Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Life support

As the Gorse Fox wanders round the house switching off various network segments and unplugging the devices it feels a bit like switching off his life support. All that's left now is the ADSL hub and the Mac. Even the network storage is offline and ready to be put in the car.

Packed and ready

Everything is packed in boxes and piled all over the old house. Soon the removals men will come and and start the final move. It should be quite a day. The Gorse Fox would point out that we are both quite excited.

Monday, September 01, 2014


The removal men arrive today to start packing up for us - though the Silver Vixen is going across with Jasper the Cat to the new house.  Having spent the last 30 minutes loading her car with the bare essentials - GF is considering asking for a rebate from the removals firm.

Sunday, August 31, 2014


Final coat of paint applied to garage floor this morning. It does look rather smart - but now Gorse Fox is wondering whether he shoud have painted the walls white also. That will have to wait now and become a future consideration or project.

With the Silver Vixen, Gorse Fox has been putting up the temporary window blinds so that we have a little privacy when we move in. As it is, Urban-cub is likely to be the first of us to sleep here. She is spending the day here and staying overnight on Monday so that we can move Jasper the cat over and limit the amount of disruption he gets from all the comings and goings during the packing and removals process.

Having become an expert in data centre moves, Gorse Fox has started the migration of the Fontwell data centre. He has chosen to do this by architectural affinity - thus, today, all the Windows PCs and laptops have been moved. This leaves only the IOS, osx, and remaining Linux systems to shift along with the network.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


This is probably the last time the garage will look so tidy.

With the floor sealed this is the effect after a single coat of garage floor paint. There are a couple more coats to apply over the next day, but so far it is looking quite smart.


The MiFi seems to get a pretty good 3G performance at the new house, but the built-in 3G on the ipad (which uses O2) can only muster GPRS signals. Shame as Gorse Fox has quite a substantial data allowance on the iPad.

Garage floor has now been painted a nice shade of light blue and it awaits another coat when dry. Gorse Fox brought some AAA bateries for his energy sensor only to find one of the units uses AAA but the other uses AA... some a quick trip to the shops is on the agenda.

Friday, August 29, 2014


The Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen arrived at the Sales Office. A plaque greeted us, welcoming us to the development and we were presented with a bottle of bubbly and a bunch of flowers. Photos were taken and we were handed the keys and taken to the house.

More photos were taken and then we finally crossed the threshold.

We started to shuttle stuff into the house from the car. After all, we needed to be able to make tea even if we couldn’t do much else.

The Gorse Fox set up a Raspberry Pi at the study window to start taking photos of the view and how it changes over time. Then the name plaque for the house was fixed before the Gorse Fox started on the garage.

A gentle sweep (so as not to raise to much dust) and then the floor-sealer was put on with a roller. Gorse Fox was surprised at how far it spread and found that he had only used about half of what he had expected. It takes several hours to dry, so he will consider whether to put on a second coat before painting the floor over the weekend.

Meanwhile the Silver Vixen had been sorting out the kitchen and measuring up the “blinds in a box” that we intend to use at first. These are paper blinds that affix to the window-frame and provide a temporary solution until we have decided what our longer term window dressings will be.


Solicitor has just phoned to say that our house purchase has completed.

Home owners, again. At last!


The Gorse Fox is struck by contrasting articles in the papers today. 

On the one hand we find American soccer moms suing FiFA and US Soccer about the risks of heading the football. (The Gorse Fox notes that all the rest of the world, who have been playing soccer for many many years have had very little problem with this - the risk being very small).

In contrast we learn of the 9 year-old who shot and killed her gun-instructor. The Gorse Fox would observe that playing with guns is demonstrably more dangerous (nearly 9000 deaths in 2012) - yet there is no suit against the NRA or or manufacturers.

One might question, based on this simple analysis, whether there is really anything of great value that needs serious protection in the cranial cavities of these people. How about banning the big risks first then worry about the lesser and some would say optional risks.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

New Postcodes

Moving to an established house in an established postal code is relatively easy in comparison to the hassle of moving to a brand new post code. So few online systems provide support for the case where a new post code has been allocated. This means that Gorse Fox has had the opportunity to spend much of the day listening to various "hold music" and diving through multi-level phone menus. In almost every case the systems insisted on telling him that he could save time by doing this online.


If he could he would have, but because you can't keep your PAF up to date, GF is having to call you to update the details.

Never mind... all is now done.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


The Silver Vixen has established a blitzkrieg on the house. Cupboards are being emptied, sorted, and cleaned. There is production line of articles being ditched or sent for re-cycling, and this morning the Gorse Fox was caught up in process. Dispatched to the garage he set about doing a high-level down-selection of stiff to keep and stiff to ditch.

It took two trips to the re-cycling centre to get rid of all of the material - old chairs, old tools, empty boxes, old parasols, waxes, detergents, oils, spirits and heavens knows what else. Fortunately, the guys at the tip were not very busy so they set about sorting out the contents of the car boot and ferrying it to the correct disposal points. (Very accommodating staff in Chichester).

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Knowing that we will be without Broadband for a while, GF looked at getting a 4G MiFi but for PAYG it seemed prohibitively expensive. In the end he dug out his old 3G MiFi and switched it on. He wasn't expecting any response as he had been told the sim-card is deactivated after 6 months of non-use.

Clearly this is not the case.

The MiFi burst into life and said the account needed topping up (it is a PAYG account). £10 later, all seems to be working. So we should be set - as long as we don't try to do some massive downloads.


The Gorse Fox was pleased to make contact with Cousteau-cub yesterday - only to find out that they had been burgled twice in the last week and lost a laptop, the Nexus 7 we bought her, and one of their motor bikes.

Apparently this happens when there has been a poor low-season. Indeed C-c said it had happened to most of her friends over the years - so she had been lucky up until now.

The Gorse Fox finds such behaviour morally repugnant and cannot conceive of what makes people prey on others likes this. He has sent C-c a link which may help her locate the Nexus and if not, may at least lock and erase it.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Bank Holiday

Bank Holiday Monday. At least there's no work today.

Oh yes, just remembered - every day is a Bank Holiday. Feeling insufferably smug.


Well it appears that the forecast was correct. It is wet this morning. Jasper, the cat, wants to go out but takes one look at the rain, imperiously raises his tail and does an about turn. He isn't getting his coat wet. No sir!

Sunday, August 24, 2014


The weather forecast for Monday and the early part of the week predicts rain. This was reason enough to schedule time in the garden today.

Lawns were done and the Silver Vixen did some tidying and pruning/ GF helped out with some brambles and tidying all the cuttings into bags for his regular trip to see his mates at the local tip. It has been a while since the last trip so GF was expecting a guard of honour, and a human chain to empty the bags from the car. He was miffed to find it was quite busy and GF had, therefore, to work alone.

On another note, the timelapse photography application GF established for the Raspberry Pi seems to be working well. GF suspects that if this is to remain a long-running project, he may need to get a UPS so that the RPi could survive power cuts.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


The Gorse Fox is feeling smug.

The front of the new house will look out NNE towards the South Downs. For the moment, the view is fairly uncluttered - a hoarding in the foreground, a little bit of building activity and then the fields all the way to the Downs. This will change as the development continues and, after a year or two, the hoardings will come done and further houses will spring up.

GF thought it would be interesting to see how this develops over time. To that end he has spent the morning connecting up an old webcam to one of the Raspberry Pis and has knocked up a little code to take a photo once an hour, on the hour, between 0900 and 1700 every day. When we move in to the new house this can be set up at GF's study window and we will see a time-lapse storyline building up as things change in front of us.

Code completed, tested and running. (Though currently monitoring change in GF's study).

Friday, August 22, 2014

Quiet day

Well we are heading for a Bank Holiday weekend. As a retired person, it lacks the usual expectation. Every day is now a holiday... And the Gorse Fox is loving it.

Pretty quiet day really, other than a short trip to Chi to sort out some direct debits which had been set up with incorrect account details.

Should be meeting up with Jane an Trevor for dinner tonight at Chris Evans' restaurant in Chiddingfold.

Thursday, August 21, 2014



the Gorse Fox went along to Screwfix. He waded through the catalogue and found that the only Forstner bit that would do the job came not as an individual purchase but as part of a set. And wouldn't you know it - not part of the 5-piece set, but part of £40 16 piece set.

Oh well... it's done now and the desk is back up and fully functional - though 9 inches smaller than before.

Cut, cut, cutting...

The Gorse Fox's desk is in fact two five-foot desks side by side. This will not fit in the room we have designated for the study in the new house. After yesterday's inspection, Gorse Fox was able to measure the space accurately. This morning the agenda was set to adapt one of the desks so that it was 9 inches smaller. Taking the old desk apart, it was a matter of measuring the positions of the fixings as they were, the diameter of the holes and their depth. The Gorse Fox then dug out his big handheld circular saw and performed surgery on the desk.

Almost everything is now ready to put the desk back together, but Gorse Fox needs to pop along to Screwfix and get a 14mm Forstner bit for the last two holes. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Not bad

Well the 90 minute induction appointment lasted 3 hours. No surprise there then.

We worked our way through the house room by room - wall by by wall, window by window, plug by plug. In the end we had a very short list of things that required attention and commitment that they would all be addressed before we move in. It was very satisfying that there were so few snags to address - a testament to the quality of the build and their inspection process.


Today we have a viewing scheduled at our rented house - but more importantly we have the induction and inspection of our new house. A modicum of excitement is creeping in.