Friday, August 31, 2012

At home

A day working at home has been a luxury. There was a stream of phone calls and a lot of analysis to do - but at least it saved five hours of railway journeys.

Urban-cub came round to help the Silver Vixen with some of the final tidying up after all the building work. It was nice to see her an hear about her camping holiday - which evidently went very well and was blessed by decent weather.

Silver Vixen entered the West Sussex Data Centre - "Do we have any spare funds?" she asked, innocently. "I think and American-styled Fridge-freezer would look good in the utility room". The Gorse Fox thought about it. It seemed an extreme approach to decorating. 30 minutes later the appliance was ordered and scheduled for delivery tomorrow.

Gorse Fox is having a lot of trouble logging in to write his blog at present. Google just seems to sit there and ignore his requests with a continuous cycle of "Redirecting" commands. Frustrating.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Legal Eagle

Back in town, Gorse Fox bumped into a colleague in the coffee queue. "All set for this afternoon?" she asked.
There was a long pause - the Gorse Fox reviewed his appointment calendar in his head. Flashing the dumbest of looks, he replied that he had no idea what she was talking about. It appears that there was an appointment at the corporate lawyers - GF was expected to be there, but nobody had thought to tell him. As it happens, a previously scheduled meeting having been cancelled late yesterday, he could make it.

And so the afternoon was spent in the eyrie at the top of an office block in the heart of the City - affording spectacular views across the  city-scape from the Olympic park to the east to Wembley in the west. Being corporate lawyers there was also the mandatory champagne fridge on display for all to see... though it remained untouched during our meeting!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back in town

Wednesday saw the Gorse Fox back in London rubbing shoulders with old friends and colleagues. He is spending most of his time analysing significant volumes of data to try and elicit a few nuggets of wisdom to help try to estimate the size and cost of the project we are working on.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

No paint

The Gorse Fox was back at work. There was no painting today, there was no sanding, there was no masking, there was no filling, there were no skirting boards. Today it was excel and and pivot tables.

The trip home was delayed by signalling problems near Haywards Heath and this added 45 minutes to the journey (which at the end of the day is the last thing you need).

Monday, August 27, 2012

By popular request

Well, by popular demand (all right - one comment) here is a picture of the refurbished kitchen.
Tiles gone
Old worktop gone
Walls plastered
Walls painted
New worktops
New splashback
etc
We are most pleased... though there is a little finishing off to do.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Painting - tick

Painting now complete in the kitchen... and almost complete on the glass panelled doors. Looks like all major activity should complete today - just leaving the skirting boards and touching up for tomorrow.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Enclosed

The porch is finally enclosed.

It was looking pretty good last night, but Paul still had two panes of glass to fit.

This morning, a flurry of putty and the tap-tap of beading being fixed saw the last gaps sealed and the porch water-tight. What with the outside lights that he has fitted - the overall effect is superb.

Meanwhile, the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox pressed on with the painting in the utility room (now completed) and the kitchen. By tomorrow lunchtime that should also be complete - except for some touching up of the coving. Skirting boards are ready to be cut and fitted... as soon as the paint is dry.

Friday, August 24, 2012

London again

The Gorse Fox has been in London again. He is not amused. He dislikes travelling on Fridays - and particularly the Friday of a Bank Holiday weekend. In his experience, these are the days where the worst delays occur on the railways and roads. However, he was lucky. Everything ran to time... and even the client turned up on schedule.

The session with the client was very interesting and really demands more of the Gorse Fox's time than he can currently devote to it (a problem that he will have to address next week). It is clearly an unique opportunity and just the sort of thing GF likes to get get involved with.

Back home the rash of paint has spread to the kitchen and the glass finally turned up for the porch, which is nearly finished. At least GF will be able to help over the long weekend.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Encore

The Gorse Fox had to leave Paul and the Silver Vixen to their ministrations on the house. The glass didn't arrive for the porch, but there was still plenty to do and evidently they have been painting all day.

GF enjoyed his day in London spending the morning in one Starfleet location then wandering along the river bank to another one of the offices to meet up with a client.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Back in town

Wednesday saw GF on the train to London again. It was a busy day, and GF somehow managed to maintain his equanimity despite being patronised by a "girly" evidently not used to being challenged with logic or facts and expecting people to just roll over and do as she says.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Out West

The Gorse Fox had to head out west to help out with a couple of issues that had arisen at the last client. Interesting how short memories are and it was clear that it was proving an embarrassment that GF was able to provide the history behind some of the decisions that were made and that some of the issues resulted from ignoring the advice we gave.

Meanwhile back at home paint was being slapped on and progress was becoming more and more obvious.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Escape

The Gorse Fox escaped the building chaos at home and headed for London. There was planning and Solutioning to do.

GF also heard from his other opportunity. It sounds very positive and a very real opportunity. However GF has to use his time wisely and marshal other resources to help.

Back home the Silver Vixen continued with the painting, Paul continued working on the porch and the plasterers returned to skim the kitchen. By the time GF got home, the clean up was under way.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

More paint

It may be our anniversary, but there was painting to be done. B&Q managed to relieve us of several hundred of pounds in exchange for various buckets of paint, and pieces of wood. Back home doors were masked, windows cills prepped and undercoats painted. Paul test-fitted the new front door.

Good day

Thirty nine

Well, it was 39 years ago today that the Silver Vixen was rash enough to wander down the aisle and marry the Gorse Fox. GF warned her - that he'd give it another 41 years, but might start looking around after that!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sandpaper and paint

The weather has been superb. Wall-to-wall blue sky, 30C and the slightest of breezes coming off the sea. The Silver Vixen has spent much of the day at one of her covens, leaving the lads to get on with things.

Paul has spent the day finishing the framing for the new porch and the Gorse Fox has been masking an painting internal glass-panelled doors. Whilst not complaining, these 15-panel doors do take a stupid amount of time to mask-up.

Poor start to the football season with a 1-0 loss to Newcastle. Heigh ho! Spurs usually seem to lose the first game of the season, and haven't won at Newcastle for 8 years.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Building it up

It's all go.

The plasterer and his mate have arrived and are fitting out the utility room... and Paul (the Silver Vixen's brother) is cracking on with the porch.

Meanwhile, the Gorse Fox has been contacted by an independent buying agent who is looking for an appropriate property in this area - this meant writing his own brochure so that he could pass details on. It will be interesting to see if anything comes of it.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Movement

Ah ha! There's movement on the part of a colleague who is meant to be helping the Gorse Fox with his new consortium opportunity. He has finally got off his backside and phoned the client. Comparing diaries it became clear that if the did not meet tomorrow, it would be September. That was not acceptable so he has set up a meeting fro Friday morning. GF asked if his presence was required and where it would be.

"Oxford Services on M40" came the reply. Gorse Fox retracted his offer and said that he looked forward to the colleague's report!

Porch still making progress.

Contact from a Buying Agent interested in the house. Must respond tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Progress

The leaden skies gave way to bursts of heavy rain, and the heavy rain gave way to blue skies and sunshine. The Silver Vixen's brother continued to work on the porch and things are coming together nicely.

Back in April, the Gorse Fox filled in the information online to get his passport updated. It occurred to him today that he still had not had any forms or update. He phoned. He spent several minutes negotiating the menu of options and finally found a magic key that allowed him to talk to a human being. Armed with his reference number and passport number he explained his dilemma. Without pausing for a moment's consideration the drone at the other end of the line said - "go to the Post Office and fill in the passport form manually; it probably got lost". So much for government technology.

Work was pretty successful - the bid response was completed and submitted, and though GF nearly got another "opportunity" dumped on him, a quick body swerve saw him safely through to the end of the day with less on his "to do" list than when the day started - a rare event!

Leaden

Leaden skies this morning. Gorse Fox suspects the forecast of rain may be correct,

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Spitfire

The day started with a hop across country to the home of the Spitfire. Indeed, the Gorse Fox was in an oak-panelled  meeting room decked with engineering drawings of the aforementioned aviation masterpiece. Unfortunately, GF was there for more prosaic reasons and spent a couple of hours delving into the features and functions of document management systems. At the end, he was satisfied that he had the knowledge he needed and the contacts  to draw upon when the subject is raised with his exciting new potential client.

By the time GF arrived home at lunch-time. The Silver Vixen's brother had demolished the porch and the front corner of the house hung in mid-air, as if a chunk had been hacked out of it. Acros supported the gable and everything was being prepared for the building work to start tomorrow.

In the Gorse Fox's office he was hammering away at his keyboard. Far less satisfying, but necessary. Slowly the document took shape which would form part of proposal being sent to another client this week. Suspect that will pay a major part in tomorrow also.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Post Olympic lull

After staying up late to watch the Olympic Closing Ceremony, it was a bit of a struggle to get going and catch the early train to London. Evidently the Gorse Fox was not the only one to feel that way as the train, though busy, was not full - except with the sounds of snoring.

At work GF took his colleagues through his thinking regarding the project. He seemed to get immediate agreement and buy-in - somewhat unexpectedly. This saved a lot of time and debate. He also had a call regarding the client in Denmark that he was involved with a couple of months back. Interestingly it seems that the German colleagues are more involved that the Danes - who all seem to be on vacation.

GF sat on one of the promotion boards during the early afternoon. It's nice to see some of the more junior people coming through and showing their potential.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Closing

Well that was nice. Agent Mulder and the family turned up and we all headed off to Burpham to the George and Dragon. As usual, the service was impeccable, and the food was superb. The time was too short however as they had to make their way across country to see GF's nano-sis and family. The Audi A5 hire car proved to be a little obstinate in selecting a sensible route on the SatNav. A little bit of cajoling was all that was needed in the end.

Back home we had a quiet few hours before the Silver Vixen's brother turned up and we all settled down to watch the Olympics Closing Ceremony... and chuckle at the cynics, killjoys, and moaners on Twitter.  Whilst not up to the innovation of the Opening Ceremony it was ok, overall - probably rescued by Fat Boy Slim, the Spice Girls (GF is shaking his head, barely believing he said that), and the The Who.

Agent Mulder

Agent Mulder has brought the family over for the Olympics. Now the action is drawing to a close they are meant to be visiting us. A good day is expected.!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Carnage

The day started simply enough. There was a pile of building detritus gathering in front of the garage and this had to be disposed of. Once again the back seats of the VW were dropped and the car loaded for the first of several trips to to the local tip. The final trip involved a detour for some wood required for the kitchen, and for some of the elements that make up a BBQ.

Urban-cub and Pistol Pete had decided they wanted to put up their new tent once again, and thought it would be nice to have a BBQ. As it was such a lovely day, this seemed like a good idea.

Several cows, pigs, sheep and chickens - suitably jointed and anonymised by the butchers art and accompanying sauces - were stacked up by the grill and slowly carbonized ready for adding to a token salad leaf. This carnage was accompanied by the output of several small vineyards. Thoroughly enjoyable it was too.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Busy day

It was a busy day. GF had to exchange emails with the Admiral to clarify her direction regarding GF's priorities. By lunchtime the clarification was through and GF had managed to get some leeway to continue with the current opportunity.

Good day over all

Thursday, August 09, 2012

In Town

Whilst the Silver Vixen's brother continued to work on the kitchen, Gorse Fox had to be in London.

A full day with clients to discuss something they evidently know nothing about - but have fixed opinions on how it should be done. Just what we need! However, it is an attitude that seems endemic in their parent organisation, so the Gorse Fox should not be surprised.

The Olympics are still keeping London quiet, making the travel positively enjoyable.

When the Gorse Fox arrived home, the worktops were all fitted and the hob and sink were in situ. Still some finishing off to do, but that can wait until next week. We're delighted with the results so far.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Worktops


Whilst the Gorse Fox got on with his new project/opportunity – speaking to colleagues about software, arranging workshops, briefing Partners, talking to other parts of Starfleet and generally beginning to form a solution – the work in the kitchen progressed further.

Worktops arrived and the first few are now cut to size and waiting to be bonded and fixed in place. We are without a sink, dishwasher, or cooker today – but the local Chinese Restaurant was glad to step in… and a hose in the garden served us for washing up.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Progress

The building works on the kitchen are proceeding well. New worktops have been selected and should be delivered tomorrow. A few decisions will need to await what we see when the old counter-tops are removed, but we are optimistic.

Work on GF’s new client is also going well. Shapes are beginning to emerge from the fog and candidate products for a later selection process are emerging. On top of this GF is under pressure to support another client opportunity on Thursday and to provide some supporting slides for the campaign. Deliberately leaving things late, GF acquiesced and prepared several slides for the event – and finally agreed to attend on Thursday.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Ghost Town

The Gorse Fox caught the early train up to to London. Again, the train was deserted, making for a pleasant trip. Arriving at Victoria and dodging the Olympic helpers, GF made his way to the tube – where a train was waiting. Though GF stood (as he usually does on the tube) seats were available, The dire warnings of chaos have certainly kept many people away – making the commute almost fun!

The day was spent helping some colleagues define a project much the same as the one GF has just finished. Remarkable how some of them thought their theoretical knowledge was more relevant the GF’s practical experience. Never mind, GF prevailed in the end… and has been asked to return in order to speak with the client. GF has decided to play hard to get.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

White paint

The day seemed to be all about paint. Removing door furniture on one door so it could be finished, masking up another door so it could be started and keeping an eye on the Olympics.

The News reports of flooding and the evidence of torrential rain during the marathon in London served to remind us how lucky we are in this neck of the woods… wall to wall sunshine all day.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Lottery

Apparently you have to be in it to win it. So the Gorse Fox bought some tickets online – playing automatically for several weeks in advance.

Today he got some welcome news from last night’s Euromillions Lottery.

He won.

Barely able to contain his excitement he logged in to his account – and sure enough the money has already been paid in to his account.

The Gorse Fox is feeling very smug, and now needs to  consider how best to spend his windfall… or whether to save it as part of his pension pot. There are so many things that he would like to do, but can’t (obviously) do them all.

The boat is probably out of the question – not really practical as the Silver Vixen isn’t too good on the water… and £3.40 may not stretch very far.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Blast damage

The work continues. The kitchen tiles are being removed and it looks as if a fragmentation grenade may have gone off to assist in the process. Any hope that the walls could just be scraped, filled and painted has disappeared. What we need is a fairy godmother plasterer to come an wave his magic wand float.

Meanwhile Gorse Fox has been working on his new opportunity and managing his usual barrage of calls. A highlight of the day was when one of Starfleet’s European VPs related to the team how he had worked with the Gorse Fox in years gone by and how when Starfleet released a particular new product GF pointed out that its real value would only be seen when it was hybridised and and combined two particular technologies. The VP pointed out that Starfleet had finally come to the same conclusion and released the hybrid in the last few months – 20 years after GF pointed out its obvious value.

GF concludes that if people would only do what he says, when he says it, they would save themselves many years… and rip the competition apart.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Nothing Special

Work goes on on the utility room, and the Silver Vixen has been helping with some painting.

The Gorse Fox has had a busy day finishing the report on yesterday’s review and then moving on to analysis of the opportunity that arose from Tuesday’s meeting. Good solid day, but not filled with interesting stuff to talk about.

Good to see a few decent medals for the TeamGB today.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Reviewing the Situation

The Gorse Fox had another trip today. He had to make for Stockley Park, near Heathrow, to review some work that Starfleet was being asked to do.

The Olympic traffic meant that GF had a trouble-free journey and he arrived significantly earlier than planned. This was good as it gave him a chance to meet up with some old colleagues.

The review seemed interminable – it’s funny how some people are unable to summarise facts and then let you decide where you need to drill deeper. Whilst the guy had done an excellent job, he insisted on taking the Gorse Fox through every excruciating element of it.

Back home, the Gorse Fox’s sister, and brother-in-law were visiting and so we took the opportunity of going out for a quiet meal along with the Silver Vixen’s brother.