Monday, February 27, 2017

Full Flood

Man flu, meh!

The Gorse Fox's cold is in full flood. Nothing seems to stop his nose or eyes from pouring as he moves or looks down. This makes the day a little uncomfortable, but he did manage to finish transcribing another 10-page letter this morning. What was interesting about this letter was that it covered the birthday treat he had arranged for the Silver Vixen in New York back in 1986.

After lunch he decided to vege out in front of the TV again... this saw several old episodes of Time Team tick past through flooded eyes.

At the moment the Gorse Fox doubts he will be playing football in the morning. He has, however, arranged to meet up with an old college friend (from 1969-71) in a few weeks time. That should be fun and stir a few memories.

Sunday, February 26, 2017


A bit grey and damp this morning. The Gorse Fox started with a proper breakfast then got on with some transcriptions of old letters until it was time to go to football. The Gorse Fox was feeling a little under the weather - and suspects a full blown cold is emerging. Despite this he headed out to football and enjoyed a very hard game. He played well and was very satisfied at the end - even though it ended up as a 6-6 draw.

Back home the cold started to come out so the Gorse Fox moved into vegetative mode. He sat in front of the TV and watched Spurs thrash Stoke 4-0. As the game was drawing to an end, the Silver Vixen arrived home. We settled down and watched the EFL (League) Cup between Man Utd and Southampton - which was an excellent game, though Southampton were unlucky to lose.

Saturday, February 25, 2017


The Silver Vixen is has gone to stay with Betty Rubble until tomorrow. This left Jasper in charge and the Gorse Fox there to pamper to his every need.

The morning was spent transcribing some more entries from the 1983 diaries. This has got hime up to the end of March. It is tedious work, but very satisfying when done. After lunch, the Gorse Fox returned to the keyboard. This time he decided to pick on some letters written from Poughkeepsie back in 1986. Again this was satisfying and dredged up some interesting memories and some scurrilous descriptions of some of the Gorse Fox's colleagues when working on that specific project (writing a book).

Friday, February 24, 2017

Tree climbing and other things

The Gorse Fox has spent most of the day in his study.

Part of this was climbing around the branches of the family tree - rather unsuccessfully - but at great length. The rest was triggered by the arrival of the post and a new missive from Starfleet regarding the changes to his pension now that he reached pension age. This latter missive proved to be confusing. It seems that his Starfleet pension will go down by X now that his state pension will contribute Y - but the Starfleet pension will also go up by Z. Oh, and by the way the State pension isn't taxed directly - that is taxed via the Starfleet pension. Can the Gorse Fox work out his budget based on these? Not on your nelly. He'll just have to wait until the next payments are made and see what happens.

Thursday, February 23, 2017


The Gorse Fox has spent much of the day indoors. Storm Doris wasn't too bad down here in the south, but the winds were very strong and gave the garden a bit of a battering. The covers on the garden furniture were blown clear of the tables and chairs. The Gorse Fox had to go and sort that out so that nothing was lost. When in doubt use cable-ties. He started by securing all the chairs to each other round the table. Then the covers were replaced and, in turn, they were tied down to the chairs. Hopefully that will last.

As he said, much of the day was indoors. This was spent working away on the family tree. The morning's work was frustrating and achieved nothing. The afternoon, however, was much more successful and both his own tree and that of the Silver Vixen have had a further direct ancestor located and filed.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


The Gorse Fox had a wonderful evening. He and the Silver Vixen met up with the Sonning Crew for some nibbles and bubbles and then took the minibus into Chichester. We had a table booked at El Castizo. We have been there once before and enjoyed it immensely. We were hoping it would be as good.

It was.

We had a wonderful evening as we selected various tapas and worked our way through some nice wines. There was a lot of laughter and banter and the food was as good as we remembered it. Charming little restaurant and well worth another return visit.


Well that wasn't the plan.

We headed in to Chichester to do a bit of shopping. The Gorse Fox wanted a new sweater and had a voucher to spend. Sounds simple. In essence it was. We did, however, walk past the Whitewall Gallery on our way to the target shop. We were drawn in by the displays... and somehow, after much discussion, ended up buying a very nice triptych. It will be several weeks until it arrives and has cost as much as our proposed cruise (which is no longer proposed!!!), but we have just the spot for it and are happy that we have finally found the right picture for the wall in question.

Well, plans are there to be changed.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Another surprisingly mild day.

Roadworks at Comet Corner on the A259 delayed the Gorse Fox on his drive across to Worthing... but he still arrived in time for the football. Though half-term week for many, we had a good turn-out and the Gorse Fox enjoyed the run out. He provided 3 assists and scored one goal himself. The first few games were played on the big 7-a-side pitches, but the last ones were on the smaller 5-a-side cages. The Gorse Fox likes the smaller cages as the game never stops as the ball never goes out of play.

Back home for a shower and some soup then a message arrived from the Gorse Fox's sister to say they were on their way. The Silver Vixen was still out - she was attending the funeral of a friend's husband and would be a little while yet.

The Gorse Fox's sister and brother-in-law arrived. Tea was brewed and we spent quite a while discussing the kitchen and kitchen designs. They are about to embark on an extension at home and that involves a new kitchen. There was much to think about and much to debate. As the discussions continued, the Silver Vixen arrived home and more tea was brewed. Then the Gorse Fox started preparing supper. Some bubbles broke free from a bottle and we had a lovely evening. It's always nice to see them and there's always so much to talk about.

Monday, February 20, 2017


Another mild day - though overcast throughout the morning.

Quiet start to the day with some tidying up of recent genealogy research before the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox headed off to the medical centre. Because of our extreme age we are now eligible for pneumonia jabs. The practise nurse spent a few minutes telling us about the possible side effects and what to do if we experienced them. Then in the blink of an eye she buried the syringes into our respective arms and the vaccines were done.

Back home the Gorse Fox returned to the genealogy research whilst the Silver Vixen prepared this week's online shopping list. Then we fired up the pyrolytic cleansing function of the new oven to see how that would work out. Now that it has all cooled down the Gorse Fox has opened it up, wiped off the ash and is very impressed with the results.

Sunday, February 19, 2017


It was incredibly mild, though overcast. The Gorse Fox had football to play. It was the usual hard fought affair with 6 vs 5 and the extra player switching sides at half time. This kept the game flowing well and required a great deal of movement. In the end the game finished 7-7. The Gorse Fox managed to score one of his team's goals.

Back home lunch had been cooking and the Silver Vixen was preparing the vegetables. Urban-cub and Pistol Pete were coming for lunch. His knee was moving ok after the operation and he was quite chirpy. We had a lovely few hours as we demolished a shoulder of pork and had some alcohol-free sparkling wine.

Lovely day.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Pushing Back

It's been a lovely day. Temperature was about 12C and the sun was pouring in through the Orangery. We had a few bits and pieces to sort out during the morning and had to pop along to the shops. We are not sure, at this stage, whether or not Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete will be over for lunch tomorrow. As he had his knee operation yesterday, he may not feel like venturing out. We had to go and get a joint that would be big enough for the family - just in case.

The Gorse Fox has spent much of the afternoon working on the family tree. As a result of a hint that was provided by the Ancestry software, he was able to push back another generation on his mother's side of the family. So that's his G-g-g-g-g-g-granparents identified. It's nice to make a little breakthrough like that. Having said that we still have the enigma that is the Silver Vixen's grandmother. The only primary source we have found for her was her marriage certificate. We have never tracked down a birth certificate and the death certificate cannot be trusted as it is based entirely on what the family have declared - and in this case different members of the family had totally different histories for her. Oh well... the Gorse Fox will not give up. It will remain on the back burner and will be investigated every now and then.

Friday, February 17, 2017


It was a long drive. It was time to say goodbye to the Silver Vixen's uncle. He had died at the age of 89 and today was the opportunity for the family to come together and celebrate his life.

It was a long trek up to Cambridge - but at least the rads were kind to us and we managed the trip in about two and half hours or so. We stopped in the car park and had a bit of a picnic while waiting for everyone else to arrive.

The committal was a short service for family only, but then we headed to the village where there was a separate service of thanksgiving for a wider group of friends and acquaintances. It was lovely service though the Gorse Fox didn't recognise a couple of the hymns. Also he had to chuckle as the reading was punctuated by somebody's mobile phone bursting into life. (The person in question nearly jumped out of her skin and was utterly mortified).

Afterwards we all got together for a buffet and and some tea. It was a chance to catch up with family news and show solidarity and support for the immediate family.

Friday afternoon is not the best time to be on the roads. We knew the journey home would take longer than the drive up... so made a start late afternoon. It was slow, but we did manage to keep moving most of the way. It took over three and a half hours in all - but that was less than the Gorse Fox had expected.

Thursday, February 16, 2017


It has been a quiet day. There was the usual admin during the morning and it was during this that the phone rang. The first time it was the Ocado driver who was lost again. The Gorse Fox put him right and the weekly shop arrived a few minutes later. The second call was from a friend of the Silver Vixen. She was having some bizarre problems with her MacBook and it was preventing her from getting through to Flickr. The Gorse Fox tried to access Flickr from his machine - without issue. What could be the problem? In the end the Gorse Fox wondered if she had a problem with her DNS setting and suggested she looked at that, though at this point he doesn't know if it solved the problem.

A wander round the M&S Food hall provided a welcome distraction during the afternoon, but then the Gorse Fox returned to his computer. He has a spark of an idea. This has blossomed into something much larger - but at this point the Gorse Fox is spending the time doing some research into the background architecture to see if it is a practical project. (At the moment it is destined to be tested out on the Raspberry Pi known as Falcon - but if everything works out, it might need a further RPI).

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Pause for thought

There was football again this morning. A good turnout with a comfortable 6-a-side. The game was hard fought but very even, finishing 1-1 after an hour. The Gorse Fox's legs were a bit heavy after yesterday, but soon loosened up. Thoroughly enjoyable morning.

An email received late yesterday, however, gave us all pause. "Chopper" Harris had been in touch. He had looked decidedly unwell after our game against Winchester last week. It turns out that he was having a heart attack. He didn't realise at the time and it was only when he saw the doctor later that the blood tests showed the problem. He's only just been released from hospital but, though taking it easy, is feeling a lot better now.

There is a collection of friends and acquaintances from around the world that the Gorse Fox refers to as the VM Old Gits. These are people who were involved with the VM/370 operating system and the Rexx language through the years. The Gorse Fox has been trying to get some sort of reunion organised and has sent out some information to these "old lags" today to see who can make it and what sort of cuisine they prefer. Based on experiences throughout the 1970s and 1980s the Gorse Fox would be surprised if the answer is anything other than Indian!

Whilst in an organising mood, the Gorse Fox has also sorted out the plan for and evening in Chichester with the Sonning Crew. Restaurant is booked and taxi (minibus) is booked. The Gorse Fox is feeling very efficient.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Wipe Out

Jasper decided to wake us at some ridiculous hour by vomiting all over the landing. This disturbed the Silver Vixen who got up to deal with it (so it wouldn't stain the carpet) - and in turn, her ministrations woke he Gorse Fox. We did manage to settle back down for a while, but by 06:30 the Gorse Fox was getting fidgety and Jasper was becoming demanding. A good breakfast was needed all round.

The Gorse Fox was back at Worthing for football today. It was the first two-hour session for quite a few weeks. He lasted well and played well, and it was nice to see the lads from Sharks and Strikers. The first hour saw the Gorse Fox on the green team and managed two draws and a loss. The second hour saw him on the yellow team with a draw and two wins. A satisfactory morning.

The two hour session and early start clearly took it out of him as he was completely wiped out for the afternoon.