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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Too much excitement

As the year fizzles to an end our little corner of Sussex was captivated by the excitement of a Fire Engine sweeping onto the Estate - siren wailing, and lights flashing. It whizzed round behind our house, and disappeared towards the eastern end of parish. Was there a fire? Was a neighbour flooded by the high tide? Was cat stuck up a tree? Was someone stuck in their bath?
Less than 2 minutes later it swept past the front of the house and back out of the Estate.
Obviously a quick "Shout"... or wrong directions.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Eighty-Five Theses

Gorse Fox refers you to the following dissertation The Eighty-Five Theses just to remind you how great our Prime Minister and his Government are.

Brilliant... wouldn't it be nice if Her Majesty's Opposition were as concise, or even mentioned some of these items.


The storm has returned, and rain is hammering against the house like spume from breaking waves.


Storms swept in across the country last night, and are forecast to continue until Monday or Tuesday. In some towns they are threatening to cancel the public events for New Year's Eve because of the risk of 50-80mph winds.
Certainly the banshee howling of the winds that battered us last night would call for caution. What always amazes the Gorse Fox, after a storm such as that, is looking out in the morning and seeing everything peaceful, unchanged, unfazed by the mayhem that preceeded. It is almost as if he had imagined it.

Bloke on a Rope

It seems that they decided not to keep Saddam Hussein hanging around too long.

Friday, December 29, 2006

No more Pink

Pretty in pink... Not!

Gorse Fox gave in. He hates the color pink. Always has. It reminds him of a childhood medicine that he disliked immensely. This meant that the pink-hued TV had to go. Much of today was therefore spent searching for a suitable replacement.

Eventually, GF (with advice and guidance from the Silver Vixen) selected a rather nice Samsung device. One of its features is the inclusion of a Digital TV Tuner... which despite our apalling TV signal here, seems to have picked up plenty of signals and renders them in an excellent picture. GF is rather pleased (despite the unexpected, unplanned, and unwanted expenditure).


Yesterday was disrupted by a phone call. All was not well with Auntie P after some Christmas upsets. The Silver Vixen would only have worried, so GF said he'd drive her up to Jimmy's place and they could visit Auntie P.
The effort was worthwhile, as Auntie P reponded to SV's presence and chirped up. By the time we had been there for a couple of hours, she was back to normal and we set off home.
The journey home was lengthened by 45 minutes by three exceptional loads being transported along our route that were causing vast tailbacks on the road south. GF caught the back of this by Oxford, and then finally got past them at Chandlers Ford, having pottered along between 30 and 40 in between.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Plunder by Numbers

Just in case you have not read the Daily Mail, there is an article today explaining how each household is contributing £900 every year to the pensions of our public sector workers.
In fact, the majority of workers fail to save anything at all for their old age and do not realise they are funding somebody else's with their taxes.
and continues:

Authoritative research from The Institute of Economic Affairs shows the cost of inflation-linked schemes for nearly six million state employees such as doctors, nurses, teachers and policemen has reached more than £22.3billion each year.

On average each one of the 25million households in the country must pay £900 to meet this bill and, according to the experts, this figure will pass the £1,000 mark and go on increasing.

This huge burden will have to be met by today's children when they start earning.

In the paper version of this article is this useful summary for you to cut out and keep:

5,840,000Public sector workers in Britain
650,000extra public sector workers since Labour came to power
£22Bnannoual cost to taxpayer of paying for pensions of former public sector employees
£76BnProjected annual bill within 30 years
£100Bntotal wiped off private pensions schemes in last nine years by Gordon Brown's tax raids
100%public sector workers on gold-plated final salary pension scheme
11%private workers on gold-plated final salary pension schemes
60the age when most public sector workers get their pension
68the age when private sector workers born after April 1978 will get their state pension
£84.25basic state pension per week
Considering the "grey vote" is probably one of the largest block votes in the electorate (given that most youngsters don't vote) Gorse Fox is amazed that (what we laughingly refer to as) the opposition is not making more of these sorts of issues, the burden of taxation, and the paltry state pension.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

La Vie en Rose

There appears to be a problem with GF's TV. After a few minutes, the picture takes on a pink hue... and looks as if one of the colours has failed.

Just what we needed, a potential expensive replacement

Blues and Twos

A super day with the Gorse Fox's sister and family. Lots of gossip (but GF isn't going to breathe a word), catching up, good food and good company.

The journey home was eventful only for the number of police and ambulance vehicles rushing about with their blue lights on... eventually we found the road closed near Northchapel and had to take a long diversion. This added a few minutes to the journey, but at least got home safely.

Waking 'em

Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen are subjecting the Gorse Fox's sister and her family to their presence (and as it's Christmas, presents) today.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Thai'd up in Brighton

With a degree of apprehension, GF and the Silver Vixen headed to Brighton with Cousteau-cub. She is scheduled for night duty tonight, so we needed to get her back in time to rest, but we also wanted to eat. With the start of the "Sales", however, we had to wonder if there would be space for parking in Brighton, or indeed any way of getting into the town (railways are shutdown today).

Much to our surprise, the roads were clear, parking was easy, and the city centre quiet and relaxed.

Heading for Sukothai we settled down to eat. The menu was varied, and the dishes a little different from those we are used to eating in our more familiar Thai restuarants. The service was impeccable, and the food was beyond reproach. GF particualrly recommends the pork ribs (as a starter).

BBC NEWS The key to flatulent-free sprouts

According to the BBC Online, a farmer has revealed
The key to flatulent-free sprouts
The Gorse Fox asks "What's the point in that?"

New No. 10

Ah ha! The perfect residence for Gordon Brown. According to today's Times, the Transylvanian castle of Vlad the Impaler(*) is on sale for £40M.

Bran Castle, near the historic city of Brasov, in central Romania, is
one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations because of its
association with 15th-century Prince Vlad Tepes III, also known as the
Impaler for his favoured method of executing opponents.

(*) As opposed to his asthmatic son, Vlad the Inhaler.

Gordon's Tax Grab

According to the Office of National Statistics (and as reported in today's Daily Mail) we have each donated £120,000 towards Gordon Brown's tax grab in the past 10 years.

"What!" you might say.

Well, actually if it was on £120,000 then GF would be delighted. He suspects, however, that he has donated well over double that amount... through

  • income tax
  • national insurance
  • council tax
  • fuel duty
  • Road vehicle license
  • VAT on fuel
  • VAT on each of the cubs' weddings
  • Stamp duty on the purchase of Fox Towers

  • VAT on GF's car
  • VAT on SV's car
  • VAT on electricity
  • VAT on gas
  • VAT on the phone bills
  • VAT on restaurant meals

  • Television tax (BBC license fee)
  • Theft from GF's pension fund
  • Tax on flights
Remember, all this goes to Gordon... and he is likely to be our next Prime Minister (and his Pension is guaranteed, and exempt from the ravages of his tax grab)

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Monday, December 25, 2006


And so the Gorse Fox, Silver Vixen and Cousteau-cub loaded up our arms with bags of gifts, and boxes of crockery and cutlery that had been loaned to Sir & Mrs L for the day's festivities. They were feeling rough, and it was time to leave them to their Lemsip.

We trekked down the stairs, and out into the night. Carefully we watched for traffic, and crossed to the parked car. As we drew close their was an almighty crash, and sound of smashing glass. We turned in fear and concern, only to find that the bottom had fallen out of the box Cousteau-cub was carrying and the Silver Vixen's best Royal Worcester plates were shattered in pile in the middle of the road.

Oh dear.


Well Sir & Mrs Lancinglot did us proud. Despite both being full of cold and feeling poorly, they laid on a super Christmas lunch... Cooked to perfection.

We spent some time looking through the wedding photos and the DVDs that GF has spent the last few weekends putting together.

Don't Panic

The usual Christmas morning panic over whether the lunch will be a) perfect, b) on time, and c) enough, is not evident this year. Gorse Fox, the Silver Vixen and Cousteau-cub are guests of Sir Mrs Lancinglot.

(GF should clarify. Lunch is always perfect, usually on time, and always enough - assuming less than a full regiment turns up - as there's usually on five of us, that means that we can last on left-overs for about 8 months).

He's a soul, man!

Gorse Fox sees that James Brown, the soul singer, has died at the age of 73. returning to a train of thought from last Thursday: they played "Burn baby
burn, disco inferno" it occurred that it would be the ideal upbeat song
to play at a crematorium as the curtains open and the coffin starts to

It occurs to the Gorse Fox, that for the "Godfather of Soul", as they lower the coffin into the hole they could have a chorus of:

"Huh, get on down."

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Happy Christmas

The Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen wish everyone, whatever their faith, their creed, their political persuasion, their age, or their colour a very happy and Holy Christmas(*).

(PS. At this Holy time [only], this even extends to Arsenal supporters) Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Too big


While the new version of Blogger is no longer in beta, some users with certain types of blogs will not immediately be able to switch to it. We'll be adding support for these blogs as soon as possible, so everyone can join in the fun. But for now, if you have a very large blog (more than a couple thousand posts + comments), you'll need to hold off for a bit.

GF guesses that as his blog exceeds 2600 entries, he falls into this category!


Well, that was painless
Could not switch you to the new Blogger

Thanks for your interest in the new version of Blogger! Unfortunately, we cannot switch your Blogger account at this time, because one or more of your blogs cannot be moved. Please see our help article for more information.

So abnormal service continues!

Don't look, while we're Changing

GF is going to have another attempt to upgrade the blog to the new Blog format. He apologises in advance for any disruption.
Abnormal service will be resumed as soon as possible

£1,000 fine for failing to update identity cards

The Telegraph has an interesting piece on the proposed Right to Exist ID Card. It would appear that in addition to the charges for obtaining the card (don't worry, cheap forgeries will soon be available), you will be fined up to £1000 for not keeping them up to date.

GF objects. Surely in this new police state created by NuLabour a fine is insufficient? After all, you can now be imprisoned for eating while driving so a fine seems too trivial for such a heinous crime. Gorse Fox suggests that 15 years imprisonment should be the punishment for the first offence, and removal of a limb for any further infraction.

Oh yes, and
two areas of card "infringement" alone could bring in up to £40 million a year for the Treasury...
...all fees and fines will be paid directly into the Treasury's central funds for general spending and not go towards running the scheme
The thief in No. 11 will be delighted.

[File under: ]

Saturday, December 23, 2006


in the nature of modern-day manufacture, the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen believe in "just-in-time" decorations. This means that whilst shops have had decorations up since mid-summer, and neighbours have decorated a week or two back, we have kept the powder dry and left it until today.

So the Christmas Tree was retrieved from the loft and boxes of decorations brought in from the garage. Lights were plugged-in and tested (no qualified electricians involved), and steps used to reach the higher destinations (without any prosecution by Health and Safety - and No, the Gorse Fox did not use a cherry-picker and harness to put up the Christmas Cards either).

A "Santa-run" was incorporated into a trip to the shops, and presents dropped off. Now we are settled-in with wrapping paper and sticky tape.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Self Assessment

Gorse Fox has just been through the trauma that is the annual "self appraisal" that all memeber of Starfleet undergo. This means assessing your performance against a number of criteria:

  • ability to leap tall buildings
  • ability to walk on water
  • ability to satisfy everyone
  • ability to bring world peace
  • ability to bring in infinite revenue and keep the client delighted
  • ability to file new patents, discover planets, cure the common cold
  • and so on...
Being English, and therefore deeply embarrassed at presenting his strengths, the Gorse Fox has squirmed through the exercise with weasel words and apt quotations from deluded colleagues.

  • Gorse Fox has helped...
  • Gorse Fox encouraged...
  • Gorse Fox believes that...
  • Gorse Fox appears to...
Hate it!

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Thursday afternoon seemed interminable. A necessary technical meeting (attended by a hobbit) discussed the finer points of data models and the semantics of our business. Eventually, the Gorse Fox escaped and picked his way through the dense fog to collect the Silver Vixen and head back down south.

En route a stop was made and we took on food and water at "The Air Ballon" - (it wasn't flying, visibility was too low) - and then with the traffic dying down (or merging into the fog) we headed onwards. As the journey crossed Hampshire the fog started to lift, and by the time we were in Sussex, it was a clear, cool night.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Beer, Thai and BBQ

After meeting up with a few colleagues for a drink to wish farewell to the Bouncing Check the Gorse Fox bid adieu and met with the Silver Vixen to have a nice Thai meal before heading back to the hotel.

A Christmas Party was in full swing with a disco in the marquee beneath our window. It took a while to driift off to sleep but as they played "Burn baby burn, disco inferno" it occurred that it would be the ideal upbeat song to play at a crematorium as the curtains open and the coffin starts to move.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Not Citrus

Pineapples are not citrus fruits. But they do look to be key components of our way forward.

It may seem obtuse... but GF cannot elaborate

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Working Worcester

Well Worcester probably didn't know what had hit it. The Silver Vixen was dropped just before nine and was still in the shops when she called the Gorse Fox at half-five. Back at the hotel they met up to find that they had been allocated a suite. The hotel had treated a regular customer very well.

The evening was spent at Saffon's. Saffrons is an excellent restaurant, with superb service, and a small but well chosen menu.

Monday, December 18, 2006

A Modern Christmas

Atyllah questions the traditions of Christmas. Gorse Fox felt it beholding on him to provide some clarification.

Firstly, let him point out that in these Politically Correct times it should not be called Christmas in public. Any vestige of Christian religious affiliation must be expunged, though in olden days there was a significance to calling this time of year Christmas. It was the celebration of the birth of a child who espoused love for each other, forgiveness, peace, and responsibility.

Now of course, in these enlightened times, people have realised that these concepts are ridiculous, and what we should concentrate on is greed, self-interest, arrogance, and "rights". The festival therefore has morphed into a celebration of late night shopping, excess drinking, and eating. It is a game of top trumps for the new century where the winner is he/she who

  • eats the most
  • drinks the most
  • accumulates the most gifts (even if unwanted)
  • Accumulates the most valuable gifts
  • attends the most Christmas Parties
  • forces their attention on the most people
  • avoids getting arrested
  • survives until the New Year
In this new PC Christmas we eschew traditional things like Father Christmas coming down the chimney - home security ensures that he would be arrested for breaking and entering, thus helping improve the crime clear-up statistics. Cards are sent by home computer. Turkey, Goose and Ham are a new girl band striving for a hit single... and brussel sprouts have been banned because of their impact on greenhouse gasses. Brandy butter is banned because of its contribution to obesity, and shops will close just long enough to put up the "Sale" signs.

Welcome to the 21st Century Winter Festival.

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Wind Down - Build Up

Gorse Fox thought people started to wind down for Christmas. Today has been and continuous barrage of calls, emails, slide-sets, instant messages and tele-conferences.

Early start for Worcester scheduled for tomorrow - though fog is forecast to make the journey more "interesting". At least the Silver Vixen will be along to provide company.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Don't walk

A glorious day should have been exploited by a walk on the Downs... however Christmas preparations required the Gorse Fox's attention. As the sun has set the temperature is clearly dropping. It still has not been cold enough to light the fire, but GF suspects it won't be long.

Cousteau-cub will be pleased that her team managed a 3-2 win over Everton - maybe it was worth staying awake for (she was on night duty last night).

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Robin Hood

Thinking of TV on Saturday made the GF think of Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottigham demanding taxes even when the peasants have had everything they own taken in taxes... Sound familiar? Remember Gordon Brown?

Stupid Pills

Gorse Fox has just watched the National Lottery - not something he would normally do. This featured a quiz and GF can only assume the contestants are chosen for their indecision and general ignorance. Now, there could be some excuse for nerves, but really!

Restaurant Pugillism

Gorse Fox and the Silver had determined that they would go out for lunch on Boxing Day.

Not so easy, it would appear. All of the restaurants that sprung to mind in the Brighton area seem to be closed on the 26th. Resorting to the Restauramt Guide GF waded through 9 screens of candidate restuarants in the Brighton area... phoning likely choices and being rebuffed by intended closure.

Eventually a suitable restaurant, with excellent reviews, has been found and booked. Sorted!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Mon Dieu

Quote of the week

"You may think it's funny, but waking every morning thinking you're French is no joke."

Louise Clarke from Bristol appears to have developed Susac's Syndrome (Retinocochleocerebral vasculopathy)

Ho hum

A quiet day at the home of the Gorse Fox. He has been working away at the computer, whilst the Silver Vixen has gone north to visit Auntie P at Jimmy's Place.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Goings on

Well, Gorse Fox is a little shaken by the goings-on at the Christmas Party.

Last night the Gorse Fox attended the Christmas dinner arranged for his colleagues and selected clients. This was the night discussed in a previous post. The restaurant had laid on Christmas crackers and various explosive and incendiary devices. On top of this there were traditional Chritmas dishes such as Lime Pickle, Onion bhajis, lamb rogan josh, pilau rice... and tens of other dishes - all laid out in a buffet for you to help yourself.

The Abbot had chosen well, and the invited throng were split between two tables. Gorse Fox found himself stting opposite the Headmistress and Mother Superior. Some may worry about such a position but not the Gorse Fox, he knew that it would be an interesting evening. Eager to get to the buffet before Boston stirred, our table quickly surrounded the starters and then settled back to munch through a tower of festive poppadums. The first of the incendiary devices detonated and fine foil chaff was catapulted over the table and our starters.

Conversation ranged across many subjects, and very few were treated with any degreee of reverence:

  • The Minister (attention span of a butterfly)
  • Leather chaps
  • BBQ'd meat

  • The Minister (attention span of a butterfly)
  • Leather suits
  • Shopping
  • The Minister (attention span of a butterfly)
  • Fashion sense (some of us have it, and others, well you know...)
  • Branding

  • The Minister (did GF tell you that he has the attention span of a butterfly)

The crackers were exchanged. One featured a game that engrossed players for ages trying to get a tiny ball into a welcoming receptacle... another featured a water-pistol which (in the absence of water) was filled with lager. Mentioning no names, the GF was used as a target for said weapon.

At the end of the evening people wandered off, and many congregated in the Cellar Bar. It was at this point that the Gorse Fox took his leave and headed back to the hotel.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

You must

The voice at the other end said:

"What do you mean, you used judgement in this decision?"

a shudder went through the room

"Did you use the Galactic Standard Objective Evaluation Framework and Matrix?"

the assemebled throng looked blankly at each other

"No" we replied

"What! You should have. It has been MANDATED" shouted the voice.

and so the call continued.

"That went well" said the Gorse Fox at the end of a roughing up by Starfleet.

He then decided to find the "Galactic Standard Objective Evaluation Framework and Matrix" and settled down with

  • Knowledge View
  • Knowledge Navigator
  • Method Selector
  • Google
  • Intranet Search
  • Service Selector(*)
and several other reporitories and search systems. The conclusion he has come to is that "Galactic Standard Objective Evaluation Framework and Matrix" may be mandated, but it is not documented or stored anywhere that a practitioner might find it. This may be a loophole in the process!

(*) Names may have been changed to protect the innocent (and the Gorse Fox).

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Sign just seen:

"Hand Engraving while you wait."

Does it hurt?

Isn't that a tattoo?

Is there second hand shop nearby?

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Enterprise, or not

Gorse Fox finds himself at a Starfleet facility in the middle of England. It is strange. With so many troopers on duty at clients, Starfleet has leased part of the facility to other companies. It's like Captain Kirk deciding he does use one of the decks of the Enterprise and renting it out as hotel rooms.

Well it's like...

It was 04:20. The alarm went off, and Gorse Fox's heart rate was measured in "k". The Silver Vixen groaned. She had to get up. She was going to Heathrow to meet Cousteau-cub returning from Thailand.

Ever supportive, GF launched himself from bed and got the day under-way by making some tea. SV was still trying to raise herself. GF thought some encouraging words might help:

"Think of it like going on holiday(*), but without the hassle of security checks." he said optimistically.

"And without the holiday" she moaned back

Hey ho!

(*)that's the only reason that we would normally rise at this time

Monday, December 11, 2006


The Silver Vixen has selected a photo album for one of the victims of our Santa-run. This is a lovely thoughtful gift... but she has left (to disport herself on the floor of the gym) and given the Gorse Fox the task of selecting some suitable photos with which to adorn said album.

Not an easy choice, given that in one library alone GF has in excess of 10,000 photos. Anyhow, selection has been narrowed down:

  • Jermaine Defoe's goal against Charlton
  • A pink mini.

  • Arsene Wenger's reaction to Alan Pardew when Arsenal lost to West Ham
  • Dawn French dressed as Vicki Pollard's mum.
  • A piece of seaweed.
  • The remains of a hedge after major surgerywith a chain-saw.
GF chuckles to himself... and bets she was expecting photos from the wedding!

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Just searching

Recent searches that have brought visitors to the Gorse Fox include:

  • Tutorial - suitcase packing
  • Speed cameras Membury
  • Camellia underplanting
  • Siamese steam radiator valve
  • Face painting fox
  • Wiki the Worzels
  • Piercing
  • Worzels
  • Homes for sale
  • IEFBR14
  • Global warming cows
Is it more worrying that people seek this information, or that Google directs them to the Gorse Fox.

Christmas cards

The annual ceremony of "The preparation of Christmas cards" is today. Gorse Fox will, reverently, reveal the blessed list of those who did or didn't and those who should or shouldn't. This will be handed over to the Silver Vixen for a brief reading, and, chances are, a homily on why the list should be revered.

Cards will be selected, and written with time-honoured ritual (and a pen) and records will be kept - as they always have been. Cheery notes will be added for those who are rarely seen. Photos will be slipped between the covers of the lucky few. Even envelope sizes will be recorded, so that appropriate printing can be achieved.

Let it begin.

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Christmas cheer

The Silver Vixen has loaded up the panniers on her broomstick and swept into Worthing to join with her coven for their Christmas Party.
Gorse Fox is not privvy to the intended goings-on but imagines a huge bubbling cauldron of noxious liquid (they will claim to be tea), cakes decorated in strange patterns, biscuits being snaffled by black cats, and a good natured exchange of gossip and spells. Later, when enough tea has been drunk, he expects they will get rowdy and gathering fistfuls of mistletoe sweep towards the town centre, hovering over the shoppers' car park looking for likely victims. Traffic cones will be replaced by black hats, and a plague of newts with white sticks will shuffle along the seafront.
[File under: ]

Well that's that

Having read all the background material and decided that most of the bugs that have been reported do not affect the Gorse Fox, he decided to switch. He pressed the button, read the terms and conditions and got ready for a long wait.
A second or two later he was informed he cannot switch at this time becuse one of his blogs cannot be converted ay present. As this blog has well over 2000 entries, he assumes this one is the culprit and that he can stand-down for now.

[File under: ]


Gorse Fox's blog host has requested that he switch to the newer version of the code... He is wary, but will give it a try. Please accept apologies in advance in case things go a bit pear-shaped whilst things are switched.

(He has backed up the entire blog first!)
[File under: ]

Friday, December 08, 2006


Why is it that the admin burden seems to escalate in direct proportion to how busy you are?

As an example, and obvious to regular readers, GF is frantically busy at the offices of the Esteemed Client, he has had numerous year-end appraisals to write... and some colleague in Starfleet has decided that everyone in the company has to complete a 3-hour on-line course by the end of the year.

  • Are thse people safe to be let out alone?
  • Do they need help with feeding? or
  • is it just that the the administerium has so little to do in the run up to year-end that they invent new things to keep them busy?

Appraisals, again

Well Gorse Fox has split the day between preparing a briefing and finishing the outstanding appraisals he had to write. He is proud to say that he has managed to use the word "psychotic" twice in these reviews and also managed to insult several people's dress sense. Job well done!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Acronym assault

The all day meeting was held off-site. Gorse Fox was able to walk there from his hotel, so was able to have a leisurely start to the day. There was much to cover, and it was evident it would be a busy day. By late morning GF was under severe acronym assault (and he throught it was unique to IT).

There's little doubt this will need support from HR. We need to involve EOs, HEOs, VOs and Techs to represent the DOs as they towards OMCs. CPD will need to be involved because it may impact the LDCCs and involves the RRMs, though DOMs shouldn't be affected.
A BTM could oversee the changes with an OIM (possibly an HEO) on the ground support by EOs. In turn they could be backfilled by AOs or AAs.
GF hasn't the remotest clue what was being said, but there was a lot of nodding around the room.

[File under: ]

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A day in Reading

Gorse Fox has spent the day in Reading, again. It is becoming an unwelcome habit. Today involved a serious exercise on the cutting edge of post-it note technology. GF's excitement could hardly be contained as he used hexagonal post-its in green, blue, orange, and yellow. GF has a certain anarchic streak in him, and sometimes used the wrong colour post-it, deliberately. He's sure there'll be hell to pay when they find out!!!

Leaving the meeting GF joined members of the executive board of the Esteemed Client. Together we clustered on the platform as they debated the expected location of the First Class carriage. The train, however, second guessed them and it tickled the GF to see them all running to the other end of train as it stopped at the platform. Oh yes, it was standing room only.

Standing between the seats in First Class allows the trained people-watcher to peer over people's shoulder and see what they are reading or what they are doing on their laptops... One gent was preparing a slide presentation with one sliide entitled: Methodological pluralism. GF has no idea what it is... And judging by how long the chap stared at a nearly empty screen, neither does he.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


It is annual appraisal time. Starfleet operates a policy of 360 degree feedback. This means that the victim submits the names of colleagues, peers, team leaders, and clients who they have worked with during the year, and these people are sent a series of questions regarding the victim's performance throughout the year. Gorse Fox is busy writing his responses for several of his team. Phrases that he has no need to exercise (so far) include:

  • Suffers delusions of adequacy
  • Would start an argument in an empty room
  • Psychotic
  • Requires help in distinguishing Articulatio Cubiti from Gluteus Maximus
  • His intellectual equals include John Prescott and algae.
  • He has the morals of the current government (or a pack of hyenas)

In praise of

GF stayed in a Travelodge last night. He has stayed in several of these in the past and generally found the experience to be aweful. Most seem to smell strange, need maintenance, offer nothing, and are generally miserable to be in. Worcester's travelodge, however, was bright, clean, airy, the rooms were excellent (if a little cramped), and the staff was cheery and helpful. It won't rise to the top of the list, but it will certainly be an acceptable substitute for the future.

Monday, December 04, 2006


Gorse Fox was just passing Newbury as dawn broke this morning. An all-day workshop in Worcester dragged him from his bed at some uneartly hour and sent him charging across the country.

Workshop was, surprisingly, good and much was achieved (honest).

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Nutty Cousin

GF has had an email from Nutty Cousin. She now has a Skype account... so Gorse Fox has dusted off his rarely used account, fired up the latest software, checked the webcam and prepared himself to communicate with the Commonwealth.

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No Shame

Gorse Fox watched the football last evening. Several comments come to mind:

  • Have Man Utd. got no shame? How can they lionise the blatant cheating of Christiano Ronaldo? GF suggests that he may be biggest cheat in the Premiership.

  • Have Spurs got no fight? How can they let that French team win 3-0... which brings us to

  • Has the referee got no glasses? - He missed one blatant penalty for the Forces of Darkness, then gave two non-penalties, and missed the offside nature of the goal?
Does this all matter? No. But, video replay as used in cricket and rugby would solve a lot of these problems and the continued resistance by the clubs and FA must be viewed with a degree of cynicism.

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That was a storm.

The Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen were kept awake throughout much of the night by the storm that battered the coast. The wind howled and the whole house vibrated as gusts slammed into the fabric of building. Rain clattered against the windows like handfuls of gravel. Now, the wind has dropped and the rain has cleared, but more storms are forecast for tonight.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


The Silver Vixen is away with her coven, sewing. Gorse Fox has decided, therefore, to dedicate this Saturday to stuff. Nothing big, nothing earth-shattering (probably just as well, really), just stuff.

  • Sorting out some photos
  • Creating some DVDs
  • Helping The Bishop out with his printer

Just stuff.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Car Theft

Government car motoring theft continues with the idea that it will cost £1.28 per mile to drive. They call this road usage charging. (A tax for using the roads that you pay for with road tax, and already pay to use through your fuel duty). This will, of course, increase other taxes also. For example, GF travels 140 miles to get to a government location... (so that's £179.20 GF will have to charge them) and because all of the government contractors will have to charge their travelling expenses back, GF wonders where that money will come from. Any guesses?

Not much here...

Rain lashed the South Coast last night, driven by strong southerly winds. Tucked up warm in bed, listening to the banshee wail of the wind and the crackle of the rain as it pelted the windows was, somehow, cosy.
Much of the day has been spent on the phone. Friday is slowly morphing intp phoneday as each week the proportion of the day that can be dedicated to creative work gets ever less. After packing in for the day, the Gorse Fox played some more with the "ProShow Gold" software that he used last weekend to create DVD slideshows. Finding new tricks, he has played around with the photos from the recent holdiday and ended up with a pleasing show. It's now time to start catching up on all of the blogs that he has missed this week.