Monday, February 29, 2016

Ring, ring.

The phone rang. It caught the Gorse Fox by surprise as his mobile tends to be an output device more than an input receiver. He answered.
"It's Craig, from your electricity supplier. I see you have chosen to leave us. Can I ask why?"

The Gorse Fox pondered, resisted the temptation to get smart, and played a straight bat: "Well I used the price comparison sites and found I could save £350 per year"

"Can I discuss a new tariff with you and convince you to remain?" asked Craig.

(Brain whirred - if they had a better tariff, why did they not offer it from that start - particularly when their documentation said the Gorse Fox was on their best tariff).

"No. The decision has been made. It will be reviewed this time next year and whoever has the best tariff will get the business"

Return of the Yo-yo

Maybe the Gorse Fox was a little optimistic yesterday. (It was a good day to be optimistic with Spurs winning and Arsenal losing). However, last night was somewhat interrupted by eight trips to the loo. This is not conducive to a good night's sleep. The Doctor said that we (I'm glad she felt part of this) should give it about 5-7 days and come back to see her if it hasn't improved. At this rate the Gorse Fox will be a zombie by then.

Anyway, back on the optimistic theme, it's a glorious morning (though clearly chilly). Hopefully the Arun team will do well in today's tournament. The Gorse Fox is not playing any football until the waterworks are sorted out - as the Doctor said - don't put any unnecessary stress on the body.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

That's better

Not out of the woods, but at least the number of nocturnal interrupts was down to two. Feeling a bit more human today... but have had to decline an offer from the Sonning Crusty Crew to go down to the pub to, belatedly, celebrate last week's birthday.

Saturday, February 27, 2016


Well, the waterworks are proving challenging. The Gorse Fox had to get up 6 times during the night. This lost its funny side very quickly. Once up and about, courtesy of Jasper, the trips continued, but the Gorse Fox was drinking water in copious amounts to try and flush his system. Now, late afternoon, the frequency seems to have slowed. Let's hope it the beginning of getting better.

We had been scheduled to meet up with Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete for a meal to celebrate the Gorse Fox's birthday (last week). We decided that it probably wasn't a good idea so have had to defer to another occasion.

Friday, February 26, 2016


The Gorse Fox seems to have developed some problem with his waterworks. Whatever the problem is, it is making him feel pretty unsociable. It has been going on for a couple of days now, so it was time to go and see the local GP. The immediate tests came back clear, but a sample is being sent away for tests. Nothing else to be done at present.

We popped out for lunch at The Gribble Inn. Just went for something simple - ham, egg, and chips. The Gorse Fox enjoyed it, but was unable to finish the helping provided. (Something almost unheard of).

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Just Stuff

Thursday has seen the usual mix of admin, of scanning, of shredding and general sorting out. Nothing to get excited about, and nothing to provide any real interest.

During the morning Chris popped in for a chat and to update us on his hospital trip, then during the afternoon Ian popped in to bottom a battery charger (which the Gorse Fox couldn't find). He explained that he has just had dat cables laid. They have, more or less, followed the route that the Gorse Fox has planned. The exception being the initial riser, which he found could be achieved using the security cabling.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Football was the first order of the day. An hour in the crisp cold provided a lovely start.

Once the game was done, the Gorse Fox headed home and, as he was still feeling a bit under the weather, had a very quiet afternoon. He wishes could shake-off whatever is causing the problem, but can't complain as there a are plenty of people who have to put up with far more and far worse.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Cold and bright

It was a crisp start to the day. Two base layers were needed to keep warm on the pitch. Games were good fun though the Gorse Fox's pick and mix team came last in the first hour, and third in the second hour. The Gorse Fox was very pleased with the goals he made and the one he scored. With Barcelona in the Country for tonight's game, the Gorse Fox was keeping an eye open for any unknown scouts.

Quiet afternoon in the warmth of the Orangery.

Monday, February 22, 2016


That's it. The Gorse Fox has had a long chat with Urban-cub. The set is complete and the Gorse Fox is content.


The Gorse Fox finds the certainty with which people are siding to remain or to leave the EU rather disconcerting. He does not believe the choice to be simple, and is concerned that the "spin" from either side is likely to only tell part of the story, and that the certainty with which politicians, media outlets, and the press quote figures is rarely supported by variable fact.

The Gorse Fox has decided to start a spreadsheet and use sources such as the Office for National Statistics to actually get some referenceable facts.


Well, the Gorse Fox has had a lovely day so far. He has received wishes from friends, family, ex-xolleagues, and acquaintances from all over the place. Best of all, so far, has been a Skype call with Cousteau-Cub and the Coventry Hobbit. It's nice to know that even though they are so far away and so far ahead in time-zones, they still managed to make contact.

The Gorse Fox also received an email for Beloved Aunt, which was nice - it will be so nice to go visit her in the Spring.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Can we have our ball back?

Last week the Gorse Fox lost one of his footballs. It was hoofed over the fence of the Sports Centre into an area that was inaccessible. It was an old ball, so the Gorse Fox wasn't to worried. It had certainly seen better times and at the time it made its bid for freedom, it had a huge flap hanging off one side. The Gorse Fox just wrote it off.

Jack presented the Gorse Fox with a replacement (bran new) ball during the week. He blew it up to the right pressure and set off of today's game. One of the first arrivals today was a new chap, we'll call him Pete Brown (because that's his name). By half way through the first half, he had hoofed the Gorse Fox's other old ball over the fence. It had gone to meet its twin.

We grabbed the new ball and carried on playing. Half way through the second half he had hoofed that ball out of the football cage into the tennis courts. This was not an auspicious start to his participation.

When the match was over, the Gorse Fox grabbed the Sports Centre chappy and managed to retrieve the new ball from the tennis courts... but search as he may, he could not find the first ball in the school grounds beyond. If anyone sees a black and yellow ball making a break for the border - you know where it came from. As far as the Gorse Fox is concerned, it's another write-off!

Saturday, February 20, 2016


The Silver Vixen is out at a workshop today and tomorrow. This leaves the Gorse Fox and Jasper to their own devices. The Gorse Fox has nothing specific planned and is just taking things in his stride. This started with the built-in oven and combi-oven. Whilst Gorse Fox finds them adequate, the Silver Vixen finds them to be user-hostile devices; particularly the combi-oven. To this end, the Gorse Fox started with some online research, a phone call and then took a walk into Bognor. He perused a number of devices, each of which was clearly an improvement in user-experience-design over ours. Satisfied that alternatives are available, and photos taken as aides-memoire he left the shop and walked on down to the pier.

The seafront was grey and windy, and the clouds looked a little threatening. The Gorse Fox didn't hang around. He headed west along the Esplanade, along Aldwick Road, down through West Meads and back home. Overall he had covered 4.92 miles, and had a very enjoyable walk. Best of all, it proved that we are a lot closer to the sea than we thought.

Home again, the Gorse Fox continues the search for replacement built-in ovens, but is yet to home in on a particular combination that has bubbled to the top.

Friday, February 19, 2016

On the mend

Forty-eight hours without the "health" supplement and the Gorse Fox is beginning to feel better. Hopefully in another 24 hours he'll be as right as rain (which is forecast for tomorrow anyway).

Much of the day was spent wading through the online archives trying to root out more details for the family tree. It was a moderate success with the Gorse Fox's 3rd-great-grandmother finally identified, and several other family members' records enhanced with supporting documents, and registers. The Silver Vixen's grandmother still remains hidden.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


Several years ago, friends recommended that the Gorse Fox take some supplements to help with the wear and tear on his joints (given that WD40 doesn't work). He tried the Glucosamine and Chondroitin, but after two or three days began to feel very unwell, so stopped. Everything returned to normal.

In the last few weeks the Gorse Fox's brother-in-law commented about the supplement he had been taking, so again the Gorse Fox thought he's give it a try. Last weekend the Gorse Fox got a month's supply of Celadrin and started taking them on Saturday. By Monday he was feeling rough, by Tuesday rougher, by Wednesday in serious discomfort - so today he has given up. Whilst he still has some discomfort, it is easing already.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


Very enjoyable football game this morning, even it was getting a little bit competitive. The Gorse Fox was on the winning side with a score of (about) 6-2; Trouble is that as we are all getting old we can't accurately keep track of the score.

Strange that, though warmer than yesterday, by about 5C, it felt a lot colder. Probably because it was overcast, a bit damp, and there was very cool breeze.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Good game, game, game, game

Well, it certainly was chilly to start with. The Gorse Fox made sure he warmed up well before the first game started. He was pleased with the performance today... a 3-0 victory, a 2-0 victory, and a 2-0 loss in the first hour.

For the second hour there was a big change of personnel and the teams reformed from the new squad. This hour was played as one long game... and the Gorse Fox was on the winning team 7-2. Most satisfactory.

Back home, the Orangery was a lovely 25C, so after a bite to eat the Gorse Fox sealed down under the glass to do some reading. Perfect.


A very frosty start to the day. The Gorse Fox has been up for a couple of hours and only now is the frost melting from the Orangery roof. It will be cold on the football pitch this morning, but the Gorse Fox has decided to wear two base layers under his kit. That should help!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Quiet and cool

There was a bitter north wind today. Fortunately we didn't have to go out, though the Gorse Fox did take a walk after lunch.

Much of the rest of the day was spent working on the family tree. Progress was slow and the Silver Vixen's enigmatic grandmother still remained elusive. The Gorse Fox has no ideas left on how to track her down.

Sunday, February 14, 2016


It was early, grey, and wet when Jasper decided to drag the Gorse Fox from beneath the covers. As the early morning progressed the rain stopped, the breeze dropped, and the sun came out. So it was that the Gorse Fox, whilst expect a wet game. ended up with a very bright and sunny hour of football. This included a very nice goal from the Gorse Fox in the 10-8 win.

Back home the Silver Vixen had been on the treadmill and was heading for the sewing room. There was much to do. The Gorse Fox showered and settled down for some reading.

The doorbell rang. It was Chris asking if we could come out to play. The Silver Vixen was engrossed, but the Gorse Fox had nothing specific in mind. We headed up to the Pink Pub with Trudy, Ian, and Maureen. An hour or so later, with the requisite amount of beer consumed and the world put to rights, we headed home. This is a weekend habit to which the Gorse Fox could easily become accustomed.

Saturday, February 13, 2016


It was pretty foul, first thing. There a chill wind and incessant rain. No too bad if you plan to stay in the warm, but the Gorse Fox had an appointment in Chi, and the Silver Vixen wanted to pick up some bits and bobs whilst we were out. Fortunately, the bad weather seems to have kept the throng at bay and it was fairly easy to find a parking spot and head into town. We split up and the Gorse Fox explained he would track down the Silver Vixen when he had finished his appointment.

Third of forty minutes later the Gorse Fox switched on "Find my Friends" on his phone and it led him straight to the door of Boots, two minutes later the Silver Vixen emerged from said emporium and the Gorse Fox ticked off another positive effect of technology.

Before we had gone out, the Gorse Fox had asked a neighbour if they would be around in case Amazon turned up with the cordless saw. As it happened, Amazon didn't arrive until mid-afternoon, long after we were home.

The Gorse Fox is now the proud owner of a striking lemon-lime coloured cordless circular saw.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Umbrella on Intermittent

After the lovely sunny day yesterday, today is grey and damp. The Gorse Fox decided that he should get some exercise, but thought he needed a change from the treadmill. He donned his coat and gloves, grabbed his umbrella and headed out.

It was dry at first, but the drizzle soon set in, then stopped. Umbrella up, umbrella down. He marched on. Drizzle, umbrella up, drizzle stops, umbrella down. So it continued for the next hour whilst the Gorse Fox walked to the Shripney superstores, the hospital, and back round to home. A nice 4 mile loop that got the blood pumping and burned a few calories.

Saw long, farewell

The Gorse Fox had a list from the nice man from Amazon. He stood at the door clutching the new cordless circular saw that the Gorse Fox had ordered yesterday. It was great that it had arrived so early, that meant that we didn't have to hang around all day (unless, of course, we wanted so to do).

Well that was what the Gorse Fox had thought as he opened the package. He had obviously had a senior moment yesterday. What emerged from the package was a circular saw. A circular saw sporting a lovely long cable. Oops. The Gorse Fox had ordered the wrong item. So it is that he is now printing return tickets and arranging for collection of the unwanted item and delivery of the correct item.


Thursday, February 11, 2016


It was too nice to stay in. Though cold, the sun was shining brightly and the winds of the last few days had dropped. The beach beckoned. We hopped in the car, whizzed into Bognor and parked up by the pier (less than 10 mins from home).
The weather was showing the phenomenon that the Gorse Fox has often cited regarding a corridor of good weather between cloudy skies. He is convinced that the prevailing winds drive weather up the channel and the heat effect from the Isle of Wight breaks up the cloud. Some stays in the channel, the rest get trapped over the South Downs. In between we get this corridor of good weather.

Bognor Pier suffered badly in the winter storms back about 15 years ago. What's left is a shadow of its former glory, but it is still a landmark.

The esplanade was almost deserted, and we were able to stroll along at our own pace without dodging other people. The only exception was where the path narrowed and we arrived just as 75 (yes, really) dog walkers came the other way with their (numbered) charges. The Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox just stood and waited to left them all pass. It wasn't quite clear where such a huge group had come from and why the dogs , of all kinds, were all numbered, but they were no problem.

It was obvious that there were several areas that had been swamped by the shingle in the recent storms. The shingle was quite deep in some places across the path. In the end it was clear that the route was becoming a bit too much of an assault course for the Silver Vixen so we turned round and called in to The Lobster Pot for cup of tea and a lovely seafood salad.
All in all this was a very, very, pleasant way to spend a couple of hours.


Whatever was causing the Gorse Fox's discomfort, seems to be settling. He is far more mobile this morning, but neck and shoulders are still a bit troublesome. Oh well, keep taking the tablets.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


The idea of a good night's sleep settling yesterday's discomfort would have worked much better if he had actually got to sleep. It seemed impossible to sleep on his right hand side, and was uncomfortable on his back or left-hand side. The Gorse Fox is feeling a bit rough.  So much so, in fact, that he has dropped out of today's football.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Well, that's better

The rain died out quickly and by the time the football started the sun was shining. That's much better. The Gorse Fox was pleased with his game today, and particularly pleased with a goal he scored from just inside the attacking half, over on the wing. The ball curled into the top right corner of the net and allowed us to draw level.

The Silver Vixen met up with Urban-Cub for lunch, but the Gorse Fox couldn't join them. Clearly they had a good lunch and mother-daughter chat.

Meanwhile, back at home the Gorse Fox started to seize up a bit. His neck was getting stiff, and his shoulders and right hand side were feeling quite uncomfortable. This got worse through the afternoon and evening. Let's see whether a good night's sleep helps it settle.


It's still windy (though not as windy as yesterday), and it's raining fairly steadily. The Gorse Fox is clearly going to get very wet playing football today.

Monday, February 08, 2016


The storm, Imogen, battered the south. It was nice not to have to leave the house for any reason. It was a quiet day filled with the odd chores, some admin, and a check on all of the automated systems that Gorse Fox runs on some of his computers.

During the afternoon the Gorse Fox used a recipe to create a spice marinade for some sea bream. The idea was to cook the fish in a spice crust. It didn't go well. It was meant to be fried, but the Gorse Fox thought he would try to use the griddle. The crust didn't form, so the marinade just ended up as a thick, but sparse, sauce. Oh well, try again.

Sunday, February 07, 2016


If the Gorse Fox's father had not left this life  when young, and his twin not left us 5 years ago, they would have reached 90 on Tuesday. This seemed like an excuse to get the cousins together. Unfortunately, Gorse Fox's sister and her husband couldn't join us, but the rest of us met up at Prezzo in Arundel.

We had a lovely lunch, and a chance to catch up on the news from all of the families, and, of course, a chance to laugh (which is always a feature of times when the Mc's get together). After a couple of hours we paid the bill and headed back to Aunty Blodwyn's at Rustington for tea and more chat.

It was a lovely relaxed day, and so nice to get together with the family.

Saturday, February 06, 2016


The weight that the Gorse Fox has lost has meant that many of his clothes no longer fit. The last few times he has needed to wear a jacket, he has found that he was swamped. It was time to do something about it. The Gorse Fox, along with his styling consultant, the Silver Vixen, headed into Chichester. A few minutes on Google had revealed a few shops that may have something suitable. As it was the first shop we tried was a success. House of Fraser had a department for mens tailoring. Twenty minutes later, the Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen left clutching a couple of stylish jackets. That didn't take long. (Incidentally, back in the early 90's the Gorse Fox sold and installed the first commercial parallel computer to House of Fraser).

Jackets in hand, we headed to M&S. New trousers were also necessary. The Gorse Fox wandered in and out of the changing rooms to give his styling consultant an option to accept or reject various styles and colours. Wardrobe selected, we headed back to the car.

Over all a very successful trip, and the Gorse Fox spent far less than he expected.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Engineering - well, Construction

As explained yesterday, today was to be fun-filled. The IKEA unit needed to be constructed and the drawers and boxes needed to be put together.

Actually, it all went without a hitch. The Kallax shelving unit went together without any fuss. In fact the biggest problem was fixing it to the wall. This was to prevent it from toppling, but the width of skirting boards was such that the Gorse Fox had to find a suitable spacer to allow the fixings to be tightened without pulling the unit backwards off the ground. Once that was all done, there were several boxes to be assembled, and some drawers to assemble and fix.

All done, and now the Silver Vixen is busy sorting out her fabrics and cottons and filling the unit.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Our Swedish Friends

Thursday started with the furry alarm clock licking the Gorse Fox at about seven o'clock. He stumbled out of bed and made the first coffee of the day, then started on his early morning reading. Jasper may demand feeding at seven, but he gets nothing until seven-forty.

A session on the running machine preceded breakfast and the second coffee, then the Gorse Fox started on the weekly admin. Once that was done and the nice man from Ocado had delivered the weekly shop, we headed off. It was time for another visit to our Swedish friends in Southampton. Who says that retirees don't know how to have fun!

Parking up in IKEA we made short work of the maze in order to get to the storage units. The Silver Vixen needed to replace a set of wire baskets which were well past their best and leaning dangerously. We decided on a replacement storage unit to match that which she already has against the other wall. Like all trips to IKEA, other bits and pieces were collected as we traversed the maze, and, of course, we stopped in the restaurant for tea, coffee, and a snack before continuing the trek.

After 3 hours the goods were paid for, the car parking ticket stamped, and we were on our way home. A very satisfying trip inasmuch as we got everything we had set out to buy, and we had also seen a credible replacement for the floating shelves that are in the Silver Vixen's sewing room at present. (The Gorse Fox has never like these as they do not seem to sit tightly against the brackets).

Back home, everything is sitting at the bottom of the stairs, waiting for the Gorse Fox to start work on it tomorrow. (There's no sense in having all the fun, excitement, and adventure in one day, if it can be spread over two).

Wednesday, February 03, 2016


It was a bit crips and cool first thing this morning. Some parts of the country saw frost, but we were spared that. It was wall-to-wall blue sky and bright sunshine.

The Gorse Fox had two football events today - first the normal Arun Amblers game. It was still quite cool and the Gorse Fox actually wore gloves for the first part of the game... it didn't take long, however, for things to warm up once the game had started. We had the usual random mix of players which were split into teams and then we got started. The Gorse Fox was on the losing side, but did seem to play well even if his timing was a little off, to start with.

An hour later, he was in his Southdowns Sharks strip and played two more 20-minute matches. Again, he was on the losing side, but he was very pleased with his performance overall. He notices that the Facebook page for the Leisure Centre features some photos from todays game and the Gorse Fox is evident in several of the pictures.

After 6 hours of football over the past three days, the Gorse Fox had a very quiet afternoon before setting to work on a Thai red curry for dinner.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016


The morning was taken up with the usual couple of hours of football. Though the Gorse Fox didn't win any games today, he did draw all but one. What was nice was how close all of the games were and what super football was being played by all. Excellent bit of exercise.

Back home the Silver Vixen was on the treadmill doing some of her own exercise. When she was done, and the Gorse Fox was showered and dressed properly we had some lunch o the left-overs of yesterday's Indian.

The bizarre aspect of the day came later. It is being reported that BT Broadband is down... yet the Gorse Fox has had no problem at all. Indeed he tried, again, to get the mobile banking app working. Lo and behold! despite the rumoured lack of broadband it finally kicked into life and the Gorse Fox now has it all set up and working again. He's even add a card to Apple Pay. Not sure whether he'll ever use it, but it's nice to have the option.

Monday, February 01, 2016


Though we were able to field a good team for today's tournament, we didn't win. In fact we only won one of our games, drew a couple and lost a couple. Frustrating, but that's the way it goes sometimes. It was interesting to hear the reports from the Lancing team of their participation in the FA People's Cup. Clearly, they had a very similar experience to ours, last year. They found a wide range of ages, no attempt to stop people people from running, and a very physical approach to the game. On top of that, one player from another team collapsed with a heart attack. All in all, the Gorse Fox is glad that Arun decided not to participate this year.

After a quiet afternoon, where the Silver Vixen spent the hours searching through her fabric stash for the right colours for her next project, the Gorse Fox realised that he had not retrieved anything from the freezer for supper. Not a problem. We both quite fancied a Chinese. We searched through the menu and checked the calorie and fat content of various dishes, eventually decided on the optimum menu. It was at that point that the Gorse Fox phoned through to realise they were closed on Monday.

The process started again. Indian it is then!