Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Yellow Warning

There was actually a yellow weather warning which incorporated our area of the country. Despite the warning of ice and sleet, we had a moderately mild night with only the slightest frost. There are some clear advantages to living so close to the sea.

The Silver Vixen was off to Pilates first thing and the Gorse Fox soon followed to get to football. We had a good turnout with 7-v-7 split into two well-balanced teams. It was bitterly cold on the pitch but it was one of the best games we have had for a long time. There was some really nice football played, and it was all done in the right spirit. The Gorse Fox was playing for the yellow-bibs and by half time we were 2-1 down. In the second half we pulled it back to 2-2 and then 3-3 but they got one final winning goal so in the end we lost 4-3. The Gorse Fox did, however, score our third goal so he was happy.

Back home, showered, and lunched the Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen loaded up the car with stuff for the recycling centre. We are almost seeing the light of day upstairs! There is still a collection of stuff that has been piled up at the end of the Orangery that may need to be dealt with, but the Gorse Fox hasn't yet asked what the the Silver Vixen has planned for the pile.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Steady now

It was cold this morning, but very sunny. The Gorse Fox decided that though his knee was still a bit swollen, it was giving no pain, so he would play football. As he was getting ready, his phone pinged with a message from the Abbot... indeed a voice from the distant past. He has made contact with the Headmistress ( who is now a Dame) and suggest that we get together with the Mother Superior for a meal sometime in February. Was the Gorse Fox interested? Too right he was. That sounds like a very nice idea.

He headed off to Worthing. He isn't quite sure how it works but somehow two normal cups of coffee seem to multiply in his body and produce several gallons of wee. By the time he got to the sport centre he was fairly uncomfortable.

The bright but low sun made for a challenging game as when you looked across the pitch, all you could see was silhouettes. The Gorse Fox played for the white bibs in the first hour. We won two games and drew one. This meant that ended up on top. In the second hour we played a single game and the Gorse Fox played for the orange-bibs. This was much more relaxed and more fun. We were 2-1 down right up until the last minute or so when the Gorse Fox ghosted in on a free kick and scored the equaliser. His knee seems to have fared well, so he's pleased he took the chance.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Done... Almost.

Well that's been a good day. The Gorse Fox got stuck-in first thing. The blinds came down, and the whole "feature wall" masked off. A couple of hours later the wall was finished in nice light blue. The Gorse Fox left it for an hour or so to check he hadn't missed anything or required a second coat (which it didn't). All of the masking was cleared to reveal lovely crisp lines. Then the blinds were put back up.

The room is looking good... but until we have a couple of shelves up and a new blackout blind installed we can't think of it as finished. We have contacted the chap that has provided all our shutters and blinds and he will be round in the next week or two to measure up. Once that is complete we'll move the cot in there. The Gorse Fox will sort the shelves out in the next few days.

Sunday, January 20, 2019


The Gorse Fox 's knee has not yet stabilised and is still fairly swollen. He decided that, though no pain is involved, he would give football a miss. It's probably sensible and was certainly useful as we were able to get on with decorating the Tardis Sewing room.

Now the Gorse Fox should explain that the Silver Vixen is an ace at squirrelling things away. This is great until you need to move things because the room is to be decorated and reconfigured.

We spent the morning extracting all that had been stored in various dimension of the space-time continuum. Slowly bedroom 2 filled; then the landing; then bedroom 1; then the family bathroom.

The photo on the left is a small portion of the stuff that found its way into bedroom 1. The Gorse Fox suspects that the Silver Vixen is planning a very long life as he estimates that at a rate of one project a day, she has enough material and patterns for a further 237 years. Jasper had just given up and gone to hide downstairs.

Eventually the room was as empty as it was going to get. (There was still enough to fill a large removal truck).  The big IKEA unit was shifted to the new position. This is when it became clear that supplied brackets were not going to work because of the depth of the skirting boards. The point is that with Ellie sleeping in there, we have to be sure that if she should try to clamber up the unit, it couldn't topple. The Gorse Fox cut some wooden fillers and fixed them to the back of the unit and then fixed through them into the wall. That unit isn't going anywhere!

The Gorse Fox started with the filler to caulk the various settlement cracks, then sanded down the joinery. Once cleaned up, the areas were masked and painted. This didn't take too long and it seemed like a good time to stop for lunch.

After lunch the Gorse Fox headed back to paint the last two walls that would receive the background colour. All done. Only the feature wall to finish. Much of the chaos has been shipped back into various backwaters of the universe, or black holes. Slowly carpet is appearing in odd places and there is a possibility that our bed may make an appearance again before bedtime.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Watching paint dry

Well a lot of the day has revolved around watching paint dry. The Gorse Fox has done a lot of cutting-in, but until the skirtings are properly dry, he can't start on the walls. He suspects that another 30 minutes should do the trick.

Meanwhile, the Silver Vixen has started clearing things in the spare bedroom. The Gorse Fox suspects there will be a big trip to the tip.

Good start

Well that's been a good start to the day.

Floors washed downstairs. Masking complete and skirting boards painted in sewing room. Now the Gorse Fox has to wait for the paint to dry before he can paint the first two walls.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Winding up

Last night's dinner at Reina Kitchen was superb. It is a really nice addition to the food scene in Chichester. The Gorse Fox is no expert on Turkish cuisine so cannot attest to the authenticity of the menu; what he do is say that everything he tried was absolutely top notch. He started with a dish of halloumi and Turkish sausage (sucuk). It was delicious. The sausage was a bit like a chorizo but had a much finer grain and was far less salty. Then for the main course he had mixed shish - which provided both lamb and chicken pieces that had be grilled on skewers and served with a salad and bulgar wheat. Others tried a mixed seafood dish, or a lamb dish. We were all very happy and the only significant comment was that in a further trip, we might skip the starter. (The Gorse Fox thought - speak for yourselves!)

We just missed the bus home which meant a very cold wait for the next one, some 50 minutes later. This is a mistake we won't repeat!

Today started suitably slowly. The Gorse Fox went round to the paint shop to get all the paint for the sewing room. The chap was ever so nice and even though the Gorse Fox doesn't have a trade card, he provided a 10% discount. Once home, the Gorse Fox got on with filling the various settlement cracks round the doors, windows, and skirting boards.

This afternoon we have been faffing about a bit, but as part of this generic faff we did drop in to Wickes and picked up the last (hopefully) of the decorating supplies that we need. There is no longer any excuse not to get started. The Gorse Fox is now winding himself up to attack the walls tomorrow.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Young Turks

It has been a decided quiet, domestic day. The Silver Vixen spent much of the morning chained to ironing board, while the Gorse Fox did the accounts, then sorted the Ocado delivery before heading out to the barber's shop to get his long flowing locks cut short.

This evening will be another night out. We are heading for a new Turkish restaurant in Chichester to celebrate (somewhat belatedly) Old Bill's birthday. We've looked at the menu online and it looks very interesting and we're quite looking forward to it.

(It was really quite cold out, but the sun was shining brightly and it was warm enough to sit down and enjoy the Orangery this afternoon. The sun had raised the temperature to the mid-20s in there and it was a pleasure to make the most of it).

Wednesday, January 16, 2019


It was a very grey and damp start to the day. The Silver Vixen was off to Pilates and the Gorse Fox headed in to Worthing for football. By the time he arrived it was raining properly... it was a good job he had brought the jacket he received at Christmas from Ellie. This is a windproof and waterproof zip up jacket and turns out to be perfect for such days.

We had a 5-a-aside game played in one of the small cages. The rain was driving down as the game started and the Gorse Fox was being very cautious as his right knee was feeling a bit sore and unsteady. The game went well and the knee didn't really cause any significant problems. We managed a convincing 9-6 win which included 2 more goals from the Gorse Fox. As much as he enjoyed the game it was good to get out of the rain when we finished.

Back home, after lunch, the Gorse Fox headed off to Screwfix - there's some decorating to do in the sewing room, and that requires some preparation. Once we have the prep done we can use the local Deluxe Paint Centre in Bognor to provide the right colours to match up with the original shades used by the builder.

We headed out mid afternoon. Guildford was our destination. Not a place we know, so we were very dependent on the SatNav once we were in the vicinity. The rain was still making driving pretty foul and as the trip wore on and we approach the town we started to get impacted by the rush hour traffic. We finally wove our way through the back streets and found the car park next to G-Live.

Parked up we wandered in to the venue and took our pre-booked seat at a table in the restaurant and waited for the Gorse Fox's sister and brother-in-law to join us. We had a lovely dinner and arranged for our dessert to be served during the interval along with some drinks.

Ah, but what were we there to see, you may wonder.

Well we had very good tickets to see "Sandi Toksvig: A National Trevor". This was her latest tour and was a couple of hours of her chatting with audience about the things that amuse her, make her wonder, and trouble her. It was intelligent, it was thoughtful, and it was absolutely hilarious. She had the audience (over a thousand people according to one of the ushers) in the palm of her hand. The first half was more focused on her musings, the second half was much more interactive with Sandi taking questions from the audience, getting the audience to do things, and generally making the spirits soar.

By the way, booking the table was brilliant as we effectively had it for the evening. At the interval we headed for the restaurant, sat down and our desserts were there waiting for us along with our drinks. None of this milling around by the bar with the great unwashed, for us!

We left the car park around 10-ish and got home at 11, so it was a good run. Fortunately the rain had stopped, though the temperatures had dropped to about 3C.

Overall it had been a brilliant evening. The Gorse Fox's only criticism would be how uncomfortable the seats were at G-Live.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Leaden legs

The Gorse Fox had football this morning and the Silver Vixen was going across to see some of her coven so we were both out and about. It was quite grey, but mild and as the morning drew on the sun came out and it was really quite pleasant (even if the temperature seemed to be dropping).

While waiting for everyone to assemble, the Gorse Fox made the most of the running track and did several circuits to loosen up. We had a very good turnout for football and the Gorse Fox found himself with the red-bibs for the first hour. Three games played and two wins followed by a defeat. It was good fun though we did have a couple of quite good players who tended to hog the ball a bit to the detriment of the rest of us.

In the second hour it was a lt quieter. Just two teams of 5-a-side. The Gorse Fox was on the yellow team and though the teams looked quite even, we dominated the three games and won all three of them. The Gorse Fox contributed several assists and a goal of his own. Very satisfying.

The Gorse Fox is feeling the after effect now. His legs really feel quite leaden.

Monday, January 14, 2019


It was a very leisurely start to the day. Once we had had our porridge and coffee the Gorse Fox retrieved the various grits of sandpaper from the garage and headed for the sewing room. The filler used on Friday was well cured by now and it was time to sand it smooth.  The Gorse Fox was very pleased with the results. Considering it had looked like it had be sprayed by a machine gun, then, once filled looked like a relief model of the Alps, the application of the sandpaper has eroded it all back to a perfect wall surface.

The next issue was to find a suppler for the particular paint that we want. This took a bit of tracking down, but the Gorse Fox has found an outlet in Bognor. A brief phonemail confirmed they could supply what we need so the Gorse Fox will pop along there sometime this week. He also needs to head for Screwfix at some point to get some spare nozzles for the decorating sealer, and some various types of masking tape.

Sunday, January 13, 2019


Well once we had everyone up and about the Gorse Fox headed off to football, leaving the Silver Vixen in sole control of Ellie. (This might imply that the presence of the Gorse Fox is a significant help, normally - that would probably be an exaggeration). A run on the 3G astroturf would be very welcome.

The game today was a 6v5 then 5v6 game as we had uneven numbers. The Gorse Fox played for the yellow bibs and though we conceded the first goal, we went in 5-2 ahead at half time. We had benefited from the man advantage in the first half, but lost that in the second half. The second half was hard work, but we did manage to end up 9-6 winners and that included the Gorse Fox's first proper goal of 2019.

We took Ellie back to Urban-Cub late afternoon then stopped off at the Oystercatcher for dinner on the way home. The Gorse Fox suspects a quiet evening is on the agenda.


It's just before 10 a.m. and the Gorse Fox is worried about Peppa Pig burnout. Having upgraded the SKY subscription yesterday to allow access to Nick Jr., this has been playing since first thing - and we seem to be running through the 52 episodes of Series 1 of Peppa Pig. The Gorse Fox is becoming quite the expert and getting very worried about how hard Mrs Rabbit has to work.

He's going to try and take his mind off these worries by going off to playgroup football.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Ellie sitting

Ellie woke at a reasonable hour and we got up and going. The day was spent focussed on monitoring her games, explorations, drawings, and meals. We took her out to feed the ducks at the lake during the morning, but she seemed more interested in watching other children feeding the ducks than doing it herself. As we walked back she insisted we diverted via the playground and spent some time polishing the slide as she whizzed down to a waiting Silver Vixen and ran back for the Gorse Fox to lift her up to the top again.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Mixed bag

Today has been a bit of a mixed bag. The Silver Vixen continued with her exploration of the darkest recesses of her sewing room. She has clear sufficient jungle to allow access to three of the wall and the Gorse Fox removed the shelves yesterday. This morning was focussed on filling the holes left by the fixings for the shelves. Over time there have been two set of shelves in virtually the same place. This meant that there remained a series of holes that looked as if the room had been sprayed from a machine pistol.

The Gorse Fox headed out to the garage to retrieve his filler compound, palette knife and various pliers and knives. The holes were deep so this was going to take a couple of passes. The first pass filled the deep ends of the holes and trimmed any remaining wall plugs that couldn't be removed. Several hours later he returned to make another pass and fill the holes completely. He'll leave these over night and sand them smooth tomorrow.

The afternoon started with a walk and the start of a new audio book "Dark Fire". This was actually a BBC Radio 4 full cast dramatisation and so it meant that it had plenty of sound effects and actors. The Gorse Fox still has a way to go before it is finished but it's very good so far.

We had a quiet hour before Urban-Cub arrived with Ellie. G-Force are now on duty through until Sunday afternoon. As the Gorse Fox writes this, Ellie is trying to see how wet she can make the Silver Vixen as she attempts to bath her. (The Silver Vixen is bathing Ellie officially, not the other way round).

Thursday, January 10, 2019


Over the years the Gorse Fox has used several repositories for his photos. Flickr which was subsumed into Yahoo! Picasa which became functionally stabilised and, to all intents and purposes, became Google photos. It seems that none of these services (even when you paid a subscription) is immune from change.

In the latest chapter of these photo repositories, Flickr, which became subsumed by Yahoo! has now been sold to SmugMug. AT first we were told that there would be no changes. Now we find that they will be applying limits to the "free" accounts. Now, the Gorse Fox decided he's better check his account; after all most of the photos in this blog from 2005 through to 2015 are actually hosted on Flickr. Checking the account wasn't so easy. Once it had been subsumed by Yahoo! the sign-in was via Yahoo!. Now, BT (from whom the Gorse Fox get his broadband) provided the sign-in credentials... and in the intervening years, the Gorse Fox has changed his BT account details. The first step was to try and remember the original credentials. It took a while, but we managed.

Having logged in to the Flickr account the Avatar confirmed that the Gorse Fox was in fact a "Pro" member. Brilliant! Nothing to worry about. Well, not quite. He checked his account settings and they said he had a "free" account... and invited him to upgrade. He hesitated and then tried to upgrade. Can't do that... you're already a Pro account. The Gorse Fox seems to be in Catch-22.

Deciding that whatever happens he needed to protect his photos, he pressed the button that allowed the whole kit and caboodle to be downloaded. Nearly 7000 photos arrived in 15 separate zip packages. They were carefully moved to the correct folder and Google photos then grabbed the lot and has them carefully backed up.

Now the Gorse Fox is waiting to hear from Flickr about his account status. The thought of having to relink thousands of blog photos to new locations is quite daunting.

The Silver Vixen is back into re-organisation mode. The sewing room has been further emptied so that things could be moved about and shelves could be removed. The Gorse Fox has an appointment with some decorators' filler in the morning.