Monday, July 27, 2015

Quiet day

It has been a quiet day. The Silver Vixen had to make a trip to the dentist, and came back loaded with novocaine. GF spent the time on the computer, starting to collate the quantities of timber needed for the deck. He still has to turn the linear lengths into the optimised cutting list - but in the end there will be a minimum of 106 pieces of timber covering the surface, some 66 joists,  and loads of support beams.

Noon Image: 27 Jul 2015

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Wet, wet, wet

Well a bit of rain didn't deter us. We headed out for our Sunday game, and it just thrashed down. The girl at the sports centre thought we were certifiably mad.

GF and the lads were soaked. It wasn't worth even trying to wear glasses, even with a peaked cap to provide some shelter. Despite the rain we had a good and pretty even game... and GF scored several of the goals for our team. In fact, he was pretty chuffed and felt he had had a good game.

It was nice to have a hot shower when he got back, though.

Noon Image: 26 Jul 2015

Saturday, July 25, 2015

X Files

The plan, let's call it Plan A, was to go to see the Gorse Fox's sister and have lunch with her and our Transatlantic cousins, who were on a stop-over, en route for a vacation in Europe. Plan A failed. The Gorse Fox's sister's family were unwell, and it was deemed sensible to avoid visitors in case of spread.

Plan B was developed. We headed for the hotel at Heathrow where they were staying last night and met up with Agent Mulder, Cathy and Andrew. Come to think of it, this should probably called Plan X. After a bit of a chat we decided to try a restaurant out near the rowing lakes at Dorney. We phoned ahead and booke a table then set off up the M4 (which was almost gridlocked by a road accident). The 20 minute journey took nearly an hour... but was worth it.

The Riverside Brasserie was in a superb location at Bray Marina, overlooking the river (hence the name). We spent a couple of hours enjoying a lovely meal and long chat, sitting on the deck and watching the boats glide by. It really was an idyllic spot. Its a shame it's so far from home, otherwise we would visit more often.

Time went by too quickly, and we had to head back to the airport. Fortunately the return journey was clear of obstructions and only took about 20 minutes. We saw the family through check-in and then left them at security. It was lovely to see them, however fleetingly.

Now let's hope that a) they have good vacation (Amsterdam, Milan, and Venice); and b) GF's sister's family get better soon.

Noon Image: 25 Jul 2015

Friday, July 24, 2015


The design is now all but complete. GF tried a few more ways of achieving his original idea, but in the end resorted to Plan B... which took about 10 minutes. Maybe he should have started with Plan B.

There has been a scurrilous suggestion that GF has been using the design process as means of procrastination. As the landscaping will not be done until September (and the groundwork for the deck is part of that contract), GF is not putting things off - merely making sure he uses the time to plan things as best he can. Already the process has shown up the need for a couple of changes and GF still has two options to present to the Silver Vixen for her selection, before finalising the plan.

Noon Image: 24 Jul 2015

Thursday, July 23, 2015


Watching Celebrity Masterchef in the Orangery. A pleasant and relaxing evening.


Another day in front of the screen, working on the deck design. The problem GF was faced with is, seemingly, quite simple. How do you model a wooden beam with 45 degree cuts at the end? It's possible, but it is incredibly time consuming. Indeed, it would be quicker to actually cut the real beams.


Noon Image: 23 Jul 2015

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


We had another mix-and-match 5-a-side game today. It was great fun, though was stopped briefly when Johnny Two-goals ran his face into the pointed elbow of big John. Much blood was in evidence but once a towel had been stuffed up his nose, we all continued. The Gorse Fox's team were 2-0 down at half time, but GF scored at the beginning of the second half to start our come-back. He usually gets light-headed if he crosses the half-way line - so was pleased with a goal. Soon after we clawed another one back. All was even. Then in the dying seconds, the Gorse Fox was again in the right place to put away the winner. Great fun.

The afternoon was spent in the study on the design of the deck frame. This was going well. GF is using different design layers to separate different parts of the model. This is great. Well, it's great as long as you remember where you are within the layers. GF started to model the deck surface, but forgot to switch layers. This ended up causing problems with the model, and was made worse when GF started to unpick what he had done. In the end he has managed to get back to a sensible point of the design and will start again tomorrow.

Long chat with Urban-cub this evening. She was absolutely full of enthusiasm for her new job and was eager to tell us all about the latest experiences she has been having at the airport.

Noon Image: 22 Jul 2015

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Well as you can see from the noon photo, the hoardings which have been hiding the building activity have been removed. This has given us a first view of the houses that will be opposite us, and we are pleasantly surprised. They look quite nice, but that's not the surprise. The surprises is that we told, only last week, that hoardings would stay until September. Clearly the build team are not communicating with the sales team. At last week's reception we met the lady who is hoping to buy the house directly opposite us. Let's hope it all works out for her as we both commented on how well we felt she would fit in to our little community.

Football was a bit intense today. Eight 5-a-side games, payed in two separate round-robin tournaments of 4 teams. The teams were just a mix-and-match of all the players who arrived (so not the Arun nor the Worthing competition teams). Thoroughly enjoyable despite only a single win out of eight.

Noon Image: 21 Jul 2015


What a ridiculous time to be up and about. It was different when the Gorse Fox was still working, but there's no excuse for seeing this time of day once you have retired.

Why, you may ask, is he up and about? Well, he was awake. Rather than fidget and disturb the Silver Vixen, he decided to get up.

Monday, July 20, 2015


No, not the Gorse Fox, you say.

You are right. He doesn't do stress. He has spent the day in front of one of the computers working on the design of the support framework for the deck. To ensure longevity and sturdiness, he has been working with the stress tables that show the load bearing qualities of the various types of timber and the recommended span for joists and bearer beams. All of this is great fun, but needs some 3d thinking as the underlying design needs to be capable of supporting the particular pattern of deck beams that GF wants to create (e.g. beams at a 45 degree angle need joists that are 30% closer than if the beams were linear). Just for information, a domestic deck needs to be designed to support 1.5kN/m2.

It keeps the little grey cells ticking over.

Noon Image: 20 Jul 2015

Sunday, July 19, 2015

More digging

No football today - we didn't have a quorum.

The Gorse Fox used the time to do more digging in the roots of the family tree. He found a few more distant relatives, but no more principals. What he did find though, was a lot more corroboration for the information he has. He also discovered a number of other peoples research that just doesn't stand up to scrutiny. One, for instance, shows the birth of Lily to her mother, when her mother was 10 years old! No, GF doesn't think so. This is just shoddy research where someone has picked a name because it looked right, without applying any rigour to selection. Amateurs.

The afternoon was spent starting on the design work and selection for the deck that we have planned. We need to select the right materials, and work out the best framework on which to construct it. GF needs to get all this sorted out as the landscapers will need to prepare the ground - even though GF will build the deck. GF expects he will be spending some quality time with SketchUp over the next few days or weeks.

Noon Image: 19 Jul 2015

Saturday, July 18, 2015


We have always liked Maples (Acers). for many years we would buy one for each wedding anniversary. When we moved down to the coast, however, we had lo leave several behind, and lost quite a few of those we moved with us.

When we moved from Kingston Gorse, we again had to leave several well established Acers behind. Since moving here we have started looking at the various garden centres and specialist nurseries to review their ranges. So it was today. We headed for Hillier's between Chichester and Bosham. The plan was to look for some options for hiding the fencing, but we were distracted by the display of acers. In the end on of them found its way into the trolley and is now nestling the back garden.

The current collection is still a bit sparse, but includes:

  • A. Palmatum Seiryu
  • A. Palmatum “Red"
  • A. Palmaturm “Orange Dream"
  • A. Palmatum “Fireglow"
  • A. Palmatum “Beni Komachi"
  • A. Palmatum “Dissectum” 
  • A. Palmatum “Garnet” 
  • A. Palmatum Sango kaku 
There is an extensive wish list, but we do need to wait until the landscaping is complete, and we can then chose how best to arrange what we have, and determine what needs to be added.

Back home, we received a visit from the girls in the developer's sales office. They had heard good things from the neighbours about the Orangery and wanted to have look. We invited them in and they seemed very impressed. Whilst here we pointed out some of the snagging that needs to be done, now that the shrinkage has stopped. They assured us that it would be done and be perfect once finished. 

Noon Image: 18 Jul 2015

Friday, July 17, 2015


It was a fairly quiet day, much of which was spent in front of the computers working on genealogy. No new people added, but lots of additional corroborative evidence for those GF already has unearthed (so to speak).

GF also changed his power-link devices. The old ones were ok, but now GF has faster Broadband he thought it would be worth upgrading - particularly as the NAS devices are in one part of the house, but accessed from all over. The new power-link devices run at 1Gbps... and amazingly just plugged in a worked. Result.

Talking of results, Arun Amblers had a derby game against Bognor this evening. It was the first time in our new kit, so we all looked very smart. The first half didn't go so well. We were 1-0 down at the break. In the second half, however, our fitness began to tell. In the end we won 3-1. It was the right result, but GF wasn't totally satisfied with the way he had played. Taking a lesson from his cousin Maggie, he did manage to flatten a couple of opponents, and stopped any attacks coming through the left, but somehow didn't feel that he had played well.

Noon Image: 17 Jul 2015

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Get together

Quiet day started with a call from one of GF's lovely aunts. This got him back in front of the genealogy program, where he spent most of the rest of the day.

Late afternoon, the developer of our homes had arranged a summer get together for the residents. There was some confusion over the location, but once sorted it turned out to be a very sociable couple of hours. Pimms and Mojitos flowed and neighbours were introduced. Obviously we know most of our neighbours having had them round for the evening a couple of times. We did meet a new couple who haven't yet moved in, and a nice lady who is just at the point of exchanging contracts. She will live directly opposite us, if it all goes through - so it was nice to have a chat.

Back home GF had pre-prepared all the ingredients for a beef stir-fry. As he finished serving up, he filled the wok with hot soapy water and promptly tipped it all over the kitchen floor. Gravity being what it is, it went down well, and spread far and wide. GF was less than amused. The stir-fry sat there on there on the plates while we tried to clear up the devastation.

Mmmm... cool stir-fry. Nom, nom.

Noon Image: 16 Jul 2015

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Final Farewell

Today was a day for reflection, for family, and for solidarity. It was time to say farewell to Mary. We collected the Gorse Fox's aunt from Rustington and headed up into the bandit-lands of Essex. Amazingly, the roads were at their most benign and we arrived with a couple of hours to spare. We stopped at the nearby carvery for lunch and some tea before heading along to the Cathedral.

Brentwood Cathedral is not much bigger than a large parish church. It is cruciform in shape and this allowed the family and friends to be much closer to the celebration of her life. The Mass was concelebrated by the local priest and one of GF's cousins. The Eulogy, written by Mary's husband, was read by another of GF's cousins. It was very moving, but somehow, it wasn't sad. It was a celebration and a chance to remember her as she was - full of life, full of humour, warm and approachable.

After the Mass we all met up in a local hotel for some tea and a chance to reminisce and catch up with the extended family. Despite the occasion, it was a lovely afternoon. Our family do not do sad farewells, they are always full of humour, full of love, and full of promise. This was no different.

We finally broke up at about seven and, again, the roads were incredibly benign. Despite the detour to drop Maragaret, we were still home before nine.

Noon Image: 15 Jul 2015

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Eight games today. The coach was concentrating on the other team and leaving us to ourselves. GF took control of the centre back position and issued his instructions to counter the expected attack. It worked. Out of the 8 games, we won 6 and drew 2.

Noon Image: 14 Jul 2015