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Sunday, January 31, 2010


With all of the the recent commuting and travelling the Gorse Fox has built up quite a backlog of expenses. It took several hours this morning to go through and get them sorted, documented and claimed. Glad it's done, but surprised how long it actually took.


That's better. The Gorse Fox managed to get through to Cousteau-cub. She was in a chatty mood and so the call went on for time, discussing different places to stay, different flight choices and so forth. Though she is obviously very busy, she's excited that we plan to go out and visit.

What GF didn't need to hear was that the water temperature today was 31C... meanwhile we still await the repair of our heating.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


It has been a quiet day and the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen have been staying near the fire.

  • Attempts  were made to  contact Cousteau-cub ... but they failed
  • Spurs tried to win at Birmingham... but they failed
  • Gorse Fox meant to read some work papers... but failed

Here's to a more successful tomorrow

Friday, January 29, 2010


The phone rang - it was the heating engineer. The gas valve may take several days to come in and cost several hundred pounds by the time it is fitted. The good news, however, is that if doesn't arrive and get fitted today, they will bring round some heaters for us to use free of charge until they sort the problem out.

GF can't complain about the service

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Not funny

The joke is wearing thin... the engineer failed to get the boiler working and has had to order a new valve. Slowly the temperature in the house is dropping... and the weather at the weekend is forecast to drop sub-zero again. Fortunately the log fire is roaring in the living room ... and the computers are giving off some heat in the study (and the immersion heater is giving us hot water).

Being helpful

Starfleet provide many tools to ensure that staff are well supported by processes, methods and techniques. Unfortunately they have a developed a new tools that supports this. The Gorse Fox is now nearing the end of his second day fighting with this tool.

Most of the first day was spent downloading it, because once the US comes online the network slows down noticeably... and there were many Gigabytes to retrieve.

Then it was a matter of uncompressing all of the component packages into a common directory. Then the install process begins and you realise that you have forgotten to UnZip a couple of components. You restart the process and it chugs away.

Finally it claims to be complete and asks if it should check for any updates. Answering yes added a further hour or two to the process.

Next, of course we have to add content to the tool so the Gorse Fox accesses the correct repositories in Starfleet. Unfortunately you can only consume 11 components at a time and each has to be packaged up, FTP'd, unzipped and imported. Not sure who dreamed this up, but GF would like to meet him on a dark night, in an alley, with a baseball bat.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Down South

The Gorse Fox was able to work from home today. This meant that he gained 5 hours and made the most of it by combining bits of the old project and bits of the current one.

The day was again punctuated with calls, one of which was with GF's new friends in China. It took a while to get to the bottom of the noun "youwent", but eventually the ageing brain found a vocabulary match with "event" and the discussion suddenly made sense.

GF has an spreadsheet challenge hanging over him this evening and suspects that he will be distracted until the challenge is complete.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


The Gorse Fox spent an hour or so on the phone to Starfleet's lab in China. This is likely to become a more regular occurrence. The problem is that it is evident that people in China are brought up using some local language and seem to have their own words for everything. Fortunately the chap that was speaking has made an effort to rearn rudimentary Engrish but speaks it with an barely penetrable accent and it did mean that the significant effort was required by the listener to match the sounds to words.

It would be so much easier if all the nations of the world would just standardize on English.

Monday, January 25, 2010


That's another week under way. The Gorse Fox was up early and rode the Southern Railway up to the metropolis and spent a pleasant few hours working by the Thames. The postponement that meant the Gorse Fox  didn't have to be in Birmingham meant that he was able to spend the day reviewing more background documents.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Virtual Travel

The Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen have been looking at options for a trip to Thailand to spend some time with Cousteau-cub. A particular 2-3 week period has been ear-marked, and flight options examined. Furthermore packages have been examined in the vicinity of Cousteau-cub's home. Emails have been sent and we now await her advice and guidance.

What would be ideal is a few days in Bangkok followed by a couple of weeks on Ko Lanta, but we'll have to see how things work out.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Family day

Well that was a pleasant day.

The Silver Vixen's mother, sister, niece & her partner braved the vagaries of the road network to visit us on the coast. Urban-cub had prepared the lunch on Friday evening so there was no rushing about. A most pleasing day that was enhanced by the whole-hearted involvement of all and sundry in various silly games on the Wii.

Garlic bread has left the Gorse Fox with slight indigestion, but nothing that a pot of yoghurt won't settle.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Home at last

Well that was a week.

The Gorse Fox and team have spent all week working long and hard to put together an outline solution for the client. On Monday next we should be in Birmingham presenting for 6 hours. In preparation we spent all morning going through the slides tweaking, changing, adding and tuning. Returning to the office we cracked on with the various actions so that we would be ready.

An email came in

It appears the client has not followed their own process correctly and eliminated two competitors that should have been included. The whole procedure is now on hold for a month.

The Gorse Fox was not impressed.

Heading home, the Gorse Fox was delighted to settle into his armchair surrounded by his loved ones.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


To protect his anonymity the Gorse Fox will refer to the Partner on
his current project as The Gardener.

As a long day came to an end the Gardener made a call to his daughter.
He had decided that as his wife was away, they would eat out and she
should consult with her siblings to decide where. He put down the
phone and described the argument that was about to take place as the
children chose between between pizza, Chinese, and Indian.

The Gorse Fox assumes this was fate. He had only snacked at lunch time
and was getting peckish. The though of Indian food seemed to fill his
senses. He packed his bag, said his goodbyes and walked out. Five
minutes later he was in a local purveyor of fine Indian cuisine. He
took his seat and studied the menu. Seeing dishes he had never
previously heard of he tried a Xacuti Chicken. This was a good choice
- slightly peppery, slightly sour, and with a coconut-based sauce -
absolutely superb.

GF is now back in his hotel, settling in for a quiet evening.

Sent from my mobile device

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

All quiet

It has been a quiet day by the Thames. One of the realities of working
for Starfleet is the fact that deadlines are set for administrative
items which bear no regard for the day job. The Gorse Fox is having a
challenging week and to add spice to the mix he has to deliver the
appraisals (that were only signed off last week) this week or risk
losing payments for GF's trusty team. This has meant that the day has
been interrupted several times to fulfill these duties (as will

GF still has a significant number of slides to prepare and whilst he
will do some more reading tonight the slides will have to wait for

The small but cozy wine bar next door to the hotel provided a welcome
plate of risotto and a fine glass of wine to round off the day.

Sent from my mobile device

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


After a good night's sleep the Gorse Fox followed the maps on his
phone to get to Waterloo and head underground towards Euston. This
station is becoming increasingly familiar. Settling down he got a
large cup of coffee and some breakfast whilst waiting for the train to
the bleak northern wastes of Birmingham.

The Pendolino is a most comfortable of trains as it whizzes across the
country and leans into the curves in order to maintain speed. This can
be a little disconcerting as you do not feel the lean, but suddenly
you find yourself looking out the window at a canal that appears to be
running up hill.

At Birmingham we met up with another colleague who joined us from
Wigan. A brief sojourn at Pizza Express for a briefing and then the
taxi took us to the western edge of the city to visit the client's
control centre.

The visit went without incident and revealed a number of interesting
facts and features that we will hjave to consider in our solution. The
tour wasn't as long as expected and we were able to get back and pick
up an earlier train than planned, and by five-thirty we were back in

As the Gorse Fox went to step onto the tube a young girl stood by the
train shaking. He asked if everything was ok and she explained she had
never been on the tube by herself before and wasn't sure whether this
train went to Waterloo. The Gorse Fox explained that was where he was
headed and she should get on. She stood on the train clearly petrified
and confused by the fact that different stations had the platform on
different sides of the train. Taking pity on he GF lead her off the
train at Waterloo and up to the mainline railway station before
wishing her a safe journey and heading back towards the hotel.

He stopped at M&S Food with the aim of picking up a salad for supper.
It was an absolute zoo in there and when he saw the size of the queue
he decided to skip the whole idea.

Unwilling to give the hotel's restaurant another chance after last
night's debacle the Gorse Fox went next door to a wine bar where he
enjoyed a plate of pasta and a small beer before returning to his room
to watch the football.

Sent from my mobile device

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pizza, fail!

The Gorse Fox is having a quiet evening at his hotel. His cold is
being suppressed by over-the-counter drugs, but he still feels a bit

Not really feeling like going out, he ordered pizza from the hotel. In
his experience it is difficult to create a bad pizza. The restaurant
in the hotel have obviously excelled themselves and somehow done the
impossible and created a lousy pizza. The Gorse Fox would be furious
if he could actually be bothered.

Tomorrow requires another trip to Birmingham, but not an early start.

Sent from my mobile device

Stupid Pills

Have just received the following in an email from Old Father Time - not sure of the original author, but acknowledgements to whoever compiled this originall:

My daughter and I went through the McDonald's take-out window and I gave the clerk a £5 note. Our total was £4.20, so I also handed her a  twenty pence piece.
She said, 'You gave me too much money.' I said, 'Yes I know, but this way you can just give me £1 back.'
She sighed and went to get the manager who asked me to repeat my request.  I did so, and he handed me back the 20 pence and said 'We're sorry but they could not do that kind of thing.'
The clerk then proceeded to give me back 80 pence in change.
Lesson: Do not confuse the clerks at MacD's.
We had to have the garage door repaired. The GARADOR repairman told us that one of our problems was that we did not have a 'large' enough motor on the opener.
I thought for a minute, and said that we had the largest one GARADOR  made at  that time, a 1/2 horsepower.
He shook his head and said, 'Lady, you need a 1/4 horsepower.'
I responded that 1/2 was larger than 1/4 and he said, 'NOOO, it's not. Four is larger than two..'
We haven't used Garador repair since. Happened in Moor Park, Nr Watford UK
I live in a semi rural area. We recently had a new neighbour call the Highways Department to request the removal of the DEER CROSSING sign on our road.
The reason: 'Too many deer are being hit by cars out here! I don't think this is a good place for them to be crossing anymore.'
Story from Potters Bar , Herts, UK
My daughter went to a local Kentucky Fried and ordered a taco. She asked the person behind the counter for 'minimal lettuce.'
He said he was sorry, but they only had iceberg lettuce.
From South Oxhey Herts , UK
I was at the airport, checking in at the gate when an airport employee asked, 'Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?'
To which I replied, 'If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?'
He smiled knowingly and nodded, That's why we ask..'
Happened Luton Airport ... UK

The stoplight on the corner buzzes when it's safe to cross the street. I was crossing with an intellectually challenged colleague.
She asked if I knew what the buzzer was for. I explained that it signals blind people when the light is red. Appalled, she responded, 'What on earth are blind people doing driving?!'
She is a Local County Council employee in Harrow , Middlesex , UK
When my husband and I arrived at our local Ford dealer to pick up our car, we were told the keys had been locked in it.
We went to the  service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the drivers  side door.
As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked.
'Hey,' I announced to the Fitter/Mechanic, 'its open!' His reply, 'I know. I already did that side.'
This was at the Ford dealership in St Albans, Hertfordshire UK

 They walk among us... and the scary part is that is they have the RIGHT TO VOTE! (The Gorse Fox would guess that's exactly how we got our current Government)

Sunday, January 17, 2010


The Gorse Fox is now in the full flood of a cold. This is not convenient considering the week ahead.

Welcome Noah

The Gorse Fox would like to congratulate young Matt and Katie on the birth of Noah Alfie at 12:57 this morning.


The Silver Vixen has met up with other member of her coven and they are flying in formation towards Farnham where they will terrorise the locals with their low-level acrobatics as they swoop in to the local fabric exhibition. Urban-cub is helping Loopy-Lou move flat... and so the Gorse Fox is left to his own devices.

Unfortunately his own devices are work. Today will be spent writing up and formalising the appraisals begun in December. Starfleet has now signed off the assessments and the Gorse Fox is commanded to divulge the assessments to his team.

He suspects that this will be a slow exercise as he is fighting off a cold and his head feels as if filled with cotton-wool.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Brown out

GoBro's vision for the country:
A fair society is one where everyone who works hard and plays by the rules has a chance to fulfil their dreams whether that's owning a bigger house, taking a holiday abroad, buying a new car or starting a small business.
Now let's just parse this statement:

  • A fair society is one where everyone who works hard and plays by the rules...
    Ok... so you must WORK and follow the rules that the Government makes
  • ...has a chance to fulfil their dreams whether that's owning a bigger house,...
    but if it is a bigger house that hasn't already been allocated to people who aren't working, then the Government will charge you Stamp Duty for buying it and charge your children inheritance tax when you die if you leave it to them; if you improve it they will charge you extra council tax, if it has good view or is near a good school you will have to pay extra council tax.
  • ...taking a holiday abroad,...
    but the Government doesn't want us to fly because of the carbon footprint it leaves and any money you spend will not go to the UK Exchequer
  • ...buying a new car...
    but that's fine as long as you pay the Carbon-tax for buying new, VAT, Road Tax and then don't use any petrol or diesel because the Government is part of the UN sponsored carbon trading scam. If you decide to use petrol or diesel remember that more than 60% of the pump price goes straight to the Exchequer
  • ...or starting a small business.
    but do not forget to pay business rate on your premises and register with the tax man for VAT.
Yes, on reflection, the Gorse Fox can quite clearly see why that is GoBro's vision.

    A Target

    Also courtesy of the BBC (and the Daily Mail) we learn that "Gordon Brown Targets Middle-class Voters in Speech". Well he's been targetting middle-class voters for the last 12 years - draining them of the pensions, and their disposable income in order to prop-up his execrable policies and fatuous commitments.

    Anyway he tells us that he will create: "more middle class jobs than ever before"  Well of course he will - where else is he going to find the funds to fill in the black-hole he has created in the economy. It reminds the Gorse Fox of "The Matrix" where the human beings are just fuel to a larger entity - well so are the middle-classes to Labour - nothing but fuel to be derided, despised, and exploited.

    Success Rate

    The Gorse Fox notes from the BBC that:
    The Met Office admits its annual global mean forecast predicted temperatures higher than actual temperatures for nine years out of the last 10.
    That seems like the sort of success rate that should attract extra funding! He also notes that apparently:
    Professor Watson said the warming bias....  should not affect trust in the Met Office's climate projections, which are based on a different methodology.
    Well that's all right because the Gorse Fox already distrusts it, so it saves time.

    Friday, January 15, 2010

    Travellin' Man

    Well the Gorse Fox has spent the day sitting inside metal tubes that have hurled him around or under the country in varying levels of comfort. Leaving home soon after seven he made his way to the start point and began the first leg towards Victoria, then diving underground he found his way to Euston where he had a seat booked on a train bound for Birmingham. The journey ran smoothly and to time. The GF was surprised at how much snow there was north of London.

    Meeting up with colleagues in a Pizza Hut we exchanged data and polished the presentation that we planned to use for the afternoon session. A new colleague joined the burgeoning team - he could prove to be a big asset as he can actually distinguish between a a large muscle mass at the base to the spine and a hinged joint in the arm. A welcome addition to the team. As we planned, out of politeness, we also consumed copious amounts of pizza and salad before taking the short taxi ride to the client's meeting.

    The meeting ran gratifyingly smoothly and to time. This meant there was a chance GF would get to the 17:30 train home. However, the partner decided that we should debrief first. So we all traipsed into a side office and stood with out briefs round our ankles and discussed the previous three hours. Birmingham's traffic was, by now, in full flood and any chance of getting to the station quickly was but a pipe dream. It was 18:10 before GF managed to force his way onto the London-bound train - it was shorter than the normal configuration and this meant that it was fairly well crammed. GF was lucky and found a seat.

    Needless to say the way the times worked out the Gorse Fox arrived at Victoria 2 minutes after his train left. This was not too much of a problem, however, as it allowed time for a stop at "Wasabi" for some Chicken Terriyaki and noodles. Finally boarding the southbound train, GF sat listening to his iPod whilst watch three chaps across the aisle demolish a full bottle of Gordon's gin and several tonics on the route to the coast.

    It was a couple of minutes after ten before GF got home. It had been a tiring day, but Silver Vixen and Urban-cub were still amusing themselves on the Wii when he slumped into the armchair.

    Thursday, January 14, 2010

    Head down

    Gorse Fox is keeping his head down preparing for tomorrow's meeting in Birmingham.

    Yesterday finished in some style with the Southern railway deciding they couldn't be bothered to split the train at Haywards Heath and therefore forcing half the commuters (including the Gorse Fox) to get off and wait for a Brighton train and there change once more to get a Portsmouth train in order to get to our intended destinations. A further three hours of his finite allocation of lifespan consumed by travel.

    It seemed very dark this morning when the Gorse Fox's internal alarm went off. At first he doubted he had read the watch-face correctly, but need not have worried. Ablutions complete he headed to a) make the tea and b) start up the computers in time for his 08:00 call with one of Starfleet's China laboratories. (He should point out that this is a laboratory in China as opposed to one that is elsewhere research ceramics).

    Wednesday, January 13, 2010

    Brm, brm

    Yesterday's trip to Birmingham went off without incident. The Gorse Fox must commend Virgin trains for the comfort and speed of their service. It's strange how, having not been to Birmingham for probably 20-25 years, the Gorse Fox finds he has to be back there this Friday - twice in a week. You can imagine that the pleasure of leaving Birmingham at 17:30 on a Friday afternoon fills him with happy thoughts. Not!

    Not sure if it this morning's fall of snow or the fact that he was travelling early-ish, but GF was delighted to find the tube was almost deserted and therefore had a comfortable and easy trip from the hotel in Euston down to the office.

    Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    Just checking

    The whole point of staying overnight near Euston Station was that the
    Gorse Fox could have a good night's sleep and did not need to get up
    in the middle of the night to find his way to Birmingham. It was
    therefore a most unwelcome moment when, at 4 o'clock this morning the
    hotel fire alarm went off. Only for about 30 seconds but it was loud
    enough that corpses in the local cemetary sat up. Settling back down
    the Gorse Fox drifted back towards a gentle slumber. The alarm went
    off once more. Only about 10 seconds this time... but the damage was
    done. Gorse Fox was awake... and that's how it has stayed.

    Sent from my mobile device

    Monday, January 11, 2010

    Best laid plans

    The Gorse Fox had planned carefully and brought his T-mobile USB
    internet key with him to provide some quiet browsing during the
    evening. Unfortunately nothing works quite as planned. It is many
    months since he last used the key and it is the first time it has been
    used on his work laptop. This meant that he didn't have any saved
    settings to use... and unfortunately had forgotten any setup
    instructions. As a result it sitting uselessly on the side of the
    laptop whilst the Gorse Fox resorts to his portable keyboard and his
    smart phone. (Oh yes... you can trust the Gorse Fox to have both belt
    and braces - and even some string in case bothe fail)

    Sent from my mobile device


    The Gorse Fox headed up to town. A small suitcase was clutched in addition to his usual laptop. This proved to be troublesome as the trains were packed and manoeuvring through the throng was challenging. He arrived safely if somewhat later than expected.

    Had a chance to catch up with Deep Blue today, which was nice. Am hoping to drag him into current project - but looks like the GF may have fight on his hands.

    Sunday, January 10, 2010

    Of cars.

    RAV4 battery recharged and GF has taken it out for a run. Would guess that leaving it totally untouched for nearly 4 weeks in such cold weather was a bit much for the battery. All is now well and the Silver Vixen can be mobile if she so wishes.

    Trying to work out logistics for the coming week. Will get Urban-cub to act as chauffeuse for trips to and from local station so that GF's car does not have to sit idle in the car park for several days.

    Saturday, January 09, 2010

    Oh yes

    Just tasted a slice or two from first home-made wholemeal loaf... very successful. Very more-ish.

    Domestic responsibilities

    The Gorse Fox cleared the accumulated snow from the RAV4 - some shopping was needed. Unfortunately the cold weather had reduced the effectiveness of the battery and it was not man enough to fire the beast into life. That will have to wait for now.

    The Passat fired up on the first attempt and after 5 minutes the snow was cleared and the Gorse Fox headed to Sainsbury's. On arrival it became immediately clear that it was bedlam. Every twit who had no experience or ability of driving in the snow had clustered into the car park and sat there in panic hoping a car parking space would come to them.

    Inside the store things were no much better. Families had taken their children there with their dolls prams to block the aisles whilst the shouted at them. More mature folk had gone mob handed so they could support each other against the ravages of gravity and ice combined... and wandered aimlessly round looking bemused. What fun the traditional shopping experience can be. (Don't even ask about checkout lane discipline, conveyor loading, or packing!!!)

    Home once more the Gorse Fox examined the manual that accompanied the new Bread Maker (which arrived mid week) and carefully measured out various staples: yeast, strong flour, sugar, salt, butter and water. A few moments later the appropriate buttons were pressed and, with luck, we shall have our first home -baked loaf of bread in a few hours time.

    Something fishy

    The Gorse Fox has just received the following email:
    From the Desk of
    The Inspector General of Police
    Mr. Ogbonna Okechukwu Onovo
    Phone: 234 812 077 7786
    Attn: ATM card Beneficiary.
    Dear Sir,
    This is to inform you that we have been given the instruction to dispatch your ATM card to your address from the Police Head Quarters here in Lagos Nigeria. Because of the recent scam problems experienced by foreign beneficiaries of funds, all ATM card issued by the authorized paying Bank which is the Union Bank of Nigeria PLC has been submitted to this office ready for dispatch.
    You are advised to provide the following information for dispatch,
    1. Your Full names
    2. your full billing address
    3. your direct phone number
    Inspector General of Police
    Mr. Ogbonna Okechukwu Onovo
    Phone: 234 812 077 7786
    The Gorse Fox wonders just how stupid you have to be to fall for a note like this when a) you don't know anyone in Nigeria; b) you don't have dealings with any banks in Nigeria; c) you notice that the email address is at ""

    Friday, January 08, 2010

    End of the week

    Friday. A simple word, but it carries so much promise.

    The day lived up to its promise. It was great fun and very busy. Gorse Fox was busy reading through specs and documents and presentations trying to elicit sufficient information to start to crafting a solution for his new putative client.

    He also had a career chat with a young (-ish) colleague - hopefully helping him decide a little on his future.

    Evening was spent playing Frisbee golf on the Wii with Urban-cub.

    Thursday, January 07, 2010

    Mmmm - a good day

    Overall it was good day:

    • Work was busy but went well
    • The Gorse Fox could work at home so didn't get troubled by the weather
    • Someone go the Wii working once the disk was removed from the DVD player and installed in the Wii console.
    • Jonathan Ross is leaving the BBC
    • The BBC are looking into accusations of bias in their scientific reporting

    Yep... a good day.


    The heavy snow clouds of yesterday are gone this morning. The sky is crisp and clear and the stars have that shimmer and twinkle that seems to be unique to really cold, clear weather. The Gorse Fox has not ventured out, but the computer tells him that it is -7C at present.

    Discretion being the better part of valour, Gorse Fox will again work from home rather than venture to London - particularly as tomorrow's course has been cancelled removing the necessity of being there overnight tonight.

    Wednesday, January 06, 2010


    The Gorse Fox woke to find a thick covering of snow being added to as he watched. This exceptionally mild winter forecast by the Met Office (using their climate models) is redefining the meaning of exceptionally mild. The Gorse Fox has decided to work from home rather than fight his way back up to London.

    Tuesday, January 05, 2010


    The day started early with a trip on the Southern Railway up to London. The train was surprisingly quiet but the journey was soon over and the Gorse Fox was soon settling in to the offices by the Thames.

    It turned out to be a very busy day - meetings, calls from the last project, more meetings, and more calls. It was lateer than planned before the Gorse Fox got away, but a short stroll along the Thames and charge across the River took him to the Underground Railway in order to head back to Victoria in order to catch the train back to the south coast.

    Not a stunning day, but interesting

    Monday, January 04, 2010


    The working week/year certainly started with a bang. The Gorse Fox has been hard at it now for 13 straight hours... and suspects he has another hour to go. The Silver Vixen and Urban-cub are at the health club so GF can work on without offending anyone.

    Early start tomorrow for trip to Starfleet's Thames-side offices.

    Sunday, January 03, 2010

    Winding up

    The Gorse Fox has had a good day winding himself back up ready for work. This has meant that he has spent most of the day in the study reading through and summarising the Requirements Definition for his new client. This took longer than expected and ended up with reams and reams of notes.

    Lunchtime saw the regular attempt to contact Cousteau-cub... but as she had left her charger on Phi-Phi we had to call her partner Jon. This went surprisingly well - though there was some lag on the line making conversation a little difficult.

    Saturday, January 02, 2010


    It seemed like the ideal time to pack up the Christmas decorations... it may not be the 12th day of Christmas but it was close enough. After 27-30 years we decided that our tree should be replaced so that will head to the dump. It only took an hour or two and everything was packed away and stored for next Christmas.

    Once that was done, Gorse Fox decided it was time to get the Tax Return out of the way. As usual this was an immensely painful affair - not difficult, just painful watching so much get poured into the black-hole that is this Governments extravagance and debts.

    Friday, January 01, 2010


    Having crossed to the country estate of Betty and Barney Rubble we had a refreshing tea before heading off to the moving picture palace in the nearby metropolis of Basingstoke. There we settled down with our special glasses to watch the 3D version of Avatar. Gorse Fox was a little apprehensive about how the 3D effect would pan out over a 3 hour film... but it was done very well and added to the film rather than overcoming it.

    The film itself was an adequate story pitting the rapacious industrialist against the gentle nature-aware indigenous occupants of a distant planet. The Gorse Fox won't spoil the story - but he would comment that it was fairly predictable - though this was not detrimental to the overall enjoyment.

    Leaving Basingstoke we picked up some fine Indian food and then spent a silly evening playing games on Barney's Wii.

    After seeing in the New Year and calling Urban-cub we had what seemed like a short night's sleep we were soon enjoying scrambled eggs with smoked salmon.