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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Moved it

The Gorse Fox has finally got around to moving his genealogy database from the PC to the Mac. It seems to have gone across without incident and having the huge screen on the Mac makes traversal of the tree much quicker and more straightforward.

Noon Image: 31 May 2015

Caught out

There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to allowing software to perform automatic updates. On the plus side, you do not spend the first 30 minutes of every session deciding whether or not to apply updates and waiting while they are processed. On the minus side, updates can go wrong, and chances are that you do not read all the release notes. In fact, let's be honest, you probably don't read the release notes anyway.

The software GF uses to manage his backup strategy recently released a couple of updates. He browsed the release notes, but didn't really take in all the subtleties. One such subtlety was that they were changing the way they do automatic scheduling. This broke the GF's automated backup... until he realised that he needed to go back into the software and reconfigure each of the backup jobs to use a new internal scheduler. It's a good job he checks!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Modicum of Relief

The Gorse Fox is cautiously optimistic.  A full shutdown and reboot of the failed backup drive seems to have kicked it back into life. Diagnostics show everything to be ok, no alerts have been posted, and all of the files that he expected to be there, are there.

As the next set of timed backups commences the drive should be brought up-to-date with the changes that have taken place while it was not functioning. Equilibrium has been restored.

(Now if only GF could reboot his hamstring).

Noon Image: 30 May 2015

Friday, May 29, 2015

Watching the build

The Gorse Fox, with the help of Google's Picasa has made a 3 minute movie showing the building of the Orangery.


GF has re-diagnosed his problem. It is not sciatica it is clearly a hamstring that is giving problems. It is still very uncomfortable, but is clearing slowly. He certainly won't be able to play football this weekend, and next week is doubtful.

Much of the day spent in front of the computer, perched on one buttock. GF has been going back through some old photos checking on various content, then standing up to relieve the discomfort, before sitting down again when he realises he can't see the screen when standing up.

Had some heavy showers earlier, but sun is shining again now.

Noon Image: 29 May 2015

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Noon Image: 28 May 2015

A lesson for the unwary

Those of you who know the Gorse Fox will know his paranoia regarding backups. Indeed he has a document that defines his home backup strategy.

This morning it looks like one of his hard drives has failed. It will ping, but nothing seems to be able to access its files. Fortunately this is his secondary backup... and so he is still covered whilst he sources a replacement or finds some way to fix the drive.

Simply put, his strategy is:

  • Create files on whatever computer or tablet you are using
  • Back them up to a local shared drive (Network Attached Storage, in GF's case) - this is the primary backup.
  • Backup the primary backup to a second local shared drive (again a NAS) - this is the secondary backup
  • Finally, back up the files to storage on the web (Cloud storage from Google, Amazon, or some other reputable supplier).
All these backups are performed automatically. GF only has to intervene if something goes wrong... which is how he found out about today's problem.

To solve the problem, all he has to do (in the worst case) is to replace the drive and restart the backup process.

So, if you don't have backups YOU SHOULD
If you only have a single local backup, IT'S NOT ENOUGH

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


The Gorse Fox is suffering from some serious sciatica. This is causing the left leg to prove painful to walk on, sit on, climb stairs with, or indeed just rest. With that in mind, he went to football anyway. The idea was to see if so gentle exercise might free it up a bit. It didn't.

We only played 4-a-side today, but GF was one of the captains and carefully picked a very mobile team. We kicked off, and GF dropped into defence... and there he stayed. One or two steps to the left, one or two steps to the right, and some passes up to his team mates. Very gentle. What was clear, however, was the degree to which his doing nothing improved the game! The first 20 minute game was won 8-2; the second 13-2. Maybe he should do nothing more often.

Back home the lawn was just smirking at him as it silently continued to grow. He tried to put it off, but clearly some intervention was required. Duly, the lawn mower and strimmer were freed from the confines of the garage and lawn whipped into shape.

GF has download a video editor for the Macs. Now he'd better look at the tutorials.

Noon Image: 27 May 2015

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Nothing to see here

It has been a quiet day again. GF played 8 ten-minute games of football this morning and was only on the losing side for 2 of them.

Back home, Urban-cub was visiting and joined us for lunch. SV had been trying out the Orangery as a Pilates studio, using the newly set-up TV and media facilities to play one of her Pilates DVDs. Evidently the experiment was quite successful.

After some recent correspondence with some distant cousins, GF spent some time editing an old family photo to provide the captions that identify each of the faces. There are still a few faces missing, but slowly we are identifying all of them.

GF needs to find a suitable video editor for the Mac. He is used to several on the old PC, but needs to find something he can use more conveniently on the Mac and Macbook. Lightworks looks like the best option at the moment, but GF will have a learning curve.

Noon Image: 26 May 2015

Monday, May 25, 2015


Gorse Fox has had a few hours searching for some old DVDs and VCDs that he had created years back. Finally, he found them and using "Handbrake" managed to convert them to MP4 files to add to his media collection.

GF wrote some instructions on how to use the media files on the TV in the Orangery. She tested them out today and GF was pleased to see the instructions were clear enough. This means that family videos, films and so forth are all available.

Tried a new recipe tonight. Stir fried chicken with pak choi. The trouble was that it called for mangetout and star anise. GF had neither. The sliced runner beans were substituted for the mangetout. Fennel seeds for the star anise. All things considered, it worked just fine.

Noon Image: 25 May 2015

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Good day

It was a good day. We played football at Felpham for the first time. The pitch was very big, and probably only suitable when we have 6 a-side or more. We had a couple of new players with us again and also Fred's grandson.

Game was fun, and the new chaps were quite good. GF was also pleased to find that when Fred's grandson broke into a run, GF was able to match him, and overtake - he wouldn't have been able to do it for long, but in a shot burst he could match the lad for speed (though there was no pretence of walking by either of them).

Once home we had a quiet afternoon and evening in the Orangery, making use of the new TV and as the temperature dropped, the underfloor heating.

Noon Image: 24 May 2015

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Quiet day

It's been pretty quiet as GF has been move DVD images around and trying to find out why several of them wouldn't play as normal media files. Gave up in the end. Will have to rip them, rather than rely on the downloaded images.

Meanwhile, the Silver Vixen has started working on the cushions she wants to make.

Noon Image: 23 May 2015

Friday, May 22, 2015

Plan B

Well, that was an interesting day. (Ok, that may be an exaggeration).

Firstly, GF removed the TV and bracket from the wall. Then filled the holes left and painted the wall. All was well. The bracket ws repositioned and marked...  and the Gorse Fox headed out to B&Q, Travis Perkins, Toolworks, Covers and Screwfix. Eventually he had some replaced coach screws and suitable wall plugs to remount the bracket.

Having done it once, GF found it easy to re-fix it to the wall in the new position. In fact it was quicker to refit than it was to find the various fixings from local hardware stores. In no time the TV was fixed, switched on and working.

GF then started to set up the Pi to play the DVDs, but first he thought he'd try connecting the USB hard drive to see if it would be powered by the TV. It was. Then, on the off chance, he tried the standard features of the TV and realised it would happily play the DVDs directly from the USB drive. The Raspberry Pi was actually needed. Ten minutes later it was all fixed (with Velcro) to the back of the TV... and GF was playing the Cream reunion at the Royal Albert Hall DVD - perfect.

During the afternoon he set up the other smart features (iPlayer, 4OD, 5OD, Amazon Prime, etc.) and also noticed that the TV had located his NAS devices (without being told) and GF assumes he could view his photos directly from that, if wanted.

Chuffed... and still have a Pi that I can re-commission for some other project.

Noon Image: 22 May 2015

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Curate's Egg

GF got up early to read some reviews on TVs. We wanted something appropriate for the Orangery, but didn't want to spend a fortune.  After our man from Ocado delivered the shopping, we headed for Chi.

The Silver Vixen wanted some foam and some fabric to make some cushions - so that was our first stop. Then we headed on to Curry's. We wandered through their TV section looking at what was available and making a few notes. Then we wandered next door to John Lewis. Again we looked at what was on display and compared the prices with those from Curry's. Pricing was similar, but more than GF wanted to spend. Then the old eyes locked onto so display models that were being sold. A few minutes later Gf had a superb 42", internet enabled, LG Smart TV. We took it down from the wall, wrapped it in bubble wrap, parted with a couple of hundred of Her Majesty's fine pounds and headed home along with a wall mounting kit.

So far, so good.

GF started working on the wall mounting bracket. The particular model chosen was selected as it would fit in the gap between the aerial socket and the double plug. GF started to measure up, but was convinced it was too high, and lowered the marks for the drill. Holes were drilled, the bracket mounted and fixed, and the TV slotted onto the bracket. All had gone well.

Well, maybe not.

GF noticed three things at this point. The bracket was too close to the aerial (1) and plug sockets (2)... and the only way they could be used was to pull the bracket open. This left the TV some 9 inches proud of the wall. This was NOT appropriate. GF will have to take it all down and remount it... but that can wait for tomorrow (when he has bought some new wall plugs).

The third thing was that the TV had now power cable. A bit of an over-site. GF called John Lewis, then headed back to Chi. 45 minutes later he was home clutching two spare power cables and a voucher for a free coffee for the trouble he had been caused.

Anyway, the TV works fine, and it can stay put until tomorrow when GF will sort it out.

While all this was going on Urban-cub had been visiting us. She has finished her old job and is now waiting for the new job to start. This is giving her some well-deserved downtime, and it was lovely to see her.

Noon Image: 21 May 2015

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


The foot was feeling a lot better this morning. Certainly it was worth the trip across to Worthing for the football.

GF started very carefully, with the foot strapped up. As the game progressed the foot eased and GF started to move about more quickly and assertively. This was good. Well, good unless you are called Terry and playing against GF. GF went in to intercept a pass, Terry, unable to stop, crashed into the Gorse Fox. Terry went down like a sack of spuds, clutching his ribs. He was down for several minutes so we declared half-time to give him a chance to recover... which he slowly did. The game continued without further incident - but GF's team did win very conclusively.

Back home, Trevor (from Apollo) had arrived to fit the blinds. All did not go smoothly.

One set had been manufactured incorrectly and will have to be re-ordered, two others were perfect fits - other than the fact the skirting boards had encroached on the original measurements.

The skirting boards had to be removed near the windows in question and then trimmed and refitted. The final result was excellent but GF has a little touching up to do with a paint brush.

With the blue blinds and blue LEDs it's a bit like being in an aquarium... or diving in the Andaman Sea.

While all this was going on, IKEA delivered the chairs we had ordered for the family room. These didn't take long to assemble. In fact it took longer cut the cardboard containers down to size for disposal than it did to assemble the chairs.

Noon Image: 20 May 2015

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Well by 0530, GF was wide awake and starting to fidget. He got up. He had stern words with himself. He has retired, after all! There was no need to be awake, let alone up at 0530.

GF made the most of the time by moving some DVD images around and digitising several other DVDs. These are now nestling on the new Raspberry Pi's external drive and play beautifully through the main TVs. The only outstanding problems that GF has are related to use of the TV remote - or at least the fact that it doesn't work. At this point, that means using a keyboard.

Football was the main event for the morning. Four 6-aside games followed by 3 5-aside games. The games went well, and GF was pleased to score three very good goals. GF did manage to twist his ankle during the second game, so is feeling a bit sore this evening. He isn't sure whether he will be able to play tomorrow, but he will give it a try.

Noon Image: 19 May 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015


Wall mounted washing line installed.

Media Server working in test mode - though had to change TVs to one that supported the right mode. Now GF would guess he has to work out the best long term target TV and best way to mount the media server.

The Law of Sod

The Gorse Fox was expecting 2 deliveries - a new Raspberry Pi and a Wall-fixed washing line. The Law of Sod intervened. As it was pouring with rain, the washing line was delivered first. GF is now waiting for either the rain to stop, or the Raspberry Pi to arrive.

Oh well, in the meantime he can rip some of the DVDs that he plans to deliver via the Media Server he has planned for the Pi.

Noon Image: 18 May 2015

Sunday, May 17, 2015


Well, that was daft.

The Gorse Fox retrieved a lovely shoulder of lamb from the fridge. He left it to come up to room temperature, then as we had no rosemary, he just rubbed a little salt and oil into the joint before putting it in the oven.

Along with the lamb we had some roasted vegetables - butternut squash, sweet potato, onion, yellow pepper and cloves of garlic; we also had some runner beans and asparagus. Seemed like a good menu.

Well, it did until GF opened the oven about 15 minutes from the end of the roasting time. It was at this point he realised it wasn't lamb at all - it was pork. Albeit dark pork, but definitely pork.

Dementia beckons. What's worse he had an opportunity to make some nice crackling - and missed it.


Media Server

The Gorse Fox has just ordered another Raspberry Pi (model 2). This one will be used as a media server so that we can dispense with DVD players and so forth. GF just has to consume all the existing DVD's onto a disk somewhere, and then use the server to play them. Plan is to start with a dedicated server for a single TV, but once established, to network them to multiple TV's. Heaven's knows if it will work, but it is worth a try and will certainly make the DVD's more accessible.

Noon Image: 17 May 2015

Saturday, May 16, 2015


The various items purchased from Abba yesterday are now constructed or installed as the case may be. GF is only marginally satisfied with the floating shelves. They float, by whilst perfectly horizontal from side to side, they do droop just slightly from front to back. This seems to be an endemic problem with these shelves - GF has never seen one that didn't droop. He may, however, have just thought of a cure for this, but as it means some minor modification to the shelves, he will ponder it for a while.

We are still trying to decide on what trees to plant in the garden... and what covering we will use to mask the fence. Current favourites are cryptomeria, and acer for the the trees, and cotoneaster for the fence.

We currently have the pleasure of listening to a neighbour cutting stone slabs and playing his Rod Stewart album at a volume that would be more appropriate to the Isle of Wight Festival.

Noon Image: 16 May 2015

Friday, May 15, 2015

Abba design

A slow start after yesterday's late night. We headed across to Southampton, to IKEA, for some Abba thinking. We wanted some shelves that were not available online. A quick check showed they had a few left in stock. We were hopeful.

Hopes were dashed, however, when we got to the checkouts. The last shelves of the correct colour had gone. We had a Plan B though, and resorted to that. We also picked up some odds and ends for the Orangery and a couple of small side tables for the family room. In the end, it turned out to be a pretty good trip... and an excuse to eat some more meatballs (and salmon, in the case of the Silver Vixen).

Noon Image: 15 May 2015

Thursday, May 14, 2015


Eric Clapton was 70 this year. His 70th Birthday Tour kicked off in the UK tonight. It seemed appropriate that we should go along and wish him well. So it was that we headed off into the rain and drove up towards the Royal Albert Hall.

We seem to have mastered the technique for this journey. GF should explain. Events at the RAH finish too late for us to travel by train. Using the car, however, means parking and the RAH provides parking in the grounds of Imperial College, but that does not open until six o'clock. Travelling to the RAH to arrive in the time window between the car opening and the concert becomes a challenge as it means hitting the metropolis during the afternoon rush. So, we leave home early afternoon and drive to Fulham Broadway where we park in the car park and wander into the shopping mall. By this time it's between 4 and 5 and we find a restaurant to sit down and enjoy a leisurely meal. Finally, we grab the car and drive the last 2 miles to the car park. No stress.

Well that's the theory. It all went pretty smoothly until we returned to the car at Fulham Broadway. There was a big gap where we had left the car. Our hearts sank. GF started to work on the options. The first was to retrace our steps - had he got it wrong? Well, yes. He had. That turned out to be the case. They had got off the lift at the wrong level (well, that is only because GF had remembered the level incorrectly).

With a sigh of relief we headed off for the last bit of the journey.

Our seats at the RAH were up in the circle. This was a high as we had been, without actually flying, for many years. The view was not brilliant, but the objective is the music not just the view. GF's little sister and Trev turned up and the concert was ready to start.

Andy Fairweather Low was the opening act, with his band Low Riders. It was a cheerful mixed set with many of his well-known songs and tributes to a number of the greats.

Next came the main event. Eric Clapton came on and played, in his usual effortless style, for a couple of hours.

There were three distinct phases - some electric blues, some (un-plugged) acoustics, and some rock. Tracks he played included: Somebody's Knocking, Pretending, You Are So Beautiful, Hoochie Coochie Man, Let It Rain, Tears in Heaven, Layla, Crossroad Blues, Wonderful Tonight, and Cocaine.
(There were several other numbers, but GF's memory can't did them up as he writes this).

It was brilliant. In fact the Silver Vixen thought it was even better than our last Clapton concert (17th May 2013). Well worth the ticket price, well worth the journey... though the SatNav was not a great help getting home - but GF will have a rant about that, on another day.

Noon Image: 14 May 2015

Wet, wet, wet

Well, the dull start morphed into heavy rain. It's now pouring heavily and it looks as if it has set in for the day. As a retired person, living on the edge, this has given the Gorse Fox to descale the coffee machine, and make up a fresh batch of muesli.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Blast, looks like the schedule for the landscaper has slipped. It may now be September before they can come and fulfil the contract.

Organising things

The Gorse Fox has had a good day. The football was hard work as we were only playing 4-a-side - and frankly, GF's team were not very mobile or committed. As a result GF seemed to be playing by himself, and was knackered at the end of it.

Once home he got round to organising the local heat of the national walking football tournament. Venue was agreed for Worthing and date set for June. So we now have to wait for Eastbourne and Portslade to confirm attendance.

With rain forecast for tomorrow, GF made the most of the sunny afternoon and got the lawns sorted out.

Noon Image: 13 May 2015

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


A lovely sunny day emerged from the early morning cloud. Football was an absolute pleasure in the warm spring sunshine. GF played six games, scoring in one of them. He's watching Barcelona at the moment and thinks that Messi and Neymar might make our first team, when they are old enough.

Meanwhile, GF has finally got round to organising his retirement lunch. It will be a couple of weeks short of the first anniversary of the great day and an opportunity to catch up with old friends.

Noon Image: 12 May 2015

Monday, May 11, 2015


It's been a quiet day. The Gorse Fox had some admin that needed attention. Scanning, filing, (backing up), and shredding. This was accompanied by confirming the commission for the landscaper. We went for a walk to post the quote acceptance, then stopped off at the sales suite to have a chat and catch up with the girls who handled our purchase. The good news was that the price of ou house model has increased significantly. So though we have one of the best sites on the development, lesser sites are selling for significantly more than we paid. Nice to know it was a sound investment - and has, no doubt, been further improved by the Orangery (which the girls tell us has caused some very positive comments from neighbours).

Noon Image: 11 May 2015

Green LEDs

Blue LEDs

Magenta LEDs

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Home stretch

Gorse Fox spent the morning finish the strip that will hide the LED lights. This should now just provide a wash of light on the walls of the lantern.

Once that was done, it was on with the knee pads and a couple of hours painting the skirting boards They are looking pretty good now, but the Gorse Fox will check, when it is less bright, whether another coat is required. (It is so bright in here at present that it is difficult to see any minor blemishes or variations in the paint).

Outstanding tasks are for the electrician to connect the underfloor heating and thermostat; and for our man from Apollo Blinds to fit the blinds in a couple of weeks time.

Now the Gorse Fox must commission the landscaper having examined all of their responses. He won't be able to start work until July, bt we are very confident in his portfolio and record.


The LED's provide a nice glow from the outside. The colours can be alterred with a small remote control, but we liked this blue glow.

Noon Image: 10 May 2015

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Pah, wet

Well, GF had been rather pleased at how long he had gone, playing football outside at least twice a week, without getting his shatterproof glasses wet. It is has been dry during all matches since the end of January. Remarkable.

Today we played in the Sussex FA Walking Football Tournament - and the rain decided that enough was enough and GF was going to get soaked. So it was that we played in driving rain and sleet as the storm came in across the coast and blasted the pitches at Lancing. GF had to capitulate and take his glasses off. They have been well and truly christened. We played 4 games. Won two and lost two, ending up right in the middle of the pack of nine competing teams. Great fun, and we played some nice football. Best part was probably beating our local rivals (Worthing) 5-0.

Back home the sun was shining and the afternoon was spent in the Orangery. GF has now fitted (most of) a "reveal" that hides the LED lights, ensuring we see their glow without seeing the actual bulbs. Last bit should be fitted in the morning, then GF has to paint the skirting boards (but as they are pre-primed, that should only take an hour or so).

Noon Image: 9 May 2015

Friday, May 08, 2015

And breathe...

Well that was an unexpected election result.

GF woke early this morning and was reading his emails just after 05:30. Then it occurred to him that he should check the results. He couldn't quite believe his eyes. Prediction was an overall majority for the Conservatives. That seemed so unlikely given the media slant, the celebrity endorsements, and the vitriol that was being directed at the Tories.

GF was delighted. It seems that a degree of sense washed through the nation, and a realisation that you cannot spend money that you don't have and you cannot mortgage you children's future by borrowing money that they will have to repay.

Noon Image: 8 May 2015

Thursday, May 07, 2015


Well it seems that Cousteau-cub has been woken two night running by earthquakes off the coast. The biggest was only 4 point something, and last night's was only 3.9, but even still it shakes you up a bit (so to speak). She's fine, and the Coventry-Hobbit slept through it.

Talking of C-c, she had the chance to meet up with Agent Mulder. He's over in Thailand to see his daughter, Laura, who is travelling at present. They decided to meet up and take a few "beach days". They headed for Koh Lanta and made sure that they saw C-c. Photo on FB looks as if they were all pretty fit.

SV and the GF, back here in UK, did their duty and voted then headed off to Portsmouth. GF wanted some more football kit and the local stores in Chi really didn't seem to stock what he wanted. At Gunwharf Quays there are outlets for both Adidas and Nike. We checked out the former, then the latter. GF decided he preferred the material from which the Adidas kit was manufactured... so headed back there. He was also delighted to find that he was size "L" rather than "XL" as he has been for the past few years.

We stopped for lunch in an American Diner called "Coast to Coast". Fairly typical menu for a diner, but must admit the food was excellent. Also, the portions were so big that we had to request doggy bags to bring back what we couldn't manage.

Noon Image: 7 May 2015

LED - cracked it

The Gorse Fox started to revisit the installation of the LED strips. Re-examining the connectors in the morning light, it was clear that there was a tiny guide slot that he had not seen in the bright afternoon sun yesterday. A few minutes of fiddling and it all became clear. Yesterday's connections were re-made and the additional strips were installed and connected. We now have 15m of dimmable LED multicolour strip lights surrounding the Orangery lantern. Judging by the quick demo we tried last night, it should be very effective.

Now - time to vote... and hopefully keep a government that realises that you cannot live on credit.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015


Football was very windy again... and whilst the rain was pouring as GF headed across to Worthing, it stopped as he arrived.

Meanwhile, back home, GF and the Silver Vixen had some lunch and then examined the latest landscape quote that we have received. The neighbours popped in to check on some lights that GF had found - they too wanted some. As they left GF headed up the step ladders and started fixing the LED lights in the Orangery lantern. The first strip eventually burst into life, but the problem came when GF had to try and connect the next strip. As it stands, the second strip is fixed, but still won't light up. The connectors between the strips are very fiddly, and GF suspect he hasn't fixed them properly. That'll have to wait until the morning.

Noon Image: 6 May 2015

Tuesday, May 05, 2015


The wind has been blasting across the south coast today. In the Orangery, we were sheltered and it was very warm in the sunshine. On the football pitch, however, the wind created havoc. Blowing end to end, it was a great help  during one half, and a huge disadvantage in the other half. The ball would whip away from you as you tried to kick it, or run away when you passed it to a teammate. It rather took the fun out of the game.

Noon Image: 5 May 2015

Monday, May 04, 2015

Winkworth Arboretum

About an hour from home is Winkworth Arboretum. It is many years since we have been been there (in fact the cubs were both quite small).

Clearly we were not the only visitors and had to queue to get in and park. (The chap at the gate explained that an hour earlier, they had closed the gates and sent people away because they were so busy). As it happens we didn't have to wait too long.

The Arboretum seems better laid out than GF remembers it - maybe NT have been investing in the infrastructure.

The Arboretum was looking good. The bluebells were carpeting the woodlands, the Acers were looking spring fresh and glowed in the sunlight. Possibly the most impressive  sight, however, was the azalea steps. This was a narrows set of steps leading up the from the lake to the top of hill. Lining the steps was a wall of different azaleas and rhododendrons.  It was spectacular, if somewhat overrun by fellow visitors.

We stopped for a cream tea at the end of the visit then headed home. It was a super afternoon.

Noon Image: 4 May 2015


Fabulous, bright start to the day. Seems like an excuse to grab the camera and go out into the countryside.

Sunday, May 03, 2015


The overnight and early morning rain dried up by mid-morning. It remained overcast for much of the day and there was a stiff breeze. By mid afternoon the clouds had given way and the sun broke through and GF is sitting in the Orangery enjoying the sun without the effects of the breeze.

No football today as so many players are either unavailable or injured. Let's hope they are fit for next weekend as we have the Sussex FA tournament.

The Gorse Fox spent chunks of the day with either a paint brush or a caulking gun in his hand. The moulding that will hide the lighting is now finished. Gf is now ready to fix the lighting - or he will be when he has the correct corner connectors.

Noon Image: 3 May 2015

Saturday, May 02, 2015


Expecting rain later in the day, we started with a trip across to the Hillier Garden Centre at Bosham. First time we have been there and whist it isn't huge, the standard and quality of plants and displays was exceptional. We ended up spending longer there than expected, but it was worth it as it gave us some more inspiration for the garden - specifically what to do to soften the look of the fencing.

Back home, GF finished sanding the mouldings that edge the lantern. Once sanded down, the first coat of paint went on - and with luck he will get another coat on later. That will just mean the top coats tomorrow, and some sealant to ensure it all looks tight.

Meanwhile, in the garden the Silver Vixen has been potting some of the plants and shrubs that she has acquired recently.

Noon Image: 2 May 2015

Friday, May 01, 2015


We visited "Architectural Plants" today. This is a fabulous spread just north of Pulborough. They specialise in large trees and shrubs - and though they have recently re-located to this site they are looking very well organised and their plants are looking great. We were only looking, today. We are looking for a couple of small trees for the garden. Trees that will fit in with our design and provide us a bit of screening. We found several candidates for our shortlist, though GF was a little disappointed by the selection of Acers on show.

From Architectural Plants we headed across to Ashington to our old favourite "Big Plants". The site isn't so impressive, but the selection and quality of Acers was exceptional.

We wandered around for ages looking at the choice. Once we have the landscapers sorted and they have a schedule, we will return to choose our specimen. As we were there, it seemed a shame not to pick up a small specimen that we can keep in a pot for now, so we have an Acer Palmatum Beni Komachi.

Noon Image: 1 May 2015