Friday, September 04, 2015

Shelved

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

Success

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

Upgrade

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

Chaos

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.

Winner

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

Monday, August 31, 2015

Lamb

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

Doh!

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

Sawadee

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

Mounted

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

Assembly

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.

Glasses

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.

Shelter

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