Monday, June 24, 2019

Ticking over

This morning was focused on domestic activities. There were floors to be cleaned and washed and the kitchen to be given a bit of a clean after yesterday's splattering from the pork joint. Meanwhile, the Silver Vixen was upstairs cleaning the bathrooms. Finally there was a bit or ironing to clear, which we shared.

The Silver Vixen is out this afternoon with Lady Penelope, and though the Gorse Fox had intended to get some extra exercise, he's locked in front of the computer doing some family tree research. There are some new people to add to the tree (if not actually link them in yet), and there is a chunk of the family who moved to Canada for whom we have almost no information whatsoever. This is a bone of contention and the Gorse Fox returns to this bit of the family time and again in the hope some new records have become available. So far - nothing.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

New boys

It's been another lovely warm day. A bit overcast and muggy, but delightfully warm.

The Gorse Fox had football this morning and as we gathered there were a few new faces. Several chaps came along from a group who play at Pagham. They swelled the numbers and we ended up with a 6-v-5 / 5-v-6 game. It was a very close game overall and the new chaps fitted in well. Typically the Sunday games can be quite high scoring because of the small pitch and the non-stop nature of the game, but it was so close that we fought to a 2-1 win. The Gorse Fox scored one of the goals but spent most of the game trying to provide a stalwart defence.

Back home he settled back down with the photo book that Agent Mulder provided. The Gorse Fox was able to fill in many of the gaps in the story. He settled down and started to write up the missing bits, name the unnamed people, place the photos, and date some of them. He sent a copy off to little sis to see if she could add more... and will tidy it all up and send it back to Agent Mulder.

Urban-Cub turned up mid-afternoon to collect Cousteau-Cub. She was going to spend a couple of hours with them over in LA before Pistol Pete would bring her back.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Life and times

It's been a glorious day. Pretty much was to wall sunshine, and whilst lovely and warm it was not too hot. A perfect day for Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete to have their little "do". We headed across to LA and let ourselves in while Pistol Pete was still setting up the chairs and gazebo in the garden. Ellie was charging around and playing on her new swing and slide. The Silver Vixen immediately started an inspection of the new planting that Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete had been up to, and the Gorse Fox helped with the furniture.

J&T turned up soon after having had a frustratingly tedious drive down to the coast... but they were here and could relax. We started to catch up on the latest news and gossip - an exercise that would continue throughout the day. Pistol Pete fired up the BBQ and several mountains of meat were slapped on the grill. As usual, there was a veritable feast... and certainly more than enough for us all (and several regiments of the British Army).

After we had cleared away J&T presented us with two identical books from Agent Mulder. These were photo-books recalling and recording the life and times of Beloved Aunt. It was clearly a huge undertaking and it took us a long time to sift through the pages. There were many photos in there that the Gorse Fox had never seen before. It was a wonderful way to remember a most cherished and sorely missed Aunt.

Talking of family, we received a notification from Ancestry that there was a new DNA match for the Silver Vixen. When we checked it claimed that this person was almost certainly a first cousin, or perhaps a second cousin. This was intriguing so the Gorse Fox delved deeper. It was someone that we had never heard of, with a name that doesn't appear anywhere in the family tree. The problem was that the person hadn't submitted a tree of her own, so there was no easy way to check other than sending her an email, which is what he did. We now await a response to see who this mysterious cousin might be.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Will he never learn?

The Gorse Fox is typing this entry with one eye closed, but streaming. He never learns. Having prepared a marinade for some lamb that he plans to cook tonight, he has just wiped his eye. Despite having washed his hands thoroughly there was evidently some residual spices which he has transferred to his eyeball and it is now in full flood.

The Gorse Fox is not saying that it's been quiet today - but that may very we the most interesting thing that has happened. It's been bright and sunny with a cool breeze and given that the nights start drawing in from this evening it's about time the summer sorted itself out. Much of the morning was spent reading up on mesh networks and looking at the various offerings available. They seem to be a bit pricey but the Gorse Fox suspects that the price will drop over time. There's no frantic hurry, but it would be nice to have more transparent WiFi roaming across the house, garage, and garden without any dead spots.

Had a quick trip to Sainsbury's after lunch. There's a bit of a "do" over at Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete's tomorrow and we needed to get some contributions to take along. It also gave the Gorse Fox a chance to stock up on a few herbs he needed for tonight's supper. This is planned to be a lamb biryani.

Thursday, June 20, 2019


We woke up this morning to find reflective glass scattered across the road in front of the house. Clearly there had been a coming together, but one that was not loud enough to disturb us. The area is not covered by our CCTV but Old Bill had a look at his and thinks it happened between 21:30 and 22:00 last night. Now the Gorse Fox remembers being disturbed while watching TV last night but thought it was just the neighbour parking up. He should have gone to check. Oh well, he's done the decent thing and swept up the shiny shards.

Urban-Cub popped in with Cousteau-Cub and Ellie this morning. Cousteau-Cub had stayed with her overnight and needed to get ready for work and Urban-Cub and Ellie stopped for a quick chat before heading to Portsmouth to meet with Princess Steph and her brood. Needless to say Ocado arrived right in the middle of all this, just to add to the chaos.

Now that Jasper seems moderately settled on his new feeding regime, the Gorse Fox headed off to the farm shop to pick up some more wet food. We have cut this to once a day now, as he was leaving so much of the lunchtime feed. He seems pretty content with it all so we'll stick with this plan for now.

The Gorse Fox managed to get an appointment for a haircut this afternoon and made it part of his walking route. Though it had looked a bit threatening and he had taken an umbrella, he remained dry (and much more streamlined after the haircut).

Talking of crashes, it looks as if Condor (the big iMac) had crashed at some point in the last 24 hours or so. It may have been during the thunder, but the Gorse Fox isn't sure. Anyway everything is back up and running. He must say that it's immensely rare to have a problem on the iMac, so he puts it down to some external factor.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

That's better

The Silver Vixen headed off for Pilates and the Gorse Fox went along to football. There was a degree of trepidation in the trip. Yesterday, we published the new ruleset (including the sanctions) for the game. The Gorse Fox was interested to see how they would be accepted and whether we would see proper adherence. Initial feedback, as we were gathering before the game, was mainly positive. There were several questions regarding interpretation, but we ironed those out.

The game started with and 8-v-7 which changed to 7-v-8 as Crusher switched sides at half time. The Gorse Fox was playing for the yellow-bibs. The game was so much better than last week's. Players were clearly trying to play within the rules and the Ref was interpreting them with a sensible degree of latitude. Nobody was hurt, nobody complained, nobody argued with the ref, and all in all it was a pleasurable hour.

The game itself was quite tight in the first half. The yellows did manage to poach a couple of goals without replay in the first half. This was a little surprising as the Gorse Fox thought the attack from the orange team were, at least on paper, better than us. In the second half the yellows were at a one man disadvantage but managed to stretch the lead and ended up with a comfortable 6-0 win. (The Gorse Fox did manage to get one of these goals).

It's been a quiet afternoon and Cousteau-Cub is off to stay with Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete over night, so we have a quiet evening ahead - unless we organise a last minute rave.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

I've seen fire and I've seen rain

Well maybe not today for the fire. It started off brightly enough but by mid morning it was looking menacing and there were occasional rain showers. By mid afternoon the rain was incessant and very heavy, accompanied on bass by some distant thunder.

The morning was taken up with a couple of hours of football, preceded by several laps of the running track. By the time the "lads" had gathered we had a 6-a-side competition. The Gorse Fox was playing on the team with yellow-bibs and we looked a pretty well balanced squad. We won the first game 3-1 (which included a goal from the Gorse Fox), then won the second 3-1, and the third 3-0. That was a good hour... and we obviously came top of the league.

The second hour dropped to 5-a-side and was a little more sedate. The Gorse Fox was playing for the blue-bibs this time and we lost our opening game 3-1. It picked up for the second game which we won 3-0, and then the third game (where the Gorse Fox played in goal) ended up as 0-0 draw. Overall it was a good couple of hour exercise and the Gorse Fox managed to cover 10.5km (and his knees are now reminding him that he's not 25 any more).

Monday, June 17, 2019


If it's Monday it must mean a trip to Chichester. (Well that seems to be the way of things in recent weeks). It was bright and sunny today and after getting some domestic chores out of the way we hopped on the bus. Though it was a a lovely day, Chichester was surprisingly quiet. That could have been because people were stuck in the traffic on the A27 however.

The Gorse Fox had to visit M&S to change the polo shirts that Urban-Cub had got him. They were lovely shirts, and just the right colours, but the sizes were a little optimistic. He was lucky, for one of the shirts only a single item remained in his size... so he whipped it quickly before anyone else found it.

Meanwhile, round the corner at M&S Womenswear, the Silver Vixen was looking for some replacement swimsuits. It seems that too many swimsuits nowadays assume that the wearer has a backside the size of Wales. This is clearly not the case for the trim and prim Silver Vixen. There were a couple items that caught the eye, but in the end she only chose the one.

Cousteau-Cub is on an early shift today, but is off to the optician when she finishes work. Her eyes have been giving her some discomfort for a couple of weeks. It's probably the lighting in the office and the fact that she is stuck in front of a computer screen most of the day... but hopefully they can come up with some glasses or lenses that will suit.

The Gorse Fox has a meeting of the committee tonight to discuss the current state of our walking football... and what to do about the unedifying behaviour of some members on the pitch. (The Gorse Fox might be considered extreme, but he thinks the ref should be given a whistle and a baseball bat).

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Fathers' Day

It's Fathers' Day and for the first time in many many years all the family are available to meet up. It started with rain, and more rain. In fact the rain was fairly constant throughout the morning. There was no football today, so the Gorse Fox spent the time on the computer.

Cousteau-Cub presented the Gorse Fox with a lovely card and some aprons to wear while preparing food. These were not only very nice, but immensely practical as the Gorse Fox has a habit of splashing food on himself when cooking.

Urban-Cub had been on early shift at Gatwick but got away at a sensible time and managed to get her head down for an hour or so. We headed across to LA to meet with her, Pistol Pete, and Ellie. Again the Gorse Fox was presented with gifts and some lovely cards from Ellie (whose handwriting is astonishing!) and Urban-Cub. Ellie had managed to select a book about Peppa Pig's Grandpa (soon to hit the best seller lists, to be sure) and Urban-Cub had selected a couple of colourful polo shirts. Between all three of his girls, the Gorse Fox has done very well, but more importantly we were all together.

It was a lovely afternoon and Urban-Cub cooked a huge leg of lamb with all the usual trimmings. Amber and Jake joined us for dinner but by the end of it, Ellie was clearly beginning to tire. We headed home early evening - it had been a superb day.

Saturday, June 15, 2019


A bit of a grey day again and rain was forecast for the afternoon. The forecast was correct - but at least the rain wasn't very heavy.

Betty and Barney Rubble were due to visit but the Gorse Fox did have time to do some research during the morning. The problem he faces is that the family tree software he uses has an add-on feature called Family Book Creator. All of the examples and write-ups are very impressive and the gf would like to use it. The problem is that the software only runs on Windows systems and whilst a Mac version is promised, there is no indication as to when. The Gorse Fox was considering running Parallels so that he could install a version of windows to run pithing his Mac. It seems extreme, but at least he has started to evaluate whether it is worth the trouble.

Betty and Barney arrived and settled down with coffee and biscuits to catch up on the latest family news from both sides before heading out to lunch. The Gorse Fox had looked for somewhere new to try. TripAdvisor had provided reviews of the local restaurants and we decided to try the No.1 choice in Bognor - Mustards Restaurant and Bar. The reviews had been good and the place looked quite nice. We had chosen well. It was a sleek little restaurant, down a side street. The decor was tasteful and the staff were welcoming. The menus offered choices of "Lite Bites", fixed price, or a la carte... and the choices were really excellent with something for everyone - whatever their taste.

The food was lovely and between us we tried the grilled whole plaice in caper butter, the beer-battered cod on crushed minted peas, and a stilton, leek and asparagus tart. It really was delicious. The beer-battered cod was made with huge thick chunks of cod, and was cooked to perfection. This restaurant was another really good find and one to which we will certainly return.

Back home we spent the afternoon chatting and driving tea, generally putting the world to rights until they left late in the afternoon.

Friday, June 14, 2019


Friday has been a very domestic day. The weather was a bit iffy first thing but as the day wore on the sun came out and it's been a lovely afternoon.

Cousteau-Cub has been home for six or seven weeks now and we (i.e. she) has things well under control. Driving license now has correct (married) name and our address, she has a couple of bank accounts, she has a job (that she quite likes), she's been offered two other jobs (which she has turned down), and today we finally got her registered at the local doctors' surgery. (There are some advantages to working on a two shift pattern: 2-days early, 3-days late; it gives you time to get things done in the mornings!)

After Cousteau-Cub headed off to work the Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen went round to the farm shop to get some food for Jasper. We still haven't found a definitive mix of wet and dry foods that he will consistently eat, but we do seem to be narrowing things down. From there, it was off to Sainsbury's for a fish mix. The Gorse Fox had decided that we would have a Thai red fish curry for supper and needed to get some fish pieces.

The afternoon saw a raid on the rill. Again the blanket weed was getting out of control and the Gorse Fox managed to extract a couple of kilos of weed... and then two hours later another kilo of weed from the water.

With the exception of one of the acres, the garden is looking very good. We have decided that come the autumn, we will actually replant the remaining potted acres in the ground.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Duty calls

Not too much to report today. Ellie has been with us and that dictates our schedule to a degree. She woke around 7-ish and was soon asking for breakfast. Clearly she had worked up an appetite overnight as she demolished egg and bacon, an  individual apple pie (don't ask!), some porridge, and some cheese. She then proceeded to work it all off during the morning as she charged about.

By lunchtime she was hungry again - two sausages and a complete tin of ravioli sorted that out. AT this point she was getting fractious so the Silver Vixen took her up to bed and she just crashed for and hour or so. She's spent the afternoon playing in he sandpit, right up to the the arrival of Pistol Pete to collect her.

A rum and coke for the Silver Vixen and a G&T for the Gorse Fox seem like an adequate reward for the day's efforts... as a large pan of ragu bubbles away on the stove.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019


It's Wednesday so the Silver Vixen had Pilates and the Gorse Fox had football. There had been some early morning rain but it had cleared by the time we set off.

The Gorse Fox had a good session. None of "the usual suspects" turned up today so we had a really enjoyable game. There was no arguing, no moaning, and no dubious tackling, just good enjoyable football. The way the teams were picked, however, did mean that the Gorse Fox was pinned back most of the time. He did venture forward a few times, but each of his attempts on goal was parried by the goalkeeper. Never mind, it was a very enjoyable session and though the Gorse Fox failed to score we did manage to win 6-3.

The journey home was made more interesting by a torrential downpour and the fact that there was some for of "incident" near Flansham. Three ambulances and there police cars were in attendance and traffic was snarled up in all directions. It wasn't clear what the incident had been as though there were several parked cars nearby, there was no obvious damage to any of them.

This afternoon we had to p[op back to LA in order to collect Ellie. She'll be staying with us overnight as Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete's shifts are clashing. She's clearly very tired (and keeps telling us as much) but we have kept her going. Ellie had a nice video call with Urban-Cub just now and she's now in the bath and will be in bed soon. Hopefully she'll sleep well.


The Gorse Fox has just realised that it was 50 years ago this week that he returned from a year studying in US. it had been a good year in Rhode Island, but it was time to come home to the UK.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Isn't it quiet

Jasper decided that the Gorse Fox should be up and about at 6:30 this morning. No great hardship as he was already awake and it meant he got a chance to see Cousteau-Cub before she went off to work. She's been a bit under the weather for the last few days, but seemed a bit better this morning. Clearly a good night's sleep has helped.

The Silver Vixen had plans for the day. She was meeting up with a friend for lunch then going on to the Embroiderer's Guild for the afternoon. The Gorse Fox, of course, had football.

There was a very good turnout today so we had four teams... 3 or 7 and 1 of 8 players. The Gorse Fox played for the white-bibs for the first hour. We were a defensively strong team, but didn't really have a cutting edge. We fought hard and managed 3 0-0 draws. From a defender's perspective that was a good result, but it did take a lot of discipline and there was no opportunity for the Gorse Fox to roam forward.

In the second hour, the team were 6 a-side. It was a bit more open and therefore more fun. Again, we put on a disciplined defensive display and won all three games 2-1, 2-0, and 1-0. The Gorse Fox didn't cover as much ground as usual, but overall it was a good show.

Back home, the Silver Vixen is still out, and Cousteau-Cub is going out with friends from work when she's finished. A very quiet afternoon... only interrupted by the beeping of the Instant Pot as it cooks a 2kg chicken. The Gorse Fox has made use of the time to catch up on some scanning and filing and checking that "Lightroom" is able to handle the ".heic" photos from the new phone. (It is!)