Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
As they left the Silver Vixen was waylaid by an Embroidery Exhibition that had been lurking by the door... so we wandered round that for a while. As we approached the exit a matronly woman entered, followed by her husband who muttered something soto voce. She turned and demanded he repeat what was said.
"I said, 'If I lose the will to live, you'll find me outside, impaled on a pitchfork'".
Having spent time at Wisley, this came as a bit of a surprise. It's on a different scale, nestling in a secluded wooded valley a few miles from the North Devon coastline. It was well worth the diversion.
As you leave the entrance there is an area of formal gardens which melt away to fields, a lake, and quiet woodlands.
These first few photos are from the formal parts of the garden... which the GF really enjoyed.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
A little bit of surfing highlighted Bodmin Jail as a possibility and as it was close, we started there (with a Plan B if it didn't work out).
Well for a prison(*) it made a might fine restaurant and we thoroughly enjoyed the meal and the surroundings. The Gorse Fox started with some fine ribs (which will come as a huge surprise to those that know him). We both followed with lamb shanks which were accompanied with perfectly cooked vegetables. A nice bottle of wine formed the perfect accompaniment. Probably not quite fine dining, still. Several mighty leaps up the ladder from the previous night and certainly a place we'd return to for a further sentence.
(Oh yes, and Plan B wouldn't have worked either - they had closed down!)
(*) No it's not still operating as aprison, but used to be the County Gaol.
Though it was very busy today - the crowds just melt away into the vastness of the site and it was rare that we saw large groups except at the entrance, restaurants, and exits.
It was a bit grey as we started out this morning so we had to think carefully about what we'd get up to. Being only 8 miles from the Eden Project it seemed like a prime candidate to fill the day.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
This is one of the most stupenous gardens in the country (if not the world) and in the rain it was still beautiful (though muted). A thoroughly nice few hours despite the rain.
Levaing Stourhead we headed onwards towards the west country. The rain seemed to fade away, but as we crossed the moors the clouds settled comfortably on the ground and reduced visibility to about 100 yards. 250 miles from home we arrived at St Benet's Abbey near Bodmin.
Occasionally when you chose an hotel from a web site you are not sure what you'll get. Boy, we struck lucky. The hotel is quaint, family run, and utterly charming.
The journey was planned to take in Storhead, where we planned to meet Betty and Barney Rubble. This had been planned several weeks ago - without (perhaps) due thought for the weather. Dressed in walking gear and waterproofs we headed out into the landscape garden. Despite the driving rain, it was not cold, but the vibrancy of the colours was muted by the grey skies.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
- Had GF switched it off accidentally? - No.
- Was it a fuse in the house circuit? - No.
- Was it a fuse on the powercable? - No.
- Was he in trouble? - Oh yes!
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
The triumphant farewell gig of Cardinal Sin and The Bum Notes was a brilliant event - dedicated, it should be noted, to the Gorse Fox and his own farewell to Worcester after 4 years and 9 months. All proceeds from the evening were collected for the Noah's Ark Trust which cares for bereaved children.
Throughout the evening the audience were able to partake of various libations and it was great fun - and well-attended by colleagues and friends old and current... as well as a good helping of complete strangers. The Gorse Fox was horrified when he heard "Who is Bob Seger? I've never heard of him". (Children just aren't getting the education they should - and GF blames it on their parents as well as the schools - and maybe he should look for his next contract in the Department for Education to sort this out). GF digresses. The band did a great job and everone had fun... GF was horrified to realise it was nearly one in the morning before he headed back to the hotel but chuffed to bits that it had been such fun.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
- This is the man who was to preside over a review of said expense policy - but was allegedly apopleptic at some proposed changes to the second homes allowance when it was pointed out that he had a Grace and Favour apartment and therefore didn't (shouldn't) need the allowance.
- This is the man who has had over £700,000 spent on improvements to his apartment and nearly £992,000 on his garden.
- This is the man who claimed £4,000 in taxi bills for his wife.
- This is the man who tried to prevent the Freedom of Information act from including MPs expenses
- This is the man who over the past six years has enjoyed a total of 16 trips to destinations including Hawaii, the Bahamas, New York and Rome with his wife - at taxpayers' expense (Her travel bill alone for just 10 of the trips was £25,000)
- This is the man who blocked an FOI request for information regarding expenses for MPs' foreign trips
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
He started at the Car Park at Tank Quarry - where he found no spaces to park (and he hadn't got sufficient change for the Pay & Display anyway). He carried on round the hills, but again could not find a car park with sufficient space - this was not a major disappointment as the rain was thrashing down and GF didn't fancy getting soaked.
He headed back towards Malvern and stopped at some shops to await a break in the rain. There was little to catch the eye - and GF was having trouble getting his magic keyboard to connect with his phone. In frustration he gave up and stuffed the gadget in the glove box and headed down towards Tewkesbury. He's been there many times, but never had the chance to look around the Abbey.
He waited in the car park for the rain to clear again and then made his way to the entrance (he dutifully got a photographic license) and started to roam back and forth as different marvels caught his eye - stained glass, statuary, carvings, the scale of the building, the thickness of the pillars... and so forth. It was a charming Abbey - quite intimate in its size and set well in its landscape. From there he spent some time strolling around the town and down by the river before heading back to the hotel for a while.
The Gorse Fox went back to collect the Silver Vixen and bring her back to Tewkesbury... and head out to dinner.
Dinner was trip down memory lane for GF. He had booked a table at "Aubergine" where he used to eat frequently a couple of years ago. It was everything he remembered. The menu, though not extensive, is well balanced and gives a good choice. The surroundings are quaint, and the staff are just superb. Well informed, cheerful, polite, and very amusing. The food was excellent. A starter of Portobello mushrooms with stilton was followed by a tagine of lamb with couscous and all this washed down with a fine wine. A blackcurrant sorbet finally cleared the palette. GF has eaten at many restaurants over the years but few are as much pleasure as Aubergine. (If you are ever in Tewkesbury or nearby, do drop in and enjoy a great meal).
Friday, May 15, 2009
It was a quiet day at work. Most people were working from home and so the the office was less that one quater full. GF was able to get on with some presentation material and answer some outstanding emails. All was well. In fact you could argue that GF had been lulled into a sense of well-being and contentment. His iPod was leaking "Ten Years After" into his ears and the sun had just come out. (Can you guess what's coming yet?)
His leg vibrated. This was not a natural phenomenon, but rather the consequence of his mobile phone nuzzling in his pocket. It was the Silver Vixen.
"Hello there, how are you doing? How was Worcester?"
"Ummmm, well we have a bit of as problem"
A sinking feeling appeared in the pit of GF's stomach "Oh yes, what's that?"
"The hotel have been forced to close until Monday. We've been asked to leave."
The Gorse Fox wondered what the Silver Vixen had been up to to cause such a reaction, but she went on to explain.
"There's been an outbreak of Norovirus, and the men in Bio-hazard suits have just arrived to deep clean the hotel".
And so GF packed his stuff and headed back to the hotel to help pack and load the car and find some alternative accommodation for the weekend.
Ah well... he's now sitting with SV in the Travelodge at Tewkesbury.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Saturday, May 09, 2009
Friday, May 08, 2009
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
last 4.75 years of work and trying to pull together some presentation
material to help crystallize the vision and thinking that has driven
After work a small hop-based libation was order of the day. This in
turn was followed by fine Chinese food featuring soft-shelled crab -
the best GF has tasted since "Spanky's" in P'keepsie.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
A quiet evening at Pizza Express with several collleagues seemed like
a perfect end to the day, but then....
The Forces of Darkness were destroyed at the Emirates, and GF could go
to sleep happy.
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