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Sunday, July 31, 2005

Arriving back at the car in the middle of another downpour, GF headed home to strip off his wet clothes.**

The profile of the walk is shown above, with a total ascent of about 1100 feet, over the 9.6 mile route.

**Before you get too worked up, GF would like to asssure you that he replaced the wet clothes with dry ones.

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Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
A mile or two further on, the rain had stopped (briefly. The crops were washed, the trees fresh, and GF was warm and wet.
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Clouds Gathering

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
To the west clouds were gathering. The edges frayed with rain. GF wondered if they were headed his way.

GF soon found out. They were. As he turned towards Lee farm he heard the sound of running water or a waterfall. Checking the map he was puzzled, until he realised it was actually the sound of the torrential rain that was moving towards him. Within moments he was in a deluge.

He marched on for a while, then decided to shelter for a while. However, there was little sign of respite so GF delved into his trusty backpack and retrieved a plastic poncho that he could wear over his walking gear. Heading onwards he tramped through the cloudburst. Water was rolling off the hills and cascading down the path. GF's boots were beginning to squelch, but there were three more miles to the car.

Don't get the GF wrong, he is not complaining. The Downs are special in all weathers and this was the first time that GF had actually got caught in such heavy rain. His horizon was foreshortened by the hood and wet glasses, but it was still a sight to make the heart soar.

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Towards Lee Farm

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Heading back to the south GF marvelled at the creases and curves of the Downs. The clump of trees in the foreground surround earthworks and a tumulus. Unfortunately, the Ixus 400 that GF uses tends to flatten the picture.
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Chantry Post

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
At the northernmost point of the walk, GF arrived at Chantry Post, overlooking Sullington. This is where the route intercepted the South Downs Way. At this point the sun came out and GF thought that all seemed well with the world.

There was a little car park at the top with a number of people sitting and taking in the view, or releasing their mountain bikes from the racks and heading off into the downs.

After a refreshing slug of water from his supplies, GF head back southwards towards Harrow Hill.

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Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
And then GF has a bizarre moment.

There he was, the only sound was rain against his hood. Then he detected a droning and wondered what was going on. Doffing his rain hood he looke to the east as a B17 flew over the edge of the downs an straight over his head.

Then as quickly it had arrived, it was gone. GF was left in silence, water dripping off his glasses, wondering if he was hallucinating.
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Blackpatch Hill

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
GF arrived at Blackpatch Hill, and headed to the top. GF was somewhat surprised to find a Range Rover Discovery sitting at the top. GF assumed this was a some security to protect the Time Team dig site. GF strolled round the site and was impressed to see how well it had all been restored.

GF moved on northwards, still a little bemused by having seen further human beings. As the weather was still very wet, and water was finding its way into his boots and down his back. He had assumed he wouldn't see a soul.

Looking back at Blackpatch Hill

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Myrtle Farm

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Approaching Blackpatch Hill, this view opened up to the west. At the bottom of the slope is Myrtle Farm (GF thinks).

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Long Furlong

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Heading north along Long Furlong Lane GF was now suffering from a steady soaking by gently but incessant rain.

Looking back the way he had come, the ridge in the background is Long Furlong, where GF walked a few weeks ago.

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Start point - Clapham (West Sussex)

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Just thought GF should start by clarifying the start point was Clapham in West Sussex, not the one with the railway junction

Starting from the village GF headed up towards the old village church and then headed for Long Furlong.

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Clapham-Blackpatch Hill-Chantry Post-Harrow Hill-Patching

After the laziness of yesterday, Gorse Fox had to get some exercise. His reader(s) expect it!

After a little deliberation, and an eye to the weather, GF decided to head for Clapham (at the bottom right hand corner of this map), and to walk up to Chantry Post and back round Harrow Hill and Patching.

Seemed like a good idea when it was planned... but looking inland from the coast the weather looked a bit bleak. At least it wasn't raining. (Well at least it wasn't when GF left home!).

En route for the starting point GF observed a couple out for a walk with their dog. A walk with a different twist... they were carrying the dog. Not sure that's quite the idea.

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Saturday, July 30, 2005

Wot, No Walk?

Regular readers may be concerned that GF has not posted a Sussex Walk. The explanation for this is simple: pure lethargy. Somehow he was unable to stir his frame into action today.

He will spend some time with the maps this evening and see what might inspire him for the 'morrow.

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Domestic day

A strange day. The weather fluctuated between hot bright sunshine and heavy showers. GF is sure this was appreciated by the garden.
GF was feeling particularly lethargic and found it hard to get his brain out of neutral. Silver Vixen has been a little unwell for the past two days, and seems to be no better today. Apparently a lot of people locally are reporting similar gastric symptoms and this has caused a lot of cancellations at the sports club, and also meant that Cousteau-cub has been working most of the week with temporary staff filling in for sick colleagues.
GF spent time working out cutting plans for the units SV wants for her sewing room, he also went to the local DIY stores, but decided there was just too much stuff to get into the car... so would order it. Next on the agenda was some touch-up painting in the bathroom.

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Friday, July 29, 2005

GF need not have been nervous. All went well, and his audience appeared to stay awake throughout. That was a relief.

GF went on to a couple of further sesssions, then to the main auditorium for the closing talk. The guest speaker was The Stig. He was really quite entertaining and had plenty of stories to tell regarding motor racing and Top Gear. It was a good note on which to end the jamboree... Having heard all about fast cars, and fast driving, GF settled down into the cockpit of his trusty steed, switched on, and sat in Friday afternoon traffic for four and a half hours, making his way slowly back to the sunshine of West Sussex.

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GF has got out of the habit of giving presentations. There was a time, several years back, that it was part of his daily ritual. There would be one, two, or even more talks and presentation every day. Now it is a fairly rare event. GF must admit to a few nerves as he repeatedly goes through his material in preparation.

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Bizarre breakfast

GF is always amazed at the strange juxtapositions that occurr in life. This morning he was sitting having breakfast with about a dozen crusty colleagues, discussing the realities of our jobs and our clients. The door of the refectory swung open and in walked about a dozen cheerleaders in full uniform.
Were they to be part of the day's proceedings? Were they an illusion?

GF can answer NO to both questions. They were part of the British Cheerleaders' Association - up for competition. And GF's coleagues all stopped talking and shared the same hallucination - leading GF to conclude it was real.... if bizarre.

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A Gala Dinner

Last evening featured a Gala Dinner. Gorse Fox was seated at a table with a diverse bunch of colleagues that he had not previously met. However, over the years he has learnt that most of the folk in Starfleet a nice individuals, and ths again proved to be the case.
Each table was handed an envelope with a common challenge. Out of the envelope's content, each table had to create a self propelled device that would carry a "damsel in distress" across an 8 foot paddling pool. The components that were available included card, foil, a handkerchief, balloons, corks, straws, lolly sticks, and paper clips. Being who we are, this became a very competetive challenge, with industrial espionage, prototypes tried out in the gents toilets, and general inventive chaos.
The exercise was great fun, but GF regrets to admit that his team did not win.

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Thursday, July 28, 2005

Tales from the dark (well wet) side

Several things amused the GF during the day. In no particular sequence:
  • Firstly, while talking to an old colleague, it occurred to Gf how much he looked like Bilbo Baggins... and then GF couldn't get the image out of his mind, nor take anything he said seriously. My precious.
  • Then a younger colleague came for a chat and GF was troubled by the recurring thought that he was mutating (at least visually) into Graham Norton. Another image that is troubling!
  • GF commented during lunch how few ladies there were in the community - then clarified that there weren't even that many women. Pam Ayres took this in good heart and proceeded to say there was an initiative to move more women to influential positions. Just what we need in Starfleet, more bossy women!!
  • The mind wandered during some of the presentations. GF should explain that such presentation tend to be filled with acronyms and abbreviations. GF came up with some new ones:
    • Component Oriented Modelling Artifact - COMA
    • TRANsactional Component Engine - TRANCE
    • Simple Transisitional Unified Process Object Repository - STUPOR
    Not sure that they'll catch on, but I guess it reveals the GF's state of mind during the session!

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Nottingham Bottoms

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
You will be aware that GF has a thing about Sussex Bottoms. Arrival in the main auditorium revealed these thongs stretched over the stage.
GF is a little worried about the apparent size of Nottinhamshire Bottoms, if this is anything to judge by.

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Shoes for ...

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
GF was a interested in this sign. It seems starnge to be so specific about the types of footwear that are available. These, GF assumes, are pink and fluffy.

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Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
The conference centre in Nottingham where GF is spending a day or two.
It may appear hazy. That's because, being the Midlands, it is wet and damp.

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Well, GF is pleased to find that there is a wireless hotspot in the conference centre, so he is taking a few moments to bring you up to date.

The drive to Nottingham was tedious with various hold-ups slowing the journey to 4.5 hours. However, on arrival registration and room allocation was slick and trouble free. After a suitable break, GF went back to the Conference Centre to join his colleagues in a convivial evening which included simple food, and fine ale. It was nice to see so many old colleagues, some of whom GF had not seen for 15 or 20 years.

Though the vening was evidently going to run on to the small hours, GF bootled out and left the youngsters to it.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Possible hiatus

Gorse Fox has to attend a Starfleet conference (in fact he is one of the august speakers**) for the next few days. It is being held in Nottingham, rather than a recognised Starfleet location. Access to the internet could be patchy... GF must warn you, dear reader, that he doubts there will many updates in the next 72 hours.
A word about Nottingham - GF has not been there for many years, but his abiding memories of the place include:
  • Speed cameras
  • Tiny hotel rooms
  • Speed cameras
  • Rain
  • Speed cameras
  • Old pubs
  • Jeff Gribbin (and VM - ahhh those were the days!)
  • A very dodgy curry
  • Long periods inside of a hotel bathroom (see dodgy curry, above)
  • Can't remember if they had electricity... seems a bit far north, so probably not

** can you be an august speaker in July? Is it legal?

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A bit of a do

last evening was a social affair. The Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen met with Urban-cub and Sir Lancinglot, and Sir Lancinglot's parents to go out for a meal and celebrate S-L's birthday.

We went to the "Imperial China" for the meal. It is a well appointed restaurant in a refurbuished 1850's building just off the waterfront. The owner, John, appears to be a neighbour of GF+SV, living just along Coastal Road. He also has a second restaurant in Brighton Marina. Evidently, S-L knows John quite well, having done work for him in the past, and having frequented the restaurant as a patron, on numerous occasions.

We opted for one of the set meals (feasts), and so the 8 courses began... GF can't remember them all, but there were hors d'oevres, lobster in ginger and spring onion, king prawns, and chilli beef. Whatever they served up was excellent, an unlike so many Chinese restaurants, was not too salty, and not greasy. Even the Silver Vixen commented how good it was, and she is not too keen on Chinese food generally. Definitely deserving of a return visit.

The conversation rambled across many subjects, as it often does when you meet people for the first time, but with Urban-cub , Silver Vixen and S-L's mum, it was never likely to flag!!! It was a late evening for GF+SV, not actually getting home till midnight (on a school night !). But it had been very, very enjoyable.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Visiting Hobbit

Today our home was visited by a pleasant hobbit. Said hobbit had been sent by the insurance company to start the clean-up after our little disaster. GF was very pelased to see him, however, even though he is dealing with a single insurance company - they are sending two separate firms. The hobbit's firm deals with the damage to contents, and the other firm damage to the building.
The hobbit was very efficient. Coming in he assessed the situation:
Ceiling's come down then!

Err, yes.
Roots about in his case, brings out camera-phone:
I'll take some... Oh sorry, battery's dead.

Roots about some more, brings out digital camera
This isn't mine. I don't know how to use this.

GF volunteered to use his own camera and email the photos. This was deemed a good solution, and was commended to the house.

The hobbit then got on with removing the debris, clearing the wet and dank insulation, ripping down the damaged board, cleaning etc. GF was very impressed. He did an excellent job. He has left a strange fan blowing air under the carpet to help dry it, and will be back once the builders have finished to do a full cleanup.

Now, a few words about the "buildings" insurance. As promised, their representative called this morning. However they cannot get their surveyor here until next week. This does not impress GF. It is the main water tank that is leaking. If it gets worse and we have to switch of the water, then we will be without hot water and so forth until their builder is finally able to turn up. Also if it gets worse when GF/SV are out or in bed, a great deal more damage could be done.

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Monday, July 25, 2005

Looking at the posts of the ruptured ceiling, GF can't help but think it looks like a Wookie trying to escape. When we move back upstairs that image will probably haunt GF.

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Same disaster, different view

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
A different view of the same disaster. What a good job we have insurance.
Now the trick will be to find how many way that the insurance company will try not pay.
So far they have already said they will not pay for the leaking tank, only the damage caused by it. I bet they'll think of some more get out clauses before they finish. (GF has a very low opinion of Insurance companies... they are too happy to take your money but never willing to pay up without a fight).

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Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
It seems to have spread little since Gorse Fox went to Worcester yesterday. Arriving home this evening this was the state of the bedroom ceiling.
Good job Silver Vixen slept downstairs last night!!!

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Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
As explained yesterday, GF had this leak.

this was how it first presented. A small bubble in the ceiling.
It seems to have got worse...

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Sunday, July 24, 2005


Gorse Fox has an early meeting in Worcester tomorrow. Deciding he couldn't face a 5a.m. start he headed up to stay overnight. He and the Silver Vixen had had a pleasant lunch with Cousteau-cub at the Arun View. Nice fresh lobster and a pleasant outlook over the river.
Having made his way up to Worcester, and checked in GF noticed that the hotel had a t-mobile wireless hotspot. Never having tried one of these before he decided to experiment. A few minutes of reading the terms and conditions and so forth, and then some time looking at the price tariff... and he was off. It worked remarkably easily - first time in fact. It also seems to be pretty fast. What GF would say is that it seems expensive, and doesn't seem to allow a sensible subscription scheme. Anyway, for the convenience and a bit of experimentation... it's fine.

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Home ownership is a form of death by a thousand cuts (or maybe poverty by a thousand cuts). As GF was switching off the light last night he saw a small bulge in the bedroom ceiling. It had not started to rain yet, so the implication was a leak from within the fabric of the house.
Today it has got worse and the ceiling is beginning to bow. GF has investigated. It seems that there's long term seepage from the tank. This has now gone critical and water has started to accumulate. GF has tried to plug the leak, but at best has slowed it down. He has punctured the ceiling to allow the water to drain away... but fears this is a big job. he has spoken to Medallion Man who will take a look tomorrow.

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Now and then one sees a great quote:
Naturally. Perhaps the Met. could be trained in guerilla aromatherapatic techniques to relieve the stress of the Jihadists?

Do visit A Tangled Web for the full context.

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Saturday, July 23, 2005

This was the profile of the walk. Nothing too strenuous, but good exercise nonetheles. GF liked this route and would certainly re-trace it in the future. 
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Well this map shows the actual route taken.(Sorry about all the gibbets or crucifixes - GF couldn't find a way to switch them off). Actual route ended up 7.2 miles
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Final Stretch

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
By thispoint GF's GPS said he was on half a mile from his starting point. Looking back across the farmyard, and seeing the hanging baskets on the farmhouse wall, it all looked so calm and almost remote.

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Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
After a very long loop round GF arrived in the farmyard of Lychpole Farm. Whilst there were plenty of modern farm buildings in the area, GF was taken by the old Sussex flint barn.

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Best Laid Plans

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Things went a bit awry here. The planned route should have diverted north near this point, but the footpath was completely inaccesible, and blocked with barbed wire.

GF did some dynamic replanning and headed off Southeast past Lychpole Farm (seen here afloat on a sea of corn).

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I've Been There

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
From the side of Cissbury Ring GF looked North East, along the ridge on the horizon is the path GF had just travesed. Nestling in a fold of the downs is New Hill Barn, and in front of that Park Barrow and a Tumulus.

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Vistas South

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Looking south from the South Downs Way there was a break in the rolling hills revealing East Worthing and the sea in the background.
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South Downs Way

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
At this point GF was heading west along the South Downs Way. On the horizon is Cissbury Ring. That's where GF was heading.

The route didn't quite work out along this stretch GF took a wrong path. Though he quickly realised, he checked the map and decided to stick with the new route.

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Steyning Bowl

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
GF had reached the edge of Steyning Bowl, He had just passed a couple cavorting in grass. As the Gorse Fox approached they stooped and stared... GF checked his clothing and decided all was well and strode on. At least this week the couple were clothed!

Steyning Bowl itself was a magnificent Rubinesque roll in the Downs, with exceptional views out to the east and down of Steyning and Bramber.

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Sompting - Steyning

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
The route started just north of Sompting. The sun had broken through, GF had left his hat in the car, but decided that it wasn't too bad and headed on. The views opened up in all directions as he climbed the side of Steep Down. This view to the east caught the GF's eye.
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Gorse Fox decided to make the most of the weather. It was dry and didn't look likely to rain (despite the forecast).
This particualr route started at the P at the 5 o'clock point on the map, then traversed anti-clockwise around the top edge of Steyning Bowl, then westwards along the Monarch's Way, looping south to Cissbury ring and then back towards the car.
Plan said this was 5.4 miles... Well so much for plans!
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Designs on the Design Centre

Weather forecast for Saturday was a little mixed. Showers possible today - heavy rain tomorrow.
Silver Vixen wanted some help with her Sewing Room. This involved some shifting of furniture and then a lot of time staring at empty walls trying to decide how best to meet all of her requirement:
  • Storage space for books
  • Storage space for fabrics
  • Hanging space for project "in progress"
  • A cutting surface that can be worked at while standing, without bending
  • A table so she could invite the coven here
  • etc.

After a few sketches and some break-dancing with a tape measure SV+GF finally came up with a plan. Final drawings were agreed. Now GF just has to create cutting lists and order sufficient wood to rebuild HMS Victory.,, and then start.

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Friday, July 22, 2005

GF has been a little perplexed by Symantec AV recently. Vague unease about automatically scheduled scans not starting. Decided that an egg is an egg** and re-installed from scratch... now to observe!!
**Please tell me this doesn't need explaining !

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Media - A Paradox

GF is has a deep seated unease regarding the media. Like most, he has an insatiable appetite for news, wants it current, and wants it now! However, he also wants it to be accurate, and responsible.
Today's incident in London, where plain clothes officers shot a person at Stockwell, has brought this into focus. GF wanted to know what was going on. The BBC eventually found and interviewed an eye witness who recounted the whole tale, as he saw it. What troubles GF though, is the concern that should there ever be a criminal proceedings**,
  • could this person appear as a witness?

  • Would his testimony be accepted in court?

  • Would the slightest variation from the interview be picked on by the jackals lawyers as unreliability?

  • Is it right that the media interview these eye-witnesses before the police?

GF doesn't know the answers, but has a general feeling of disquiet.
**After all, the police are bound to be prosecuted by some bleeding-heart who was more concerned for the victim than the potential victims of a possible suicide bombing.

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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Newcastle Disease - pheasant cull announced

BBC NEWS Diseased pheasant cull announced. This news intrigued the Gorse Fox. GF has never really understood the Geordies, but culling the peasants seemed a bit extreme.

It seems that Newcastle Disease affects birds and the symptoms may be:

  • The birds think they're incredibly hard
  • They wear black and white shirts
  • They wait until winter then strip off all their feathers and parade around
  • They are hard to understand
  • They drink vast quantities of brown liquids
  • They fall over a lot
  • They can't put together a decent football team

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Busy day back on the farm. However, as GF doesn't have a farm that wasn't a major problem.
What was a problem was the fact that it was a busy day here at the keyboard also. GF sat down early this morning and has hardly budged all day, finger smoking from friction burns on the keys and ears raw from phone calls. GF likes it when he's busy, so he is not complaining.

Silver Vixen left him to it this morning and went out to lie down on the floor of the gym studio with some pilots (or something). then this afternoon she swooped off to visit with her coven.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Gorse Fox was somewhat disconcerted, on his journey back to Sussex, by the handmade sign near Petersfield advertising or directing towards
Manhood RC Show

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GF may get irritated by the trolls in Starfleet occasionally... but he must say, when the chips are down, Starfleet really comes through. Esteemed Client is currently dealing with a major problem. Huge scope, huge potential cost, fairly catastrophic impact on certain industry. Starfleet have pulled out the stops - new systems being developed for delivery within days, new systems being built and deployed, new website, changes to support cover.
Makes GF proud !

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Quiet evening in Malvern. No colleagues staying up last night so Gorse Fox had an early dinner and and early night.

Interesting phrase in email received from colleague this morning. (Suspect it's a typo, but who knows...)
"We have an outbreak of senior management ..."

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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

GF thought he'd seen it all. He's been driving for 35 years and witnessed some peculiar sights. This morning, on the M4 he was passed at about 70mph) by an estate car (Ford Focus) with ladders in the back... and the driver had today's newspaper open and propped up against the steering wheel so he could read it while driving.


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GF has an early start today. Meetings in Worcester.

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Monday, July 18, 2005


Well, not sure how the GF did it, but wireless seems to be working again and he can now print... and it seems as if he can still connect to Starfleet.

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GF Hates Networking

GF has been off the air for several hours. The root cause is networking. GF hates networking. He has spent 33+ years in IT and related consulting and still hates networking. The story goes like this:
  • GF's laptop and home desktop computer are on the same network
  • When using wired connections GF can successfully share printers and files
  • Each machine connects to Internet via a hub/router with NATS firewall
  • When using wireless network, GF can share files, but not print.

So in a fit of pique GF decided to try and fix this... and used Microsoft's helpful wizard to reconfig his home network. Result:
  • Main home PC would not connect to internet at all
  • Laptop would not connect to Starfleet, but would connect to the internet
  • Wireless feature of laptop seems to have been blown away

GF was NOT a happy bunny.
  • Tried the System Restore features to return him to sanity - failed, would not restore.

  • Tried reconfiguuring several times - problem appeared to lie in "bridging" and Internet Connection Firewall.
  • Internet connection now restored
  • Starfleet connections restored
  • Wireless still buggered

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Will they buy GF a lottery ticket?

The BBC reports: Cliff fall couple 'only bruised'. It would appear the ground gave way at the top of Beachy Head. They went over and were rescued by Coastguards.
GF wonders if they would buy him a lottery ticket!
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Sunday, July 17, 2005


Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
We chatted much of the afternoon, with Betty and Barney Rubble, on the deck.

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Old Basing Church

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
The Parish Church in Old Basing is an interesting edifice with external appearance of having three naves. Inside it is cool and tarnquil, but somehow a little dark and almost foreboding. Not a feeling GF is used to finding in old churches.
We had gone there to visit the "Free Trade Fayre", but on arrival realised that it had not just shut up early, but actually been last weekend!

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Old Basing

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
GF & SV had a splendid day with Betty & Barney Rubble. The "Rubble" is now beginning to settle as they have completed the spare bedroom and en-suite, and also finished the deck.
A brief walk late afternoon took us out near the church and this cluster of houses.

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Another lovely day begins. the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen are off to Old Basing to visit Betty and Barney Rubble today.

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Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Young Gorse Fox

BBC have ben looking at age. Interesting test, with good motherhood type of advice on completion.
Gorse Fox was pleased to find out he was 0.6 years younger than he thought he was... take the test.

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This was the profile of the walk.The map said it would be about 5.8 miles, but the GPS told the Gorse Fox it was actually 7.4 miles.
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Arundel Town

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
The home stretch took the Gorse Fox down Arundel's quaint High Street. Again, he managed to stride past the siren like call, from the Norfolk Arms, of several good ales.
He made his way back to the car, and thus ended another adventure.

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Arundel Castle (top of town)

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Passing the Cathedral and the Priory Church the castle dominates the skyline. It really is a splendid edifice, and is still the seat of the Duke of Norfolk.

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Arundel Cathedral

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Back at the top of Arundel town is the Roman Catholic Cathedral. It is a wonder of neo-Gothic architecture... somewhat ruined by the two buses parked outside.

GF bumped into the Bishop getting into his car. he had been singing at the wedding and was now heading off to see the grandchildren. Nice to see him, GF hasn't seen him for quite a while.

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Swanbourne Lake

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
The route took GF along the south side of Swanbourne Lake. This was obviously a popular spot as there were plenty of people around, playing in grass, having picnics and generally taking in the views.

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Sussex Bottoms

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Gorse Fox has visited the subject of Sussex Bottoms before. This walk cast a new perspective on the subject.

This stretch of hillside was the route GF had taken down from the top of the hill. part of the route was across field that had been cut, and part across long grass with no footpath marked. GF's trusty GPS kept him to the route. As he was contemplating the peace and tranquility a pheasant rose from the long grass with a squak that made GF jump.

He stopped to take in what was around him - and there 50 metres in front was a melange of naked legs and arms and what GF can only describe as a Sussex Bottom. GF assumes that there were ants in the area as the bottom and the legs wrapped round it, seemed to be somewhat agitated.

GF thought about offering assistence - but concluded that these walkers were pre-occupied and probably didn't need a hand - so making a small detour Gf moved on.

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Looking down

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Looking down from further up the hill, Gf got a clear view of South Stoke and the rolling Downs beyound.

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Looking back

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
A mile or so later GF had climbed from the river bank and entered Arundel Park. Climbing further some wonderful views opened to the west, nort and east.
This view looked back toward South Stoke, nestling down in the folds of the landscape.

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More of South Stoke

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
The village really was the most picturesque place to stop for a breather and a some water.
GF chatted with another walker who was sitting there taking in the view. She had been walking the South Downs Way, a bit at a time. Today's stretch was to start at Arundel and loop to Amberley, where she had palnned to catch the train back to her car. Pointing out it was about the same distance back to Arundel as it was to Amberley, GF took his leave and stode on.

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South Stoke

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Approaching the North easternmost part of the walk GF arrived at South Stoke, a tiny village of half a dozen houses and a quaint little Church.

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Still Water

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
This small stream was a shaded point for a brief rest and a pull on the bottle of water GF had with him. He was far enough off the beaten track now not to be able to see or hear any sounds other than brids, the river, and crickets.

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Fox's Oven

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
You will be proud to learn that the Gorse Fox was firm with himself, and strode past the Black Rabbit with barely a look. (Sucker!!)
Carrying on past Offham he reached a point of the walk where he was to pass this copse, called "Fox's Oven".
Alert as ever to good food he sniffed the air, but obviously there was nothing cooking. Then thinking about it further he wondered if the oven was for cooking foxes - with that thought he scurried onwards, just in case.

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A Traveller's rest

Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Moving north towards Offham there is the renown Black Rabbit. A public house situated on a bend in the river, it serves good beer and good food. On a hot afternoon such as this the thought of stopping there was overwhelming.
Would GF succumb to the call of a cool ale, or would he stride manfully onwards.

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