Monday, June 18, 2018

We had a very quiet day. Most of the day was spent with background tasks. The Silver Vixen was preparing for a day with her coven and the Gorse Fox was looking for further inspiration for our plan to redecorate the living room. Now when the Gorse Fox said he was looking for inspiration - he was searching online images of possible papers. On one site alone, he search over 6,000 images. It seemed to go on forever. Eventually he had got a shortlist of images to discuss with the Silver Vixen. We looked, we debated, we looked some more. One by one the images were dropped until we were down to one. Paper was eventually selected and ordered from a company in Belgium.

Now the Gorse Fox has to find someone who can put up the paper... as it is so expensive, he doesn't want to chance it himself. The first tradesman he approached took one look at the image and decided it was too much for him. At least he's honest!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

A bit of a do

There was no football today - and even if there had been, the Gorse Fox was not available to play. We had a bit of a "do" planned. Ellie had woken soon after 7:15 and we had got things under way. Once things were clear from breakfast the Gorse Fox brought the spare table in from the garage and set it up in the Orangery - it's not that we were expecting hordes, more that we were setting out a buffet and  this afforded us the most space.

Urban-Cub had had a bit of a lie-in and joined us before 10:00. As she, Ellie, and the Silver Vixen got  ready, the Gorse Fox started on the food preparation. Other than making a salad, most of this was a matter of picking up an order from M&S. We had ordered a number of items, but the Gorse Fox was a little shocked when the assistant wheeled out a trolley with a stack of crates that stood nearly 4 feet high. He explained that each item was delivered in a separate crate and "honestly, it's not as much as it appears". It's just as well as he would have needed a trailer to get it home!.

Trevor, Jane, Mask, and Agent Mulder arrived and just as we finished our hellos, the phone rang and it was Cousteau-Cub calling to wish a Happy Fathers' Day. We had a lovely chat, though the Gorse Fox was worried to hear that the Coventry Hobbit was in hospital with a sickness and a fever. Let's hope for a speedy recovery.

The rest of the a afternoon was spent chatting and catching up on news from the colonies while trying to  make inroads in the mountain of food. It really was a lovely afternoon and Ellie was so well behaved throughout. Unfortunately J&T, Agent Mulder, and Mask had to leave early evening as they had to drop Agent Mulder in London before spinning off home. (It turns out that that was an horrendous journey). Urban-Cub and Ellie left soon after and all of a sudden the Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox were alone. It didn't take too long to tidy up and assume the recovery position in the armchairs.

Saturday, June 16, 2018


It was a little grey today. Warm, humid, but a little grey. Ellie had started to stir by 6 am but didn't really wake and require attention until nearly 8 am. That is very satisfactory!

The day has revolved around Ellie and her needs. The morning proved interesting when she escaped over the side of her cot. It wasn't strain or an effort, it was a leap over the side onto the bed. The Gorse Fox then had to get the tools to adjust the cot down to its lowest setting. He's not clear that it will solve the problem, but it will at least make it more difficult.

After lunch we had a trip to Sainsbury's. With Agent Mulder and the Gorse Fox's little sister, her husband, and younger son due tomorrow there was a shopping list to fill and and the first of the orders to collect. Ellie came with us and spent the first half of the trip in the trolley and the second half walking, hand-in-hand, with Nana. She was obviously in the mood to get some exercise as she demanded going for a walk as soon as we got home.

Friday, June 15, 2018

On duty

It appears that there were problems at the airport and as a result, Urban-Cub had to go into work early. This meant that we were on duty earlier than planned. This wasn't a problem as we soon wore Ellie out and she went down for a nap.

While Ellie was napping the Gorse Fox made his first trip to B&Q* for some ironmongery. Urban-Cub had bought a swing seat for Ellie and the Gorse Fox planned to install it in the pergola. This needed special hooks, some chain to lengthen the drop, and some carabiners or link bolts to connect things together. It all went together pretty smoothly, though he did have to return to change the link bolts for carabiners. After lunch we took Ellie out to try the swing and she threw a strop. She did not like it at all. We'll have to see if this changes over time. Most of the afternoon saw her teddy bear enjoying the swing and her ignoring it while playing with water.

*Long time readers will know about the B&Q Bounce whereby it is against the laws of the Universe to make a single trip to B&Q. There is always a return trip within the hour to pick up some slightly different product or some forgotten product.

Thursday, June 14, 2018


Sometimes it's just time for a change. The Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox feel that we may have reached a point when we have to move things about in the living room. The problem we have is that there are some "givens".

  • There's two media panels that dictate where the various signals come into the room. They are at opposite ends of the same wall, so really the TV needs to be on or close to that wall.
  • There's a fireplace.
  • There's the fact that the Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen hate the sight of cables and wires.
  • We still have to cope with set-top boxes to deliver the TV channels to the screen.

These all constrain the design of the room and possible placement of furniture. We have spent much of the day looking at decorative options - wall paper, paint, and large murals. We have also moved the furniture around (and left it in the new positions for now to see how it feels). We have also been along to John Lewis to see what options we might have in terms of the TV itself. We did see some nice devices, but haven't done anything yet. We do, however some good ideas.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


It's been a lovely day again. The Gorse Fox actually had to apply sunscreen before going out for football.

We had a good tun out today, with many of the usual folk returning from holidays and injuries. We had a good 6-a-side match which ended up as a very tight game. The Gorse Fox played for the yellow-bibs and with about 15 minutes to go we were 4-1 down and it was looking like a lost cause. Then we slowly hauled it back to 4-4 before losing 5-4 with the last kick of the match. Oh well, you can't win them all.

Meanwhile Urban-Cub and Ellie were at home with the Silver Vixen. We had lunch together and then as we discussed that fact that we hadn't heard from Cousteau-Cub this week, she called. That worked out well as we each got a chance to have a chat with her.

During the afternoon, Ellie had a nap and we sat and chatted with Urban-Cub. We told he about some of the ideas we had been discussing regarding our living room layout and decor and she told us about the discussions she had been having regarding swapping her car. All very exciting. It was a lovely afternoon but eventually they had to leave so the Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox are now in recovery mode :)


The Gorse Fox has just had a phone call from an Oxford number 01865-589555 and the recorded messages said something like:
"You are being investigated by HMRC. Your name is part of a lawsuit being prepared for prosecution. You house is under surveillance. Please call this number immediately"
Now the Gorse Fox is always cautious and alert to scams or attempted scams. He wasn't in the slightest bit concerned as he had heard of this scam before. He logged on to "" and saw that over 8,000 people had checked on this number and it was considered "dangerous". In the comments below people had confirmed the same call had been received and some had actually responded to the call before realising it was a malicious call.

The Gorse Fox has posted this to the blog as a warning ti the unwary.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


A very pleasant day again. Lots of sun this morning but a little overcast this afternoon.

The Gorse Fox had football this morning and the Silver Vixen was going out to meet with one of the members of her coven before they both went on to a full meeting of another coven. They in turn had a guest speaker/workshop run by one of the Silver Vixen's favourite spellbinders.

The Gorse Fox's football went well. In the first hour he played for the green-bibs and we won 2 games and drew the third. During this he also had some very helpful coaching from a teammate who is actually a professional football scout and was until recently employed by a Premiership team. They were just a few little hints, but were both welcome and effective.

In the second hour the numbers had dropped. The Gorse Fox was playing for the red-bibs. We still had three games but all of them were against the same team. We won all three of these games and the Gorse Fox managed to score in each of the three games.

After a shower and some lunch he returned to the study. He has spent the afternoon working on his code. As expected this is the difficult bit... and at the moment he is feeling a little frustrated as he has an error that can't track down. As a result he has dozens of tabs open in his browser and is losing his way as he researches each suggestion. The frustrating thing is that he thinks he has seen a working example of the failing code, but cannot track it down. He's pretty certain he now understands the data flow of the authentication phase, but cannot get the syntax correct.

Monday, June 11, 2018


Well it's nice to report that we've had another lovely day, weather-wise.

There's been domestic chores for part of the day and also a well-timed trip to the tip. Well-timed? Well the Gorse Fox arrived and drove straight in and unloaded. By the time he left there was a queue out of the tip, and back down to the slip road. Smug face.

The afternoon saw the Silver Vixen disappear off to shops for a while to pick up some bits and pieces for the next coupe of days. Meanwhile, the Gorse Fox hit the study. It was time to try and get some coding done. Where this is challenging is a) it uses oAuth which is very poorly documented;  and b) it isn't supported by the language the Gorse Fox wishes to use.

Not to be deterred, he made a start. An hour or two later he had the first bit coded and working. There is a very long way to go but the Gorse Fox is quite optimistic. The next step is the going to be the hardest, but if he cracks that, he is sure the rest is going to be plain sailing.

Sunday, June 10, 2018


The Gorse Fox slept fitfully. He's not sure why, just couldn't drop off fully. It did result in some vivid and bizarre dreams. On included a delivery of a light fitting that was posted through the letter box in pieces and the bits were feasted on by Jasper!

Anyway it's been a lovely day and the Gorse Fox managed to get a game of football this morning. When he saw the way the teams had been selected he thought it would be a white-wash and his 'yellow' team would be soundly beaten. In the end it was a lot more even than he expected. By half time it was 6-6 which included two goals from the Gorse Fox. The second half became a bit more stretched and in the we won 10-9 include another goal for the Gorse Fox. This was a satisfactory morning.

The afternoon has been spent looking at code to see if the ideas that he had regarding the Goggle calendar are feasible. Nothing has been written yet, but he's quite optimistic.

Saturday, June 09, 2018


Another lovely day and the Silver Vixen again made the most of it with some more pottering in the garden. The Gorse Fox spent much of the day in the study. We have a spreadsheet that shows Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete's duty roster and who should be caring for Ellie when they are not available. This is fairly extensive and has a few complexities. Urban-Cub provided an update... confirming that the spreadsheet was the master source and to trust it over and above what her online calendar might say.

This got the Gorse Fox thinking. Why couldn't the spreadsheet also populate her calendar? Well, of course it can. You can create a "csv" file and import it into Google calendar and "voila". This, however,  is a one-off. There is no sensible way to update it, or to erase the mass of old entries and replace them with new entries.

The Gorse Fox was not happy with this and spent several hours trying to find a way that he may be able to remedy this. He thinks he has finally come up with a solution - though it is a little inefficient. He just needs to get some time to sit down and write the code and test it. This, he suspects, will be fairly time consuming and needs to written in a way that Urban-Cub can run it on her computer so there is still a lot of thinking to do.

Friday, June 08, 2018

Hanging baskets

It's been another glorious day. A few clouds scudding about but warm and sunny. The Silver Vixen has made the most of this by pottering in the garden most of the day. The Gorse Fox is not much of a gardener and provides assistance when required. Today he was called upon to help empty the old hanging baskets before they were replenished with the proceeds of the Silver Vixen's recent trip to Haskins. Everything is looking very smart out there now. Hopefully even the birds will be happy as the Gorse Fox emptied and cleaned the old bird feeder before refilling it and hanging it in the pergola.

The Gorse Fox has spent most of the day catching up on some reading. Nothing too heavy... recipes, historic houses, electric/hybrid vehicles, sourdough bread and so forth. A wide subject range but nevertheless it was good to be informed.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Online shopping

The Gorse Fox picked up Ellie from the child minder yesterday lunch time and we have been on duty ever since. She was no trouble and slept for a while during the afternoon and was back in bed by eight o'clock, sleeping through until seven thirty this morning.

Today she has been a bundle of energy working at her imaginary tasks - moving things from a to b and then back again. Eventually she wore herself out and had a nap until lunch time. Pistol Pete came along early afternoon to collect her so now we are in recovery mode.

While all this was going on the Gorse Fox has completed the forms to claim his bus pass. The Silver Vixen isn't yet eligible, but we'll sort hers out as soon as we are permitted. It says we should allow 10 days for the pass to arrive and it lasts for 5 years.

The Gorse Fox was sad to hear that House of Fraser is closing down a number of stores, including the one in Chichester. He hasn't used them a huge amount but has bought several very nice jackets and a lovely suit there over the years and the Silver Vixen has bought some lovely apparel from them also. It seems that we are moving into a post-department store market where hight street shops are really just display windows for things that you will actually purchase online.  (Hang on, that's the doorbell, it must be the Amazon delivery).

Wednesday, June 06, 2018


The Gorse Fox had to wrap his hand in a ziplock bag and hold it with gaffer tape so that he could have a shower. Amazingly, it worked.


Well that was different.

Yesterday was the wedding anniversary of Old Bill and Lady Penelope. The Sonning Crew decided to celebrate with a meal. A table was booked in Cote Brasserie in Chichester. We met up at six and strolled down to the bus stop. Yes, bus stop! Four minutes later the bus arrived and ten minutes after that we were in Chichester. Very convenient.

We started by going to Wetherspoons for a drink. What an experience that was. Foul mouthed yobs seemed to be the order of the day and the staff seemed dreadfully incompetent. On top of that several of the drinks we had ordered weren't available as they had run out. In the corner, tempers fared an a glass was thrown at a huge mirror as one yob stormed off. The Gorse Fox isn't sure he will ever bother returning to a 'Spoons.

We wandered along to Cote Brasserie and settled into our seats. The server made us welcome and took our orders with good humour - in fact we had a running chuckle with her throughout the evening. The food was excellent and we had a lovely evening.

The Silver Vixen had a ribeye steak, the Gorse Fox had seafood linguine, Tinkerbell had crepes, Two Hats had the ribeye, Old Bill and Lady Penelope also went for the linguine. All were prepared beautifully and were delicious. The Crew decided this was likely to become a frequent haunt.

Leaving the restaurant we strolled down to the bus station. We had a bit of a wait for our ride, but once we were on our way we were home in no time. It really was a lovely evening and the bus was a really convenient way of getting to and fro without anyone worrying about parking or having a glass of wine with the meal.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018


This afternoon the Silver Vixen spent several hours in Chichester at the hairdresser. When she got home she was armed with various supplies from Boots the Chemist.

It was time to attack the Gorse Fox's dressing. It needed some careful attention. In fact, it took more than 35 minutes just to remove the old dressing. It was so well soaked in dried life fluid that it had turned to a concrete-like consistency. Bit by bit, it was chipped away and eventually soaked and gingerly removed.

Healing had started and the Gorse Fox was quite pleased by progress. (He does heal quickly, as explained before). The Silver Vixen cleaned up the area round the wound and then put on a new, very neat, very comfortable dressing.


The Gorse Fox decided he would not play football today. Whilst the damaged finger is not painful, he doesn't want it to get knocked and start to bleed again. A quiet morning on the computer is far less stressful.

Having said that the Silver Vixen is going to change the dressing later today - so who knows what will happen! He certainly knows it will be a far neater job than that performed by the A&E doctor on Sunday night.