Monday, January 22, 2018


A semblance of what passes for normality has returned. A leisurely breakfast followed by a few chores and then we retired to our respective studies.

The Silver Vixen is working on her sewing and wants to get a lot done this week. The Gorse Fox is flitting from one task to another on the computer.

  • Registering an online credit car account proved a challenge. In the end the Gorse Fox had to call the company only to find the reason everything was failing was that they had mistranscribed the Gorse Fox's birth date. Once that was sorted everything clicked into place.
  • Checking the monthly budget showed us performing very well this month so the Gorse Fox transferred some money into some envelopes to set aside for taxis to and from the airport when we go away on holiday later in the year. It's nice to know we already have all that sorted.
  • Phoning the concierge services for our holiday company we tried to arrange the VIP meet and greet and private transfer to the hotel... it may be several months away, but it would save some hassle. The Gorse Fox is awaiting a phone call back.
  • Returning to Urban-Cub's spreadsheet the Gorse Fox adapted it to show public holidays through until the end of 2019. He must say that he's very impressed with the way in which Google Sheets works. It has lots of features that operate differently from Excel - but somehow seem to do the job better. Conditional formatting being one, and the "query" command being another. Both exist in Excel, but neither seems quite as powerful nor easy to use.

Sunday, January 21, 2018


After a disturbed evening, Ellie managed to sleep through until 08:40 this morning. The Silver Vixen wasn't feeling too well and the Gorse Fox managed to take Ellie down stairs without disturbing her. We got on with preparing breakfast and were about to start on Ellie's porridge when the Silver Vixen came down.

The phone rang... it was Barry from football. Would the Gorse Fox be playing this morning? The Gorse Fox confessed that he wouldn't. It would be unfair to leave the Silver Vixen in charge when she wasn't feeling too bright. The rest of the morning and early afternoon revolved around Ellie and included her demonstrating that she could stand without support for a few seconds. She'll be out jogging before we know it.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

On duty

The Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox were on G-Force duty again today. Ellie didn't wake until 07:15 and again we brought her into our bed to play around for while. She seems absolutely captivated by the Silver Vixen's activity watch and keeps pressing the button to see the various displays.

The rest of the day revolved round feeding, changing, playing or allowing Ellie to sleep. Despite having a cold, she still maintains her sunny disposition and dissolves into laughter at the silliest things.

Not much else to report.

Friday, January 19, 2018


G-Force will be on duty over night tonight so we had arranged to pick up Ellie during the afternoon. We decided to make the most of the trip and stopped off for some lunch at The Charlie Purley in Shripney. This was the second time we had eaten there and whilst adequate it doesn't reach the heights of gastronomic excellence. The Silver Vixen had some lasagne and the Gorse Fox had a "Carnivore Burger". This made the Gorse Fox think of the Coventry Hobbit ... it was a decent burger topped with a thick slice of steak, a slice of turkey, and a slice of gammon - all served between two Yorkshire pudding slices. It was good and certainly provided all the protein the Gorse Fox is likely to need for the rest of the week.

We drove across to Rustington where the Silver Vixen wanted to get some stuff from Dunelm Mills. Urban-Cub and Ellie came and joined us there to look at the Winnie the Pooh sale goods. She resisted however.

We went back to Urban-Cub's and gathered all the stuff together then brought Ellie on home for the weekend.

Thursday, January 18, 2018


Thursday, so it must be admin. Though it had been a stormy night it was a lovely bright and clear morning.

Firstly the Gorse Fox got on with the usual accounts. This gave him an opportunity to do some account sweeping. This allowed him to sweep some excess into more Premium Bonds. The Gorse Fox must comment that the Premium Bonds have been a fairly good investment. Between us we do seem to win something every month.

After the accounts it was back to the spreadsheet. This was most satisfying as the Gorse Fox found some new techniques and discovered the wonderful "query" command in Google Sheets. This effectively allows him to issue an SQL-like command against the data in the sheet and extract tailored  versions of the core data. It's been handed over to Urban-Cub now to see if she wants any further development.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Spreading out

Ellie didn't wake until gone eight and the Gorse Fox went to fetch her and she played on our bed for a good twenty minutes before getting fidgety for some breakfast. This is what the Gorse Fox considers a very relaxed start to the day.

Because G-Force were on duty, the Gorse Fox didn't play football today. It was a shame because it looked like a lovely day for a game - bright sunshine and clear skies.

The Gorse Fox spent most of his spare moments converting the childcare spreadsheet from Excel to Google Sheets. The child minder uses Google docs, so it makes it a lot easier to share with her going forward. The work isn't finished, but it is almost there... only a few summarisations to finish off.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Well the forecast was wrong. It had warned of high winds and showers across the south coast and had shown rain rattling through between 10:00 and 13:00 - just when the Gorse Fox was meant to be playing football.

It was wrong. It was bright sunshine and it stayed that way until the sun went down. The Gorse Fox played for the orange-bibs today. In the first hour he lost two and won one game. He had expected worse and had had to be very disciplined in defence. Despite that, he did manage to cross the halfway line a couple of time and rattled the crossbar each time.

In the second hour it was a bit better with one draw and two wins - the last one come as a result of a goal from the Gorse Fox.

The Silver Vixen was out with her coven for the day, so the Gorse Fox got on with lunch then retired to the study to spend some quality time with some Excel spreadsheets. Late afternoon the Silver Vixen arrived home with Ellie. Ellie's childminder's son has an hospital appointment in the morning so G-Force are stepping in and Ellie is staying with us overnight.

Monday, January 15, 2018


The Gorse Fox and Old Bill headed off into the wilds of the Manhood Peninsula, towards Wittering. Throughout this area there seem to be tiny hamlets. It turns out that the place we were heading was only a mile or so from the cattery we had visited on Saturday.

The furniture maker was based in the outhouses of a nice house at the end of a lane. The outhouses comprised several old curved shelters (circa 1940) and a large wooden shed that was set up as a carpentry shop. The equipment was old and the whole place was a complete mess. The furniture, however, was well made and looked well-finished. The chap himself looked like a carpenter's version of Einstein, with a shock of white hair and a slight vagueness when trying to communicate.


What a could start to the day. It's 10:00, it's dark, and its thrashing down with rain. This is what living in Wales must be like.

The Silver Vixen's friend, who was due to visit, sent a message to say she had woken up with a heavy cold, so that has been cancelled. The Gorse Fox has prepared the car to help Old Bill collect some bespoke bedside cabinets. Let's hope the varnish or paint is waterproof!

Sunday, January 14, 2018


Sunday started with a leisurely breakfast before the Gorse Fox headed off for football. He played for the yellow-bibs and though we looked like the underdogs, we were 3-1 up at half time. Unfortunately two of our players fade in the second half... and the score started to change. In the end we lost 6-5 but nearly managed to claw it back.

Back home, showered and with some chores under the belt, we headed out to Chichester. The old Homebase store has been taken over by the Australian "Bunnings". We thought it was a good opportunity to go and see what they have on offer. Well, it was an Aladdin's Cave of tools and wood and general homeware and DIY. The Gorse Fox was very impressed by the breadth of the choice of makes and types of tools available. Prices were keen, and the Gorse Fox could see this becoming his 'go to' store for the future (not that he has any particular plans at present - and certainly doesn't need any new tools just now).

Saturday, January 13, 2018


Today was about Jasper. With a holiday booked for later in the Spring had to find a cattery that would take Jasper and in which he would be well cared for and happy. We have a cattery that we usually use is fine, but it's nice to have an alternative. Old Bill and Lady Penelope had found a place down near Sidlesham and were very happy with the set-up and with the care shown by the proprietor.

We set off, and were soon in the general area. The SatNav, however, was not at its most helpful. The Gorse Fox is very pleased that he spent some time with Google Maps before leaving. We eventually found the place and were shown in. The proprietor, Mark, seemed like a lovely chap who genuinely seems to care for each of his charges. There were only about half a dozen cats in residence this morning but he was able to give a complete history of every one of them. The place was spotless. This has just moved from being the alternative to being the first choice.

Friday, January 12, 2018

On duty

We are on duty again today. This means that most of the day has been spent on hands and knees chasing Ellie round the kitchen or gathering her scattered toys. While she had her morning sleep the Gorse Fox managed to finish the refinement started on the Excel budget sheet yesterday. It's not as elegant as it should be, but the Gorse Fox concludes (based on research and empirical evidence) that you just can't do what he wanted the way he wanted to do it. Never mind, plan b was adequate.

We popped in to Chichester after lunch. It was grey and a bit damp, but it was nice to get Ellie out in the fresh air and nice to have a stroll. We stopped off a Turner's Pies on the way back to car in order to pick up a chicken and ham pie for supper. The Gorse Fox should explain. He's not a pie person, never has been. Having said that, we had a couple of their pies at Christmas and the Gorse Fox thoroughly enjoyed them. So maybe you can teach and old dog new tricks (if the quality is right).

Pistol Pete arrived soon after five to collect Ellie. She was fast asleep in the cot and became a little grizzly when when woken (but we can all associate with that). She was soon ready to go and the car packed with all her paraphernalia.

Now that she has gone, Jasper has started to wander round again. He's very cautious when she is around and scuttles around trying to avoid her. He's a lot braver when she's gone - wimp.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

G-Force duty

The Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen have been on G-force duty all day today. This has been the focus of the day as she has scuttled about on all fours or in her walker.

While Ellie was having her afternoon nap, the Gorse Fox spent some time with Excel. The annual budget spreadsheet is getting its annual spring clean and refinement. This time the refinement was based on the Gorse Fox thinking that there must be a better way of making one of the calculations. He knew exactly what he wanted to do and could have coded it in an instant in EXEC2 or Rexx, but couldn't find a way of making the simplification in Excel. It's not a problem as he already has the correct answer... but just feels that there is (or should be) a better way to get there. He may return to this conundrum at a later date.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Play Misty

It was a fine start but when the Gorse Fox headed inland to zip across to Worthing he was surprised to find it was quite foggy. Back at the coast however it was clear and sunny for our football.

The Gorse Fox was playing for the orange-bibs and whilst the game was close, we did manage to win 5-4. The Gorse Fox was having a few problems with his hips and it took a long time to loosen up. Even now, many hours later he is having some discomfort and hopes that it won't keep him awake as it did last night.

The Silver Vixen collected Ellie from the childminder, on her way back from Pilates. She will be staying with us for a couple of days due to the way in which Urban-Cub's and Pistol Pete's shifts work out this week. So far she has been her usual happy self but seems to have developed a fetish for tissues and has been emptying the boxes of tissues, one tissue at a time.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018


Oh what a grey day. It has remained dark all day, but at least it stayed dry and wasn't too cold.

The Silver Vixen was upend about early and headed off to Urban-Cub's to help young Jake look after Ellie for the day.

The Gorse Fox headed off to football. The turn out wasn't as big as usual, but there was a tournament yesterday. when the teams were selected the Gorse Fox found himself play for the blue-bibs and looking at the make-up of the teams was expecting to be on the receiving end of three severe beatings. In the end, we did ok. We drew one, lost one, and won one. This put us 2nd in the overall stack and the Gorse Fox was pleased to have tucked two goals away.

In the second hour he was playing for the red-bibs. Somewhat less successful in this hour with two losses and a win.