Search This Blog

Monday, August 31, 2015


We had some lamb pieces. We also had some green curry paste, and the coconut milk that the Gorse Fox forgot to use yesterday. This pointed at tonight's recipe... lamb green curry with rice noodles. It was a bit fiery, but absolutely delicious.

Noon Image: 31 Aug 2015

Sunday's Noon Image

Well that's a shame. Something went wrong and there seems to be a problem with Sunday's noon image. It looks as if the camera failed to write the image, though it did create the correct filename so the code ran. The Gorse Fox suspects the file system was full, as he hadn't cleared it for a while... but knowing that he hadn't, it was the first thing he did this morning before trying to debug the problem. Anyway, everything seems to be working again now. (And the Gorse Fox has written some code to keep the filesystem to a manageable size).

Sunday, August 30, 2015


Football was good this morning. The Gorse Fox played on the winning side for the first half, then, because we were running away with it, the Gorse Fox switched sides at half time That made the difference and the Gorse Fox ended up on winning side during the second half also.

He was thinking of dinner. What should we have? There was a lime in the fruit bowl. This made him think of yesterday's cooking demo. A quick check through the cupboards revealed that we were out of coconut milk, but a trip to Sainsbury's sorted that out.

The red curry paste went into the wok with some oil. Then some chicken went in with some kaffir lime leaves. After a few minutes some water was added and some green beans. A dash of fish sauce then some prawns and finally some spring onions, brown sugar, and coriander. Voila... it was done.

The Gorse Fox served up and it was very good... if a little sour (too much fish sauce). That was when he looked round and realised he hadn't used the lime, and hadn't used the coconut milk. Doh!

Saturday, August 29, 2015


The weather looked promising. We headed out. There was an "Amazing Thailand" festival at Milford in Surrey.
It seemed like too good an opportunity to miss. There is a Thai charitable trust run by a group from Midhurst and for the last 10 years they have arranged this festival.

We weren't sure what to expect, but were pleasantly surprised by the range of events and stalls. There were beer tents, Thai Massage tents, meditation tents, fabrics, groceries, flowers, and more street-food stalls than you could shake a stick at.

The weather remained warm and bright and we worked our way round methodically. One of the stall holder, and Englishman with a Thai wife, got chatting and explained that he flies out there in January and stays for four months to avoid the worst of the winter. (Sounds like a nice plan). We also had a long chat with a woman from Thai Airways, she confirmed that the seats we had booked for our flights were the best selection we could have made.

We continued the circuit of the site and watched part of the official opening ceremony (and accompanying speeches). Then it was time to try the food.

The Silver Vixen tried some coconut noodles with some chicken; the Gorse Fox had pad thai (which was delicious), and then tried some Thai sausages and barbecued pork. The sausage was interesting as it was similar to chorizo, without being as oily, and without the flavour being so intense.

We returned to main stage and watched the Thai music group and then the Thai dancing. Their costumes were exquisite and their grace was delightful. (But it was hardly Strictly come Dancing - thank goodness).

After the dancing we headed for the display tent where we watched a Thai celebrity chef (Minny C) provide a demonstration Thai cookery. She prepared a pork curry, then a chicken fried rice, and finally a beef salad. The Gorse Fox learned a lot from the hints and tips (rather than the cookery itself).

After she had finished, her mother, who opened the first Thai restaurant in the country, came on stage and prepared a pad thai.

A gentle rain had started as we left the tent, but it wasn't really heavy enough to stop us. We did another circuit of the site and then headed back to the car. It had been a super day and we both commented how much we had enjoyed it.

Noon Image: 29 Aug 2015

Friday, August 28, 2015

Proof of Concept

As reported earlier this week, the Gorse Fox had completed a Proof of Concept (PoC) exercise. The objective was to prove that a car could be housed in the garage, now that the various crates had been sorted and culled, and some 60 feet of shelving had been installed.

After a blitz on the remaining crates this morning, the Gorse Fox took one more trip to the tip and then spent 30 minutes or so cleaning the inside of the car. It was time to move beyond the PoC. Blipper in hand, he triggered the door which swept open and the car was driven into its new home. It took a little shimmy to get the wing mirrors round the handles of the bike, but it clearly looked quite comfortable. Blipper activated, the door closed and the Gorse Fox tried to wipe the smug grin from his face as he went indoors.

Noon Image: 28 Aug 2015

Thursday, August 27, 2015


A neighbour called round. We had been discussing backup strategies and he confessed he had stopped backing up his data. This had evidently been playing on his mind so he came round for some advice. He had already determined that he needed and external hard drive and wanted to know what to do next. Old habits die hard. The Gorse Fox asked him lots of questions about his data, how he would reference it in the future, the volumes, his existing infrastructure, and so forth. Ten minutes later he left clutching a diagram and with some instructions. The Gorse Fox also promised to help him if he needed it.

The rest of the morning was spent on the regular admin tasks so that the Gorse Fox could head out to garage this afternoon without worrying that there were spreadsheets to be filled in.

After a bit of fiddling about and a few silent curses the Gorse Fox managed to assemble the stand for the saw, and mount the saw ready for action.

It was a bit fiddly, given the weight of the saw and the fact that some of the work had to be done from underneath.

Noon Image: 27 Aug 2015

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Drying out

The Gorse Fox is now drying out after his second day in a row of playing football in torrential rain. He didn't even attempt to wear his glasses - that would have been pointless. He myopically wandered round the pitch and found the game rather hard-going today. He did manage to get flattened by his own goalie punching him (instead of the ball) and then, as he fell, he smacked his face against one of the other players shoulders. Fear not, it has done no damage to his boyish good looks even if he did see stars for a few moments.

The rain continued until mid-afternoon when the skies cleared and we now have blue sky and bright sunshine.

Noon Image: 26 Aug 2015

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


With a little help from the assembly instructions, the Gorse Fox managed to turn this garish box into the an empty shell which is destined for the tip.

In order to achieve this he turned the contents into his new saw - all ready for the decking project.
Now all that is needed is for the Gorse Fox to construct the frame on which the saw will stand. Maybe a task for tomorrow.


The Gorse Fox shoud remember to put on his glasses before checking the time. This morning he endeared himself to the Silver Vixen by getting up at 5:50 thinking it was 6:50. She asked the time and he told her; she vowed to get up at 7:30.

It was only when he got downstairs that he realised his mistake... annd thought no more about it. Forty minutes later the Silver Vixen wandered into the kitchen. Ooops! She was not impressed to realise it was 6:30.


After a very wet couple of hours playing football, the Gorse Fox is glad to be home, showered and warm. It is somehow cozy to be siting in the Orangery (bacon sandwich at the ready) with the rain beating down on the glass roof... but though sitting directly below, remaining dry.

Noon Image: 25 Aug 2015

Monday, August 24, 2015

Very Smug

The Gorse Fox is feeling very smug. After another morning of sorting out in the garage, he has a further 20 feet of shelves in place and has sorted through the remaining 10 crates of tools. The sort process was brutal. Items were selected to keep or were sorted in metallic and non-metallic rubbish for the tip-trip.

When the rain finally stopped, the Gorse Fox loaded the car to the gunwales with all of the stuff to be recycled and after a workman-like bacon sandwich headed to the recycling centre.

The garage was looking clear and with some judicious movement of a the mower and the bike, the Gorse Fox was able to put his car away... and then, just to prove the point swapped the cars round and managed to get the Silver Vixen's car in.

Feeling very smug at this point. There's still some bits and bobs to sort out - and that includes assembly of the new saw, but the bulk of the work is done.

Noon Image: 24 Aug 2015

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Serial Killer

The Gorse Fox is watching his back.

He noticed a scrap of paper with the Silver Vixen's writing on it. Scrawled in the corner were the words "Buried in Cornwall, No.3".

The Gorse Fox is not sure what she did with Nos. 1 and 2... but he hopes he doesn't become No.4!

(Having confronted the Silver Vixen, he is assured it is the name of a book; but he's taking no chances).

20 Feet

No football today - which was probably just as well as we had a couple of hours of heavy rain this morning. The day has now brightened up into a lovely afternoon of bright sunshine.

Making the most of the spare time, the Gorse Fox headed back out to the garage. Stuff was shifted from the left to the right and the drills were broken out. An hour later there was a further 20feet of shelves nestling against the wall. Stuff was moved to its new home, and the old set of bookshelves that had done many years service (indeed we had them when we lived in Hook) were finally consigned to the "take to the tip" pile. Then the Gorse Fox set work on the old metal shelving - again a legacy of our house in Hook - and dismantled the rusty old unit. The "take to the tip" pile got bigger.

Finally the last of the ladder hooks was installed and the ladder hung up in its new resting place. Good progress. There's 20 more feet of shelving to install but the walls are all marked up ready for the Gorse Fox to let loose with the drill. That may be a project for Monday.

Noon Image: 23 Aug 2015

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Little victories

The Gorse Fox was a man on a mission. He wants to get the garage finished and ready to use as a work room for the decking project - and then subsequently use it as a storage location for one of the cars. A bit radical, but we live life on the edge.

He measure the space in the car - but there was no way he's get a 3m scaffolding plank in the back. Plan B was to cut them in half. He headed to Travis Perkins and went into the wood shed. "I would like 4 of your fine scaffolding boards, and be grateful if you could cut them in half to allow me to transport them."

"Can't do that mate; it's 'elf and safety y'see. I can let you cut them." The Gorse Fox expressed surprise and explained that for the last two trips, the chaps on duty have cut the wood without question. "Shouldn't 'ave" came the surly reply. So the Gorse Fox said he would cut them. The wood was retrieved from the racks and placed on the trestles. Then, much to the Gorse Fox's surprise he grabbed the saw and cut the wood. "Thank you, my good man" said the Gorse Fox "I will now go and pay for the boards before placing them in my vehicle"

Well, that was the theory.

Actually, that was when the Gorse Fox realised he had come out without his wallet. The wood was left in the warehouse and the Gorse Fox headed home for the relevant bits of plastic.

Once the wood was in the car, he moved on to Screwfix. The plan was to buy the brackets with which to mount the shelves (made from the scaffolding planks. The young lady took the transaction and then offered the Gorse Fox a loyalty card (which, she explained, expires tomorrow). She stamped all of the visit explaining that the Gorse Fox must have been in before and earned the loyalty stamps. She then explained that if there was anything else he needed this weekend, there would be a £15 discount.

The Gorse Fox thanked her and realised that this was an opportunity to get a discount on the saw and stand that he wanted. Both were in stock and were brought to the counter. The discount was applied and the Gorse Fox thought he's done well. This was not the end of the story, however. She realised that she hadn't printed the receipt for the shelving brackets. She went back into the system. The receipt was printed and it applied the discount again. We had to credit the original payment back onto the relevant card, then re-debit the discounted price. She was so apologetic. The Gorse Fox was delighted, he had merged to get a total of £30 discounted from his purchases.

Little victories.

Noon Image: 22 Aug 2015

Friday, August 21, 2015


Well it has been a cracking day here on the south coast. Just a couple of puffs of cloud to give shape to the blue sky. The Gorse Fox started off with some admin and then spent some time planning the next stage of the garage storage solution along with the Silver Vixen. We think that we have finally got an optimal solution. Gorse Fox now just has to make it happen.

The recent rain (yes we do get a little down here) has helped green-up the lawn. Unfortunately it has also made it grow. This meant that Gorse Fox had to head out with the trimmer and the mower. (Can you get ride-on streamers?). Hopefully, that is one of the last times he will have to do the grass as the landscapers should be here in the next few weeks.

Out to dinner tonight with Jane and Trevor.

Noon Image: 21 Aug 2015

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Auto Lift

The chappie arrived mid-morning. This wasn't unexpected. He had come to fit an automatic garage door opener. It had been on the wish-list for a while, but one of the neighbours arranged a good deal based on six of us having them fitted. This turned out to be good value for money so we went ahead.

It took him about 2 hours as he had to make some minor modifications where the original door mechanism hadn't been fitted correctly - but he sorted it out, bemoaning the lack of care the original fitter had taken.

Meanwhile the Gorse Fox had emptied three more boxes of tools and consigned a further crate of mixed detritus to the tip (or at least put it in the corner, ready for the next tip run. He also realised that some of the hooks he had put up last week were placed sub-optimally. These will be moved, allowing a much larger expanse of wall to be kept clear for shelves or storage solutions.

Noon Image: 20 Aug 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Well that was a nice day.

We grabbed the train up to London and dived into the tube to whizz across to the City. By the time we got there we were parched, so we stopped off for a coffee on the corner near the "Walkie Talkie" building.  It was likely to be a couple of hours or so before we had lunch so we even splashed out on a pain au raisin.

We sat and watched the world go by for a while. GF couldn't help but smile as he realised that the hubbub and frenetic activity of rushing off for lunch was no longer part of his daily routine.

We moved round the corner to the iconic sky scraper and joined the queue for our timed entry. (Entry is free, but you do have to book in advance). The queue moved quickly, and after passing through the airport-styled security we were soon in the lift whizzing up to the 35 floor: The Sky Garden.

Leaving the lift, and walking through the sliding doors into the atrium you get a real "wow". The view is just amazing  (and we'll come that in a moment).

The atrium, with its huge glass roof and walls was a lovely sociable space where people could sit and enjoy coffee from a small booth in the centre. Overall, the space was three stories high, the first level opened out onto a viewing deck. Stairs led up the west side of the space across the other two levels and back down the eastern side.

The centre level had some small seating areas, and the top level had views to the north and entry to the two restaurants.

Each of the side staircase rose alongside the roof gardens.

To be honest, the gardens were not as extensive as GF was expecting, but this was more than compensated for by the views and the oveall experience.

We didn't go up and round the garden to start with. The view from the deck was too tempting and we headed out, camera at the ready.

The great thing abot the view is that it is free. You can pay to go up the Shard, which is taller, and get the same view. Well, the same other than the fact you can't see the Shard. From the Sky Garden you can see the iconic building right in front of you, just the other side of the River.

Looking West, you could across to the West End as your eye was drawn by the loop of the river.

Looking east, the view took in HMS Belfast, the Tower of London  and Tower Bridge. Whilst not shown in this photo, you can also get a clear view of Canary Wharf.

We took well over 100 photo all together.

Returning into the atrium we headed up the west staircase and then across the north side, before dropping into the Darwin Brasserie.

This was one of the two restaurants at the Sky Garden and, again, really needed an advance booking. The Gorse Fox had sorted this out a couple of weeks ago.

We were shown to a table which gave us a view out over the Shard. The restaurant was busy and there was a buzz about the place. GF mentioned that it was a great table and that was nice as it was our anniversary. The waitress congratulated us and asked how many years. After ordering some drinks we examined the menu and both ended up selecting the haddock and chips. This was simple but thoroughly enjoyable. We then chose the bitter chocolate bar with white chocolate ice cream. Again this was gorgeous... but we were surprised when our waitress turned up with another platter.
It was an unexpected, but rather nice gesture.

After finishing up, we then completed our circuit of the Sky Garden and then dropped back down into the tube, zipped across to Victoria, and headed back home.

A very excellent day.

Noon Image: 19 Aug 2015

The Answer is 42

The Gorse Fox was lucky enough to marry the Silver Vixen 42 years ago today. What an incredible tie we've had... and plan to continue having!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Wind Up

After this morning's excellent football the Gorse Fox got home to a brown envelope. This brown envelope contained a penalty charge notice for the Dart Crossing. The Gorse Fox was not happy. In fact, the Gorse Fox was wound up.

He has written a polite letter. This points out that he had paid the charge in advance as a block of 4 separate crossings. The first three of these crossing evidently went without a glitch... but the fourth seems to have met with a bug in the system. Needless to say, GF has provided evidence of payment and was even able, from his smartphone location data, to isolate when he had made each crossing. The letter is now in the post. He awaits the outcome.

Noon Image: 18 Aug 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015


It's not long now before the landscaper starts work on our garden - though the date is not yet confirmed. It was time to do something a bit more definite regarding the trees that we want and for the Gorse Fox to create a cutting list for the deck.

We started with a trip across to Big Plants at Ashington. They never disappoint and we again managed to find just the tree that we want. It's called a Lion's Mane Acer (Je Suis Cecil!) and the nursery have put our name on it - just waiting for us to confirm when it should be delivered. The second tree was more problematic as it is not one that they stock. In the end that had to wait until we got home and was ordered online.

We visited a decking supplier near Worthing to examine the boards. Whilst they had everything we would need, the Gorse Fox was not impressed by the quality. A bit more shopping around is required. GF has, however, now got an accurate bill of materials for the deck, so can try to negotiate some deals.

(Another trip to the tip with more garage junk... almost done now. Just the tools to sort out).

Noon Image: 17 Aug 2015

Sunday, August 16, 2015


The Gorse Fox has spent much of the afternoon researching his selection of sliding cross-cut mitre saw for the decking project. Sometimes the obvious solution is staring you in the face, but you don't quite believe it. Eventually, after reading many reviews and watching many youtube videos he chose the saw and stand that is currently advertised on the back of the Screwfix catalogue that he had on the table in front of him.

Why didn't he go for it at first? Well, frankly, he hadn't heard of the manufacturer and didn't quite trust the price. In the end he has been convinced... and will order said item in the next couple of weeks or so.


This morning's football was a veritable goal fest. Neither of the teams seemed capable of defending. Never mind, it was good fun - though surprisingly hard work. It was also very warm.

A Budweiser seems to have mysteriously appeared in front of the Gorse Fox and it would be churlish not to pay it it due respect. Lethargy seems to be this afternoon's meme.

Noon Image: 16 Aug 2015

Saturday, August 15, 2015


The clearing and organising of the garage continues. The first trip of the day was to Travis Perkins for another scaffolding plank, to Screwfix for some brackets, and to B&Q for some fixings that the Gorse Fox couldn't track down on the Screwfix website.

Back home the ladder brackets were fixed to the wall and two more ladders stowed in their right places. Then GF started on the brackets for the shelves. This proved a little harder than expected in as much as the high density building blocks used to construct the garage were a lot harder than expected and in the end the Gorse Fox resorted to his heavy-duty drill. Eventually two more shelves were up and the relevant boxes stored in their rightful positions.

Next, another crate of vinyl LPs had to be filled, sealed and stowed in the loft space. Some buckets (used by the Silver Vixen when dying fabric) were lifted onto hooks in the rafters. More junk was identified and moved to the front for the next trip to the tip. Progress is good, but there is still the problem of the tools. Crates full are scattered around and need sorting, culling, ditching, or storing. A task for next week.

We also headed round to Rose Green. We had been told of a Fishmonger/Butcher/Deli there and all who had been gave glowing reports. It's not huge, but the choice of meats and fish was superb. We ended up buying a whole salmon (£12) which he filleted and cut into portions for us. Seemed like good value.

Noon Image: 15 Aug 2015

Friday, August 14, 2015


The morning was quiet. The Gorse Fox offered his bike on the local facebook page... he hasn't used it for several years and really doesn't have space to keep it. Still no takers, however.

This afternoon we went to Chi.  The Silver Vixen had an appointment and GF had various things to get done. The whole trip was accompanied by a constant drizzle, but it was very warm despite the rain.

Noon Image: 14 Aug 2015

Thursday, August 13, 2015


One scaffolding plank, a few shelf brackets, some very meaty screws, and a very big circular saw. Twenty minutes later a new set of shelves nestled in the corner of the garage. These meet the Gorse Fox's approach to design and architecture: if they are likely to fail within the next 500 years, they haven't been built properly.


Had a lovely evening yesterday. The Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox joined up with several of the neighbours and went round to the Pink Pub (as everyone knows it). They have a regular steak night and we had been told, enthusiastically, how good it is. Clutching our appetites we wandered round and had a lovely evening of chat and laughter as the beer and flowed and the food slipped down a treat. We'll have to do that again.

As forecast, we were woken in the early hours by thunder and lightning. This has rumbled round most of the day now, but seems to finally have given way to blue sky and warm sunshine. It was so dark this morning we had to put lights on.

Quiet admin day really... punctuated by 30 minutes on the exercise machine. GF is feeling better about the quiet day, now.

Noon Image: 13 Aug 2015

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


After the Gorse Fox's football this morning he was feeling a bit leggy. Three days in a row was catching up. The game itself was fun; we only had 10 players so used one of the 5-a-side cages. This always makes the game a bit more relentless. In the end GF's team emerged victorious by about 3 goals... two of which were scored by the Fox.

Mid afternoon he felt that some more exercise would help loosen the legs a bit. He hopped onto the running machine and set it to one of its pre-programmed settings. This ran for 30 minutes and varied the speed up and down from dead-snail to a gentle jog and varied the incline every few minutes throughout the session. With the machine in the corner of the Orangery and the afternoon being quite sunny - it was a very warm work-out. It was also quite good exercise without being too taxing.

Noon Image: 12 Aug 2015

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


The Gorse Fox drove round the corner to head off to the football. As he did he saw a car emerging from a garage block on the left.  A cat leapt up onto the bonnet and the driver stopped. The cat then walked up to the windscreen and stared at the driver. A few gestures were made, but the cat stayed put. The driver wound down the window and the cat started to paw at the driver... The Gorse Fox didn't see what happened next as he was heading to Worthing. It did make him chuckle, though.

Another couple of hours of football today. The Gorse Fox was very happy with the way he played today.

Noon Image: 11 Aug 2015

Monday, August 10, 2015


We met up with Urban-cub, Pistol Pete and the kids. It is Urban-cub's birthday, and it was nice to share it with her. The venue was The Crab & Lobster at Siddlesham... right on the western edge of Pagham Harbour.

This area is predominantly salt marsh, but floods several times a year when there is a high spring tide.

The restaurant had a varied menu, but seemed to have an excellent fish selection. Indeed, we all selected fish dishes for both starters and entrees. Salmon, trout, Sea Bass, Turbot... all were excellent. Certainly worth a return visit. (Though it's only 4 miles from home, as the crow flies, it was nearly 10 miles by road as you have to loop up towards Chichester before dropping back down to the south.


There was another football tournament today. Arun Amblers donned our green kit and joined the seven-way competition. There were 3 teams from Worthing, 1 from Brighton, 1 form Lancing, 1 from Bognor Regis, and us.

It was played as a league - each team playing each of the other teams, and the usual 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw, and 0 for a loss. We started well with a 1-0 win over Worthing-C, then lost a game 0-1 against Brighton with the last kick of the match. After that we got into our stride, winning all but one of the remaining games, drawing that one. The Gorse Fox even managed to score a very fine goal.

At the end, we were joint top of the league, but dropping to second on goal-difference. Shame we didn't use the Spanish La Ligue method of separating equivalent teams based on their head-to-head performance as we had beaten the team that ended top.

Noon Image: 10 Aug 2015

Sunday, August 09, 2015


It was stunning day. Hardly a cloud in the sky, and locally we had the 20th annual Chilli Fiesta. This seemed like a great excuse to spend some time in the open.

We joined the thousands of visitors as they flocked in to the event. The cars spread in perfect rows across the surrounding fields. We were lucky. We were ushered to a parking row quite close to the entrance.

We were surprised when we first got through the barriers. It seemed a lot smaller than on our previous visit. In fact, this wasn't the case. It was better laid out, and spread across a number of different areas. There were hundreds of stalls selling chilli in every way imaginable - chilli plants, chilli oil, chilli sauce, chilli jam, chilli jelly, chilli chocolate, chilli ice cream, and even chilli candy floss. As we wandered around, the Gorse Fox sampled several of the offerings, enjoying the choice, but not enough to actually buy anything.
After completing a complete circuit of the stalls we headed off into the West Dean gardens. These were beautifully manicured and cared for. As we wandered back we found this Artichoke Camera Obscura. GF went inside to take a look, but the angle was such that al he could see was a small patch of blue sky.

Back at the event we grabbed a snack and an ice cream, then stopped back at one of the stalls we had seen earlier. We bought a saucer which has a serrated centre. This allows you to use the saucer as a grater for garlic, ginger, cheese and so forth.

No doubt about it, it was a super little outing.

Noon Image: 9 Aug 2015

Saturday, August 08, 2015


There are bills to pay. Indeed, aren't there always?

The Gorse Fox is approaching the 1st anniversary with his car, so there is Road Tax, but one of the criteria for selecting the car was that the Road Fund License should be in the low tier... and somehow paying £30  for the year seems so much better that the £160+ that GF used to pay. All was completed online in a matter of moments.

The Gorse Fox has also received the invoice requesting the balance of the money for the holiday in Thailand - even though that is still several months away. Again, a quick bit of jiggery-pokery on the keyboard and that was settled. For the holiday, the only outstanding payment is for the car hire and that won't be billed until just before we leave.

On another note, it was nice to use the running machine this morning. As much as anything GF was checking that it still worked and didn't need any adjustment... but he managed to raise his pulse for ten minutes or so. As tomorrow's football has been cancelled, he'll probably have a long session in the morning.

Noon Image: 8 Aug 2015

Friday, August 07, 2015

Running free

The gradual(*) clearing of the garage continues. Another car full of stuff found its way to the dump with a little help from the Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen's broomstick. To crates of CDs were stored in the among the rafters. These two crates had earlier contained loads of reports and designs that GF had created over the years. Sanitised, they were discarded... except for one or two of the real classics!

Whilst clearing, a neighbour wandered over. GF had commented yesterday that he would need a hand shifting the running machine. The neighbour was up for it, so 20 minutes later this exercise machine was installed in the corner of the Orangery.

A good day.

(*)This clearing of the garage is measured in geological time, not on a clock. We are approaching the end of the first aeon.

Noon Image: 7 Aug 2015

Mischief yes, damage no.

The Gorse Fox admits that when young he was a bit adventurous, and perhaps prone to a little mischief now and again. He did not, however, ever do any damage to property, to goods, or for that matter, to people! He views this mischief as part of growing up.

There is a whole different level of mischief. It seems that the building site opposite has been targeted. Some youngsters managed to force their way into the house opposite last weekend. To show they had visited they poured paint all over the floors. This is not mischief. This is vandalism, and it is not acceptable. The Gorse Fox hopes these little oiks are caught and prosecuted.

Anniversary Snaglist

As we approach twelve months occupation of the new house, it was time to send the builder and anniversary snaglist so that they could rectify some of the flaws and problems that have developed over the year. Most of the items we had found were minor settlement and shrinkage problems. Yesterday, the Gorse Fox sent the builder an email with photos and descriptions of the problems.

Their maintenance operative arrived by mid-afternoon yesterday to assess the various snags, and agreed that all should be handled. This morning we had a call from the service department to book an appointment for their chaps to come in and put everything right. Can't really complain about that!

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Pumping Hops

A quiet day, as far as they go. We stood outside chatting with neighbours for several hours this morning. One had an appointment at the hospital this afternoon, so we offered to take him and pick him up... he took a bit of convincing, but relented.

Late afternoon the clock said it was approaching beer o'clock, so with our erstwhile patient and our next-door neighbour, the Gorse Fox wandered round to the pub for some exercise pumping hops. The Gorse Fox had prepared a casserole before going out, so supper was ready as soon as he got back.

Noon Image: 6 Aug 2015

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Dribble at the Gribble

It was a good day. The football ended up with a 6-3 win, though it was hard work.

It was a quiet afternoon but for a changes we thought we'd go out for supper.

The first choice didn't open until 6, so we tried another local haunt, The Gribble Inn and Brewery at Oving. This is a charming little place with lovely gardens and a quaint old Inn and a micro brewery in the out-buildings.

We chose a table (we were obviously the first diners of the evening) and started to wade through the menu, the sweet menus, the beer menu, and the wine menu. Things were looking good. The Gorse Fox tried the Gribble Ale as he waited for the food. No complaints about that. It was a lovely cask poured ale with a really traditional flavour.

The Silver Vixen went for the pork belly, the Gorse Fox had the chicken and bacon caesar salad. The food was excellent... and this pub could become a regular haunt.

Noon Image: 5 Aug 2015

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Hard session

It was a good, hard session of walking football this morning. The Gorse Fox has a nice new collection of bruises to show for his efforts, but he did manage to lay on several goals for his team and scored a couple of good goals of his own. Great Fun.

The Silver Vixen is out with a coupe  of members of her coven, so GF can expect a quiet few hours as they swoop between sewing emporiums, garden centres, and restaurants.

Noon Image: 4 Aug 2015

Monday, August 03, 2015


The Gorse Fox has returned to the garage. Some progress was made on Friday, but more was needed. The Really Useful Box company have a 35L (XL) box that holds about 95 LP's. GF buzzed up to Chi to buy some, but could only get one. This did enable him to crate up some of the old record collection in a secure fashion. Boxes and bags were emptied. The boot of the Silver Vixen's broomstick was filled with another load of material for the tip(*).

The trip back from the tip meant a stop at B&Q for GF to buy some robust hooks. These are now nestling against the side of the house and are holding the long ladder that had occupied the centre of the garage.

Empty crates are up in the garage rafters, hooks hold some tools and bags. Clamps are clamped to noggins in the rafters. Areas of the (painted & sealed) concrete floor are now visible. There is more to do, but progress has been satisfactory.

(*) This included a Woodfield, which was an RS/6000 model 850 laptop; a model that was never sold, but was presented to the GF as an award. It did have several limitations, however. It had no connectivity options. No LAN, no WiFi, no nuffink. This somewhat limited its use - even as an award. It did run AIX or Windows/NT... but then what could you do with that when it wouldn't communicate?

Noon Image: 3 Aug 2015

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Essex Drivers

The Gorse Fox is not sure what it says about Essex drivers, but in the few miles from the M25 to Southend, the Gorse Fox saw more speed cameras and traffic enforcement cameras than he has seen in the last 10 years across the rest of the country.

Thinking about Essex, GF realised that the last time he went to Southend was December 1975 when he was the only player in his squash team (Hoddesdon B-team) to win his match against Westcliffe-on-Sea. He doesn't remember his opponent's name, but the score was 3-2.

Noon Image: 2 Aug 2015

Saturday, August 01, 2015


There was a birthday to celebrate. The Silver Vixen's nephew, Matt,  lives in Southend with his family. Katie, his wife has a birthday this week and it was time to celebrate.

The Gorse Fox cocked-up last year. He thought it was her 30th, and so sent an appropriate card. It wasn't. So this year we searched out a suitable 30th Birthday card. When we arrived, we found a big blackboard with a "Welcome to Katie's 29th Birthday" message. We had done it again. At least we know that next year is her 30th!

It was a lovely day, giving us a chance to catch up with lots of the Silver Vixen's family... and catch up on their family news and meet a new member of the family tree (Ronan, born on 22nd May).

Noon Image: 1 Aug 2015