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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Las Canadas, again

Above the clouds, all was clear, but you can see the tops of the clouds drifting in from the valleys below.

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The Gorse Foc thought he had awoken early. The shift in the clocks (one had moved from the mantle to the bedside table) and the low cloud conspired to delay any substantial light. It was a day where we would decide on plans as the mood took us.

The Gorse Fox collected the morning papers to read further revelations of the contempt with which the ruling classes view the electorate and their money. That moved the Gorse Fox to write... but more on that at a later date.

Eventually we decided to head for the hypermarket near Adeje. After stroll round and the selection of a few bits and pieces the varity failed to hold the interest and so we headed back to the villa. Fortunately we have plenty to amuse us there and made the most of the time.

Monday, March 30, 2009


That could be the last bit of sun for the day!
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A crystal clear sky greeted the Gorse Fox when he opened up the doors to the garden. It looked promising. A leisurely breakfast, and a wander through the Sunday papers gave the clouds an opportunity to gather behind the mountain and then sneak up on us whilst not concentrating. It was clear that we would have to move round the coast to follow the sun.

We headed along to Los Christianos where we joined the sea of humanity that was wandering up or down the promenade. We decided to wander up towards Las Americas - taking our lives in our hands as we we dodged motability scooters, cyclists, and Police motorbikes - and that's to say nothing of the various vendors trying to accost us offering sunglasses (we were wearing them), caps (the Gorse Fox was wearing a hat), perfume (the Silver Vixen smelled nice anyway - Eau du The) and cameras (the Gorse Fox had his round his neck).

Near the area known as Veronica's we turned back and retraced our steps, stopping eventually for a fine glass of cold Weissbier and some lunch. The coast had remained sunny, but it was clearly foul inland -with heavy dark clouds dumping their contents on the mountain sides.

We returned to the villa for what was left of the afternoon.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Playa de las Americas

The west coast was fairly clear of cloud as we walked along the edge of the beach near Play de las Americas.
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The forecast was for mixed showers. Now the Gorse Fox thinks this may be a great idea for saving water and encouraging people to attend the gym... but is not the ideal situation on holiday

It was important that we could find somewhere appropriate to spend some quiet time to remember the Silver Vixen's friend. Many of the local churches are kept locked - except when services are scheduled.

The Gorse Fox suggested a trip to Candelaria - some 30 miles up the east coast. It is a nice town and the home to a major Basilica dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. As we got closer the forecast showers turned to reality as thick clouds rolled across the mountains dumping their contents in short sharp bursts. We strolled through the town and across the main square - guarded by huge bronze statues of the Guanche kings. Passing the Basilica we continued along the promenade to where it ended at a couple of caves - a deep grotto where the image of the Virgin Mary used to be kept and where the Guanche natives were baptised, and the much larger Camel cave which is still used for votive candles, and memorial flowers.

We were back inside the Basilica, inside a small side chapel at the time of the funeral and spent a quiet 30 minute of rememberance.

Moving on, it was clear that it was far from clear - cloud-wise. It seemed that a a bit of touring was the best plan so we continued from Candelaria round the top of the Island and along the north coast past La Oratava, Puerto de la Cruz, Icod de los Vinos, and on to Guarachico. The north coast was pretty clear of cloud and certainly dry so the drive was quite pleasant. We stopped outside Guarachico to take some photos, then headed on. We had to climb over the north west corner of the Island and from Guarachico that meant taking the switch-back road straight up the cliff side to El Tanque. We had climbed back into the cloud at this point and the traverse of the north west pass across to Santiago del Teide was like driving through thick fog. As if a light had been switched on, as we arrived at the west coast the skies cleared and we were bathed in bright sunshine for the rest of the journey back to the villa.

The round trip is only some 108 miles - but it is well worth the effort.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Island Tour

Basilica at Candelaria

Guarachico - which was bisected by a lava flow during the eruption of 1798.
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Friday is change-over day in Tenerife. The roads can be filled with manic taxi drivers and coaches trying to make as many trips as possible to and from the airport. The Gorse Fox has learned over the years that it is well to steer clear.

Over the past few years they have been building a new marina near the villa, and on Fridays they have a small street market nearby. This seemed like a plan.

The Silver Vixen checked her notebook and we walked down towards the marina stopping in at the market on the way. It was surprisingly busy and blistered holiday makers tried to jostle for position without rubbing their sunburn against the next person. The Gorse Fox is not one for markets - if God wanted us to shop in markets why did he invent eBay. GF stood to one side, out of the way and treated the whole event as an anthropological study.

We moved on towards the marina, turning west along the coastal path. This leads past a number of small developments, up and round outcrops and skirts a golf course. Eventually it leads to a long and wide pebbly beach. When the Gorse Fox refers to pebbles - these are not like those we find on the beaches of Sussex. These are the size of rugby balls - and what isn't clear is whether they are natural (which he assumes they are) or were placed there deliberately. This is as far as we could go as the surface was too uneven for the Silver Vixen to traverse it safely and so after stopping for some photos we turned back.

We followed the coast all the way back to San Blas then turned inland to head back to the villa. After a brief sortie to the supermercado we settled in for a quiet afternoon.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Costa del Silencio

Small lagoon set back from the sea near the Costa del Silencio

Looking back towards the San Miguel Marina
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None of trips made to Tenerife are really complete without a trip up the mountain. Certainly the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen have done this many times - indeed more than once on some trips.

The mountain only sported a few fluffy clouds and the day seemed perfect. To the uninitated the route up the south face through Villaflor would be the obvious choice. The Gorse Fox would admit it's pretty. However our favourite route is more interesting and involves driving down the spine of the island. We headed up TF-1 towards Santa Cruz, then looped onto TF-2 across to La Laguna (once capitol of the Island and home of its famous University - and Ikea!!!). We then turned south west, passing Los Rodeos airport and heading up through La Esperanza into the Coronal Forest an up onto the spine of the mountains.

As the road loopd first one way and then the other, stunning vistas of one coast then the other open up before you and to the south the peak of El Teide dominates the skyline.

Well, that's how it should be. Actually, we headed up into ground hugging cloud. It started to rain - heavily, and visibility was a few hundreds of metres at best. As the temperature plunged past 4C the rain turned to hail and the car was pounded by huge hailstones. In minutes the mountain road was covered in huge hailstones and driving became "interesting".

We continued to climb, passing the observatory at Inaza and then as we broke through the wall of the crater near El Portillo the clouds dropped away and the skies were blue and the sun shone. The journey through the crater was as spectacular as we have come to expect, and we stopped here and there to take photos... and to get some lunch.

Eventually, we moved on and eschewed the southern route, turning north west at Boca Tauce and heading down towards Chio. This is a gentle and easy drive, and virtually the whole descent can be achieved without a touch of the accelerator and the occasional dab of the brake.

From Chio we headed back along the west coast and back to the villa for a quiet afternoon with our books. All-in-all we had only covered 121 miles but we had seen some pretty unique weather - certainly it the first time we have seen the like in the 20-odd years we have been coming here.

As a postscript - there was heavy rain during the night. Looking up at El Teide this morning many of the slopes of the mountain and those that rim the crater are dusted with snow... yet down here it's pleasantly warm as usual.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

El Teide and Las Canadas

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Nothing to see

Pass right along now. Nothing to see here.

The exhausting pace of relaxing on holiday caught up with these intrepid travellers. An early decision was made to spend a quiet day reading in the privacy of our garden. And so it was that the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen spent the day without seeing another soul - but demolished books and sewing projects respectively.

The Gorse Fox's mind was getting restless - but this had been catered for. On his iPod nestled a collection of traing videos for some of the more esoteric functions of Excel, Joomla, and Open Office Draw and with his netbook at hand he was able to scratch the intellectual itch.

The evening saw a trip to San Blas to share in the pleasure that is the Chinese buffet before returning to the villa for a flurry of txt msg, email, and telephone activity.

The pace is relentless!!!! The Gorse Fox may have to lie down.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Having been on the west coast at La Caleta we decided to hit the east coast and droppped down to Los Abrigos (where they are doing extensive roadworks) and the drove along the coast passing Punta Roja before parking up at Playa del Medano.

We strolled towards the town along the boardwalk. Whilst that was busier than the Gorse Fox would have expected, the beach was quiet. This beach is remarkable for the sandstone dunes that divide it into lots of little private bays, and the way in which the sea has eroded the sandstone leaving precarious overhangs where sunbathers shelter from the wind. (This area of Tenerife is also known for its windsurfing and kitesurfing).

At the far end of town there major pipeworks were underway, forcing a detour from our normal route, but we settled down on the rocks for a while before turning back and retrieving the car. We moved 10 miles further along the coast to the little harbour of Abades. This will become a purpose-built village at some point. All of the roads and services are laid out - but only one third of the houses are built. The rest is silent - waiting for the potential owners to come. There are several beaches at Abades and we strolled past the few souls who were making the most of the comparative solitude. Sitting by the water's edge we watched as the tide retreated from the rockpools and a little fishing boat chugged into the bay.

After a spot of lunch we returned to the villa for an afternoon in the garden.

We received an email for the Silver Vixen telling her that her dear friend had just lost her battle with cancer. A light that had once burned so brightly had flickered and was now gone. It was sad, but at least she is at peace.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

El Medano

Punta Roja as seen from El Medano.

Rock pools near El Medano
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For some reason the bourgainvillea-lined promenade that runs from Los
Christianos up the coast is called the Geranium Path... and here and there a daisy is etched into the pavement. Confusing really!!

Yesterday we decided to traverse part of this path and so headed some 13 miles along the coast to place where we knew the car could be left and headed down to the shore.

We headed away from the main connurbations - with the Gorse Fox stopping to take photos at various points along the way. The tide was out so the blow-hole that we have watched in past was silent. Eventually after some 3.5 miles we stopped in La Caleta for a refreshing glass of sangria before retracing our steps. La Caleta is a tiny harbour with several nice restaurants perched precariously on the harbour wall. Sitting overlooking the harbour the swirl of the tide of the slabs of bed-rock was hypnotic... and we lingered longer than planned. As we lingered we discussed what we had learned along the way you immediately identify the nationality of all tourists; a) Germans are deeply tanned, and the ladies drip with gold; b) French are well dressed, and the men tend to stick to Chinos rather than shorts; c) Spaniards are identifiable by the gold that that the women wear and the fanciful reds that they dye their hair, whilst the men are always immaculately presented in open neck shirt and smart slacks over loafers; d) the Dutch are distinguished by the walrus-like moustaches (predominantly but not solely sported by the men); e) the Irish are identified by being bright red in colour; and f) the Brits are distinguished by a total absence of dress sense or decorum, the huge expanses of flesh that they share with all and sundry and various bright red strips that indicate that they use SPF-stupid. It makes you proud. (Where are the crisp white shirts and smart sports coats over light linen trousers and deck shoes)

On our route back the Silver Vixen dragged tghe Gorse Fox (under protest) into a Tony Roma's Ribs Restaurant forcing him to try some of the Carolina Ribs coated in honey. Out of politeness he forced himself to finish the aforementioned snack and sat licking his lips whilst the Silver Vixen delicately worked her way through hers.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Near La Caleta

There are a series of interesting coves on the Gereanium Walk towards La Caleta. This first image shows where the tide has undercut the rocks. It booms as it crashes into the shallow cave.

The harbour at La Caleta. It is lined with small restaurants. We sat down to a refreshing drink in one across the bay.
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The complex that the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen call home for 2 weeks each year.


Sunday was a suitably quiet day. The sun was up early doing its rounds and it seemed like an opportunity to spend some time getting to know it better. The winds of the previous day had dropped (though experience tells us that they will be back by mid afternoon).

A bit of exercise was order of the day and so the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen donned appropriate gear (i.e. decent trainers) and headed out from the complex.

It is remarkable how little things have changed since our last visit - and yet how much building is under way (though being Sunday it was hard to see if they had been abandonned or were just having the day off).

We ended up at San Blas looking down over the old barranco. This has now been developed and has a hotel, play area, and plenty of houses filling the valley between San Blas and Los Abrigos.

A refreshing cider set your intrepid adventurers for the last stage of the walk - back up the hill to the villa. All done it was just under 4 miles, and very satisfying. A quiet afternoon with our books, iPods, and sewing (no, not the Gorse Fox) saw out a most pleasant day.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Golf del Sur

One of the small beaches at Golf del Sur. The volcanic outcrops are such a contrast to the blue of the Atlantic.
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The first day of a holiday should be quiet and should an opportunity to unwind. This was the plan... and for a change the plan ran to perfection.

We picked up the hire car, popped along to the supermarket to get supplies and then retreated to our villa. Whilst out, the Gorse Fox noticed that he had somehow donned a cloak of invisibility as he had to take avoiding action on several occasions as elderly ex-pats tried to drive him off the road... or infact just walk straight into him in the supermarket. It was like being at home in Sussex on pension day.

We stayed in the villa for the rest of the day (it was probably safer) - fending for ourself from the wide selection of foodstuffs we had collected during the earlier trip.

Acccording to the local paper Tenerife has had the wettest winter for 30 years. You can certainly see that is much greener than usual, and the valleys of the south are looking quite lush. So far we haven't seen any rain, but we are getting the strong winds that tend to pick up in the afternoons here in the south.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Sometimes you get lucky. Sometimes travel can be a pleasure.

Urban-cub dropped us outside the terminal and the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen wandered into a near-deserted Gatwick. Silver Vixen asked - "Are they closed and nobody told us?" But no. Staff were there, but very few travellers.

We went to check-in and dropped our bags, drifted through security - where they seemed interested to have something to do at last... and continued through to departures. Again, it was almost deserted.

The flight was called on time and we were almost the first on the plane and settled. This gave an opportunity to watch the other passengers board. The Gorse Fox is concerned by how many ugly people are being allowed to travel, and how many have been allowed to breed.

Landing early, we queued for a moment or two to get through passport control - then wandered along to the baggage belts to see our baggage there already. From touch-down to the point that we were outside by the taxis was 20 minutes.

When travel is that easy it is a pleasure.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Packed and ready

The Siver Vixen finds packing to be stressful and spent most of yesterday evening, working with Urban-cub to get it right - the right selection, the right distribution, the right folds and rolls, and the right case. She worries that she may have fogotten something vital.

The Gorse Fox is a little more cavalier. He packed this morning and will wake up each morning of the holiday wondering what will be next out of the suitcase or wardrobe. He has no doubt he has forgotten something vital.

Venus and Mars!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Local excitement

The Gorse Fox had a chance to review the local papers. He hadn't appreciated what a hotbed of interest the Littlehampton-Worthing=Arundel triangle could be. Picking a few headlines:
  • Pigeon stuck in chimney of Worthing bungalow
  • Worthing home-owner fights for fence
It's hard to maintain equilibrium in such a hectic part of the country


It may be the first day of the Gorse Fox's vacation, but he was still up and about soon after seven. It was a glorious morning - not a cloud in the sky. It's nice to have a day to settle prior to going away.

Shopping and Currency were orders of the day, and now that is accomplished GF can just chill-out (as he believes they say in the vernacular).

Blogging may be sporadic for the next couple of weeks - depending on internet connectivity. GF will, of course retro-blog on his return if necessary.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Job done

Gorse Fox has finished at Worcester for the day... driven home and started his vacation. He's having trouble wiping the smile off his face.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


It has been a successful day - many little but significant meetings and many chunks of admin. 

At the end of the day the Gorse Fox met up with colleagues and headed out for an Italian meal. GF is not overly enamourted of Italian food in general. He doesn't dislike it it. In fact he quiet likes it. In reality though, he can always find something he'd prefer. Tonight, though, he succumbed and thoroughly enjoyed the meal.

Monday, March 16, 2009


The Gorse Fox notices from the BBC that old age starts at 27 with the gradual decline of mental acuity. GF is rather concerned that, based on that analysis, he has been declining for more than half of his life now. 

What hope is there for the future?


The Gorse Fox had to be in Worcester for a couple of meetings, but now the day was over and a curry was calling.

The bell ringers of Worcestyer Cathedral are practising and the quintessential sound of British country life made the warm evening wrap comfortably round the few people who were about in the City centre. Winter seems to have finally lost its grip and Spring is beginning to flex its muscle. 

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Gorse Fox was pleased to receive an invite to contribute an article to a new magazine. The magazine is focussed on the South and GF was asked to contribute 800 words regarding a specific walk in the South Downs. Unfortunately this is one route he has not yet tried so had to decline for now... but has offered his services in the future.

Dust and chippings

The Gorse Fox has spent most of the day (which was a stunning spring day of bright warm sunshine)  dressing doors. He should explain that this is not some weird fetish featuring the long dead corpse of Jim Morrison, but rather the process of cutting doors to size, mounting hinges and puuting on the handles and the spring catches. This labour has involved: 
  1. Tape measure, 
  2. Stanley knife, 
  3. Chisels (freshly sharpened), 
  4. drill with spade bit and normal bit, 
  5. screwdriver, 
  6. workbench, 
  7. banged thumb, 
  8. and some soto voce swearing. 
The Gorse Fox has been accompanied in this exercise by the Urban-cub. ALl doors have now reached a stage whereby no further activity can occur until some old holes and chips have been filled and sanded. Then painting can commence.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Easy Peasy

The Gorse Fox cannot get over how long it takes to strip the paint from a fielded panel door. & inset panels each give 4 mouldings to fiddle with and the one and half ddors that he has stripped today took about six hours.

Meanwhile, the Silver Vixen and Urban-cub headed over to the flat and finished painting the kitchen.

During the evening GF has managed to get a distro of Ubuntu called Easy Peasy running on his netbook. He isn't sure if he'll install it permanently, but for now he has it running from a USB stick. 

Friday, March 13, 2009


The Gorse Fox had the pleasure of working from home. This meant that he was able to have a moderately quiet day and could catch up with some emails and admin as well as the all of the usual stuff.

It would appear that last night's concert by the famous "Cardinal Sin and the Bum Notes" was a stonking success. It appears that they collected over £1000 for charity, playewd a terrific set, and had a very very late night. Gorse Fox is frustrated that he he missed it because he hoped to get to the Parish Council meeting, but in the end was too late for that so missed both.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


The day was successful. The spanner that had been had been thrown into the works at the end of the yesterday was finally extracted again today. A little bit of analysis and thought showed that the approach originally taken had been correct.

Unfortunately the various meetings, discussions and the decisions left the Gorse Fox in Worcester much later than planned - this, in turn, meant the Gorse Fox was too late to attend the evening's Parish Council meeting.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


The day was busy and at times frustrating. Every time the Gorse Fox managed to shave some costs from the budget, another one cost rose. 

He did manage to get his netbook connected to the secure network... so that proves the netbook has no problem with secure networks, so GF will go back and try to reset the security on the network at home. And the fact that he's writing this blog entry shows he's got it working through BT Openzone.

Now GF thinks he can hear a fine Austrian beer calling his name.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


It was a long day. The usual Tuesday 0500 start pressaged what was to be a comfortable drive followed by a very intense day. The Gorse Fox was pleased to finally escape and get back to his hotel room by 1930.
This gave him an opportunity to try out his netbook away from home. First step was to get connected to BT Openzone... which failed miserably because he had forgotten his password and couldn't be bothered to walk down to the car to check it, nor phone BT to get it reset. He then thought about using his new 3G dongle, but given that it works by the day, ending at midnight, it seemed profligate to fire it up for just a few minutes work. This will be tested on another occasion.

Monday, March 09, 2009

At it

Back at the coal face today... telecons, spreadsheets, and a trip to London to interview a CIO. Not exactly riveting, but then Gorse Fox isn't building a ship. Trip to London took him past this huge edifice in the Horseferry Road - made from umbrellas!
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Sunday, March 08, 2009


The work continues on Urban-cub's flat. Much of the day was dedicated to doors... the stripping, sanding, sanding, and painting thereof. Once all of the layers of paint are off, the underlying doors are are an absolutely perfect example of how proper panelled doors should be made. They may be 120+ years old, but they really are exemplars of good joinery.

We tried calling Thailand to speak with Cousteau-cub - and though we tried Skype, JaJah, and the normal phone the only sound we got back was similar to someone playing a radio underwater whiolst being pinged by a nearby sonar station. We gave up after several attempts and will have to try again.

Saturday, March 07, 2009


It has been a mixed day for the Gorse Fox whilst the Silver Vixen has been out at with her coven somewhere along the south coast.

Some PC maintenance started the day and was swiftly followed by a saunter through the various blogs that he follows periodically. Then it was on to research mobile broadband providers and to try an find a deal that suited his occasional need.  In most cases he can get WiFi access or make do with his phone - which in turn he can also use as a modem; but once in a while he wants proper access. After much deliberation he decided that the T-mobile pay as you go service is the ideal solution and pottered off into Worthing to get the USB dongle with the HSPDA-capable SIM.

Once back, he went to see how Urban-cub was getting on preparing some doors for painting. In the end it was easiest with team work and he helped by attacking the 493 layers of paint and varnish with a heat gun and scraper before launching at it with a belt sander. The belt sander made short shrift of the detritus that clung to stripped door turning it to dust and sawdust. Though it is probably 120 years old, it looks like new.

The Silver Vixen arrived back from her spell with with the coven having had a good day. A quiet evening is planned for all.

Friday, March 06, 2009


Once back out in the open we headed past the lake where, again, flashes of colour from cornus brightened the water's edge.

We headed for the restaurant and stopped for a snack. Some cheddar and leek flan and some teas and coffees were quickly demolished and then we headed back across the gardens.

We headed across to another part of the garden. Here there were a number of small sample garden settings. The one that really caught the Gorse Fox's eye was the Japanese Bonsai garden.

Needless to say, at this time of year, many of the specimens weren't at their best. These were the ones that really stood out.

Up on Battlestone Hill Gorse Fox looked through the still bare branches and was entranced by how the underlying skeleton of summer trees can be even more interesting when dormant than the brash colours they don for the summer months.
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Under glass

Inside the glasshouse there wer several zones - arid, humid etc.

It was excellent and as we walked about several huge and colourful butterflies fluttered across the scene and darted between one flower snd the next.

On a day such as this - cold, but sunny the glasshouse was warm and sheltered and a very pleasant place to be.

The arid zone had some interesting specimens - and the cactii showed some astonishing geometric patterns.

In the humid zone it was like wandering through part of a rain forest (without the rain, the wild animals, or the creepy-crawlies). In general it was the foliage that caught the eye... but here and there there were some eye-catching specimens.
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It is probably 15 years since GF & the the Silver Vixen have been to Wisley - and there had been many changes. Most startling of the changes was the new glass house.
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You may think that gardens would be devoid of colour and interest at this time of year. The GF, however, has an eclectic taste and was charmed by the explosions of colour that punctuated the dormant surroundings.
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The final proper day of the Gorse Fox's holiday started bright, cold, and clear. We had arranged to meet up with Betty anmd Barney Rubble at the RHS gardens at Wisley.

We had picked the perfect day for the trip and after meeting up at the coffee shop outside and taken on fluids we headed on into the gardens.
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The Gorse Fox is aware that he lives in a very nice area, and is forever grateful that he is so lucky. He still finds it amusing however that his morning paper is delivered by a chap in BMW 3 series coupe.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Clouding over

The Gorse Fox has come up with a great wheeze for managing the diverse computers that rattle around the house.

What are the basic requirements?
  1. Any computer must be able to get to the core data and files that the user may want
  2. Other computers may be switched on
  3. Any computer must be able to access the data and files whether the network is working or not
  4. All data is backed up
So how was this achieved?
  1. The Gorse Fox signed up for a Live Mesh beta account (from the devils in Redmond).
  2. Each of the computers was added to the Mesh
  3. Each of the key data repositories was added to the Mesh
When a computer starts it tries to join the Mesh; if it succeeds there is a live channel open to the data in the respective folders in the Mesh and a local cache is synchronized with it. If the network is down, the locally cached folders are used instead. Any changes to any file are replicated through the Mesh to any of the other computers that is connected, or will be replicated next time they are connected.

Finally the local cache of these folders (or the live link if the network is up) is monitored by Allway Sync on the main PC (when it is next switched on), and copied across to a further external 500Gb disk.

Probably not foolproof - but pretty close.


There were no specific plans. Some physio for the Silver Vixen, and then a couple of members of her coven were coming round to practise their nefarious activities. Then a phone call changed the shape of the day with a call for help from one of her dear friends who is in a savage decline at the mercy of various cancers. Without hesitation (except to get dressed) the Silver Vixen went along to console, give comfort, and to accompany her to a nearby hospice.

Everything else seemed a little trivial. Angus considered charging by the pound as he started to thin out the Gorse Fox's hair, it is so long since it was hacked back.

Then GF returned to his study (or is machine room) and sat between four computer consoles and completed the customisation of the SV's new machine and the development of what seems to be an entirely satisfactory file sharing and vback scheme. More on that in the next post.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


It always seems strange to the Gorse Fox how such a tempestuous night of howling wind and driving heavy rain can within a few hours break into a a glorious and quiet morning.

There were no specific plans for the day - but there were a few errands to run. We headed out to Chichester and then onwards to Hedge End. When we got home, the Silver Vixen had a new 17" widescreen laptop that she can use for her quilting DVDs, her emails and so forth. This was our first Vista machine, and whilst it took a bit of getting used to the 3GB of memory seems more than adequate for what we need.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Square Root day

Well if there's a Speak Like a Pirate Day, why shouldn't there be a Square Root day and today is just that 3.3.09

And the Pi day coming up on 3.14 

Middle England

The Gorse Fox was up early. He had to drive up to Worcester for a meeting - not the most common way to spend part of a holiday. It was not the most enjoyable of days - but at least we made some progress in a number of areas.

The six hours spent in the car was an opportunity to catch up with pod casts - comedy, science, scepticism, and technology. Very entertaining.

Monday, March 02, 2009


Inside, the castle is just a shell. Destroyed by Cromwell's men after the Civil War to prevent it ever being used as a fortification again it bears the scars of time. Rubble shows where walls once stood. Windows, niches and fireplaces punctuate those walls that remain revealing glimpses of what it may once have been.

What made the trip even more pleasant was that The Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen were among a few tens of visitors, at most (and the school party that had been clambering all over the place, left soon after we arrived).

The traditional NT Teas Shop had plenty of free tables - and no queue; and the NT Shop was empty.

Excellent day out.
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The portcullis hangs above the gateway, but beyond there are the murder holes that allowed defenders to wreak mayhem on any attackers that may breach the outer defense.

Now a kindly NT Steward checks your membership, provides a guide, and points you to where a video loop retells the story of the castle.
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As if floating gently, competing with the ducks and water birds that surrounded it, the castle rose above the moat. A single walkway carries the visitor across the water, past the barbican and deposits him at the portcullis.
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