza.

--
Sent from Google Mail for mobile | mobile.google.com

Monday, October 06, 2008

More than a feeling

It's nice to see that with his return to work, Boston has started blogging again. Hopefully, as the days progress we will learn what went on during the summer and why he is now wearing a disguise.

Limits

The Gorse Fox's work mailbox reached its limit. This was fine at the weekend as it prevented any further distractions emails from coming in. First thing, however, GF had to hit the Archive button to return to semblance of normality.

The day has been quiet. Not a single phone call. Bliss.

This has meant that a great deal of progress has been made - which, given the diary entries for the next few days, is probably a good thing.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Ruby, ruby, ruby

The party for the Crumbs was an excellent "do". It had taken 8 months to arrange and was held in the Orangery of the Saville Court Hotel at Englefield Green. It was so nice to see the Crumbs again... it must be about 10 years or more since we last got together. It was a big event and there must have been well over a hundred guests.

We shared the table with our famous "Page 3 girl"... who we last saw featured on her birthday. It was nice to catch up on all of the gossip and the goings on and reminisce about earlier times at Starfleet. Much of this was done with sign language and by mouthing words over the sound of the band. This involved a great deal of laughter, eye-dabbing (from the laughter), and wondering what had become of "so-and-so".

It was the early hours of Sunday before we left and made our way back along the empty roads, through the blustery winds and rain to settle in the comfort of home.

(A note to anyone who may be visiting the Saville Court Hotel in the dark - the signs are "subtle" to say the least - in fact they are nigh on invisible in driving rain... but the entrance is actually right on the corner of Bishopsgate Road and Wick Lane.

Also a note to the band - if you have a sound level metre - and there was one clearly visible on the wall - the objective is to keep it in the green or amber and rarely touch the red... keeping the sound in the red all of the time means that you are probably distorting the sound - which for some may be a blessing, but last night's band were very good and the sound levels were detrimental).
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Saturday, October 04, 2008

Wind

Wind is a subject that is a constant companion to the coast-dweller. Be it on-shore, off-shore, (under the duvet) or blasting along the shore it is always interesting. Today, the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen are scheduled to be attending the Ruby Wedding of the Crumbs. (Mrs Crumb used to work with the Silver Vixen in Starfleet, many years ago.)

In preparation for this auspicious event SV was to get her hair done... but with the wind blasting along the coast it seemed destined to end in disaster. The Gorse Fox therefore volunteered to drive her to the coiffeuse - dropping her at the door and collecting her from said door some hour or so later. This gave him an excuse to wander round the nearby PC World looking at shiny sparkly gadgets and drooling a lot.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Stuff

Friday was a mixed day. The Gorse Fox had left his car at the garage
for its first service... not bad after 19000 odd miles.

The core hours were filled with spreadsheets, contracts, and word
processing... but whilst stimulating, it does not warrant much further
comment.

--
Sent from Google Mail for mobile | mobile.google.com

Thursday, October 02, 2008

New boy

The team comlement has be boosted by the arrival of another new boy. We now a full-time practitioner of the black and satanic arts or project management to provide support. GF is impressed so far. He seems to have grasped the extent of the project and has already started to provide his own brand of organisational input. GF thinks he'll do well.

For the second week running GF managemed to escape from Worcester at a sensible hour and had a pleasant journey back.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Chemistry

Supper was enjoyed by the select few at the Indian buffet. We were
saying farewell to a team member who is about to take a year's leave
of absence from Starfleet and go to live in Lagos. He will be missed
as he has been an excellent practitioner of the satanic arts, a
constant source of wit, and an ace bongo player in the "band".

The Gorse Fox was back in his room by nine.

He settled down to watch some TV but soon realised that there was
nothing of sufficient intellectual content to keep him amused. He
resorted to a podcast... by 10 minutes in he was bored with a
discussion that challenged whether or not the Vikings had sufficient
ink-making technology to have inks containg titanium dioxide. In the
greater scheme of things this did not feature highly on his catalogue
of missing knowledge to be acquired.

--
Sent from Google Mail for mobile | mobile.google.com

Car Park

Car parks can be interesting places. At the hotel, the Gorse Fox
noticed a van "E-On Energy Networks" parked next to another smaller
van "Psychic Tarot Readings". He assumes there was a layline bewteen
them.

--
Sent from Google Mail for mobile | mobile.google.com