Saturday, March 31, 2018

Helping out

Urban-Cub is preparing for a big family "do" tomorrow. In order to help out the Gorse Fox headed across to LA to collect Ellie. She would spend much of the day with us so that Urban-Cub could get on with the preparation.

Back home we triple-teamed the task of keeping Ellie amused and out of trouble. Now that she's walking we have to be far more alert - and quick on our feet. As usual, though, she was a delight and gave us no trouble at all, spending the day playing and laughing.

Urban-Cub cam to collect Ellie late afternoon - after that we just had a very quiet evening in front of the TV. On notable show was "Who Do You Think You Are" featuring Courtney Cox. It turned out that, like many US families, she hails from England many generations back. What was interesting though was the fact she was related to royalty and, indeed, her 26th great grandfather was William the Conqueror. the Gorse Fox bets she'll be dining on that story for years!

Friday, March 30, 2018

A bit of a niff

It was very wet. Certainly a good day to stay indoors. This was probably just as well as the Gorse Fox had several things to catch up on. The first was a bit of a niff. For a couple of days there had been a faint smell that was noticeable when the fridge was opened. No investigation, so far, had found the culprit. The Gorse Fox was determined this would be sorted. The fridge was completely emptied. No obvious culprit detected, but all the shelves and surfaces were washed and all the food was filtered by "Use By" date before replacing it. Still no obvious culprit, but the odour has gone.

Next it was time to catch up on the accounts. This didn't take too long so the Gorse Fox was able to move on to the photos. There was a backlog of photos that needed filing, and sorting out. Face detection was required and in some cases, geo-location. This took quite a while as Cousteau-cub had added a chunk of her photos to the library, as had Pistol Pete. Never mind, it's all done now.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Birthday girl

It's Ellie's first birthday. It seemed only right that we all celebrate together, so the plan was to meet up late morning, once all the domestic chores were complete.

We headed across to Southsea. Traffic was slow round Chichester but once we were past there it was a good run. The only problem was that the rain set in - but as we were going to be indoors that was not too inconvenient. Our venue was the Blue Reef Aquarium on Southsea seafront. We were able to park directly outside and made our way to the first of the display tanks.

Ellie was clearly intrigued by the various displays, though seemed a little cautious when some of the larger fish came close.

We had timed it well. Within a few minutes of our arrival they were feeding the rays and small sharks in the large display tank. The young girl who was feeding them gave a running commentary and explanation regarding the various denizens of the tank. She did a good job and was clearly passionate about her job.

After the rays, we carried on through the various exhibits and under the tunnel that went through the shark tank. There were a couple of young black tip reef sharks gliding around the tank. They looked so sleek and magnificent that the Gorse Fox could have watched them for hours. We moved on past further tropical fish, then on to some fresh water fish more typical in the waters of the Amazon. Finally we watched otters as they frolicked in their pen.

Leaving the aquarium we headed for Gunwharf. By this time the rain had set in and the temperature had dropped several degrees. It was really quite unpleasant. Cousteau-Cub must have been feeling it in contrast to the temperatures she left in Thailand.

We found our way to Bella Italia for lunch. Though one side of the restaurant was quite busy, we were in a quieter spot and settled down to order. Ellie was very well behaved and clearly captivated the diners nearby as she giggled and flirted outrageously with them. It was a good meal with good service and worth a return trip at some point. After the meal we did a little shopping then headed home. The idea was that we would all meet up for some cake and for Ellie (i.e. Urban-Cub) to open Ellie's presents.

She was clearly a very lucky girl, if a little confused by the stack of presents and the yellow balloon that she was playing with on the floor in front of her!

Slowly the wrapping came off and the boxes were opened. She bounced between one gist and another - giving each some attention; then moving on; then moving back. She was a very lucky girl - and very well behaved.  She didn't get over excited, or silly. She just played with the toys and showed them round to us all.

After tea and cake everything got packed away. Cousteau-Cub went back with Urban-Cub, Pistol Pete, Jake and Ellie. She would be staying with them overnight. The Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox had a bit of a tidy round and settled down for a quiet evening. It had been a really good day and suitable celebration for Ellie's first birthday.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Repairs and deliveries

The started very wet. AT least it was wet outside. Inside we were still without water except from the garden tap. Not the most convenient of situations but hopefully it would be fixed soon.

The Gorse Fox had football, though today it was scheduled for the indoor area at Ford because of the rain. Cousteau-Cub decided she would come along to watch a dozen old geezers wander round aimlessly chasing a ball. So it was that the Gorse Fox found himself lining up with an audience or cheerleader on hand. It started well. The Gorse Fox scored an early goal, but it sort of went down hill a bit from there. In the end we lost about 7-4. Shame.

The Gorse Fox made use of the showers at the sports arena then took Cousteau-Cub across to spend the day with Urban-Cub. With Ellie's birthday tomorrow, and a family party at the weekend, she is clearly getting a little stressed. The Gorse Fox had to head straight back home as there deliveries due and, more importantly, the plumber was hoping to get to us.

The sea had spent the morning on domestic chores and taking in the first of the various deliveries - she had also cleared the utility cupboard where the plumber would need access to the pipes.

The plumber turned up mid-afternoon. The old valve was removed and the new one installed. We tested the system - nothing. Not looking good. The plumber went out to his van and spent a while on the phone, then returned and removed the new valve. He started to do some more detailed diagnosis. The Gorse Fox was fairly impressed. Having determined we had water flowing through the valve, he looked "downstream". In the next part of the system he found a small plastic cap was blocking the pipe. This was removed. Everything now burst back into life. The Gorse Fox took a look at the cap and the valve and realised that it was actually part of the failed valve which had become dislodged and the water pressure had swept it through to the next part of the system where it had blocked the pipe. Anyway, all is now fixed. What a relief.

We went across to Urban-Cub to collect Cousteau-Cub then stopped off for some shopping for Ellie's birthday. Wrapping paper, balloons, banners, etc. Once we had had our planned take-away it was clearly going to be a craft evening!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

H2O

It was raining when the Gorse Fox got up. In fact it was pouring. Things did not bode well for the football, but he was committed.

We were expecting Urban-Cub and Ellie. Urban-Cub's washing machine has packed up and she is awaiting the builder to come and get it fixed. She arrived with a car full of laundry as well as Ellie (who was wanting her breakfast). We got things under way and the Gorse Fox then made his excuses and headed off to football. The girls could spend the morning together without him being in the way.

Football started damp but not too wet. The rain had almost stopped. In the first hour, the Gorse Fox drew one game and won two. That was a good start. In the second hour we only had 10 players so played in one of the smaller 5-a-side cages. We started well and won the first two games - the Gorse Fox scoring two of the goals - then we lost the game.

Back at home the Gorse Fox had an hour or so to kill before the girls reappeared. They had gone off to Chichester for some shopping. The Gorse Fox hit the shower. This burst into life and then turned into a trickle and then stopped. The Gorse Fox checked the other taps - all seemed "empty". The Gorse Fox dressed and called a plumber.

Late afternoon the plumber (and his mate) arrived, did some cursory checks and concluded the pressure relief valve had failed. Unfortunately they have to be ordered so there was no instant solution. Consequently there is no water except fro the outside tap. This should prove an interesting 48 hours.


Monday, March 26, 2018

Rrring.... rrrrring

It was immediately clear that the phone Cousteau-Cub had brought with her was completely useless. After a leisurely start the first this that we had to address was the phone. After a bit of research we went round to Argos and picked up an Huawei P10 Lite. This seemed to meet all of the requirements and the price point was fairly sensible.

Back home we started charging the phone and sorted out a Sim card. Cousteau-Cub was up and running.

We headed across to see Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete. They had stuff to do and Cousteau-Cub joined them as they hit the stores. The Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen stayed put at their house to look after Ellie - but as she slept most of the time they were out, it wasn't a major problem.

Nice relaxing day over all.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Exciting

Well it's been a very exciting day. Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete went up to Heathrow to meet Cousteau-Cub from her overnight flight from Kuala Lumpur. With her carefully tucked away in the car they headed back to their home to meet up with Amber and Ellie.

Meanwhile the Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox had a quiet morning preparing lunch for us all. This is always a little challenging as Cousteau-Cub's dietary requirements mean that she has to stick to gluten-free food and rarely eats meat. We decided today would be a meat-day. Two and half kilos of top rump roasted slowly in the oven as potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, cabbage, peas, and carrots were prepared. In parallel, the Silver Vixen made a rice pudding (Pistol Pete loves rice pudding).

Finally the door opened and Urban-Cub arrived with Ellie in arms, and Amber, Pistol Pete, and Cousteau-Cub in tow. It was so nice to see them, but especially Cousteau-Cub. She looked tired after the journey and at her first opportunity went up for a shower and to change. The rest of the day was really spent sitting around chatting and getting up to date with all the latest news. Pistol Pete, Urban-Cub, Amber and Ellie left late afternoon, but Cousteau-Cub stayed put with us. Somehow she managed to keep going until nearly eight p.m. then went and hit the sack.

At the end of the day the Gorse Fox has slipped into bed with a satisfied smile - the family has all (with the exception of the Coventry Hobbit) been back together. He can sleep soundly.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Just stuff

There was a lot of noise from Jasper in the early hours. Clearly the timed release of his breakfast wasn't early enough for his liking. In fact, he came up and wandered all over the Gorse Fox to make sure he was aware of his displeasure. When the Gorse Fox did get up a while later he found that Jasper had actually manage to dislodge his timed feeding tray from the wooden feed station the Gorse Fox had made a few weeks ago. Cheeky devil. Adaptation would be required.

The Silver Vixen was going out for the day with a friend from the Coven. Once she had left the Gorse Fox whipped round to the DIY store and bought some suitable wood then came home and adapted the  feeding station to prevent Jasper from any repeat of last night. Whilst using the tools he also finished off a blanking plate for a vent that isn't required in the living room then tidied the garage. With the workbench folded away and the floor swept he managed to put the car away for the first time in several weeks.

The rest of the day was taken up with the odd domestic chores and trying to set up a dinner for a bunch of VM Old Gits. Unfortunately the numbers for each of the suggested dates are quite low though overall there's a lot who wish to come. It may mean a rethink and setting some new dates later in the year.

Meanwhile, Cousteau-Cub has posted on Facebook that she in Koh Lanta and about to board the plane home. We're all very excited that we'll be seeing her tomorrow.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Shops

Ellie didn't wake until 7:45 and then came into bed with the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen for fifteen minutes before we all got started on the day.

The morning went much to expectation: breakfast, some running around, some play, a wash and then the morning nap. This nap, however, lasted a lot longer than expected and we had to wake her after about three hours.

Soon after lunch, Pistol Pete turned up. He had been at work since the early hours so was able to finish early. He scooped Ellie up and we loaded the car. Off they went.

Silence.

We had a quick clear up and then headed off to Sainsbury's.  With Cousteau-Cub home on Sunday, and Pistol Pete and Urban-Cub coming to lunch with Amber and Ellie, there was food to buy. It didn't take too long to load up with meat, vegetables, snacks, puddings, and wine. We're all set now.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

On duty

Today we have been on duty as G-force.

Ellie woke soon after seven and we snapped to attention. Breakfast followed by a lot of running around finally became quiet as Ellie headed for a morning nap. It didn't last too long but did allow us to get on with various domestic admin tasks.

A lot more running around, a bit of lunch, a few tantrums and she went back to bed for a rest. The Gorse Fox took the opportunity to try and find a suitable typeface for her stories - an Ellie-font.

He did manage to get enough time to select some new sunglasses. He has made do without any form of sunglasses for the last couple of years, but feels it's something he really must address. Finally he got time to have a good search and find something that would accept his prescription.

As he writes, the Silver Vixen is give Ellie her bath as she winds down. It's been a good family-focussed day.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Lost

Well it was a lovely start to the day, if a little cold. The Silver Vixen had Pilates and the Gorse Fox had football on the schedule.

The football did not go well today; the Gorse Fox was playing for the orange-bibs. Perhaps our local reporter expressed it best:
Score line hardly does it justice. 
Brian’s Orange Linedancers 1 Gary’s Yellow Flamencos 6 
We started by re-arranging the goals for a blue line 6v5, when Terry (John “handball” Oram’s cousin), limped up and Jack persuaded him to play. After re-arranging the goals again, we kicked off in bright sunshine and by half time yellows had a 2 goal lead through Runaldo and Gossiping Barry. 
Second half Terry Crabb retired hurt, swiftly followed by the aforementioned Terry, clutching what had been his good leg when he arrived! Cue shuffling with Petra Bone changing to orange. However no good fortune for him as Barry, Runaldo, Dudders and JB the tree surgeon all scored for orange with Late’Ron getting the consolation goal for the Linedancers via a wicked deflection off JB. I must report that some of Jacks language directed at me should have resulted in the referee having a word with him. As usual our thanks to JO for his refereeing, stopping some of the more obvious running.
The Gorse Fox was not really amused - it was more like Whingeing Football than Walking football today, and many of the decisions seemed to be entirely arbitrary and there was a certain lack of good grace. Indeed one "hand ball" decision against the opposing team was so obviously not a hand ball that the Gorse Fox decided he would take the free-kick and just rolled it straight to the opposition goalkeeper. Think of it as the "Corinthian Spirit".

Back home the Silver Vixen arrived a few minutes after the Gorse Fox. She had Ellie with her and she will be staying for the next couple of days.

Only 3 full days before Cousteau-Cub arrives now. We are really looking forward to the weekend.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tapping up

Very cold overnight again, but it soon started to warm up.

While making breakfast this morning The Gorse Fox also took the time to make up some soup. We have a Tefal soup maker and have been very pleased with its performance. As the Silver Vixen was out for the day at her coven, the Gorse Fox made up some soup for her to take in a flask. Butternut squash, sweet potato, red pepper, orange pepper, carrot, onion, vegetable stock, tomato and tomato puree. It turned out to be quite delicious.

The Gorse Fox went off to football. In the first hour he played for the yellow-bibs. Not too bad. Lost the first game 3-2 then won the next two games 1-0 and 5-1. A good first hour. It was between games that Gorse Fox was tapped-up (in the footballing parlance). He was approached by a chap who is currently waiting to hear if he's selected for the England national team. He asked if the Gorse Fox would join his team for the National championships. The Gorse Fox said he would give it some thought. Then at the end of the next game he was approached by a second person asking him if he would join their team for the National championships. Very flattering.

I the second hour we shuffled the pack and the Gorse Fox played for the red-bibs. We drew the first game then won 4-1 and 2-0. The Gorse Fox was pleased to grab a couple more goals by drifting in from the back into open space and just passing the ball into the net.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Thaw

It was cold again overnight and there were still snow flurries this morning. It really hasn't come to much and the forecast is that a thaw will start this afternoon and the temperatures will rise throughout the week.

Fairly quiet day here - a few domestic chores followed by a lot of family tree work. The Gorse Fox chose a different branch today and had a much more successful day. The one problem area he came across was the disappearance of the lancastria.org.uk website. This used to provide a great deal of background regrading the sinking of RMS Lancastria during the evacuation of St Nazaire during WWII. The Gorse Fox's uncle was a Roman Catholic Chaplain and one of the survivors of the attack. He was mentioned in many of the subsequent articles. Now the site has gone. The Gorse Fox has, however, got newspaper clippings and links to newspaper archives  which pick up most of the story.

He also spent some time looking at research for Pistol Pete's family. Records and sources are quite good, but again many of the other trees that feature parts of his family are just dreadful. No valid sources for the information and clear anomalies in the assumptions made. It's frustrating because one tree seemed to push his ancestors back several further generations but there was no corroborative information so the names could just as easily have been picked out of thin air.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Snow, Snow, slip, slip snow

We had snow over night. Not a huge amount, but it had settled and it was very cold out. Fortunately we had no reason to go out. We had a lazy start which was topped with a full English breakfast. Then once we had finished our morning reading, the Gorse Fox retired to the study and the Silver Vixen started to potter.

By late morning the snow was disappearing - it was still cold, but the snow was melting. There wasn't a great deal to report from the study. It was another frustrating morning of family tree research. (As the Gorse Fox pointed out yesterday - we had no football today). The Gorse Fox did manage to book an hotel for the weekend of the Silver Vixen's sister's wedding - it was a little pricey, but it seemed like a good excuse to push the boat out a bit.

Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete popped in to drop off some stuff we would need for Ellie later in the week and take the opportunity to use our broadband (theirs is still not installed). They didn't stay long and once they had left the Silver Vixen returned to her pottering around and the Gorse Fox watched the football on TV.

Pretty lazy day really.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Trees

The forecast for the day wasn't good and by mid-morning it was snowing. At times it was quite heavy, but it didn't settle at all. The temperature has certainly dropped after the last few days. It's due to get worse overnight tonight. We don't have to go anywhere so that isn't really too much of an issue. (The Gorse Fox has no football in the morning).

The Sonning Crew got together for coffee at Old Bill and Lad Penelope's. It was the first time we had seen them since their return from St Lucia. They had clearly enjoyed a good time and we got all the latest news about Sandals and what you can do there. We also caught up on the local news - how they all get so much local gossip is quite beyond the Gorse Fox. It appears that our neighbour, opposite, is moving. She has wanted an older barn conversion as long as we have known her and it appears that she has found one. Another neighbour is apparently trading in his current partner for a newer model (the Gorse Fox isn't clear on what the part exchange rates are). We never met this particular couple so really have no comment of any value to make... other than it always seems a shame when relationships break down.

The Gorse Fox has spent the afternoon working on the family tree. The whole time has been spent delving into the records for any clues regrading the Silver Vixen's 2nd great grandparents (paternal). This has been very frustrating as he has found absolutely nothing. Nada. Zilch. All he knows is their names but can find no record in the Census returns from 1841-1891, and no definitive records of any other type. They will have to return to the back burner and then the Gorse Fox will have another crack at them in a few months.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Suits You Sir

Another lovely day, despite the forecast. The weekend, however, looks a bit dodgy.

After some domestic chores the Gorse Fox retired to the study. There was a small pile of paperwork to be scanned, filed, backed-up, and shredded. This was the first task on the list of admin. It didn't take too long and the automatic document feeder on the new printer is a godsend for this. Once that was done the Gorse Fox got on with the weekly accounts.

With the boring admin out of the way the Gorse Fox started checking a few things and realised that his documentation for the backup regime was a bit out of date. It wasn't too far off, but could certainly do with a refresh. It took a while to get it up to scratch but the Gorse Fox is now content.

In the background, the Silver Vixen has been looking at some clothes we had stored away. Partly this was to dig out clothing that Cousteau-Cub may need when she is back with us, but partly it was to see if there was anything that may be appropriate for our upcoming holiday. We both had a pleasant surprise.

Clothes that had been put away for years emerged from their storage and both the Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox found that the fitted. Indeed they fitted well. Given that one of these items was the Gorse Fox's dress suit - last worn in 1994 - he was pleased it was such a good fit. (Indeed he dug out a photo from a business event that we attended in Bermuda when he last wore the suit). Similarly the Silver Vixen found a number of lovely dresses from years gone by - many of which were now too big, but some fit beautifully.

Inm a time when people tend to put on weight as they age, it's good to see we can both get back into clothes from 25 years ago.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Midwife

Ellie slept right through until 07:15 and then cam into our bed for half an hour. Once up she was soon fed and starting to explore the world on two feet. She was clearly finding it tiring as she soon needed a morning nap and slept for a couple of hours. Then up again, she wandered about, had lunch, walked around a lot more, then again flagged and went to bed for another hour. Urban-Cub came to collect her after work, but she had been an absolute joy the whole time she was here. Even Jasper is beginning to trust here and allows her to approach, if not actually stroke him.

The Gorse Fox follows a number of feeds on Twitter. Among the usual tripe, vitriol, fake news, and a few gems of actual interest he saw the attached image.
It was published by "MarcherLord" with the comment that his midwife had developed this and believes it to be 95% accurate.

The Gorse Fox used a few samples and found that for all of the people he had tried, it was 100% accurate. This was immensely interesting and he assumes that the midwife had developed this from records stretching back over many years. He would love to know the actual provenance and methodology.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Whew

It was another bright day - though there was a strong wind blowing from the south east. The Silver Vixen had no Pilates today - which was just as well as Old Bill and Lady Penelope were returning from holiday and we had the key for their house.

The Gorse Fox had football. It was a good turn out and the we played 5-vs-6. The Gorse Fox was on the smaller orange team. It was hard work playing against the extra player and at half time the store was still stuck on 0-0. A quick discussion at half-time and the Gorse Fox said he roam forward from the the back to fill in gaps at the  centre or on the wing. This turned out to be the breakthrough. The Gorse Fox scored two goals as we started to dominate. In the end the score was 7-1 and could have been more.

Leaving the sports centre, the Gorse Fox headed to Rustington to collect Ellie and bring her home. She's with us overnight and through the day tomorrow. It's great to see her trying to master this walking thing. She is getting there but still drops onto all fours to move quickly.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Rules

Rules seem to be the subject of the day.

A Facebook post from a neighbour was questioning various aspects of the Covenant to which we are all meant to adhere. It would appear that her direct neighbour is just making up new rules to suit himself and threatening court action because other people don't adhere to his fantasy rules. It's a shame, but there always seems to be one on every development. Clearly most of the neighbours have rallied round to give moral support.

Football was also subject to rule changes. At least these are documented and provide some standardisation across the land. The main differences to us are in the realms of ball height. Because we play outside on a large pitch we have never enforced the rule that the ball has remain below head height. From today we are. This cause a degree of confusion to start with, but we soon got into the swing of it. Well that might be an exaggeration - the Gorse Fox was only on the winning side for 1 out of 6 games today... and certainly didn't contribute any goals (though did stop a few).

Weatherwise it has been a gorgeous day but the forecast for the end of the week is looking pretty grim (at least in the east of the country).

Monday, March 12, 2018

Budgets

It's been a mixed day, weather-wise. There's been rain, bright sun, and heavy rain. Certainly not a day to venture out without an umbrella (Rihanna will be pleased).

Talking of being pleased, the Gorse Fox keeps a fairly close eye on the family accounts. As part of this, he sets budgets and manages the regular bills. When setting the annual budget he looks at last year's expenditure and applies an uplift to account for inflation. He's very pleased that this year, so far, all of the uplifts he applied have proved to be too large. Today we received the biggest bill of the year - the Council Tax. He hasn't saved a fortune, but it has turned out to be £70 less than he had estimated. Indeed the increase over last year has turned out to be slightly less than the uplift in the Gorse Fox's State Pension - so that's a win!

On a separate note we received a short video from Urban-Cub this morning. It featured Ellie taking her first steps. It's very sweet and the sign of things to come. Next we will have to get trainers, ballet shows, wellies.... and goodness knows what else.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Wet and dry

The day started wet, in fact it was too wet for Jasper to venture out. It did, however, begin to dry up and by lunchtime was bright and sunny and warm enough to spend the afternoon sitting out in the Orangery. Now as he writes this, it is overcast once more and looks like more rain is on the way.

The Gorse Fox cooked a 'full English' for himself and the Silver Vixen this morning. Football was a little bit later so it should settle before he started to run around. The Sunday morning Haskins breakfasts have set a bit of a precedent. By mid-morning he was heading across to Ford for the football. We had a lop-sided turnout of 11 players so played 5-v-6 then 6-v-5 in the two halves. The Gorse Fox was playing for the Orange bibs, but despite our best efforts we lost 6-5 overall.

Back home he is still trying to find an example or clear explanation of how to use OAuth2 without resorting to Python code or Javascript. He finds it hard to believe he is the only person ever to have wanted to do this, but so far has failed to find any definitive guidance and is finding it very frustrating.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

People who lunch

After a quiet morning we headed across to The Oystercatcher. We had arranged to meet Urban-Cub and Ellie for lunch. It's Urban-Cub's last day before returning to work after the move = consequently she is not around for Mother's Day tomorrow.

We had chosen wisely in deciding to arrive early. We were able to pick a quiet spot in the corner and stay well away for the general hubbub that built up as the restaurant filled up over the following hour. Ellie sat in a high chair and enjoyed various snacks and a bottle whilst keeping herself and us entertained. We chose for the general menu and had a much better meal than we had managed last night - and at half the price.

Back home, the Gorse Fox has been experimenting with some code and whilst he can see the basics of what he needs to do - he is somewhat flummoxed by the OAuth2 authentication mechanism when trying to initiate his run. He's convinced that once that is cracked, the rest will be plain sailing. It seems that Google is not his friend in this particular instance. It seems to drop lots of hints, but provides no clear examples of the initial set up. Frustrating!

Evening

Well we drove through some pretty foul weather as we headed up to Chiddingfold, in Bandit Country.  The rain was torrential and we drove through thick mist (or low cloud) as we crossed the Downs. We took it steady and got there safely.

J&T were delayed by the traffic but arrived a little while after us. We had a lovely evening catching up o the family news and just chatting in general. We were, however, rather disappointed by food this time. The Mulberry had always been so reliable in the past, but last night there were errors in the order (which they sorted out) and the standard of the food was not what we had come to expect. The Gorse Fox is not sure if it was just a new chef, or new ownership, but it certainly wasn't the same.

We'll give it a miss next time.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Being sociable

Friday has been a day for being sociable - not one of the Gorse Fox's greatest strengths!

It was a bit grey and damp but we had arranged to meet with some old friends near the pier at Bognor. It was a fair bit cooler than the Gorse Fox had expected and he was regretting his choice of lightweight jacket as we strolled along the prom. Fortunately we decided to stop at the Regis Centre and have a coffee and that was where we stayed. The coffees were infinitely refillable so we just stayed put and chatted for several hours. It was lovely to catch up with them as we see them so rarely.

After a quiet afternoon - much of which was spent sorting out an order for some new specs for the Silver Vixen, we got ready to go back out. We are meeting up with The Gorse Fox's little sister and brother-in-law in the middle of bandit country this evening. Again, a lovely opportunity to catch up on all the latest news.

Following on from the Gorse Fox's issues with the Python code yesterday, he has received a number of emails from fellow Rexx connoisseurs. He has been offered several interesting suggestions as to how he might approach the problem in a different way. This will have to wait until he can devote a few hours to some experimentation and testing.... but he is hopeful that this may actually provide a decent alternative.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Unsettling

There is something deeply unsettling about a fragment of code that has run every day for 402 days without failure - but on day 403 it fails and claims the problem is with syntax. The Gorse Fox was troubled. For a start it is a fragment of code written in Python. He is not fluent in Python... he can get by but finds the whole language construct to be obtuse. He started to dig. The problem appeared to be a variable that had not been set. Well, it hadn't been set for the last 402 days either and the code was happy then. Clearly some update has been applied to the underlying language libraries and this has triggered the error. The Gorse Fox made a couple of minor changes and the code burst back into life. Fortunately it's very design is such that it tracks back to find anything that may have been missed from previous days, so within a few seconds the whole kit and caboodle was working and bang up to date.

Maybe it's time the Gorse Fox played around some more with Python so he doesn't get caught out again. (Note he would have written the whole thing in Rexx if he had the opportunity but there is no Google API for Rexx).

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Another one

Obviously it had been quite wet over night, but was drying up in the early morning sun when the Gorse Fox came down for breakfast. The Silver Vixen was heading across to speak to her Pilates friends then looping back to see Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete with a view to watching Ellie while they got on with some of the shifting and shunting required in the house. The Gorse Fox would be joining them later.

The Gorse Fox headed over to Worthing for the Wednesday football. We had a new chap jon us this week and he turned out to be quite good. The game was close, if somewhat spoilt by over-zealous refereeing. The Gorse Fox was playing for the orange-bibs and by half time we had built a 4-2 lead. In the second half it was closer but we managed to hold on to the 2-goal cushion and won 6-4. The Gorse Fox managed to score agin - that's 7 for the week! Clearly that won't last so he can expect a dry spell.

Leaving the sports centre, the Gorse Fox went back to Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete's. He arrived just in time to help with one of their garden storage boxes - which was made easier by a couple of the workmen on the development helping lift it over the wall. After some lunch we then set about the shed. We had disassembled it with care in the hope that it would go back together easily. Amazingly, it did. It took about thirty minutes from beginning to end. Once the garden items were complete we set about Jake's bedroom. His old bed had to be taken apart and removed to the garage so a new one could be assembled. Again, a bit of good teamwork got the whole thing done in no time.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

What a difference

What a difference a week makes. It was over 10c when the Gorse Fox headed out for football. Last week he didn't even venture out.

When he got over to Worthing the sun had broken through and it was really quite pleasant as we started the game. The Gorse Fox wasn't fully with it today but despite that managed to score 4 goals as we 9the red bibs) won the first game an lost the next two. Changing into green-bibs for the second hour we then won all three games. The new shin-pads are obviously working some magic - no bruises an 4 goals.

The afternoon was warm enough to settle down in the Orangery an enjoy the sun.



Monday, March 05, 2018

Quiet day

A lovely quiet day today. Bits of admin to do, but nothing too taxing.

A trip to Chichester this afternoon - the Silver Vixen wanted some bits in M&S and the Gorse Fox wanted some new shin pads. While the Silver Vixen was doing her shopping the Gorse Fox also had his regular appointment at the chiropodist. He always enjoys these as they finish off with a nice a foot massage.

Traffic was strangely light coming home. Almost as if everyone was still sheltering indoors from snowmageddon. A bit pointless as it was dry and about 8c... but even still he's not complaining when there's such a clear run to and from the town.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

On target

It was another lovely bright start to the day. The Gorse Fox had football scheduled, but not until 11:00 so it was a leisurely start. We got a couple of calls from Urban-Cub while we were having breakfast - the Silver Vixen was planning to go over for a cup of tea and there were various questions to be answered and the Gorse Fox had to print off some sets of instructions for her.

Football was a good 6-v-6 game. The Gorse Fox was playing for the yellow-bibs and at half time we had managed a 4-3 lead. The Gorse Fox wasn't quite on top of his game but managed some fairly solid defending without anything spectacular. By the end of the second half we had extended things to about 12-7 and that included two goals from the Gorse Fox.

Back home the Gorse Fox found that Jasper had thrown-up all over our clean bedding so the first chore was to get the bedding into the washing machine and to cover the quilt in Bicarb. Fortunately it had obviously only just happened and the quick intervention prevented any staining. The afternoon was made special by observing that Arsenal had lost against Brighton - their third loss in a week... not that the Gorse Fox is basking in schadenfreude but - oh, ok, he is.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Back to normal

The weather was very much back to normal today. The sun was out when we got up and it was fairly bright throughout the morning. The temperatures had soared to a heady 5c and we had to resist the inclination to go and sunbathe. By lunchtime it was fairly grey but had remained dry. We really are so lucky in this little pocket of the country.

Various little chores filled the morning The last of the se was fitting a new water filter on the fridge. This di not go smoothly. The first filter seemed to leak extensively and in the end the Gorse Fox had to use the spare he had bought for next time.  Email has been rattled off to Amazon... we await a response.

Early afternoon has been spent wrapped in the branches of the family tree. It is only today that the Gorse Fox has realised how poor the Canadian genealogical resources are. He has been try to fill in some details regarding some cousins and a long deceased Aunt. There doesn't seem to be anything equivalent to the UK's GRO. Records are held at Provincial level and few recent ones are available online. The Gorse Fox would be tearing his hair out if he had significant numbers of Canadians in his tree.

Friday, March 02, 2018

Emma meets the Beast

So storm Emma, coming up from the South, was meant to meet the Beast from the east and cause chaos. Well apparently nobody told Emma or the Beast. We have again been right on the edge of things and through it has been cold and very windy, the snow has not come to much.

Conscious of the ice that may have formed, the Gorse Fox decided that he would take the Silver Vixen across to Urban-Cub's. Ellie was scheduled for her second swimming lesson, and the Silver Vixen was meant to be there for moral support. With our car warm and cozy, it made sense to take Urban-Cub and Ellie with us, rather than swap cars. So it was that we trundled across to Worthing on near deserted roads. People were heeding the warnings and had stayed at home. This in its own right became a problem as there was nowhere to park in the residential street where the hydrotherapy pool is. The Gorse Fox dropped them off and pottered back to the Sports Centre - at least there it would be easy to park and he could pop in for a coffee while waiting.

Clearly the swimming went well and Ellie seems suitable fearless. Will have to see if we can find a small scuba tank for when Cousteau-Cub is back.

Back home we had a quiet afternoon punctuated by the odd snow showers which came to nothing. One car managed to loose traction on the corner outside the house and ended up on the pavement near Old Bill's. He drove off without further incident. Meanwhile Old Bill and Lady Penelope have gone up to Gatwick in preparation for their trip to St Lucia starting in the morning.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Snow

Another cold night and another dusting of snow on the ground this morning. The Gorse Fox posted to facebook...
There has been a lot of banter from friends in the North regarding the weather and how it is always so much worse "ooop there" and that we don't have anything like it in the South. 

Well, the Gorse Fox  offers this photo from this morning to show that we do indeed get extreme weather here on the South Coast. Last night's blizzards have trapped us, as you can see. We are awaiting rescue by helicopter, four-track vehicles, or snowcats.

As you might expect the Gorse Fox received some abuse as a result!

We headed off into Chichester to meet up with Cathy & Roy. They were down on Hayling Island for a few days and it seemed like a good opportunity to catch up and grab a bite to eat. We met at the cross in the middle of Chichester and strolled down to Prezzo. Like Chichester as a whole, the place was deserted - people were avoiding the bitterly cold wind and staying home.

It was nice to catch up with them and hear their family news and their plans. It sounds as if they have a lovely trip down the US West Coast planned for this summer.

Back home the snow started mid-afternoon. It is very light and fluffy and isn't really settling because of the strong wind. The forecast keeps changing so we'll just have to see what develops.