Monday, October 31, 2016

Crafting

The Silver Vixen is out for the day with a girl friend in Arundel. Urban-cub is off duty for a few days and after a quiet start to the day has gone into Chichester for some retail therapy. The Gorse Fox and Jasper have been left in charge.

The Gorse Fox spent the morning crafting more of his budgeting spreadsheet for 2017. This means that he has spent a very pleasurable few hours buried in Excel functions and macros. Some may despair, but to the Gorse Fox this amounts to one of life's great pleasures.

The Gorse Fox was also delighted to get confirmation in the post that HMRC is happy for him to forego future Self Assessments. This has raised him to state of near euphoria. In fact he's not sure if it was this, or the fact he has just been for a haircut, that is making him feeling somewhat light-headed.

If his MAC ("Condor") didn't keep losing his keyboard substitutions, things would be close to perfect.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Friends

The Gorse Fox had his usual Sunday morning football game. By half time things were looking bleak with a 4-2 deficit. The second half, however, was more positive - The Gorse Fox hit the post twice, and had 6 or 7 good shots saved by the keeper. In the end he didn't score but we did run out 4-8 winners.

Home and showered The Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen met up with the neighbours (Sonning Crew) for a quiet Sunday lunchtime drink at the Pink Pub. Well, it might have been more than one. In fact we were there enjoying the company for three hours before we decided it was time to get home and get supper on the go.

Ooops - living life on the edge, again!

GMT

And so we move from BST to GMT and any normal person gets an extra hour in bed. Jasper, despite a week of indoctrination on how to tell the time, and week of slipping his meals by 10 minutes a day, decided to get up even earlier. So it was at 0515 this morning he started to wander all over The Gorse Fox. The Gorse Fox ignored him for as long as he could but by 0630 decided that enough was enough. The Gorse Fox got up and brought Jasper downstairs - but then kept him waiting until 0730 before feeding him. Jasper was not amused.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Pensions

The Gorse Fox received some mail from Her Majesty's Government.

His State Pension date approaches and these were notifications of his options and instructions as to what he needed to do, accordingly. As he likes to "be digital" he opted to process everything online, and that requires a registration that will provide a special code. This, however, will be delivered by post. So much for the digital approach.

The notifications did trigger The Gorse Fox to make contact with his employer prior to Starfleet. As far as HMG is concerned, there is still a pension tucked away there. He is sure it won't amount to much but a letter has been written and duly posted. The Gorse Fox awaits the outcome with interest.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Inferno

This afternoon The Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen went to the Cinema. It's several weeks since "Inferno" was released so we could be fairly certain of a quiet showing. The film is the latest of the Dan Brown "Robert Langdon" books (Angels & demons, Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol, Inferno) and The Gorse Fox had been looking forward to seeing it.

The film, directed by Ron Howard, was good - without being great. Somehow the film told the story but lost some of the tension and The Gorse Fox found that there was insufficient jeopardy in the attempts to solve the clues (which all came too easily).

Never mind, it was a good film and nice afternoon. We finished off with a stop at the Mexican "Mucho Burrito" for a bite to eat. It was still early, but as we were the only people in the restaurant, The Gorse Fox suspects that they won't last too long.

Ahead of the game

It seems hard to believe but today, 28th October, we received our first Christmas card. Now, the Gorse Fox knows people who are well organised - but this seems a little too extreme. After all the Silver Vixen hasn't had her birthday yet and that is the earliest that such thoughts are permitted.

Perhaps more worryingly, whilst the card is addressed to us both, the signature is indecipherable - so the Gorse Fox has no idea who this hyper-prepared person was.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Quiet day

Ssshhh. Do not disturb.

It has been a quiet autumn day. Early morning fog took a while to clear and the temperature remained quite mild. The morning was filled with domestic activity - the usual admin and then the Gorse Fox attacked the floors with the new floor cleaner again.

After lunch, the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox went for a short walk - but really, that was about it for the day.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Games

Wednesday - so it must be football. Though it looked chilly, it turned out to be quite mild and the sun soon broke through. We all met up for our usual football game and The Gorse Fox played for the yellow team. It was tight and though we were a one player short, the yellows were 1-0 up by half time. In the second half we had the extra man and the game played out to a 4-0 win. No goals from The Gorse Fox but a few good shots and some timely interventions.

In the afternoon, The Gorse Fox went with the the Silver Vixen to her physioterrorist appointment. He is always happy to provide support and encouragement and this time he was instructed on how to use a particular pressure point to reduce the nerve pain. Having said that, there is clearly no gain without pain and use of the pressure point itself was clearly very uncomfortable.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Nice Walk

Missing football this morning meant that The Gorse Fox needed to do some exercise. It was a lovely sunny afternoon so it seemed like an opportunity for a bit more exploring. He dug out the OS Map and looked at some routes that would provide a nice circular route from home.

He headed out towards Rose Green, south west of home and then turned southeast to drop down through Aldwick.

This took the Gorse Fox on down to the beach where he wandered along past the beach huts towards Bognor West Beach and onwards to the Pier.

From Bognor Pier The Gorse Fox turned back towards home, walking up through the town to the Chichester Road and then onwards to home. In all, it was about 6.25 miles and on such a lovely afternoon was an absolute pleasure.

Nice Man

We had an opportunity to meet up with the chap who provided our blinds and shutters. He's such a nice chap that when we needed to get a blackout blind for the back bedroom, we decided to give him the business. Since our last meeting he has relinquished the previous franchise as it was up for renewal and required a further 5 year commitment. He wasn't willing to make a commitment of that length and it was not negotiable. Instead, he has branched out on his own and we are (very happy to be) one of his first customers.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Battened down

The Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox headed across to the Hillier Garden Centre. We needed an extra cover for the remaining bits of garden furniture - and had lots of valuable vouchers to spend. We had a good stroll around and stopped for a coffee and scone before heading home with our purchases.

It was a very successful trip and the all of the garden furniture is now wrapped up against the winter weather.

Feeling smug.

Taxing times

Not any more.

The Gorse Fox was chatting with Old Bill and he commented that he no longer has to do his tax self-assessment. This sounded good... so the Gorse Fox phoned Helen at HMRC and she checked a few things out and confirmed that he was no longer required to fill in a Self-Assessment and the request for this year's has been cancelled. She updated the system there and then and it should be reflected over night.

This is the sort of benefit that makes the spirit soar. There is no longer the nausea of filling it the online forms and waiting to see if all was well.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Cooler

It is definitely getting cooler over night. It was quite chilly in the Orangery this morning when we opened it up for Jasper.

Talking of Jasper, as he steadfastly refuses to learn how to tell the time and the clocks are due to change next weekend, The Gorse Fox has embarked on a sliding timescale for his food. Each day the ,meals will be about 10 minutes later than the previous day. That way he should be accustomed to the new times by the time the clocks change.

Football was great fun this morning. The Gorse Fox was on the yellow team and we fought out a 12-4 win. The Gorse Fox contributed a couple of goals, and managed to hit both posts and the cross bar as well as having several shots parried by the keeper. Very satisfactory.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Drips

The Gorse Fox hadn't realised that when oiling the deck, he had been a little less than careful with the brush. As a result he had sprayed oil droplets onto the windows and frames of the Orangery.

As it was a lovely morning, The Gorse Fox grabbed a bucket and some cloths and spent an hour or so cleaning up the collateral splashes. This wasn't as easy as it sounds. The oil had dried and each drip needed to be scraped off with a penknife - and that needed to be done without scratching the glass or PVCu surface. It was fiddly, but in the end it was all cleaned up nicely.

In the afternoon Old Bill and Lady Penelope popped in with some wine they had picked up for us at their supplier. This seemed like a good opportunity to have a cup of tea and chat. Lovely afternoon.

Sad times

One of the Gorse Fox's oldest friends made contact through Face-ache. He had bee our Best Man at our wedding, and the Gorse Fox had known him since he was 12 or 13. His news was sad. His younger son, the same age as Urban-Cub, died yesterday after a four year battle with cancer.

The Gorse Fox cannot imagine how they must feel... and his thoughts and prayers go out to him and his surviving family. At least, after the long fight, Paul is now at rest.


Friday, October 21, 2016

Strolling

Jasper again demanded an early start, but tis was no hardship as The Gorse Fox had to get up as he had forgotten to prepare Urban-Cub's packed lunch. With the help of the George Foreman grill a butterflied chicken breast and some bacon was soon grilled and some vegetables prepared. With the help of Mr Tupperware she would be leaving for work with a hearty, home-cooked meal.

The Silver Vixen had an appointment in Chichester. As she drove off, The Gorse Fox headed out to walk into Bognor. The first stop was Vodafone to return the Silver Vixen's old phone and get a rebate credited to her account. The store in Bognor wasn't as busy as that in Chichester so The Gorse Fox didn't have to sit around waiting at all. From there went on to the Council Offices. The enquiry desks were all manned and all but one were idle. Despite this The Gorse Fox had to take a ticket and wait his turn (in an otherwise empty room). A lady explained it was because "we all have different areas to cover". The Gorse Fox looked - it was a bit of an exaggeration - the desks either said "Benefits" or "General Enquiries". The ticket machine only gave those two classifications. The Gorse Fox played the game and was soon called forward. He supposes it was keeping their statistics in order... and data needs to be organised and retained in a well-ordered world!

The Gorse Fox continued onwards. He chose a route back via different roads - it was time to explore a little. He found his way back along towards Shripney, stopping for some shopping in Sainsbury's and M&S. A coffee in Costa, then back home. In all it was about a 5-mile loop and in the cool, but bright sunny autumn day, had been very pleasant.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Delivered

Well DPD (for that is their name) finally came good and delivered the Silver Vixen's new phone on the day requested. Phone is suitably configured and working and the old one has been wiped ready to be recycled.

The Gorse Fox has also had an Alexa Echo Dot2 delivered today. He's not sure how much it will be used but thought it would be an interesting experiment and gain in usage when integrated with the Sonos. (The Gorse Fox isn't sure that integration is available yet, but it is advertised so should be available soon, if not).

We tried to put the covers on the garden furniture today. That turned out to be much harder than it should have been... particularly as it didn't fit at all. In the end we sorted something out but will need a second cover.

Urban-Cub got a call on Viber at 3 this morning. The call had come from Thailand so she assumed it was Cousteau-Cub. To cut a long story short she phoned back and ascertained that all was ok... but left both her and Cousteau-Cub confused as to what had happened. This afternoon we heard from Cousteau-Cub. Investigating, she has realised that the call call from the phone of the Coventry Hobbit. He, however, was asleep in bed with his phone on the sofa in the living room. Clearly it was Tyson the dog that trampled on the right sequence of icons to send the garbled messages to Urban-Cub. Lesson for all is to switch off vibrate in the middle of the night.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Delivery

It was a very early start with Jasper-the-cat this morning. Still pick black outside but he wanted to play. The Gorse Fox gave in and opened up at boy 0630. Being Wednesday, there was football for The Gorse Fox and Pilates for the Silver Vixen so the early start wasn't too troublesome.

The football went well. It was a very tight game with a 2-1 win for the Gorse Fox's team with the last kick of the match. 

It was only when he arrived home that the Silver Vixen told him that she had received another annunciation from DPD (for that is their name) saying that her phone would be delivered by the archangel Tom between 1030 and 1130. So despite two separate confirmations that they would deliver on the 20th, they have no threatened to deliver on the 18th and 19th. It seems that their scheduling lacks three wise men. We assume that the delivery will, in fact, occur tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Urban-Cub is have a girly day with the Princess over in Portsmouth.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Blast

And so it continues.

The company known as DPD (because that is their name), have not delivered the phone. Now when we check the tracking (following a star that rose in the east), it continues to tell us that the archangel Mark is still delivering to us - but not until Thursday as we had originally requested.

The Gorse Fox could have stayed for his second hour of football after all.

And the wait

Goes on

Harbinger

And so it came to pass that, in the days that are lit by the supermoon, a message was received. The Silver Vixen had an annunciation that the company that shall be known as DPD (for that is their name) would deliver her new phone on Tuesday. If this was not convenient, they provided a medium by which we could change the date.

As Tuesday was booked with football for The Gorse Fox and Naughty Girls (the coven) for the Silver Vixen we sent a change. The phone should be delayed until Thor's day. DPD were quick to acknowledge this change and all was well with the world. (Except that Jeremy Corbyn leads the Labour Party, Donald Trump is still a candidate in the US Elections, and war continues in Syria).

Tuesday started as usual, but whilst we were preparing for our day a message cam through from DPD (for that is their name). The phone was out for delivery. They had decided that Thor's day was not for us and that the archangel Mark would arrive between 13:08 and 14:08 with said phone. If we wished to change this we were to contact the same way as we had before.

Flushed with the success of the original change, so cruelly ignored by DPD (for that is their name), The Gorse Fox decided to cut short today's football and ensure he was their to greet the archangel Mark. So it is that he sits and waits.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Bersted Street


Cottages of Bersted Street in the Autumn Sunshine

Damp

Gosh it was wet overnight, and still pouring with rain when The Gorse Fox came down to greet the day and feed Jasper. Like yesterday, it soon dried up and the sun poked through. Unlike yesterday, however, showers continued to punctuate the morning.

The Silver Vixen and Urban-Cub decided on a trip to Chichester. Urban-Cub needed some clothes for work and a chance to stroll around the shops. As The Gorse Fox is not at his best at the shops when there is no specific target, he elected to stay at home and let the girls run loose.

The Gorse Fox decided a walk would be nice and by lunch time the sun was out and the sky was pretty clear. He headed down towards Bognor and then up Bersted Street towards Shripney. Now, Bersted Street is a no through road and you wouldn't use it unless you had a particular place to visit. This is a shame because there are some delightful cottages down there and a lovely old parish church.  These looked quite lovely in the autumn sunshine.

The Gorse Fox moved on up past the shops on the Shripney Road and stopped in at the pet shop to pick up some cat food. By the time he came out the sky was looking very grey and threatening. A couple of minutes later, when he was at the furthest point from home, the heavens opened. Up went the umbrella and the Gorse Fox strode onwards. Two and half kilometres late he walked through the from door, dripping over everything. He was soaked. He was soaked and the rain had just stopped and the sun had come back out. Typical.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Match ready

It was very wet overnight. When The Gorse Fox got up with Jasper-the-cat at about seven, the rain was still hammering down and it was very dark. The rain passed on over the next hour and by nine the sun was coming out and the paths were drying.

The Gorse Fox watched the re-run of yesterday's football whilst enjoying his coffee then had to get ready for his own game.

We had a very good turnout and the pitch was really too crowded to have any flow to the game. It was more like pinball. The Gorse Fox suspects that last night's late evening with the Sonning Crew may have contributed to his lack of form this morning. We ate well and there is a chance that the odd glass of this or that may also have been consumed. It was quite late before we got in... and it showed. It took until half way through the second half before The Gorse Fox actually hit his stride and that stemmed the rout. Unfortunately we were already 8-1 down and it was too late to recover the situation.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Dark

Gosh, what a grey and dark start to the day. Fortunately it brightened up and by mid morning the sun was out (as it should be here on the South Coast). It has turned into a lovely day.

Various crates that have been cluttering the Gorse Fox's study have finally found their way into the loft storage along with a suitcase which had been hanging around since Urban-cub's holiday. The Gorse Fox has also been very domestic and used the new floor cleaner in the kitchen and family room. This is proving to do a very good job. The Gorse Fox just hopes it continues to work satisfactorily; he has, of course, completed and submitted the guarantee (just in case).

The Sonning Crew are scheduled to meet for dinner this evening. One expects that the odd glass of wine may be consumed along with a fine Chinese meal. Good job the Gorse Fox has football in the morning to run it off.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Clean

We had ordered a VAX machine to vacuum, wash, and dry the floors. This arrived yesterday and The Gorse Fox thought he'd better give it a whirl. The reviews seemed a little mixed. Some claimed it would save the world, others that it was a pile of junk. Only time would tell. The Gorse Fox filled up the tank and  used the machine to do the floor in the Orangery. There's a bit of a knack to it, but once mastered it seemed to do a very good job. Flushed with success he later did the hallway - again, a superb result and clear evidence in the waste water that was sucked up, that it had indeed cleaned the floor. Seems like a good result.

The Silver Vixen had ordered a book and a phone call had alerted us that Waterstones now had it in Chichester. We pottered into town for a few hours - the book was examined, deemed to be just what was wanted, and purchased. Then we went to the Opticians to make an appointment for January for the Silver Vixen to have her eyes re-checked. Boots don't seem to have mastered the idea of calendars. It is completely beyond them to book an appointment next year, and they suggest we should try again in November or December - but can't be sure when. (So much for technology).

A coffee and snack in Costa saw The Gorse Fox use Apple Pay for the first time. He was eager to try it, and as there nobody else waiting in line, this seemed like the ideal opportunity. Took a few moments to work out what to do, but it went through without any drama. We also dropped in to Vodafone and looked at the options for replacing the Silver Vixen's phone. The chap was very thorough and it looks as if we could probably do an upgrade at no net change to her current contract. No decisions were taken - but it gives food for thought,

Thursday, October 13, 2016

RIP

The Gorse Fox was very sorry to hear of the death of the King of Thailand. He had been the longest reigning monarch in the world, and was dearly loved by his people. The Gorse Fox's thoughts and best wishes go out to all our friends in Thailand, and all the Thai people who must, at this point, feel bereft.

Service

Thursday - so we have admin and household things to fill the day.

The Gorse Fox was delighted that his new glasses arrived today. They took a few minutes for the Gorse Fox to adapt to the new prescription and the difference in the lenses. Now, and hour or so after trying them on, he feels quite at home with them and has noticed a significant improvement in the near-sight correction.

After lunch the Gorse Fox had to take the Qashqai for its annual service. It is a nice day, so he made the most of the weather and walked back from the garage. He just hopes they phone early enough for him to do the return trip on foot, rather than get the other car out.

Sonos is an interesting technology and the Gorse Fox was looking at some of its new features today. He can now stream podcasts and media directly from the iPhone (which he hadn't realised). This is, however, limited and will not work for every media application... most notable the BBC Radio iPlayer. This isn't a major drawback as he can still listen directly from the iPhone, but it would be nice to be able to stream it through Sonos.

Talking of the BBC Radio iPlayer, if you have never listened to "Mark Steel's in Town" then you are missing a masterpiece. He picks different towns across the country. Visits them for a few days, researches as much as possible, then does a stand-up comedy based on what he has discovered. The Gorse Fox thinks they are just brilliant, and recommends them most highly.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Cloud

Disgraceful, there was a bit more cloud today. The Gorse Fox knows that Cloud is the latest and greatest movement in IT, but it really isn't needed in the South Coast skies. (The Gorse Fox recognises the need for rain - that should be managed such that it occurs overnight).

Football was interesting today. We had sufficient players to split into 4 teams and have a round-robin 5-a-side tournament. The Gorse Fox likes these sorts of games in the smaller cages as there are no stoppages because the ball never goes out of play. Though closely fought, The Gorse Fox's team ended up as winners of all their games. These did include a goal from The Gorse Fox, taken in the mode of Andros Townshend... dart along the right wing, dink inside and hammer the ball past the goalie. Very satisfying.

The Gorse Fox needs to do a bit of research - the backup system seems to have stopped launching automatically based on its schedule. As he isn't storing or changing much at present, this isn't a problem. He suspects this is a bug introduced in the last update. He'll monitor it carefully and, for now, launch the system manually.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Autumn

What a stunning autumn we are having. We had great summer, and the good weather has carried on through September and well into October. Though a bit crisp this morning, there was stunning sunrise and the sun shone throughout the day. Not hot, obviously, but a comfortable 16C.

The Gorse Fox had a couple of hours of football. Not really a classic as our goalkeeper twice rolled the ball to the feet of an opponent and was beaten by the return ball. It was fun though. As The Gorse Fox kept reminding him - we only play for fun - it really doesn't matter. In the second hour the games finished all square so the ref decided we should have a penalty shoot-out. Unfortunately, The Gorse Fox was in goal at the time (he usually takes his turn for one game). With great skill and athleticism he faced each of the 5 penalties. Leaping to his left, the ball went to his right. Diving to his right, the ball went to his left. Guessing right and diving right he dived right over the ball... and so it continued. He missed every one of the 5 shots and we lost. Pah!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Sierra

The Gorse Fox was up early-ish. He and Jasper had an hour or two before we were joined by Urban-cub and then The Silver Vixen. It was Urban-cub's last day before going back to work so it was likely to be punctuated with last minute tasks and preparations.

The Gorse Fox decided to bite the bullet and update the iMac "Condor" to the latest release of the operating system "Sierra". This took about an hour, but seemed to go flawlessly. How different from all of the Windows upgrades over the years. Everything just carried on working and, so far, the Gorse Fox has not had to intervene over any issue. There do no appear to have been any.

He may be getting a bit over-enthusiastic, but has decided to upgrade one of the MacBooks to Sierra, also.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Well fed

Another lovely day. The Scandinavian high that is dominating our weather and holding the usual Atlantic weather systems at bay is providing some lovely sunshine. The Gorse Fox had football in the morning. The turn out was almost too good. We had to split into 7 vs 6 and that is a bit too crowded in the indoor cages where we play. We had fun though. It was a good natured game and ended with a 7-6 win for the "yellow" team. The Gorse Fox was on the "orange" team, however.

Back home and showered we met up with the Sonning Crew and wandered down to the Pink Pub for a beer (or two). As usual this turned into a very enjoyable chance to chat and catch up with all the news and plans.

Urban Cub didn't join us at the Pink Pub, she stayed home to unpack from her holiday and then to start on lunch. She had volunteered to prepare the Sunday roast - and who is the Gorse Fox to deny such a request.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Supporting the Team

Today sees England play Malta in the World Cup Qualifiers. The Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox had tickets and decided to make a day of it. Loading up the car with a picnic and suitable clothing we headed for Wembley.

It was all going very well until we approached T5 on the M25 where the traffic ground to a halt and the traffic reports indicated we were going to be in trouble for a while. We stuck with it until the M4 and then zipped in Chiswick and up the North Circular - slow but moving. We arrived and parked up. We were early enough to have the pick of the spaces... and chose the VIP / Royal Box section. The attendant didn't seem to care - probably thinking the Silver Vixen was the Queen travelling incognito.

We strolled along to the London Designer Outlet Mall, which is right next to the stadium. There was a huge selection of restaurants (as well as the designer stores). The the Silver Vixen hadn't been to a TGI Fridays for years so suggested we try there. The bouncers informed us that there was likely to be a 45 minute wait, but to register at the desk and they would give us a pager. We went to the desk and explained we wanted a table for two. She smiled, "Yes, I think I can do that immediately" she said, and so we were escorted to our table as all of the larger parties looked on in hunger.

After we had finished a very leisurely lunch we wandered back to the Stadium and took our seats. They were well situated - 3 rows bak from the pitch, about ten metres from the half way line. We settled down to enjoy the pre-match interviews and warm ups. At five o'clock the game kicked off. Malta huffed and puffed but never looked threatening. What was clear was how much faster the England team were and just seemed to fly past the Maltese whenever they wanted. It wasn't a game that you would consider a great classic, but it was a good game and it was lovely to be there and soak up the atmosphere as the England team won 2-0.

After the game we did our usual trick. We returned to the car and settled down to our picnic. We had no intention of even starting the engine for an hour - whilst watching everyone else fighting to get out of the car park and getting nowhere. Experience has told us that after about 45 minutes they open a second exit and after the initial rush, we can join that exit queue without too much hassle. So it was that we left it until eight, then slotted into to the exit line. This was going well. It wouldn't last.

The Gorse Fox found himself stuck in the wrong lane with no opportunity to move over. He was filtered out of the Stadium in the wrong direction. This is not a problem in itself as the Gorse Fox knows the roads around there and could select another route fairly easily. The problem was that the whole area was gridlocked. It took us an hour to do the first 1.5 miles and get out of Wembley in the direction of Ealing. Fortunately, the roads opened up then and the rest of the route home only took about 90 minutes or so,

Urban Cub was back home after her week away - so we had a bit of a catch-up before bed.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Swap round

As autumn has set in the Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen have migrated from "the South Wing" (Orangery) to the "North Wing" (Living Room) in the evenings. The temperature drops fairly quickly when the sun goes down, and though we have underfloor heating in the South Wing, we haven't switched it on yet. The upshot is that we now watch TV in the North Wing - which stays comfortably warm.

The swapping of location meant that the Gorse Fox had to switch the set top boxes round. Along with Sky, we also have BT TV. There is a basic set top box and a more sophisticated one with a built in recorder. The recorder needed to be swapped into the Living Room and the basic box relegated to the Orangery. This took a little longer than expected as the box wouldn't, at first, register properly with the TV. Eventually, everything was sorted and the Gorse Fox went through a rationalised some old recordings.

We had a quiet afternoon wandering around the shops in Chichester. There was no particular target or list - just a gentle wander and bit of window-shopping. We did stop for a coffee and scone at The Real Eating Company - but were quite disappointed, for the second time. Considering it was quiet, the tables still needed clearing and the scones were dry and tasteless. Will have to stick with Costa in the future.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Just ticking over

Quiet day - everything just ticking over. A morning spent with the spreadsheets and bank statements checking that everything was all in order (it is). It seemed to take a lot longer than usual, but at least it got done.

A quick walk after lunch for a bit of exercise (and an opportunity to get some pocket money from the hole in the wall). Also we spent some time checking our seating position at Wembley for the England -vs- Malta game. Need to check what sort of clothing we might need (depending on the weather - and if we are actually far enough back to be under cover).

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Play Nicely

After the tension and unpleasantness of last week's football, today was a total contrast. Cruncher-John and Krakatoa-Jack had kissed and made up. Cruncher-John had agreed to play to the rules - with no tackling from behind and no contact. In addition we had a ref and he enforced the "no-running" rule. This made for a very pleasant hour - thought the Gorse Fox was on the losing side by a score of 2-1.

A word about the ref. This was Big Dave (and ex Coldstream Guard). On Sunday, he fell whilst playing and put out his had to steady himself. He caught his hand in the netting at the side of the pitch and his moment dragged him down anyway. The Nylon netting cut into his hand slicing a huge chunk of flesh from his finger. This took some immediate patching up at the sports centre, some interim patching up at A&E, and a trip to a plastic surgeon the following day to insert 25 stitches. His arm is strapped up across his chest at the moment - and hopefully all will be well. (Note to self - the surface is 3G - take the fall, don't use you hands to intervene).

Very windy afternoon, but the sun is beating down. Glorious.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Lethargy

It was another nice start to the day and the Gorse Fox had football. There was a good turn out and we managed the usual round-robing tournament with 6 games in all. The Gorse Fox was feeling heavy-legged and really wasn't quite on the pace. What's worse, his passing was not very accurate so he didn't feel very satisfied at the end.

A log hot bath was needed to help try and loosen the muscles a bit.

The Silver Vixen was out with a friend at West Dean for the afternoon... so the Gorse Fox had a quiet and lazy afternoon. He was feeling very lethargic. What brightened up the afternoon, though, was a phone call from Cousteau-Cub. We had a nice long chat and heard all about her holiday in Bali, the diving, and some of the opportunities she may have coming up for her yoga.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Oil over now

Another lovely day (though a wee bit chilly to start with).

The Silver Vixen continued to potter in the garden - the lavender by the front door needed a haircut and the two small topiary trees that we had in pots had got some tiny parasite infestation. This was clearly killing them off. We had to get the loppers and cut them down when it was clear thatchy were so badly affected.

The Gorse Fox made use of the nice day to finish oiling the decks. It took a long time - but then the deck is big. Looking back on it the Gorse Fox can't imagine how he did the whole deck in a day last year. It certainly needs to be done over a couple of days in future. The finished result does look nice. It's brought out the rich colour of the wood - snd will, of course, protect it for the winter.

We decided on a Chinese take-away to reward a hard day's work. We hadn't tried the highly recommended Fai's Kitchen. We worked through their extensive menu and finally made our selection.  The Gorse Fox grabbed the phone to place the order. That's when he noticed that they are closed on Monday. Doh! The Gorse Fox grabbed his wok, some chicken and vegetables and made our own stir-fried chicken, consoling ourselves that it was probably a to cheaper and a lot healthier.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Half well oiled

After yesterday's rain, today started bright but chilly.The forecast was good - with lots of sun across most of the country.

The Gorse Fox had his Sunday appointment with football. We had a good turn out and managed 6-a-side. The Gorse Fox was on the yellow team this week. A quick look at the teams and they looked pretty well matched. The Gorse Fox's team were a bit more clinical, however, and were soon in the lead. The Gorse Fox hit the crossbar a couple of times, the post once, forced an own goal and scored two himself. He was quite happy with proceedings and we ran out 7-4 winners.

Back home the Silver Vixen was pottering in the garden. (Well, pottering in the pots actually as most of our flora is displayed in pots). This had been on her agenda for a few days, but starting in the front she was interrupted by various neighbours for a chat. It took her a while to escape and move round to the back garden (which is in the sun a lot warmer).

The Gorse Fox made use of the good weather and dug out the decking oil. Knee-pads on and brush in hand he set about the deck - starting with half the dining deck (the other half hadn't totally dried out from yesterdays rain) and then the verandah. It only took a couple of hours or so. If the forecast is accurate, it should be nice again tomorrow and he will then complete the dining deck and move on to the sun (utility) deck.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Wet one

It was a wet one. Though dry when the Gorse Fox first got up, it only lasted about fifteen minutes then the heavens opened and a very wet morning set in. It had been forecast so the Gorse Fox had nothing planned that would be affected. There were utility meters to read, some ironing to get done - and, of course, coffee to drink. Clearly a stressful morning.

Urban-Cub was up and about and busy packing. She and Pistol Pete are off to Devon for the week, staying near Ilfracombe. It would clearly be a wet drive down but the forecast for the week doesn't look too bad.

By lunchtime it had dried up and the sun was playing hide-and-seek with the vestigial clouds. The Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox went for a short walk round the area before retiring to the Orangery for a quiet afternoon.