Search This Blog

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Eventually the timber arrived. The Gorse Fox shifted it into the garage and then got started. There are five panels to the screen, but the Gorse Fox was only working on three today. He needed to start in the corner and work out. In the corner the bars of the screen needed to be woven, right, then left, then right and so on. Even three panels required sixty bars cut to size. These were then sealed (to stop water ingress at the cut ends), and a template used to ensure all the screws lined up.

Working from the top down, the Gorse Fox started to weave the bars together and checked with a spirit level. Working from the top is more difficult, but is necessary to ensure that the end result looks right.

The Gorse Fox made a lot of progress, but will need to continue the project tomorrow in order to get it finished. It's a shame the morning was lost waiting for the timber. It did, however, give the Gorse Fox the opportunity to do the final detailed design of the pergola.

Noon Image: 30 Sep 2015


The Gorse Fox is irritated. Travis Perkins usually deliver very early in the morning. They were unable to deliver the screen timber yesterday, so the Gorse Fox has been up and raring to go since before seven.

Nine-thirty and still no timber.

The Gorse Fox phoned. They confirmed that the Gorse Fox will be getting a delivery but they have scheduled it for after lunch. This means that a) he has not been able to get cracking, and b) he has missed Wednesday's football unnecessarily.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Screen test

It has been a frustrating day. The Gorse Fox was just too late with his order to get the timber delivered to allow him to start on the additional screens that need to be built.

He had to hang around to monitor the collection of the skip, left by the landscapers. (So there was no football for the Gorse Fox, today). It would have been an ideal opportunity to crack on with the screens. Instead he spent the time setting up the saw, measuring and re-measuring the lengths needed, and pondering the fine details of the deck-build sequence. As some areas will be fairly inaccessible, they will have to be fixed before the frame is positioned.

Meanwhile, the Silver Vixen was deciding on the positioning of some of the plants that will fill the garden, and also clean the pots in which they stand. It is looking even better now than when finished last night. There's more depth and more points of interest.

Noon Image: 29 Sep 2015

Monday, September 28, 2015

End of Phase

The main landscaping phase of the garden project is now complete.

We are delighted with the result, but will have to wait for the delivery of the wood for the deck. That won't be with us until next Monday. That delay will give the Gorse Fox a chance to order some wood for the screening that will be in the bottom corner of the garden.

For now we have the slate and the Cotswold stone in place, we have the path weaving through it, and we have the rill with a small water chute. Very satisfactory, and something new for Jasper, the cat, to explore.

Noon Image: 28 Sep 2015

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Oh dear

The Gorse Fox met up with his team and we drove up to the Powerleague Centre at Croydon. Today was the day. We had the regional heats of the National Walking Football Tournament. The winners today would go through to the quarter finals.

We started well, we turned up on time. Then we got better, we had remember our kit, and managed a team photo. Then came the bit where we had to play football against 4 other teams. We drew the first game. The Gorse Fox was not playing well. In fact he was pants. He put it down to nerves, but that is no excuse. He was pants.

That draw was the highlight of the day, as we lost all of our other games. Our star player was our goalie, without whom we would have been humiliated. Putting a positive spin on it, at least we won't have to travel up north for the quarter finals!

Noon Image: 27 Sep 2015

Saturday, September 26, 2015

New Project Phase

It was a lovely morning and with the patio now complete, it seemed like a good spot to sit and have coffee this morning (even if much of the rest of the garden still looks like a battlefield).

The last few months have clearly been the design phase of the project. (This was, obviously, preceded by the project outline, going out to tender, and supplier selection). The last week or so has been in the hands of the supplier, and the Gorse Fox has only had to worry about contract management of the supplier delivery. Today, however, we start a new phase. It is overlapping the end of Supplier Delivery, but it was clearly a good point at which to start our own Development Phase.

The materials for the first part of the Development Phase arrived on Friday. The Gorse Fox started the day by calibrating the new saw (checking that vertical was vertical, that 90 degrees was 90 degrees, and that the sighting laser was spot on where the cuts would be made). Then measuring twice, he set the length stop to right position and started cutting the wood for the first of several screen. Once cut, a template was laid on each end so that pilot holes could be drilled in the right place. Next, the cut ends were treated with a tanalising agent... and we were ready to go.

About a hour later, the job was done. The first module was tested (visually and with a spirit level) and delivered.

The next stage awaits delivery of the Scandinavian redwood, and the Gorse Fox can't order that until he is sure that the landscapers and their skip are off-site.

Noon Image: 26 Sep 2015

Friday, September 25, 2015

Almost done

The landscapers cracked on.

The planter received its coping slabs and the patio was completed. All the pointing was done. It's turning out even better than we had hoped.

The lads are pretty sure that will be finished by close of play on Monday, and the skip, which is still sitting proudly on our drive, will probably go on Tuesday.

Once the Gorse Fox is certain of the timing he will order the wood for the decking. (He needs to make sure he has somewhere for the wood to be stored until it is used... and that will probably take a week or two, at least)

The Gorse Fox also made a trip to Screwfix to pick up the remainder of the coach screws, and fixings which were not available yesterday. He also had a bit of an Eureka! moment, when it dawned on him how much sawdust was about to be created. He bought a cheap workshop vacuum cleaner that he hopes to connect to the exhaust port of the saw in order to capture the sawdust as it is created. Time will tell if this works or not.

The Jane and Trevor arrived late in the afternoon. He had been visiting a client on the South coast and we had arranged for them to swing by on the route home. It was lovely to see them, as always. Among the gifts that Jane was clutching was a box full of old family photos. Many of these the Gorse Fox had never seen before - and, indeed, many he was in (but only remembers some of them). Come the winter, the Gorse Fox's scanner will be working hard, he suspects. All of these need to be captured, dated, and identified for the future.

After a chat and some tea and scones we wandered round the emerging garden to explain what was going on then we all headed out to a nearby restaurant of supper. The restaurant itself was lovely, but the food was, at best, average. The Gorse Fox is not sure that we will return.

Noon Image: 25 Sep 2015

Thursday, September 24, 2015


Another good day from the landscapers.

The path has been pointed and now the rill is full of water and the pump is installed and working. The water recirculates from the reservoir to cascade off the blade, set into the planter.

They have also started on the patio. The Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox are very happy with the progress and it is clear that design is coming together well.

We'll have to leave it a few weeks before painting the render on the planter.  It will take a while for the render to dry out properly. Once it is dry enough to paint, it won't take too long.


How can hardware (screws, coach bolts, etc.) cost so much? The Gorse Fox has just got back from Screwfix having collected all of the hardware for the decking project... and, despite calculating what he thought it would cost, was still shocked when his calculations turned out to be correct!

He has also just ordered the wood for the first of the screens that he plans to construct. Travis Perkins should be delivering this tomorrow morning.

Customer Services

There seem to be so many opportunities in life that involve interaction with "Customer Services". Many of these seem to end in frustration and complaint. The Gorse Fox has to give credit where it is due.

Our builder, Berkeley Homes, have a customer services/aftercare operation which never ceases to impress. We have had two chaps in the house for the last few days - they have been sorting out shrinkage cracks, taping flaws in the plasterboard, sticking doors, and so forth. They finished this morning, and the Gorse Fox has been round to check their work. It is faultless. They were polite, tidy, and efficient, throughout.

Better still, we have their support for a further year.

Noon Image: 24 Sep 2015

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Chaos pours

The chaos continues. There was too much going on for the Gorse Fox to get away to play football today.

The builders' maintenance operatives are crawling over the snag list. Ceilings are being repaired where the original taping had ballooned. As they have reached the family room, the Gorse Fox has repaired to the Orangery and the Silver Vixen to her sewing room. Jasper the cat doesn't know where to put himself.

Alongside this, the landscapers are making great progress. The path is now in place. The edge of the rill is in place, and the planter is now finished and has been rendered (though a further coat of render will be applied tomorrow).

The garden is beginning to take shape. It is now quite easy to see the main components and how they will sit in the space.

Noon Image: 23 Sep 2015

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Continuing works

The landscapers have worked through the day, despite bright sun and heavy rain. The planter is beginning to rise from the mud. The edges of the rill are starting to emerge and the posts for the pergola are now in place.

The Gorse Fox is convinced that the neighbours probably think we have a windmill or a mosque,  or some such edifice, going up in the corner.

Alongside this, the builders have been working on the snagging list. Super job, so far. Another day or two to finish.

Meanwhile the Gorse Fox has been requesting quotes for the decking timber... and slowly they are trickling back in. Decisions required real soon now.


Today is the birthday of Cousteau-cub. It is times like this that the distance between us is so frustrating. The Gorse Fox knows that Cousteau-cub has an afternoon planned with her friends and was hoping to try stand-up paddle boarding (before too much sangria had been consumed). We were lucky enough to catch her on phone and wish her well. At least we'll be seeing her in a few weeks.

Noon Image: 22 Sep 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015


The landscapers arrived early. It was just as well because it was dry, first thing. By late morning the rain had set in... and they were looking very wet indeed (despite their wet-weather gear).

At the end of the day they had installed and levelled the pads upon which the deck will be supported, and created the foundation for the rill, and erected the posts that will support the trellis (that the Gorse Fox will build when they leave).

This photo gives no impression of just how wet it was. We actually felt sorry for them working in such conditions.

Meanwhile, the customer services chap from our house builder arrived. He was due tomorrow but asked if he could start early on our anniversary snag list. It was no problem for us, so he was rattling round during the day, sorting out some shrinkage cracks by the stairs, and sorting out several door handles and sticking doors. He's due back tomorrow (with a sidekick) to continue working through the list. With so much going on, the Gorse Fox has decided to skip football tomorrow (for the 3rd Tuesday in a row).

Noon Image: 21 Sep 2015

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Cutting list

The weather was lovely again today, and it was quite warm playing football in the morning. It was hard work as we only had 4 on each side for much of the game. Not sure what the final score was, but it ended up about even.

Back home the Gorse Fox returned to Sketchup to finish off a few aspects of the garden design. He got round to changing the ink cartridges on the A3 printer and has printed out several different views of the design for ourselves and for the landscapers. Once the design was finished it was a matter of hitting the spreadsheet to complete the cutting list.

The cutting list is a list of every joist or board in the deck, and their respective lengths. Then it is a matter of going through and optimising the standard lengths of the boards and joists so as not to end up with too much waste. This seemed like a simple challenge, but the Gorse Fox made hard work of developing an algorithm to automate part of the spreadsheet. Eventually, he cracked it and has now got, what he believes to be, a fairly accurate estimate of how much he needs to order.

Noon Image: 20 Sep 2015

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Much of the day was spent refining the design for the deck. It was while doing this that the Gorse Fox had an idea. If, when redrawing the deck surface (as opposed to the sub-frame), he creates the boards with a low setting for the colour opacity, then he can look through the deck boards to check that he has supports in all the right places. This proved to be a good trick as there were several places where the Gorse Fox decided he needed an extra joist, or to double up an existing joist.

Last planned exercise for this is to recalculate the curling lists so that he can determine what needs to be ordered.

Noon Image: 19 Sep 2015

Friday, September 18, 2015


It was another early start for the Gorse Fox. He had to be sure that he was ready for the arrival of the landscapers and any skips or deliveries that could arrive first thing. The landscapers arrive first, but soon after the skip lorry arrived to remove the first full skip and replace it with another empty one.

Then a truck arrived with the hard landscaping materials.

There was slate, there was cement, there was sand, there was ballast, there was stone chipping, there was limestone flags... in fact there was an astonishing amount of stuff.

The lads cracked on throughout the day (fuelled by coffee and biscuits). The area was levelled off, and footings were put in place for the planter that is part of the design.
At the end of the day, they tidied up well and hosed down the area at the front of the house. All things being considered, they are a nice bunch of lads and very good workers.

We now have a quiet weekend before it all kicks off again on Monday.

Noon Image: 18 Sep 2015

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Well the landscapers worked hard. At the end of the afternoon the garden had, to all intents and purposes, gone! The grass and flower beds had been stripped away. The levels had been marked with posts and the edges of the various sections of the garden were marked up with blue paint.

As the work had progressed the Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen had watched, and made a few executive decisions... the deck would be a few inches wider, the patio about 18 inches smaller, The balance looks about right. There's still a lot to do - they are expecting to be here for a couple of weeks. Only when they leave can the Gorse Fox start on the deck (which also underwent some dynamic redesign today).

The Gorse Fox needs to spend some quality time on Sketchup in order to bring the design up to date with the latest decisions.

Noon Image: 17 Sep 2015


The Landscapers arrived just after 7:30.

After a quick chat and a coffee they waded in and already the garden is disappearing in front of our eyes

Supper Club

Well, not really. There is no Club... but, for the second month running we got together with the neighbours and headed for the "Pink Pub" for one of their food evenings. This month it was mixed grill, and it was excellent.

A really nice evening was had by all.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


The forecast for today was not promising - indeed we were expecting torrential rain throughout the morning, and again later in the afternoon. As it happens, the rain was little more than a light shower during the morning - and that meant that the Gorse Fox had a very pleasant game of football. This was the first game for a week, and the rest had done him good as he played a good game and managed to score several goals.

The rain does seem to have set in with vengeance this afternoon.

Noon Image: 16 Sep 2015

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Flight Path

Today saw the anniversary of the most intensive day of fighting in the Battle of Britain. To commemorate this event a large collection of Spitfires and Hawker Hurricanes gathered at Goodwood to begin memorial flights over ten different routes round the south of England.
 The Gorse Fox selected a spot near the Community Centre and, along with quite large group of locals, watched from the top of the bund.

He tried to take a number of photos and some video, but it was not his most successful cinematographical exercise.

It was, however, a wonderful thing to watch as these magnificent machines took to the air and dispersed in small flights across the country.

An opportunity to remember those who sacrificed so much to maintain our freedom at a time when freedom seems so precious - given the torment of the Middle East.


The Gorse Fox spent some more time fiddling with the network cabling. He seems to have now found a socket that sustains sufficient throughput to allow the extra TV channels to show in the Orangery. This meant sunning a 10 metre cable in a way that was unobtrusive (if not completely hidden). This took a bit of faffing about as the RJ45 connector was quite large and the Gorse Fox had trouble getting it through the wall. Anyway - it's all sorted now.

There was no football for the Gorse Fox this morning as the Silver Vixen was out and we were expecting a tree to be delivered. This has now arrived and is looking good.

Coincidentally we heard from the landscaper this morning. He is ready to start on Thursday this week. This is great news.

All systems are go!

Noon Image: 15 Sep 2015


We are very keen on the Chichester restaurant "Amelie and Friends". They recently sent out an email advertising their celebratory 9-course taster menu. This seemed like too good an opportunity to miss. Indeed we extended an invitation to several neighbours and one couple were able to join us.

We had a fabulous evening. It started with a cocktail when we arrived, then a little amuse bouche before the menu itself kicked in. For starter we enjoyed
  • Shiitake Mushroom, Beansprout & Sesame Jiaozi with Miso
  • Oyster Beignet with Sauce Gribiche
  • Tian of Smoked Chicken
Then the main course
  • Grouse Ravioli with Scotch Whisky Velouté 
  • Sole Fillet with Fennel and Absinthe 
  • Sweetcorn & Scallion Fritters, Mascarpone and Red Pepper Syrup
  • With side dishes of 
    • Mixed Bean Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing 
    • Roasted Sweet Potato with Rosemary and Garlic
and finally the sweet
  • Paris Brest with Espresso & Kahlua Cream 
  • White Chocolate & Raspberry Pot 
  • Plum & Almond Tarte with Orange Blossom Ice Cream
Exquisite food accompanied by a fine Merlot and great company. A perfect (if rather late) evening.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Slow segment

The Gorse Fox has been performing problem determination. The BT TV service works fine in the living room but in the Orangery, some of the channels are not watchable (blocky and stuttering). After a fair bit of faffing (a technical term) it became clear that the LAN segment in the kitchen was not fast enough for the TV Service. Running a cable directly to the hub solved the problem. This, however, is not a good solution as there is no neat way to hide the cable.

(It is at this point that the Gorse Fox bemoans the fact that the builders refused to lay network cables - even though the Gorse Fox requested them and offered to pay extra).

Now we need to find a solution that will provide sufficient bandwidth (somehow).

At the moment the Gorse Fox is flummoxed.

Noon Image: 14 Sep 2015

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Show Home

The show house opposite to us has just opened. There has been a steady stream of visitors all morning. Bizarrely, this show home is for completely different phase of the development, sited some quarter of a mile from here.

On another matter, the house next door to the show home has been sold. The new owner is a lovely lady to whom we were introduced back during the summer. She will, without doubt, fit in well and we look forward to her moving in.

Collecting miles

The Gorse Fox has been collecting air miles (in their new form) for years. He thought he'd check on his balance only to find that there had been now activity on the account for a long time. This would take some investigation, so he set about the task.

It turns out that the cards that he has which deposit these miles were linked to an account belonging to the Silver Vixen. She was unaware she had it. It had been set up automatically because the card was principally in here name. It took a lot of unravelling, but in doing so we discovered a further 9000 odd points of which we were unaware.

Noon Image: 13 Sep 2015

Saturday, September 12, 2015


The Silver Vixen is out for the day. She is at a workshop to practise some more free-motion sewing techniques. No doubt, on her return, there will be another fabric masterpiece.

The Gorse Fox was left to his own devices. Well, actually he left to his own and the Silver Vixen's device. He decided to see if her laptop was ready for the Windows 10 update. It turns out that, though registered for the upgrade, it hasn't yet received the download. The Gorse Fox spent some time tidying it up and left it running so that it could accept the download should it be sent.

Meanwhile, he managed to have a short chat with Cousteau-cub online. She's teaching yoga at the Pimalai resort again at the moment, but took some time out to visit the hot springs near Krabi with the Coventry Hobbit one day during the week. Photos look good and this may require a visit when we are over there. This got the Gorse Fox thinking and he spent some time looking at whether there was a sensible option for a few days in Chiang-Mai while we are in Thailand. This research, in turn, got him checking his various rewards points from the various hotel chains. This proved to be a little harder than expected as the notes he had regarding his credentials for the Holiday Inn Group proved to be inadequate for him to log on. Email has been sent to get things reset (the Gorse Fox suspect he has more points with them than any of the others at present).

The Gorse Fox mentioned his car was serviced during the week. He should point out that it was also washed. Last night, however, there was a very muddy rain shower and the car was looking dirty again. (That'll teach him - he should have put it in the garage). Anyway, overcome with burst of enthusiasm, he has cleaned and polished the car and this is now nestling in the garage. The car wasn't quite sure what had hit it... in fact the Gorse Fox wasn't quite sure what had come over him.

Noon Image: 12 Sep 2015

Friday, September 11, 2015

Glass panels

Work on the garden design continues in advance of the landscapers arriving in the next week or so. The Gorse Fox is now down to some nitty gritty decisions and visualisations.

After much consideration we have decided to go for stainless steel posts with glass panel infills around part of the deck. Now that the Gorse Fox has drawn it and we have looked at the likely result we are pleased with the decision.

The Gorse Fox would add that he has just learned some new techniques with Sketchup and wishes he had known about them when he started on design. The question is, "does he want to go back and redraw everything in order to do it right?" Well, the answer is Yes... but the second question is "Can he be bothered?" Only time will tell!

The saga continues

Well the Gorse Fox may have spoken too soon. The post arrived with yet another claim that he had failed to pay for his Dart river crossing. This was one of the northbound journeys in the cluster that he paid for well in advance. Again, he has written a formal representation and posted it. Meanwhile, however, he also used the social media route and again invoked Faceache. By the time he got back from posting the official representation, Faceache had responded - PCN cancelled, no further action required.

The little victories continue

Noon Image: 11 Sep 2015

Little victories

The Gorse Fox has been served with PCNs for not paying the Dartford river crossing charge (as explained before). He decided that, in addition to the letters he had sent, he would use the social media route. He contacted the Dart Crossing Faceache page... explained the issue and 24 hours later got a private message that both PCNs had been cancelled. Their mistake.

Another little victory.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Twas on the Thursday morning...

The gas man came to call... (the Gorse Fox can't remember the rest of the words to the great Flanders & Swann classic). Actually the gas man was the last of our callers - the first being the nice man from Ocado with our weekly shop; then the second being the chap from the company who built the Orangery. We were not entirely happy with one of the gaskets in the bifold doors, so he had come to sort it out. It was during his visit that the gas man arrived to perform the annual boiler service.

Evening saw a committee meeting for the football team... but that was soon done and dusted.

Noon Image: 10 Sep 2015

Wednesday, September 09, 2015


There's tension in the air. The Developer wishes to erect a billboard advertising the show home that will be opposite us. The neighbours are strongly against this. Yesterday, the Developer sent us an email with a photoshopped image of the billboard and asked for our comments. The Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen discussed this then wrote a letter back to highlight why we felt this was a bad idea and to offer a sensible compromise. The neighbours formed a posse and headed down to the sales office... whilst another started a social media campaign. It appears that our reasons for disliking the proposal were echoed by the others and they have suggested that the Developer agrees to a site meeting.

We await the outcome with interest.

Noon Image: 9 Sep 2015

Tuesday, September 08, 2015


We had some chicken breasts in the fridge. The Gorse Fox decided we should do something different from the usual roast, wrap, or stir-fry. In the end he saw a recipe that sounded interesting. The chicken was butterflied and stuffed with asparagus and mozzarella, then coated in some mayonnaise and panic breadcrumbs. The whole mixture was put in the oven for 45 minutes. It was excellent. Another recipe worth remembering.

Noon Image: 8 Sep 2015


The Gorse Fox has had to forego football this morning while waiting for a package to be delivered. At least with DPD you get a one hour time slot, but with ParcelForce all he knows is the time it left the depot.

First world problems, eh?

Monday, September 07, 2015


The Gorse Fox fox had his car booked in for a service. He was to act as a mystery shopper so met with his "buddy" in advance for a briefing. This turned out to be painless and so we went along to the garage and booked the car in (once we had found somewhere to leave it - chaos being the order of the day, parking wise). Once booked in, for a while-you-wait-appointment, the Gorse Fox and his buddy said they were popping into town for an hour and disappeared. The Gorse Fox settled down in Costa for a large Americano and 60 minutes with the Kindle. The buddy stayed with his car and made some phone calls.

At the appointed time we met up and returned to the garage and waited for the completion of the service. Finally, the Gorse Fox had to fill in a questionnaire and, that done, he should receive a decent cheque in the next 10 days or so... which will go most of the way to paying for the service.

Noon Image: 7 Sep 2015

We have a Winner - Massaman Style

Now and again the Gorse Fox looks at the ingredients he has to hand and matches them to possible recipes. So it was that on Sunday evening he realised that he had most of the ingredients to make a Massaman Curry. He had to adapt the recipe - he had no Massaman paste (and wasn't minded to make his own) but did have some Thai yellow curry paste. He also felt that it would be worth adding some additional vegetables to the classic potato and onion.

Forty-five minutes of bubbling, mixing, stirring and tasting passed. The dish was served with some coriander rice... and was an absolute winner (so much so, that he sat down and wrote down the recipe).

Sunday, September 06, 2015

The Sky is Falling

The Gorse Fox got to thinking. With his new BT TV box he can get many of the channels that he watches on Sky. The Sky package is quite expensive... and the BT TV options seem quite reasonable. This called for a spreadsheet and as there was no football this morning, he set to work.

An hour or so passed and the conclusion was that by switching various services, the Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen could save, without too much hassle, about £20 a month. Phone calls were made and the Sky package downgraded to the minimum we require. A further call was made and a little negotiation and the BT package was scheduled, complete with a set-top-box upgrade. It will all filter through during the next month (BT this week, Sky in 31 days)... but that seems like a result.

Noon Image: 6 Sep 2015

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Lazy day

Much of today has been dedicated to admin, so it has been quite lazy. The Gorse Fox started off by looking for the best solution to boiler maintenance - maybe not the cheapest, but ended up selecting British Gas. Then there was a pile of paperwork to scan, file and shred. Nothing too strenuous (though the Gorse Fox had done 30 minutes on the running machine, first thing).

Lunchtime saw the arrival of the post. A further letter from the Dart Crossing - again claiming that the Gorse Fox had not paid his toll (on a different date this time). Again, the Gorse Fox wrote a letter, providing evidence that he had paid the toll six days in advance - and if they could match his northbound journey, how come they couldn't match the southbound trip. Stupid. The Gorse Fox seems to remember that Starlet looked at bidding for the design and development of the computer system - but dodged the bullet when not chosen. Looks like that was another case of selecting the cheapest and then suffering the consequences. The Gorse Fox awaits the outcome of his appeals, with interest.

Noon Image: 5 Sep 2015

Friday, September 04, 2015


The afternoon was spent with drills and screws. The shelf is up, the ethernet is now run through the wall and feeds the YouView box. It took a long time to sort out as the longest drill bit didn't actually go through the wall from side to side. Finally all was tidied away and the TV switched on; success.

Noon Image: 4 Sep 2015

Moving service

After a few experiments the Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen have decided to extend the BT TV service to the Orangery. Simple enough, in essence, but has a few little gotchas.

Firstly, the YouView box that we have moved needs to be on view so that the infrared reader is visible; this means that we need a small shelf on which to stand it. Secondly, the box needs a good network connection. As the Orangery is an extension, the power supply is a spur off the main circuit. This means that we cannot use a PowerLine adapter hidden behind the TV. (The Gorse Fox has tried and fiddled and in the end, admitted defeat). This means that running a long eternal cable from the kitchen proves it all works... but is not a long term solution. A PowerLine adapter is now hidden behind the fridge and a hole will have to be drilled through the wall in order to run the ethernet cable. (Why not use WiFi? you may ask... well, the WiFi signal is quite weak out there and to boost it, the Gorse Fox would still need some form of PowerLine link).

We have a basic plan, but need to hold fire until we have selected the shelf unit and decided exactly where we will fix it.

Thursday, September 03, 2015


Well, the Windows 10 upgrade seems to have completed without incident. The Gorse Fox changed some of the default security and privacy settings as he wasn't too keen on the way in which informations was being extracted and distributed from his PC. That said, everything seems to be working as expected (though the Gorse Fox is bound to find some anomaly at some point).

We had booked a table at a Thai restaurant. This was a place we had seen at the festival last weekend and thought it worth a try. The restaurant is embedded with The Hamilton Arms at Stedham, near Midhust, so it was only about 30 minutes drive from home. Though we had booked, it was clear that this was unnecessary on a Thursday lunchtime. Several other tables were taken, but plenty were free.

The menu was extensive and all the dishes sounded delicious. In the end we both started with ribs (which were perfect), and then the Silver Vixen tried a chicken dish, and the Gorse Fox had a beef green curry. The food was superb. This place is certainly worth a return visit.

Noon Image: 3 Sep 2015


The Gorse Fox has just pressed the button to start the Windows 10 upgrade on his PC. All appendages are crossed in the hope that nothing goes wrong. (The Gorse Fox works mainly on his Mac now, so it wouldn't be too catastrophic if things went awry).

Wednesday, September 02, 2015


The builder's have got to the stage of staging the show house, which will be opposite our house. This will be fine once complete, but is chaos at the moment with all their vans and trucks making deliveries.


The Gorse Fox has just got back from Wednesday's football. It was a good game, overall, but the Gorse Fox didn't feel that he had played particularly well. He made a few crucial interventions, and passed the ball around quite accurately, but somehow didn't feel quite on his game. Having said that he did score the winning goal with the last kick of the match... so it wasn't too bad.

Noon Image: 2 Sep 2015

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Nice day

It was a nice day starting with the Gorse Fox's usual football. We had so many players available today that we ended up with 4 5-a-side teams for the first hour, and another 4 teams for the second hour. Overall it was a couple of sessions with several wins, draws, an a loss. It seemed like hard work, but was that is part of the challenge.

Back home, we had the usual problem trying to get Jasper into the cat-carrier to take him to his monthly check-up. The Gorse Fox thought he's shut all the doors upstairs, but clearly one was on the latch as he managed to charge into our room and under the bed. He dug his claws into the carpet. He clearly was not interested in the trip to vet. The Gorse Fox though he'd got him at one point then realised that his own head was stuck under the bed; Jasper was dropped, and the Gorse Fox spent a couple of minutes freeing himself. Eventually the Gorse Fox was free and Jasper was caught.

Noon Image: 1 Sep 2015