Friday, August 31, 2018

Early start

Well that was out of the ordinary. Usually Ellie sleeps through, but last night she was awake and calling before 3 o'clock. Though the Silver Vixen got up, changed her, and changed the bed, she wouldn't settle. Indeed it was a couple of hours before she went back off properly and we double-teamed until she she dropped off finally (though the Silver Vixen did the lion's share). Fortunately it was about eight thirty before she stirred again.

The morning was really focussed on Ellie so there's not too much to report. We did, however, wander round to feed the ducks on the lake. She's still quite mesmerised by the ducks as the swim across from the island and gobble up the seed.

Ellie had a nap after lunch and had only just got up when Urban-Cub arrived to collect her. She had clearly had a day of it with software problems on the scanning equipment and a plane stuck on the runway at Gatwick.

The Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox are now back off duty. A glass of spiced rum (and coke) seemed like a suitable "end of shift" treat before the Gorse Fox starts on tonight's supper.

The Gorse Fox must try and get some time to catch up on Admin... but can't be bothered this evening.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Tapas

It was a nice start to the day and whilst there were patches of cloud, it was warm, bright, and dry. We had a leisurely breakfast and then pottered around waiting for Ocado to deliver. It is always days when you are planning to go out that Ocado turn up at the very end of their delivery slot - or in today's case 10 minutes late. The Gorse Fox had an appointment in Chichester and Google was telling us to watch for the traffic. So when Ocado turned up and said "We don't like deliveries to new estates because the SatNav doesn't recognise all the roads", the Gorse Fox was not feeling sympathetic. "Well you've been delivering to us for the last 4 years without any problems" he countered. The driver responded there are two entrances to the estate and the directions are wrong - the Gorse Fox told him there was only one entrance and the other specifically says construction traffic only (actually is say ConstrNction Traffic Only - but one assumes he understands). There was no response. Delivery was completed and he wandered off to get lost somewhere else.

Originally our plan was for the Gorse Fox to attend if midday appointment then take the car to the garage for servicing and MOT. A late phone call yesterday changed this. The MOT could not be done as they have a fault on a machine. It was all re-arranged for Monday but did mean we had some time in Chichester which could be adequately accounted for with a trip to the Giggling Squid.

We wandered in and were shown to a table. It was clearly very popular at lunch times with the "Ladies who lunch" set. The Gorse Fox thinks he was one of only two males in the place! The food is essentially Thai cuisine and at lunchtime they do a tapas menu as well as some more traditional dishes. We both opted for the tapas and were very glad that we did. The Silver Vixen had "Wealthy Squid" and the Gorse Fox had "Two Squids" - they were slightly different selections of food - a Thai curry (red, green, or Massaman), some rice, and in the case of Wealthy Quid - some duck spring rolls and fish cakes. For the Two Squid the extras were salt and chilli squid, and beef in chilli and lime. The food was excellent and far more filling than you might expect. A very good choice for a decent lunch in town.

Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete dropped Ellie off with us during the afternoon and we will be looking after her until Urban-Cub finishes work tomorrow lunch  time.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Game on

It was wet over night and the rain continued into the mid morning. Fortunately it had just stopped by the time the Gorse Fox had to play football.

Today was a bit of a change. Instead of the usual game within the club membership, we had a game against a team from Horsham. It was just a friendly, not a formal tournament or whatever. The Gorse Fox got togged up in the club's official kit and we headed out onto the pitch. We had two games going on - 30 minutes each. First we played their A-team, then swapped and played their B-team. Meanwhile our second team played the other.

It was a competitive game and they were well organised and quite frankly out-played us for much of the first game. Despite that, we managed to squeeze a 2-1 win. The second game was equally hard and they had a couple of tricky players. We scored first, but they quickly equalised from and impossible angle that left the Gorse Fox and the goalie looking at each other as if to say "how did he do that?". They scored again and it looked as if we were in trouble. The Gorse Fox was feeling cheeky and as his goalie rolled the ball out to him he looked up to the other end and realised their goalie was off his line. The Gorse Fox lofted the ball two thirds the length of the pitch and over the goalie's head. It was 2-2. The second half was hard fought, but the score remained the same. Not a bad morning's play.

Back home the Gorse Fox has been looking at mobile phone SIM plans. The Silver Vixen has reached her data limit a couple of times recently and we need to sort that out. The Vodafone plans seem very pricey... but we do know that Vodafone have good coverage here and in most of the places we go. He's decided to get a SIM from Giffgaff (who use the O2 network). He'll test it out in his phone and see what coverage we get, then swap the SIM for the Silver Vixen if it works out ok. It seems that with Giffgaff we could get 30 times the data allowance for less than half what it currently costs us for the Silver Vixen's plan (which fortunately is about to expire).

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

One Session

Tuesday has turned into a lovely day. It was a bit grey at first, but has brightened up beautifully. The Silver Vixen had a plan for her morning, and the Gorse Fox had some football to play.

The Silver Vixen headed across to spend the morning in Haskins while the Gorse Fox headed for Worthing Leisure Centre. It seemed like ages since he had played and he was really looking forward to the banter and the creaking of elderly joints as we wove our magic across the artificial turf.

The Gorse Fox was playing for the yellow-bibs today. Not a strong team, but adequate. We kicked off and wisthin a couple of moments we were 1-0 ahead. We had to defend quite doggedly, but managed a 3-2 win in the end. The second game was less successful with a 2-1 loss. The final game of the session was also a 2-1 loss - but having said that the Gorse Fox provided the assist for our goal and also managed to score one. The ref, however, said he had been fouled and as the goal was scored from within the area (not allowed) he brought play back for a free kick. The Gorse Fox knew this was not correct but didn't argue. Discussion with the opposition goalie, however, confirmed that the Gorse Fox was well outside the area when he scored so it should have been allowed. Never mind.

The second hour was less successful inasmuch as there were insufficient numbers to hold the session. Yet again his second hour of football was missed.

During the afternoon we popped in to see Two Hats and Tinkerbell to thank them for looking after the house while we were away. It's always nice to sit and chat for a bit and catch up on all the news.

While the Gorse Fox writes this he has a curry bubbling away on the hob. The plan for tonight is a fish and prawn curry, but there's still a good 45 minutes to go before it is ready.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Excitement

Ok that's not really true.

It has been a very quiet day. Ellie woke up and got us on the move by about 0730 and most of the morning revolved around her. She did go down for nap which allowed the Gorse Fox to spend some time looking for some suitable adapters to sort out the cables on our bedside tables. What with watches, tablets, and phones to consider we are running out of sockets. He was hoping for a sleek docking device but the one that he liked best was a silly price.

After lunch Pistol Pete came along to collect Ellie. We'll see her again later in the week, but for now she's back home. The Gorse Fox went out for a walk after we had tidied up. He needed to get some exercise and stretch out a bit - he had had a niggly back-ache since getting up this morning and was hoping the exercise would help. It did. He feels back to normal now.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Pouring

It started to rain soon after the Gorse Fox got up. It rained non-stop and heavily throughout the day. It was not a day to be sitting on the beach. Fortunately that wasn't in plan.

We had a very quiet morning. The Gorse Fox had no football as, yet again, we couldn't muster sufficient players. It's a shame because he really fancied a game and needs to sharpen up before a friendly against Horsham on Wednesday. In the end the morning was spent filing, geo-locating, and face-tagging photos from the last month or so. Whilst the Gorse Fox uses Google photos to store all of the photos in "the cloud", he also ensures he has a master copy on his system here at home, and the usual two local backups on two separate NAS devices. (The Gorse Fox believes you can't be too paranoid when it comes to data security and retention).

During the afternoon Urban Cub arrived with Ellie. She had been on an early duty and was on early again tomorrow. As the child minder is observing the Bank Holiday, the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox are looking after Ellie until Pistol Pete finishes work tomorrow lunch time.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Settling back down

Today has been focussed on settling back down after the holiday. The Silver Vixen was assiduously working through the piles of washing and our vintage machine chugged its way through load after load. Fortunately it was a nice day so the most of it dried outside on the washing line.

The Gorse Fox had some tidying up to do after the problems with the credit card last week. The replacement had arrived and needed activating. This didn't take long but it was a good excuse to double check all the recent transactions to assure ourselves that they were valid. Luckily they were. The card company had clearly caught and removed the fraudulent transactions when we had spoken during the week. That wasn't quite the end of the story though. When we went shopping later the Gorse Fox decided to christen that card. It was declined. He used another then called the card company to find out what had happened. Sure enough they had left a block on the card (despite the Gorse Fox activating it). They were full of apologies and sorted it out immediately.

After our shopping spree at Sainsbury's we popped across to see Old Bill and Lady Penelope to say thanks for looking after the house while we were away. We stayed a bit longer than planned, but did have an opportunity to see their new CCTV system. The camera at the front is certainly very good and the one at the back seems good in daylight, but not so clear at night. The installers are returning to try and sort this out (or replace it).

The Gorse Fox heard from Canada during the evening. Beloved Aunt's funeral had gone very well and they were having a family day. The Gorse Fox wishes he could have been there.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Home again

Today it was farewell to Guernsey. We had a leisurely breakfast and then got packed. We had booked a taxi through the concierge so settled down in the lounge. The hotel collected our cases and the next time we saw them was on arrival at the airport. The Gorse Fox must say that the OGH provide a wonderful service. They are 5-star rated, but it is plain to see why.

Check-in at the airport was almost instant and in a couple of minutes we were in the departure lounge drinking coffee. (The Gorse Fox had been stopped in Security and his camera case swabbed and checked for "residue" - it was, of course clear).

The flight was slightly delayed while an engineer replaced a light on the wing and a tray table in the the cabin, but as the flight is only 35 minutes it was not really an issue. Back in Southampton we walked out of the airport and straight onto the bus to the Long Stay car park... no waiting for us today!

We had a very quick run through and stopped to pick Jasper up from the cattery. We are all unpacked and just deciding what to have for supper as there is no waiter to come and take our order.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Quieter Day

It has been a quieter day. The early morning rain cleared but the skies remained pretty grey and overcast until mid afternoon. After a hearty breakfast we headed down into the town. The Gorse Fox picked up some of their monopoly money (they have their own banknotes here in in Guernsey) and then we formed and orderly queue of 2 for the bus. The plan was to visit St Sampson and Vale at the north of the Island.

St Sampson is the second town of the Island and used to be the crossing point between what had once been the two islands. At high tide the north and south of Guernsey used to be two separate islands. The only proper bridge was at St Sampson and even now the town is known colloquially as "The Bridge". We got off the bus and went to explore. It was clear that there was almost nothing to see and though we had a walk we eventually ducked into Costa for a coffee and to kill 30 minutes until the next bus.

The next bus weaved across to the centre of Vale (one of the 10 Guernsey parishes) where we stopped off at The Oatlands Centre. This had once been part of the granite quarrying industry but now housed a few shops and a lot of indoor play space for children as well as a pitch and putt golf course. The information boards were probably the most interesting aspect of the Centre... as we didn't have an urge to use the playgrounds. We did wander round the the shop that sold gold jewellery at extraordinarily low prices, but resisted the temptation to emulate Midas.

We caught the bus back to SPP, stopped off at the Tourist Information Centre and then headed up the hill to the OGH. We sat out on the terrace while the Silver Vixen read her magazine and the Gorse Fox tried to construct a suitable epitaph for Beloved Aunt who completed her journey on this earth yesterday.

For dinner, we headed back to Dix Neuf, where we ate at the start of the holiday. It's quite a vibrant little place and we enjoyed a really good meal (steak for the Silver Vixen, Thai-style chicken and cashews with noodles for the Gorse Fox). We finished off the evening with a stroll along the causeway to the lighthouse.

Mist and rain

Forecast for today is not good, and the Gorse Fox would note that so far it seems spot on. Thick mist has triggered the fog horns across the harbour and a fine, soaking drizzle is falling. Plans for a trip to St Sampson in the north may need to change.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Blackjack on Sark

We wandered down to the harbour just after breakfast. Though we were early, there was already a queue for the  ferry. We boarded after a few minutes wait and settled down inside - some hardy souls decided to sit on the open prow or stern. The Gorse Fox has learnt from previous trips that it can get chilly in the open after a while. The ferry was pretty full as it left harbour. The sea was like a mill pond. Hardly a ripple disturbed the surface. The ferry headed out and skirted south of Herm and then looped  round the north side of Sark and down to the harbour on the east side.

We disembarked and wandered through the tunnel to the parking area. Sark does not allow motor vehicles, with the exception of tractors. Tractors wait at this parking area with trailers hooked up and seats for passengers on the trailers. The locals refer to these as "toast racks". Once full (32 passengers) the tractors carry you up the hill to the edge of the village. (There is a footpath if you are feeling adventurous - we weren't).

At the village we were greeted by Philip and his Percheron (heavy horse) called Blackjack. Philip and Blackjack would be our guides for the day. We climbed up into the carriage and set off at slow and steady pace. Philip gave us a commentary as we passed through the lanes. He pointed out houses that had famous owners - Dennis Price, the actor, Mervyn Peake, the author, and so forth and told us the historical framework that provides a background to it all.

There are about 400 permanent inhabitants on the Island and it is pretty self-sufficient, growing most of the vegetables it needs and having plenty of cattle, sheep, and pigs on the Island has a ready supply of fresh meat. There is a very nice looking school which caters for children up to GCSE. Currently there are about 30 children in the school! All of the properties are leasehold and the Island is self-governing. Like Guernsey it is not part of the EU, but is part of the Common Travel Area. The local government is by a 28 member parliament.

We passed the prison. The smallest operational prison in the world, apparently. It can hold 2 prisoners and is rarely used. It is right next door to the church... and in the church is a "prisoners' pew". If a prisoner wishes to go to church on Sunday, the constable has to accompany him and use the allocated pew. Philip went on to  say that if he was a prisoner, he would demand to go to church just to irritate the constable.

We found our way to the Pilcher Monument on the west coast, overlooking the Brecqhou Islet. This was a magical spot with views of the reclusive Barclay brothers' domain (Barclay brothers own the Daily and Sunday Telegraph, the Spectator, and the Shop Direct Group). As we watched, a helicopter lifted off and headed towards Guernsey. Clearly they don't slum it on the ferry.


Philip guided Blackjack to pull us back to the crossroads and then south towards Little Sark. We pottered along at a comfortable walking pace, chatting with Philip and waving at cyclists as they passed. We arrived at The Coupee. This is a narrow causeway linking Sark to Little Sark. In the past this was so precarious that in high winds, people would have to crawl across on their hands and knees. Now the causeway has proper protective rails and whilst still challenging for anyone with vertigo, it is quite safe. We  had to dismount from the carriage and allow Philip and Blackjack to cross alone as it is illegal for him to carry passengers across. We walked across and then caught up with our chauffer and carriage at the top of the rise on the south side.

Our next stop was La Sablonerrie. This is a charming little hotel and restaurant in the middle of Little Sark. We took our seats at a table in the shade, but soon realised that was amistake. There was a very slight breeze and it was a bit chilly there. We moved into the sun and that was much better. The menu wasn't extensive but it was more than adequate. There was a fine choice of starters and an excellent set of entrees. There was, in addition, a whole page of lobster dishes. The Silver Vixen plumped for the lobster whilst the Gorse Fox went for a seafood platter. The food was exquisite and Elizabeth, the owner, came round to chat with each of the tables in turn. The Gorse Fox couldn't help but think how well she would get on with his Auntie Margaret - two peas in a pod!

Lunch over, we met with Philip and Blackjack and continued our tour. Again we crossed The Coupee on foot as Blackjack pulled the empty carriage across. We climbed back on board and pottered onwards. We stopped at the Island's only chocolate factory. This was started by and run by the sister of Michael O'Leary who runs RyanAir. Fortunately the chocolate is better than the airline.


With various detours Philip took us across to the gardens of La Seigneurie. This is the home of the Seigneur of Sark. It is an absolute gem of a building surrounded by wonderful gardens. We didn't stay for too long, but were there long enough to get a real feel for the place. From the gardens we headed back to the village and said our goodbyes to Philip and the trusty Blackjack.

Climbing into a "toast rack" we careered back down the hill to the harbour to wait for our ferry. It was pretty full, but we had good (inside) seats so had a very comfortable trip back to SPP.

It has been a brilliant day.

Tripping

Today we have a small adventure planned. We are catching the boat across to Sark where we will be met by a chap with a pony and trap. He is ours for the day and will give us a tour of the island and take us across to Little Sark for lunch.

It's a little grey at present but the sun is trying to break through. Hopefully it will be a nice day.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

A Treat

As the Gorse Fox has already mentioned, lunch was booked. We did, however, have an hour or two to kill before we got the bus. We decided that we would visit Les Cotils. This sits high above the town and is afforded some fantastic views across the harbour and the channel beyond.


It seems to be an hotel and a Christian Retreat. It certainly bore the semblance to what could once have been a seminary (though the Gorse Fox has no evidence for this). It stands in 12 acres of grounds and incorporates an award winning "Chelsea" garden from a few years ago. Perhaps we read a little too much into the advertising. The 12 acres were predominantly lawns and the award winning garden was quite small and in need of some attention. Oh well, if we hadn't gone to visit we wouldn't have known and may have kicked ourselves for missing it.

We looped back down into the town and along by the harbour. We stopped off at various shops before settling in CoCo for a coffee.

The bus left the terminus on the dot of 12 and took about 25 minutes to weave through the countryside and drop us by the Doyle Monument, right next to The Auberge.

The views we still as good as we had remembered. Whilst we were in hazy sunshine, SPP was still in cloud and the skies above the harbour looked menacing. We made ourselves known and selected a table outside. The garden seemed a lot smaller than it used to be. When we commented on this it was explained that they had extended the indoor seating in 2005 and that had taken about half of the garden.

We sat and enjoyed the peace, the views, and a bottle of wine over our lunch. The Silver Vixen chose the lobster again - this time with a salad. It was beautifully presented and she thoroughly enjoyed it. The Gorse Fox decided to star with Chorizo and Squid salad, followed by a thick, succulent, ribeye steak. It was just perfect. Even now his mouth is watering as he thinks back to lunchtime. The Auberge really is a very special place both geographically and gastronomically.

We walked up to the Jerbourg Hotel and waited for the bus. It doesn't retrace the route it takes to get you there, but on the way back it dives down into some of the bays to the south before looping back to SPP.

Back in SPP we wandered up the hill to the Old Victorian Shop (which also serves as the HQ for the National Trust for Guernsey). This is a perfectly preserved town house and shop maintained as it would have been in the 1800s. It was not huge so didn't take too long to visit - but it was interesting and several things that were on show were familiar from the Gorse Fox's childhood.

Better start

Well it's a better start today. Though a bit cloudy, we can at least see the town and islands of Herm and Sark. Shafts of silver decorate the channel where the sun has broken through.

Main item on the agenda is lunch at The Auberge near Jerbourg. This is our favourite restaurant (though it is 14 years since our last visit).

Monday, August 20, 2018

Groundhog day

We had arranged to return to The Crow's Nest for dinner tonight. We ambled down to the restaurant and were shown to our table. A couple immediately after us were turned away. It was good that the Gorse Fox had booked. We had a nice little table for 2 by the window and were greeted by the manager as if we were old friends.

The evening menu was more extensive than we had seen at lunchtime. In addition to the menu, there were a number of 'specials'. The Silver Vixen had a skate wing. It was so thick and succulent that it was almost like a white steak. The Gorse Fox  had a Frito Mixto which incorporated salt and chilli squid, cod goujons, prawns, and some battered cod; this was served with salad and tortillas. It was very good indeed.

When we had finished we strolled along the harbour and looked at the expensive boats moored in the sheltered basins.

Back up at our room we found that our Anniversary was, indeed, the gift that kept on giving. We had another card from the hotel, a plate of cookies, another towel sculpture, and another bottle of bubbly.  This hotel certainly knows how to make your stay special.         

Wrecked

It wasn't clear that the mist would clear. There were occasional breaks but it soon closed in. We took a chance and headed for the bus terminus. The Gorse Fox had seen an entry for Fort Grey in the guidebook. It was on the west coast, the opposite side of the Island. It may well be clearer there (or at least, that was the theory).

The bus carried us across the Island with our own private chauffer - by that the Gorse Fox means that out of the 5 bus journeys we have done to date, he has driven 4 of them... so we assumed he had been assigned to us! It didn't take too long to get there, but it was clear that it wasn't clear. The mist was just as thick as we crossed the Island.

We headed into the the rooms for a hot beverage and to get the tickets for the Fort. The ticket also gave us access to a building that housed the remains of a Romano-Celtic trading barge that had been found at the entry to St Peter Port. The remains had been sent across to the Mary Rose Trust for preservation and then returned and put on display here in 2015. It was really quite interesting and enlightening as to how far they traded into the Mediterranean and up the west coast of Europe.

While we were there the Gorse Fox was interrupted by a text message from the bank. It was querying a transaction and checking it was genuine. It wasn't. Wedding Anniversary or not, the Gorse Fox has not tried to spend 200GBP on a pair of ladies shoes! The Gorse Fox then spent the next 30 minutes on the phone to the fraud department checking what else might have been spent and ensuring the card is cancelled. It is always good that the bank picks these transactions up, but frustrating trying to determine how the fraudster got the details to start with. In this case it almost a brand new card (only a month old) so one wonders if it was intercepted, cloned, then sat on for a while to ensure the Gorse Fox had activated it. All the other accounts have been checked and are clean.

We returned to the holiday and wandered across the causeway to Fort Grey, known locally as the Cup and Saucer. This is a Martello Tower built to defend against the risk of Napoleonic attack. Now it holds a really interesting museum charting the stories of various shipwrecks from around the Guernsey coastline. It listed well over 100 vessels stretching back hundreds of years right up to a bulk carrier that ran aground in 2003. Clearly even modern navigation equipment is enough to keep you safe in the storms off the Island.

We grabbed another hot drink. The mist had lifted a bit but it hadn't really brightened up. We hopped on the bus back to St Peter Port. There we found breaks in the cloud and the sun streaming through from the blue bits. Not perfect, but certainly better than the west coast.

Horns

Last night's mist has settled in. This morning we can hardly see the town, let alone the harbour. Fog horns are wailing every few seconds to warn shipping and though a mild 17C it's lookin a bit bleak.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Crustaceans

We had  decided to eat in The Brasserie at the Old Government House (OGH). It was probably just as well as, though it was still quite mild, a light mist had formed which completely obliterated the view.

We took our seat and were attended by out waiter from last night. The Gorse Fox started with sea bass in a black sesame crust. It was gorgeous and a hint of the delights to come. The main couecowad really a no brsiner. Despite the extensive menu, one item leapt off the page. Lobster Thermidor. We both had the same and sat in almost reverent silence as we worked our way through. It really was perfect

About now

We have enjoyed another day of exploring. The last couple of days saw us heading down into town. Today we started by heading up through Candie Park and then on to Cambridge Gardens and the the Victoria Tower. It was still a bit grey and slightly misty so the views were not as spectacular as advertised and the grey skies always seem to flatten the colours.

We wandered back down to the Sunken Garden (which is just outside our hotel) and as we sat and enjoyed the seclusion we decided on a plan for the afternoon. We would make use of our bus passes and head out to Saumarez Manor. This has been voted one of the best attractions on the Island. Seemed like a winner.

The bus driver turned out to be the same chap we had yesterday. He deposited at the entrance to the Manor and we made our way across the gardens, passing some of the wonderful sculptures, and found our way to the tea rooms. (Did the Gorse Fox detect a gasp of surprise? Maybe not).

While we sat and drank or tea and had a bit of cake, Cousteau-Cub managed to make contact and we exchanged a few messages. Then we headed out to the sub-tropical gardens and followed the sculpture trail as it wove back and forth through the trees, the undergrowth, the ferns, and the bamboo. Some of the items of sculpture were really quite brilliant (others, however, were underwhelming). The Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen did enjoy it, but really that was all there was to see (if you don't have kids with you, or don't want to play pitch and putt).

We headed back to the bus stop and back to town. Then climbing up through the now familiar streets we returned to the hotel for afternoon tea and a quiet hour on the terrace.

Great start

It's a lovely sunny start to the day as the Gorse Fox enjoys a coffee on our balcony and looks out over the harbour at the new cruise ship that has appeared over night.

It was 45 years ago today that the Silver Vixen was crazy enough to marry the Gorse Fox. These 45 years have been wonderful and he could not have wished or hoped for anyone better to spend his life with. She is an inspiration, a friend, a partner, a mum, a grandmum, and a saint. The Gorse Fox loves her to bits... and hopes we can manage the next 45 years with just as much success.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Eventide

We dressed up a bit and headed down to The Curry Room. This is an intimate little restaurant within the hotel, There are only five tables so it is quiet and refined. It is decorated in heavy red damask and has paintings and displays from the time of the English rule in India.

The menu was different. The usual litany of dishes you expect in an Indian restaurant was nowhere to be seen. There was a single choice of starters (the choice being whether or not to have a starter). This was poppadoms and samosas with various chutneys. It was a very good start. The samosas were delicately spiced and wrapped in the thinnest and crispiest of pastries that the Gorse Fox has ever tried.

For the main dish we both had the Natal Lamb Curry. This was based on a South African recipe from the Indian ex-pats living in and around Durban. It was delicious. Even the Silver Vixen waxed lyrical about how good it was and that if curries were like this back home she would really enjoy them. Not to put to fine a point on it, it was quite possibly the best curry the Gorse Fox has ever tried.

We finished the meal with coconut ice cream. What can you say - it was creamy and had lashings of coconut. Heavenly. Over all a brilliant meal.

After dinner we returned to the room to grab some jackets and then headed out for a walk down into the town and along the harbour front. A meal like that needs to be settled by a stroll. We were out for about and hour then returned to the room where the Silver Vixen went through some brochures we had collected at the Tourist Information Office, and the Gorse Fox watched Match of the Day.

Out and about

The Gorse Fox was awake at his normal time and snuck out of bed to read. It was too early to disturb the Silver Vixen. When she did waken, the Gorse Fox fired up the kettle for her tea and then headed off for a shower. Breakfast was a very nice affair down in the Brasserie.  There was a wide selection of "Continental" delicacies or a menu of proper breakfasts. We both started with some yoghurt, but then splashed out and had Eggs Royale or Benedict. The Gorse Fox added a couple of sausages to his Eggs Benedict to cut through the richness and was glad he did.

After breakfast we headed down into town.Though early it was already heaving. A cruise ship had anchored overnight and was disgorging thousands of passengers into the town. They have virtually convinced the Gorse Fox that cruising is not for him. They were loud, they were oblivious to the people round them, and they completely blocked the roads as they stood and gawped, and they dawdled. Now the Gorse Fox has discussed the bus company Perry Mortem tours in the past. It is clear that P&O have adopted the cruising side of the company and become Perry Mortem Cruises. (This is a subject to which the Gorse Fox may return).

We explored a little. The Silver Vixen had worn a hole in her shoe and needed an urgent replacement. This was finally accommodated in Next. (Shoe shops seem very hard to find in St Peter Port). As we walked out of the shop she pointed out that she had saved several pounds on the price because of the local tax regime. This got the Gorse Fox thinking. He checked the receipt for the Silver Vixen's watch and headed for the Apple shop. Sure enough a similar watch would be nearly 60GBP cheaper here. He checked they had the one in which he was interested and resolved to return later. Further down the street we managed to pick up an adapter to allow the Gorse Fox to backup his camera to the tablet. All was now well with the world.

We stopped for a coffee and decided that we would take the bus to The Little Chapel. A 7 day bus pass gives us unlimited travel for the week, so armed with that we climbed aboard and headed into the interior. It's 45 years since we were last there. It was strange how little yet how much it had changed.

The Gorse Fox was hoping to recreate a photo taken all those years ago, but the actual spot is no longer there as they have been doing a lot of renovation. Clearly this was a victim of progress (much like the Gorse Fox himself... and in his defence he would point out that long hair was all the rage in the 70s - but his would only grow out, not long).

We took the bus back to St Peter Port (all buses start and stop there so you can get on any bus with the certainty it will return you to SPP). We had a thirst. Coffee would not do. This required a beer and therefore a stop in a pub. It's a hard job, but someone has to do it.

We popped back into the Apple shop and the Gorse Fox bought the Apple Watch then eventually we headed back to the hotel and spent a lovely hour or so sitting in the sun on the terrace. A wedding was in full swing in another part of the hotel, children were playing by the pool, and people were enjoying their "Afternoon Tea" (with lashings of scones, cakes, sandwiches and heaven's knows what). We managed a tea and glass of wine between us.

Tonight we are booked in to The Curry Room. This is an Indian Restaurant which occupies the Governor's Rooms of the hotel. Looks very good so we are looking forward to it.

Play misty for me

This morning is a little grey and it's slightly misty. A big cruise ship has parked just outside the harbour and the tenders are shuttling back and forth with passengers for their excursions.

No specific plans for the day at this point but we'll probably decide over breakfast. The Gorse Fox does want to try and get an adapter so that he can download his photos from the camera (but won't lose to much sleep if he doesn't).

Friday, August 17, 2018

Dinner

The hotel knocked on the door. In walked a girl with a bottle of bubbly in an ice bucket with a single red carnation. They really are making this a very good start to the week.

We decided to leave the bubbly and go out for a stroll. It was still clear and not too chilly. We wandered through the back streets to the commercial arcade. There was a restaurant there called Dix Neuf. We examined the menu and saw that the place was clearly popular. It had a real buzz about it, so we took our seat and ordered. The waiting staff were scuttling around from table to table trying to keep on top of things but despite how busy they were the were cheerful and chatty and we didn't have to wait long for our food. The SIlver Vixen went for a chocolate brownie and the Gorse Fox had a chicken caesar salad. Both were excellent and good value for money.

We carried on with our stroll. Down to the harbour and along past the bus terminus towards Castle Cornet. Then we headed out along the breakwater toward the Castle and then on to the small lighthouse at the end, marking one of the entrances to the harbour. There was a slight nip in the air as we turned to head back. The sun had gone down and the lights of St Peter Port beckoned. It really was quite magical.

When we got back to the room the staff had decorated the bed with some towel sculpture, petals and so forth. It really was very kind of them and very romantic.

Travelling

It was an early (but not too early) start. We loaded the car and set off for the airport. Having allowed extra time because of expected traffic we were surprised by how clear and quick the run to Southampton was. In fact we stopped at Hedge End to kill some time so that we didn't incur additional charges at the airport car park. (As it happens we wouldn't have incurred the extra charges as the SatNav on the phone took us to the wrong place and by the time we found the right location we had burned the extra minutes we tried to lose).

As usual, the airport was very quiet and a pleasure to use. We were bussed out to the plane and took. off at 1100, on time. Thirty five minutes later we were pulling up at the stand at Guernsey Airport. The bags arrived a minute or so after we got to the baggage hall and we strolled through to the meet and greet area. Our driver was there and quickly decorated us to a nice Mercedes and whisked us away to the hotel. We chatted on the way and explained this was where we had had our honeymoon and he showed us the hotel in which we had stayed. (It's closed now and he thinks that it has been bought by developers who are trying to get permission to build on the site).

We were soon at the Old Government House hotel and quickly checked in. Our room wasn't quite ready so we were escorted to the terrace and offered a glass of bubbly while we waited. It was clearly a lovely spot, sitting in and elevated position in St Peter Port and looking across the town to the harbour and the other Channel Islands in the distance. We didn't have to wait long and were escorted to. our room. This too has a wonderful view across the rooftops to the port and beyond.

Anniversary cards were waiting in our room (thanks J&T) and a big bunch of flowers which had been arranged by the Gorse Fox in advance. We made ourselves comfortable and then headed back downstairs. The concierge gave us a tour of the hotel, it's restaurants, the pool area, the gym, and the spa. It really is very nice indeed and the Gorse Fox thinks that he has chosen well.

It was time to take a look around. We wandered down into the town and strolled through the streets to the harbour front. We looked in several restaurants before choosing to have lunch in the Crow's Nest Brasserie. Again, we chose well. It had panoramic views over the harbour and the staff were charming. We both had a steak, mushroom, and onion downstairs. This was a bit more than a snack, but was certainly delicious. The restaurant itself is worth a revisit before we return home.
We stopped off to look round the M&S as we strolled back and the Gorse Fox remembered that he had bought a Seiko watch at a jeweller nearby when we were here 45 years ago. (The watch is long gone - not sure about the jeweller).

Back at the room he's having troubles linking to this blog, possibly because he's on an open WiFi. Not too sure when this will actually get posted. The Gorse Fox has also forgotten the little adapter that allows him to download photos from his camera. Pah! This may be a matter of relying on photos from the phone until we get home.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

On your marks

Ellie had a restless night, though it didn't really result in any loss of sleep. She started to stir around six, but didn't actually require attention until nearly half past seven. She had woken with a degree of mischief in her and required a lot of watching through the morning.

Jasper had clearly been looking at Google Calendar and hid beneath the bed as the time approached for us to take him to the cattery. Needless to say it was a bit of fight to dig him out and get him in his carrier. We loaded him into the car then got Ellie into her seat and headed for the cattery. The rain was very heavy the whole way and when we got to the cattery the sound of the rain on the roof was quite loud and probably unsettling for the cats. Jasper quickly calmed down as Mark the cat whisperer took charge and helped him acclimatise. The Gorse Fox is sure he'll enjoy his week's holiday with Mark looking after him.

Back home it was time for a quick lunch and then Ellie went down for a sleep.  Urban Cub was here after her early shift but not feeling brilliant so had gone up for a nap herself. The Silver Vixen had to pop into Chichester, so the Gorse Fox was briefly in charge. He watched Match of Day which had been recorded at the weekend and soon he could hear Ellie stirring. Urban Cub came down soon after and then Silver Vixen got home. The natural order had been restored.

Urban Cub and Ellie headed home and the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox went upstairs to pack. All set and ready for the morning. We have time to get excited now.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Off the bench

As the Gorse Fox mentioned yesterday, his plan included football today. With a certain spring in his step he headed for Worthing. The lads turned up and we quickly picked sides and got under way. The Gorse Fox thought the teams were fairly evenly balance but it soon became clear that it was duck shoot. The Gorse Fox, playing for the yellows were 5-0 up in the first 15 minutes so we had a quick switch of personnel. By half time it 7-0 and there was a further switch of personnel. The Gorse Fox open the scoring in the second half (keeping his one a week goal in tact) and the team then went on to score another 7 or 8 goals with no reply.

Once home we had a quick lunch before Urban Cub turned up with Ellie. We played around for a while then the Gorse Fox took her for a walk to see the ducks on the lake. He had taken a bag of bird seed, which was just as well. When we arrived there were no ducks to be seen, but one cast of a handful of seed brought them quickly out from hiding. Ellie seemed captivated though wasn't really contributing to the feeding as she was only throwing the odd seed or two, and they often landed on the path rather than the lake.

New battery charger turned up this afternoon. Both the lithium batteries for the Gorse Fox's Ryobi tools are now fully charged and ready for action again.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Unhinged

The Gorse Fox decided that there was still too much to do to spare time for football this morning. He does plan to play tomorrow, though.

After sleeping on it, the Gorse Fox decided he would replace and refit the doors for the window seat. He decided on solid plywood doors which will be "dressed" with some mouldings. New hinges were purchased (they needed to be stronger for the solid doors) and while he was at the DIY store the Gorse Fox picked up two piano hinges for the lid.

Fitting the new doors was a bit fiddly and the hinges were vicious little beasts - they have a very strong spring and it took great care to open them up for fitting without catching a finger in the mechanism. Now the doors are hung, the spring isn't so much of a problem. After that it was matter of sorting out the piano hinges and fitting the lid. Again it was a little fiddly but after a couple of false starts, it's all done now.

The Gorse Fox still has to trim the lid to size, but that will have to wait. The battery charger for his Ryobi saw(s) has packed up. The nice man at Amazon is rushing round his warehouse at the moment looking for a replacement that he can send for tomorrow. Once the lid is trimmed it will just be a matter of fitting some mouldings, sanding, and preparing for paint... the box itself is complete.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Making progress again

Well the battery is back up to full charge and the various cuts have been made. The back panel is fitted and the lid and its surround are positioned (if not fixed). The Gorse Fox still needs to select the right hinge(s) for the lid and also find some suitable soft-close struts to take the weight of the lid when open.

The Gorse Fox isn't really very satisfied with the doors that he has made. The wood was evidently slightly twisted and though he has mounted the doors, he thinks he will replace them. He's currently in two (or three) minds over the doors... fielded panels again with wider plywood stiles and rails; a solid plywood door with mouldings; or and MDF door with mouldings. Something to sleep on he thinks and there are considerations for each.

Discharge

It is so frustrating when you are in the middle of cutting some sheets of plywood and the battery runs out on the circular saw. Never mind, the Gorse Fox has a spare. Click, spare is installed. Saw starts and the Gorse Fox just another two inches. Spare battery runs out.

The Gorse Fox is now passing the time until the battery is recharged.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Do Not Disturb

Sunday has been a very quiet day. It was grey and there were periods of rain so we essentially stayed put.

The Gorse Fox needed to get the right contour pattern for Urban-Cub's skirting boards to scribe the wedges of the window seat to fit. He had meant to do it yesterday, but though he remembered, he couldn't find his contour gauge. Today, in desperation, he went out and bought a new one. Clearly, some people don't 'play the game' (which reminds him, there was no football today again). He went to Toolstation which operates like Argos or Screwfix inasmuch as you enter, look up your item in the catalogue then go to the counter with the product number. Oh no, not this morning. The two neanderthals in front of the Gorse Fox were too lazy and went up to the counter and asked for their items which the assistant then had to find in the catalogue based on the vague descriptions she was being given.... and then they debated whether their chosen item would really fit. What should have been a two minute visit for the Gorse Fox ended up as about fifteen.

During the afternoon we popped across to see Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete so that the Gorse Fox could get the contour profile of their skirting board and transfer it to a cardboard template. We weren't there for long but did enjoy a further slice of her birthday cake before heading home.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Much Ado about something

It's time to celebrate. With Urban Cub reaching a milestone birthday, she had arranged a bit of a "do". We headed over to LA so that we would be there early and could help out as necessary. There wasn't much to do as most things were well under control or time dependant... and the time hadn't come.

Around midday the first guests arrived with Beck's train getting in to the local station. She was  soon followed by Jane (the Gorse Fox's tiny sister) and Trevor. Slowly but surely the others arrived... friends of Pistol Pete, the Silver Vixen's brother, sister, and brother-in-law, the Gorse Fox's cousin and aunt. The house was filling nicely.

Meanwhile, out in the garden Pistol Pete was managing the BBQ. Yesterday's torrential rain had passed and the weather was dry. Sunny spells were welcomed as they passed, but it was mostly cloudy and there was a cool breeze. The meat was brought through in batches and we all tucked in. Urban Cub had asked her local butcher for sufficient meat for a BBQ for "x" people and he had done a good job preparing two boxes full of ribs, chicken, kebabs, burgers, and sausages. It was delicious.

The day was spent just chatting with everyone and catching up on their news. What was particularly nice was that Cousteau Cub managed to get through for a video call and was on the phone with us for quite some time. Her video presence quite completed the gathering.

We cut the cake late in the afternoon and people started to drift away early evening. There was a flurry of tidying up and then the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox headed home. It has been a lovely day.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Milestone

Today is a milestone birthday for Urban-Cub. It was forty years ago that the Silver Vixen, Gorse Fox, and Cousteau-Cub were blessed with her arrival to complete our family quartet. The Gorse Fox hopes she has a wonderful birthday weekend.

As part of the celebrations, we looked after Ellie over night, but Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete collected her at lunchtime today after staying at a Spa in Brockenhurst last night. They have a busy afternoon scheduled as they prepare for a bit of a "do" tomorrow and their first guests arrive.

The weather today has been a mixture of short sunny periods separated by rain. As the Gorse Fox writes, the rain is hammering down and is quite deafening against the Orangery roof. Gusty winds are blowing it in all directions so he has had to close the roof vents for the first time in a couple of months.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Unhinged

A lot of heavy rain overnight and it was still raining throughout the morning. It's dried up now and the sun is back where it belongs.

It was a quiet morning. The Gorse Fox had some admin to complete and then had to try and find the right hinges for the window seat. He knew what he wanted but trying to find a source was an unexpectedly long process. He eventually found a supplier but then realised they were "trade only" and would only deal through their distributors. He searched the web for a local distributor but though some were found, none carried this hinge. Eventually he found a company in Milford Haven and ordered the hinges. They will cost more to post than the items themselves are worth!

At lunchtime Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete arrived with Ellie. They are going away for the night and we are in charge! Well, actually, as the Silver Vixen had to go to the dentist this afternoon, the Gorse Fox was in charge. She was no trouble and we sat and read her books and watched a bit of CBeebies while she tried to create chaos in the lounge. When the Silver Vixen arrived home she continued to play for a bit, then went down for a nap (Ellie, that is).

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Sawdust

As mentioned yesterday, the Gorse Fox had decided not to play football this week. As yesterday was dedicated to shopping, today was dedicated to creating piles of sawdust in the garage. The windows eat project has got to the stage where the Gorse Fox needs to build the front frame which will contain the doors so that the void can be accessed for storage.

It all started well enough but the Gorse Fox had decided on using a simplistic approach and exploiting the pocket hole jig to screw thing together. Actually it proved to screw things up. The Gorse Fox had forgotten that there is a minimum thickness to accommodate the pocket holes... and the wood he had set aside was too thin. Off he trudged to B&Q. New wood was loaded into the car and he started again. This worked a lot better - well it actually worked!

It took the rest of the day to get the frame diminished and the doors built. The still need to be trimmed to fit properly and the right hinges need to be fitted. That's a step for another day.

The Gorse Fox ordered a new watch strap for the Silver Vixen's new watch. This turned up at lunchtime. The sea has tiny wrists so the Gorse Fox spent half an hour with the supplied extraction tool, removing unnecessary links and fitting it to her petit frame. Must say that it's very nice and definitely elevates the watch from technology to jewellery.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Saints alive

The Gorse Fox has things to achieve this week. This meant that he had decided against football today. As there had been a tournament yesterday, it was likely to be poorly attended anyway, so the Gorse Fox wouldn't be missed. Tuesday was, instead,  set aside for shopping with the Silver Vixen. The question was where should we go? Chichester is too easy and holds no surprises as we visit so often. Gunwharf was a possibility, but again we know what to expect. What we haven't done recently is visit West Quays in Southampton.

We had been warned, by the nice man at Google, how bad the traffic would be round the Chichester bypass. Heeding his warning we cut straight through the middle of the town and out the west side. We were quickly en route and were parked in the multi storey car park at West Quays well within the hour.

John Lewis was the first stop (somewhat predictably) - but we didn't find anything that we wanted at this stage. We made a note to return at the end of the "spree" to pick up some new bedding before returning to the car. We pottered this way and that and visited several stores. Some new clothes were acquired and various watch straps examined for the Silver Vixen's new watch. (All of the watch straps were rejected).

At lunchtime we dropped in for "a cheeky Nando's". The Gorse Fox likes Nando's and sees it as predictable fast food outlet with a good choice of fair quality grilled chicken dishes prepared and served well. Oh no... not the one in West Quays. This was the worst Nando's the Gorse Fox has ever had. The service was very, very slow (the Gorse Fox acknowledges they were busy , but he has been in much busier branches before) and the chicken had all the flavour and texture of boot leather. We both had char-grilled vegetables as a side dish and they were fine. The sweet potato wedges, however, were an indistinct tasteless mush. Dreadful.

We finished our shopping mid-afternoon and headed home. We clearly timed it well as we shot through in about 45 minutes.

Rain. Yes, rain is forecast for this evening.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Watch out

The Silver Vixen has a watch that monitors her activity and heartbeat etc. It is the second such watch she has had. Neither was expensive, both proved to be very unreliable. We decided it was time to upgrade. A weekend of research and a long chat with Tinkerbell helped us settle on the Apple Watch. So it was that we found ourselves heading to John Lewis in Chichester so that we could examine the goods and make a final decision. It may not be the most elegant of watches and could hardly be considered "dress-jewellery" but it was nice enough and fits into the Silver Vixen's Apple eco-system. We left Chichester clutching the new watch.

We were meeting up with Betty and Barney Rubble for lunch. We had chosen The Thomas Lord at West Meon as a good half-way point. The Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen had been there before when meeting up with friends and the food had been excellent. We arrived early and sat out in the garden until the Rubbles arrived. It was idyllic. A beautiful little pub with a charming garden tucked down a small road in a picturesque village.

Once we were all gathered we went in to eat; the few wasps that were about would have been irritating if we had stayed outside. The menu wasn't extensive but was adequate. Unfortunately there had been no fish deliveries so the menu went from "not extensive" to "limited". We eventually found dishes that we all wanted and, to be fair, the food was very good. We had a lovely time chatting over lunch and catching up with their recent holiday in Switzerland and all the family news.

We finished the meal with teas and coffees. The Silver Vixen asked for Earl Grey, Barney Rubble wanted English Breakfast tea... ten minutes later a single pot arrived. "That's your tea - Earl Grey and English breakfast," said the youth. Looks were shared. Jaws dropped. "No, no, no" we cried and then explained how tea worked and how it should be served. Several minutes later the tea arrived properly.

Lovely day, but not a great advert for The Thomas Lord.

Back home the Gorse Fox spent a few minutes setting up the Silver Vixen's new watch. Very impressed with the way it all links to phone and "just works". Obviously there's lots to learn but as far as getting things started it's working brilliantly.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Coasting

One of the advantages of living by the coast is that, at the drop of a hat, you can stroll along the promenade and enjoy the seaside experience.

It was another fabulous day with temperatures in the mid-20s. The note went out among the Sonning Crew - walk along the prom and breakfast at the Lobster Pot? It would have been silly to say no - particularly as there was no football this morning. We had a quick coffee at home then headed out to meet with the others at the car park.

We took a leisurely stroll along the prom. Even before 10 there were plenty of families on the beach and children playing in the sea. As we strolled towards the restaurant we bumped into more neighbours heading in the same direction.

We had a bit of faffing about when we arrived at The Lobster Pot - it was so popular (even at that time) that most of the tables were taken. Eventually we sorted it out and managed a table for 8.

We ordered our various breakfasts, teas, and coffees and settled down to wait. We were early enough that it didn't take too long. (Later in the morning the wait would have stretched to 45 minutes or an hour). The coffee was delicious and the breakfast (bacon, sausage, egg, toast, tomato, and beans) was excellent and great value for money.

The view from the table was a little obscured, but it did mean that we could sit in the shade.

After breakfast we stopped for another coffee and continued to chat about all and sundry... Smart watches, kitchen fittings, LED lights, sausages and heaven's knows what else.

Eventually we had to leave as the stay in the car park would soon expire, otherwise the Gorse Fox is sure we would still be there.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Lunch

The Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen headed up through West Sussex into bandit country. We were meeting with the Gorse Fox's little sister and Trevor. We had chosen The Crown at Chiddingfold as a good halfway point, and it was quite a while since we had been there.

It was another stunning day with temperatures up in the very high 20s. Our journey had been trouble free but it was clear that the traffic heading for the races at Goodwood was finding life tedious in the other direction.

We arrived a bit before the others and sat and waited for them out the front so we could direct them to the only remaining car parking spot.

We settled in for lunch. It was a good and varied menu and we all tried different offerings. The Gorse Fox tried some Korean BBQ chicken as a starter and then a very tasty burger with bacon, stilton, a fried egg and salad. Everything was beautifully presented and tasted wonderful. The waitresses were charming, helpful, and had a good sense of humour which made the whole experience really quite special.
As you might guess we chatted about the family, about holidays, about health, about Ellie and also  what we had all been up to. Clearly J&T make the most of being in easy striking distance of London and seem to get up there to the theatre and various events quite frequently. They resolved to set up a matinee and take the Silver Vixen to see "Motown The Musical" in early September. (The Gorse Fox is not really into that sort of thing so he'll probably find something else to do for a couple of hours before we all meet up afterwards for dinner).

It was well after four before we paid the bill and said our goodbyes. As a rule we then try to set a date for the next meet, but knowing we will see them next weekend at Urban-Cub's, we left it for today.

Lovely quick run home - and then frantic rush to open up the windows and get a through draft in the house. Orangery was registering well into the 40s, and whilst the house wasn't too warm, it was a bit stuffy.

Quiet evening ahead.

Soaked

What is it about the "simple" tasks that somehow turns them into epics.

The water filter on the fridge needed changing. New filters were acquired from the nice man at Amazon and the Gorse Fox decided that he would swap the filter this morning. He remembered from past experience that there is a knack to uncoupling and coupling the hoses to the inlet and outlet ports. He used this experience to ensure everything was done quickly and smoothly.

Voila. Done.

He turned the water back on. It spayed everywhere. Water off. Coupling retried. Water on. Spray. Coupling retried. Water on. Spray... and repeat.

Eventually he decided to nip off the last two millimetres of the inlet pipe as it had a slight limescale mark. Recoupled. Water on. Momentary success... then it sprayed from the outlet pipe - all over the Gorse Fox.

Dripping, he repeated the nip and couple technique. All is now well other than the Gorse Fox sitting here in wet chinos and polo shirt.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Fitting

The Gorse Fox popped across to see Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete. He wanted to double-check the plinth size for the window seat. The plinth was loaded into the car and off he went. Traffic was light and he was there in about 10 minutes.

The plinth was carried in and slotted into position. Two pieces of scrap plywood were inserted either side to simulate the actual frame. The Gorse Fox stood back and smiled. There was about half a millimetre clearance either side. Perfect.

Plinth was loaded back into the car. The Gorse Fox can now continue with the construction with a degree of confidence.

Tyre tracks

The Silver Vixen open the shutters and called out to the Gorse Fox. Someone had clearly driven across the green outside the house. Was this recent or had it shown up as a result of the recent dry weather. The Gorse Fox was determined to investigate.

He downloaded the security images from the server. Overnight last night? Nope. Yesterday? Nope the tracks were there on Thursday morning. Wednesday? Nope, the tracks were there on Wednesday morning.

Ok this would take a more methodical all approach. He returned to the start of July.
Were they there? No, the grass was pristine. Move forward one week, were they there? No, still perfect.
Move forward another week. Any signs? No.

So it went on until he got to July 31st... this Tuesday. Then clear as a bell he could see the white van just swing round and drive straight across the green. The only problem was that he could see the number plate clearly. He has a number of stills of the action and video, but nothing that shows the number plate. Two Hats has also looked at his security camera footage. It shows much the same... and again fails to see the number plate clearly.

It may be time to fire up another security camera to get more coverage.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

G-Force today

Thursday has been a G-Force day. Ellie didn't wake until after eight so we had a leisurely start. The sun was already warm and the skies clear. It was going to be a nice day.

Most of the day was spent pottering around Ellie's schedule. Breakfast, play, wash, play, nap, and tidy. Then a good lunch followed by a walk with Grandpa round to see the ducks on the lake. There she met up with Daisy, a neighbour's great granddaughter (and only a couple of weeks difference in age). They seemed to spend their whole meeting eyeing each other up up and being shy. (We'll have to see what happens next time they meet).

Tinkerbell and Two Hats are having some new carpets laid tomorrow so the Gorse Fox and Old Bill went in to help Two Hats shift the furniture. The Gorse Fox has concluded that removal men certainly have a knack and make it look so easy. We were really quite clumsy in comparison (though did no damage).

Back home it was time to get Ellie's supper so that she was ready when Pistol Pete came to collect her.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

No goal

Lovely day again today. Temps in the mid 20s.

The Silver Vixen had her Pilates this morning and collected Ellie from the child minder on her way back through.

The Gorse Fox had football. There was a bit of a delay starting due to a group of lads swearing blind they had the pitch booked until 1100. They may have done, but they had the wrong pitch! We got started. The Gorse Fox was playing for the yellow bibs. It was very close today. AT half-time we had fought a 3-3 stalemate. The ref was being a little more rigid with the rules than he usually is. This curtailed some of the more expansive play. The second half kicked off and we all continued where we had left off. In the end there was just the single goal in it - our yellow-bibs had won the day 6-5. The Gorse Fox failed to score today, but did hit the crossbar twice ( and missed an open goal on one his few forays up the pitch).

Back home we were on duty. Ellie was here and we double-teamed her. As each of us had something to do, the other would take control, and vice versa. It seems to work well. What it doesn't really afford is time for big things like working on the window-seat. Progress will have to wait a few days.

As we now have Ellie in a couple of weeks, the Gorse Fox popped down to the pub to cancel our booking and order for their monthly steak-night. Well, it was an excuse for pint