Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Covering the ground

It has been another gorgeous day. We've had wall-to-wll sunshine and only the finest whisps of cloud have been allowed to interrupt the perfect blue of the sky. Temperatures have been a very comfortable 22C and there is the slightest breeze to keep us comfortable. It's probably hotter inland, but here on the coast it is just about perfect.

The Gorse Fox pottered across to Worthing this morning. There was football to play. As usual, for a Tuesday, he tried to spend some time on the running track first, but then, well warmed up, he joined the lads for the game. There was a good turnout today, with 30 players available. We split into two teams of 7 and two of 8. The Gorse Fox was playing for the white-bibs, and we started with a 2-0 win. In the second game we were held to scoreless draw, and the third game we lost 2-0. The Gorse Fox didn't play badly, but didn't feel as if he was playing well.

In the second hour we were down to a 6-v-5 arrangement. Finally, the Gorse Fox seemed to be playing to the standard he expects. It didn't help. We still managed two losses and a draw. The Gorse Fox had got a fair bit of exercise, though, covering over 11km during the sessions.

It's been a quite afternoon as the joints start to complain about the morning's exertions. It will settle once the Gorse Fox starts moving about again.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Colours

It was a bit overcast first thing, and not as warm as it has been. It perked up during the day, however, and by mid afternoon was very comfortable in the low 20s.

There were a few domestic chores to clear first thing, bu then the Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox headed out to the local DIY stores. It is approaching the time to redecorate the kitchen/family room. We had a few pre-conceived ideas regarding colours but thought it sensible to go and look at the various colour charts. We started at B&Q but then moved on to Wickes. It was there, in one of their kitchen displays we saw some colours that we both liked, though completely different from our original ideas. Back home we used the Dulux Visualizer to see what it it would look like “for real” - if augmented reality can ever be considered real! Actually, it looked pretty good and the Gorse Fox suspects that a decision is now made.

The Silver Vixen was out for a while this afternoon, so the Gorse Fox took the opportunity to walk to Sainsbury’s to get the odd bits and bobs that would be needed for tonight’s supper. The choice was chicken cacciatore or butter chicken. He made sure he had everything necessary for both, but in the end decided on the chicken cacciatore.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Ha ha ha ha

(The title probably only makes sense if you understand a little Thai)

Football was fun this morning. The sides worked out at 5 each. The Gorse Fox played for the yellow bibs and we had two mobile players and two fairly static players. The other team had a fully complement of fairly mobile players. It was tough and intense but in the end the 5 yellow players scored 5 goals and 5 orange players scored 5 goals. Honours were even. (Yes, the Gorse Fox scored 2 of them).

Swapped

Well that’s the beauty of John Lewis. After football and a shower, the Gorse Fox whizzed along to JL with both pencils and an iPad. He explained the problem, and demonstrated the problem. The immediate response was “straight replacement”... and there it was, the Gorse Fox left clutching a replacement pencil. No hassle, just good customer service.

The new pencil is charging at the moment and the Gorse Fox will try it in a little while.

Pain

Well that’s a pain. It seems that one of the two Apple Pencils that the Gorse Fox purchased yesterday doesn’t work at all. He’s tried it on several iPads and it doesn’t seem to function at all. It pairs correctly with the iPad, but won’t draw or write on the screen. The other one works without a problem. A return trip to John Lewis is clearly required.

There’s some football to play first, though.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Apple and SUV

Another lovely day and the Silver Vixen is making the most of it by going to an Embroiderers’ Show at Ardingly with a friend. Cousteau-Cub and the Gorse Fox have been left to their own devices.

Talking of devices, the Gorse Fox popped in to John Lewis and bought the Smart Keyboard that pairs with his new iPad. (He’s using it to type this blog entry). It is quite good in that it provides a cover for the iPad and keyboard that gets its power directly from the iPad, so there’s no need for extra charging cables. The Gorse Fox suspects that purists who touch type may not like it, but for a “hunt and peck” typist like the Gorse Fox it’s absolutely fine. While he was at JL he also picked up the Apple Pencil which allows him to write on the screen. That’s charging at the moment (but again will charge directly from the iPad), so he hasn’t yet tried it.

While he was out he also wandered in to the local Toyota dealership to have a look at their range. He picked up a couple of brochures, but can’t say there was anything there that seemed an obvious replacement for the Qashqai.  He moved on and tried the Skoda dealership. Here they had a couple of nice models, the Karoq, and the Kodiak; these did seem like possible upgrades, but unlike the Toyotas did not offer any hybrid version.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Hide

The summer continues with another lovely day. The temperatures were in the mid 20s and there was a smattering of cloud to provide the odd bit of cover and to make the sky more interesting. There were no major plans for the morning. The Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen both got on with various domestic chores, and the Gorse Fox popped round to Sainsbury's for some cat food, then on to M&S to pick up some new swimming trunks that he had ordered.

We were on duty during the afternoon. We went round to Urban-cub's house in LA in order to look after Ellie and allow UC to go to the hairdresser's.

Ellie was transfixed by the film "Frozen" when we arrived, but after a while she disappeared into the hallway and returned with her shoes. "Popping to shops, Bompa" she said. The Gorse Fox took that as a hint. While we had no reason to go to the shops, the Gorse Fox did need to go to the post box. We headed off through the estate with Ellie holding the Gorse Fox's hand. We stopped at each road and he asked her to check if there any cars coming. When we knew the road to be clear we crossed, holding hands. She was very good.

On the way back from the post box, Ellie announced "Park, Bompa". So it was that we diverted and the Gorse Fox was led to a park that he didn't previously know. Ellie got onto the swing and demanded to go higher. Then almost immediately asked for he r dummy and Nana. She wanted to get off and go home. She did not want to walk, however. The Gorse Fox ended up carrying her all the way back, where settled don on Nana's lap and went to sleep.

Once Urban-cub had returned we left and stopped off at the fish and chip shop for our supper. It was late for us, but the fish was delicious as usual, even if the chips were a bit anaemic.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Giggling

It was another superb day. No clouds, a slight breeze and temperatures in the mid to high 20s. The Gorse Fox commented to the Silver Vixen that from a weather perspective it was perfect.

We had gentle start to the day with a mid morning visit from Ocado. This week the order was correct and was soon put away. We waited until Cousteau-Cub was ready and all headed in to Chichester. The Gorse Fox had an appointment at the chiropodist and the Silver Vixen wanted to mooch around until the Gorse Fox was finished.

We noticed that the shoe shop "Hotter" had reopened after their recent refurbishment following an arson attack. We took a look, but we really didn't need anything.

Once sufficient mooching had been completed we headed along to the Giggling Squid. It had always been our intention to grab lunch, the only question had been where?  We settled down with the menu and a drink.

Whilst they do lunchtime tapas, we both ignored that option. The Silver Vixen had some satay chicken to start and then a Thai red curry with coconut rice. The Gorse Fox chose salt and chilli squid followed by chicken gra par. We were both delighted with our choices and lingered for a couple of hours... enjoying a cheesecake and further drink before leaving.

We hopped on the bus and were home in about 15 minutes. So convenient.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Consistency

Another lovely warm day today - though not quite as sunny.

The Gorse Fox had football this morning and though on the weaker side, we ran out 4-1 winners, somehow. No goals for the Gorse Fox but he did defend with flair and gusto!

Now, he has spent a lot of time in the past few days looking at the family tree. This has been triggered by a distant cousin giving him access to her research. This filled him with hope that he was about to open up a whole new chunk of the family. Well now that he as looked at the details more carefully, he has to conclude that it is, at best, speculative, and at worst, just wrong. For example if you know that Thomas was married to Catherine, and Thomas came from Ireland and Catherine came from Essex, why would you file a Census record that say Thomas (from Ireland) is married to Mary (from Ireland)? Furthermore you know that Thomas was plasterer, but the Census says he was a waiter. This is just sloppy and makes the Gorse Fox doubt the veracity of any of her research. He has a simple rule - if you can't prove a fact with documented evidence - then don't record it. If you can derive a fact from several sources - document it and explain how you came to conclusion.

On another note, we sat and watched The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo last night. It was really very good and very close to the original book. It reminded the Gorse Fox how much he enjoyed the trilogy when he read it. A fourth book was added in 2015, and as if by magic, a new book has just been advertised today... The Girl Who Takes and Eye for an Eye, it's almost as if we knew! (Obviously the new books were written by a different author as Stieg Larsson died a while back now). Apparently a further book will be published this August, The Girl Who Lived Twice. The Gorse Fox has some catching up to do.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

UPS

It was 7:20-ish and Cousteau-Cub had just left for work. The Gorse Fox was sitting at the laptop checking his emails. All of a sudden the general background sounds of the house disappeared. There had be a momentary power cut and an eerie silence encompassed the kitchen. As quickly as it had stopped, it clicked back on and the compressor on the fridge burst back into life, the Echo Dot rebooted, the clocks on the cookers flashed with their factory defaults. The Gorse Fox reset the cookers and sat back to await the re-emergence of the WiFi and broadband. Much later he checked the big Mac (Condor) and that was down. That was rebooted. Then he checked "peregrine", his production Raspberry Pi. The UPS had done its job. While everything else had failed, peregrine carried on ticking and has now been running without interruption for 891 days.

The Gorse Fox had football this morning. There was a very good turn out and we ended up with two teams of 7 and two teams of 8. The Gorse Fox was playing for the "whites" and saw he was in for a torrid time. We played well, but conceded a late goal in the first game. Similarly, in the second game we conceded a single late goal following a poor back pass from a new chap. In our last game we did actually manage to score a goal. Unfortunately, they managed to score two! Not our finest hour.

The Silver Vixen is out at the Embroiderers' Guild today so the Gorse Fox has a quiet afternoon with the family tree. He received the death certificate for his 3 time great grandmother today. This confirmed some facts that the Gorse Fox had assumed... but still gives no clue (though you wouldn't really expect it to) to her elusive maiden name. Back to the archives.

Monday, July 08, 2019

Reboot the week

A lovely day today. Lots of sunshine and temperatures in the low 20s.

The day started with a leisurely breakfast and wander through the papers online, and Facebook. It was while doing this that the broadband modem decided to reboot. Now, in itself this isn't a major issue. Lives don't depend on it. It won't hit the media. It won't feature on the evening news. It was however the second time this has happened in 10 days. This caused a small alarm to start ringing at the back of the Gorse Fox's mind. He got on with some domestic chores and then sat down to do some research.

An hour or so later the Gorse Fox was none the wiser. He had read of many similar incidents, he had read through the event logs, he had run the BT line tests, but he had not found any reason this should have happened. Now he will just have to wait and see if this is the start of some exotic problem.

While thinking about the problem he also looked at comments regarding the WiFi. He has split the network into 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz subnetworks. Most of the Apple devices love to link to the 5Ghz service which should provide much greater speed... however, while it is great for transferring data round the house, we have problems getting out to the internet. Again the Gorse Fox found plenty of 5Ghz problems discussed on the web, but none really addressed his scenario. Frustrating really.

The Silver Vixen is going out to Embroiderers' Guild tomorrow so spent a while doing this week's Ocado list... before pottering in the garden. The Gorse Fox realised that the curry he had planned for this evening would be a little sparse as we were out of rice. As it was such a nice afternoon he grabbed a bag and walked round to Sainsbury's and back. (Yes there are several shops that are much closer and would sell rice, but he fancied the exercise). It was a nice 6km round trip and by checking the labels, he managed to save some money by getting an "own brand" for £3 instead of the named brand we usually get which would have been £8.50.


Sunday, July 07, 2019

Farewell Old Friend

Apparently it had been forecast, but the Gorse Fox was surprised to wake up and find it raining. Not just a bit, but properly raining. SO it continued throughout the morning. Fortunately, it remained quite  warm.

The Gorse Fox had football this morning We played at our usual venue, but this time shared it with dozens of girls football teams who were there for a big tournament. They were playing outside, but as usual, we were on the inside pitches. The Gorse Fox found himself with the yellow-bibs. It was a hard fought game, but we ended up 3-1 winners and the Gorse Fox contributed 2 goals along the way.

Leaving the sports arena he headed across to LA and collected Cousteau-Cub who had stayed overnight at Urban-Cub's.  As Pistol Pete is still injured, Cousteau-Cub took on the task of walking the dogs... in the pouring rain.

Back home we had a quiet afternoon. Unfortunately the Gorse Fox had to bid farewell to trusty, long term friend. The tangerine coloured plastic colander we have had since we got married 46 years ago, finally gave up the ghost. The side snapped as he drained the potatoes. Though we have nursed it for a long time, it was finally time to bid a fond adieu. It has been afforded a solemn burial in this week's trash.

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Seats, Eats, and Laines

It was another very warm day with temperatures into the top half of the 20s. Hay fever, which clobbered the Gorse Fox yesterday, seemed better today.

The morning was filled with bits and pieces. The one that took the longest was a comment that there seemed to be an error on the spreadsheet that the Gorse Fox had developed to manage Ellie's childcare responsibilities. Sone of the algorithms were, apparently, not making the automatic assignments that were expected. Needless to say this need fixing. Unfortunately, the formulae in question were quite complex "if" statements containing nest ANDs and ORs which had to be picked apart bit by bit. In the end the Gorse Fox concluded that the spreadsheet was right and something else was wrong. Indeed that turned out to be the case. The problem lay in the change over between child minders, and the fact that the new child minder does not take over fully until September - her unavailability hadn''t been recorded - as soon as it was, the spreadsheet did exactly what was expected. The Gorse Fox was vindicated.

Next came a discussion with the travel agent... a new airline reference, and the Gorse Fox went online and booked our seats for next May's trip. He chose the same seats that they travelled back in a few weeks ago. They had proven to be excellent.

We headed out to Brighton. We were meeting with Sue and Trevor and Auntie Jean.  We had an incredibly quick drive across, considering it was a lovely warm sunny summer's day. The expected traffic was nowhere to be seen. We settled down with a cup of tea and had a chinwag, catching up on the family news from both sides... Eleanor's health, Jon's & Caroline's pregnancy, new house, and work arrangements, and Alan's new girlfriend, agency, and gigs.

We had an early table booked at Danny's. We have eaten there before several times and the Chinese buffet is always excellent. As Trevor guided the Gorse Fox through the maze that is the back streets of Brighton and Hove, he had a bit of a wobble... and suddenly realised that he wasn't quite sure where we were going. Sue Googled the address and we homed in on the venue. As usual the food was superb. We started with a shared platter of various Chinese favourites, then a course of crispy duck and crispy lamb, then the ladies chickened out and went to dessert and coffee while Trevor and the Gorse Fox both had a main course - in the case of the Gorse Fox it was Szechuan Chicken and Chow Mein. A super feast all round.

Leaving the restaurant we headed into Brighton and parked up. Jean had her disabled stickers which allowed us to park in a disabled bay. We wandered through the North Laines awards the sea. In the regeneration that has been going on, a new section of Laines has been discovered and they have been refurbished and opened up. It's so new that the various shops are still awaiting tenants, but it really adds to the Brighton experience - and was very impressive. There are some really nice new restaurants there, which have opened and seemed to be doing a roaring trade.
We didn't spend too long exploring, but it was nice to see the new areas that had been hidden for so long. Apparently there are still further Lines that are yet to be opened up.

We headed back to the house for more chat and some coffee. As usual the Gorse Fox and Sue ended up chatting about genealogy and exploring some old maps of Brighton. It was a lovely evening and it was gone half ten before we left. Agin we had a fabulous run through to get home and we were in bed  well before eleven thirty.

Friday, July 05, 2019

Promotion

Well the good news is that Pistol Pete had not broken any ribs. He has, however, received extreme muscular bruising and has been told not to try lifting anything for  few weeks. He's very uncomfortable.

Ellie gave us a good night's sleep, not waking properly until gone seven this morning. She then proceeded to eat us out of house and home - egg, bacon, cheese, porridge, and toast. Once full she was ready to make mischief... and we had a lovely morning.

The Silver Vixen and Cousteau-Cub headed off into Chichester around eleven. the Silver Vixen had a hair appointment, and Cousteau-Cub was due at work.

The Gorse Fox received a battlefield promotion - he was now in charge. He loaded the car and headed off (with Ellie) down to the beach.

The tide was in, so there was no sand available, but we strolled along the prom, stopping at the play park where Ellie insisted on being pushed higher, and higher on the swing. Eventually she was enticed away and we headed further along the prom. She was riding her scooter by now, but was son engrossed in what everyone else was doing that we made very slow progress. In the end the scooter was abandoned and the Gorse Fox had to carry it on the back of the buggy.


We stopped for a while so Ellie could have a drink and a snack. Then made our way back the way we had come. Another stop at the play area was permitted before we arrived by the pier. The Gorse Fox took his charge out along the pier so she could see the water beneath and look back at the beach. She seemed genuinely intrigued by it all.

Eventually we headed back to the car, home, and Ellie went straight to her cot. That lasted all of 5 minutes before she called out and wanted to come down for some lunch! After she had eaten she disappeared into the garden and demanded that bubbles were produced. The bubble wand was duly retrieved from its storage space and bubbles rose in the warm afternoon air.

It was mid afternoon before the Silver Vixen arrived home and Pistol Pete came along soon after. The Gorse Fox loaded Ellie into the car (as Pistol Pete couldn't) and then, all of a sudden, it was quiet again!

Thursday, July 04, 2019

A good ribbing

The Silver Vixen had arranged to go across to LA and see Urban-Cub and Ellie. The objective was to go and see the new child-minder during one of Ellie's introductory sessions.

The Gorse Fox was left under the supervision of Jasper and Cousteau-Cub, though she was off to work by mid-morning. The Gorse Fox waited for the arrival of the Ocado order so that it could be packed away before he made any further plans. The Ocado delivery was a bit of a surprise in as much as it didn't feature many of the items that he thought the Silver Vixen had ordered. It turned out, later, that the most recent changes to the order hadn't been recorded and we just received our default order.

Once the shopping was filed away, the Gorse Fox walked in to Shripney. There were a few bits and pieces that he needed from Sainsbury's and as it was such a nice day it seemed silly to take the car. After all it's only 3km each way.

Back home the Gorse Fox fired up Audible and continued to listen to the book he had been absorbing when on holiday. There was only about 2 hours of narration left and he was able to have it on in the background as he pottered about.

The phone rang. It was the Silver Vixen. Pistol Pete had been involved in a training exercise at work and it looked as if he had got one or more broken ribs. Plans were metaphorically thrown in the air and the Silver Vixen loaded Ellie into the car and brought her home to us so that Urban-Cub could get Pistol Pete to the hospital. No news so far, but he was clearly in a great deal of discomfort. Ellie will stay with us overnight.

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Dusty bytes

The lovely spell of weather continues. The Silver Vixen was going to spend the day with Urban-Cub and the Gorse Fox had football scheduled. We both left home soon after nine, leaving Cousteau-Cub to quiet morning before her afternoon shift.

Football was pretty good, all things being considered. Ron (he who knows it all) was there for the first time in a few weeks so there was plenty of moaning going on, but most of just ignored him. By the end he was getting frustrated and throwing himself into some fairly reckless tackles. The Gorse Fox had a quiet word with the ref and he was warned. The game itself worked out 5-4 in our favour - but again no goals for the Gorse Fox. He was, however, pleased with the way he played today.

Back home there was a quick sale for lunch and then the afternoon was spent research the McDonald branch of the family tree. Some new information has been suggested by an apparent 5th cousin in Atlanta. The Gorse Fox was eager to get proof and fill in some further blanks. Unfortunately it was a deeply frustrating afternoon digging through the dusty old bytes of the digital archives. The Gorse Fox was unable to corroborated any single fact or assertion. That doesn't mean they are incorrect, just that (as yet) there is no real evidence. The hunt goes on and, no doubt, emails will flash back and forth across the Atlantic.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Sports Day

It was another cracking day. The blue backwash was punctuated with clouds to break up the monotony. Some were fluffy and white, some had a dark underbelly. It was a sky that you could just sit and watch and never get bored. A light breeze heaved the clouds around, without them ever seeming to merge or race.

The Gorse Fox streamed across the Sussex countryside to Worthing, sticking to the A27 in case the roadworks were continuing near Ferring. He had left a little earlier so he could get in a few more laps of the track before the football started. As he dropped down of the A27, down Durrington Hill he pondered the fact that the school sports day hadn't yet taken over the track at Worthing, as it did this time most years.

Th Gorse Fox's prescience had been uncanny. As he pulled into the sports centre he was greeted by the sight of several hundred teenage girls in their red polo shirts and blue shorts gathered all round the track. The Gorse Fox was not going to get his laps in! He made do. He lapped the football cages six or seven times until he had at least a couple of kilometres of "warm-up" under his belt. The rest of the lads started to gather. There had been a tournament yesterday, so the the numbers were curtailed. In the end we played 8-v-8 in three separate games. The Gorse Fox was playing for the blues and we lost the first game 2-0, but after that we managed to win the next two games. The Gorse Fox did not manage to score any goals today. In fact he didn't feel as if he had played particularly well. Never mind, there's always tomorrow.

The afternoon has been spent with the book "Spitfire" again. Considering the speed at which the Gorse Fox reads, he finds this book requires a certain reverence and mist not be rushed. It's partly to do with the episodic style of writing, and partly the subject matter, but this must not be rushed.

Monday, July 01, 2019

The knives are out

It's been another lovely day. Again the temperatures were in the low 20s and though there were clouds to punctuate the clear blue sky, it remained quite lovely.

There had been no plans for the day but we decided that it would be nice to pop out for lunch. We grabbed the bus and headed for Chichester. The Silver Vixen had some birthday cards to select and a present for her hairdresser, who is about to leave to have a baby. The Gorse Fox didn't really have anything particular in mind, but knowing that the Steamer Trading Company was about to close down, he went along to see if there were any bargains. Well, it turns out that there were. In the end, over two trips, one before and one after lunch we walked away with a couple of new santoku knives and a new knife block in which to keep them along with our old knives.

For lunch we stopped in at Crispins'. Regular readers will know that we have been there many times before. The food is always good, freshly prepared, and excellent value for money. There's nothing that the Gorse Fox would consider "special" on the menu, but it's good honest fare. The Silver Vixen had a quiche with new potatoes and salad, and the Gorse Fox had a chicken and bacon Caesar salad. Simple, but very satisfying.

Back home we've had a quiet afternoon in the Orangery. The Gorse Fox has continued to read the book about the Spitfire, just concluding the section that related the defence of Malta. Amazing stuff really... and it really should be mandatory reading for today's "generation snowflake".

Sunday, June 30, 2019

The Girls

Well the temperatures have eased. It was in the low 20s today but there was a very blustery breeze along the coast and that took the edge off a bit. In fact The Gorse Fox found that sitting in shade he was too cool and had to head out into the sun.

Football was a bit later today. This meant that the Gorse Fox had longer to work on the family tree. He decided that he would focus on his 3rd gt-grandfather with a view to finding out exactly when he died. He almost wished he hadn't bothered now. It is clear that he was a troubled man and had been sectioned in an asylum on several occasions. The last time was for 10 years and that only ended with his death. It must have been so difficult for his family.

Football took the Gorse Fox's mind off of things. We had a nice open 5-v-5 today. The sides looked pretty well balanced. The Gorse Fox was playing for the orange bibs. We moved ahead in the first half with 2-0 at half time. The Gorse Fox had shot high, wide, and at the goalie; he had also hit the post and the crossbar. It was not looking good. The second half started and the Gorse Fox was clearly having trouble as he hit the other post and scuffed a couple of shots. The goal tally from the rest of the team began to rise, and finally the Gorse Fox found the target. In the end we finished 7-2 winners... and the Gorse Fox was glad to have scored his 60th goal of the year.

After a light lunch we headed to LA to spend the afternoon with Bompa's girls. The Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen had a lovely afternoon with Cousteau-Cub, Urban-Cub, and Ellie. Urban-Cub also prepared a lovely roast dinner for us to crown it all off.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Crackling

It's been a fabulous day. Temperatures have hovered around the 30C mark here on the coast and the sky has been  cloudless.

Urban-Cub turned  up with Ellie after breakfast. She had come to collect Cousteau-Cub who will be staying with her over the weekend so she can see her dog, Tyson. After the whirlwind visit, the Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox were left alone to get on with being retired! The Silver Vixen tended some of her plants and the Gorse Fox returned to the family tree.

The family tree research was interesting in as much as it revealed a number of siblings of the Silver Vixen's great grandmother. The Gorse Fox had never found these people in previous research and they have opened up a new chunk of the tree. He also found another title mystery that needs to be solved... is Ada a sister of Alice, or is Alice also known as Ada? Only time will tell, but at the moment the Gorse Fox suspects they are the same person.

The afternoon was just too nice to stay indoors with the family tree. The Silver Vixen went and sat in the sun, and the Gorse Fox sat outside in the shade of the parasol, reading. One of his presents from J&T earlier in the year, was a book by John Nichol called Spitfire. This tells the story of the iconic plane from the point of view of the people who flew them and maintained them. This isn't fiction. This is a book of reminiscences from the pilots and aircrew... and is absolutely riveting.

On a separate note, the Gorse Fox tried the speech to text facilities of his iPad and iPhone. This proved to be extremely accurate and may feature in future blog posts.

On yet another separate note, today is the Birthday of the Gorse Fox's little sister. Not giving anything away, but the Beatles did write and appropriate song for the occasion. "When I get old and..." etc. Little sis is away on holiday in Portugal at the moment, but we hope she has a brilliant Birthday.

Friday, June 28, 2019

New toy

Well the weather continues to impress with afternoon temperatures in the high 20s. There is a little cloud about but it’s hotter than yesterday.

We had a lovely evening last night. The crew headed into Chichester and started off by having a drink at The Nags Head at St Pancras, then we wandered across the road to Giggling Squid. As usual, the food there was lovely... though Old Bill thought his green curry was a bit watery. The Gorse Fox had Gao Pad with chicken and an extra bit of chilli and it was outstanding. Cousteau-Cub came and joined us when she finished work and we all came home together.

Friday was focused on the domestic. The Silver Vixen caught up with some ironing And the Gorse Fox hopped to the shops with Cousteau-Cub for some hay fever medication. Cousteau-Cub headed off to work and the Gorse Fox returned to the family tree.

After lunch he decided it was time to upgrade the iPad and zipped across to John Lewis where he picked up a new iPad Air. The setup has been a doddle and now, just because he can, he’s writing this blog post on it.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Starting to sizzle

Another cracking day today. We had wall to wall sunshine and the temperatures were in the mid-20s. The Silver Vixen made the most of it and spent much of the day outside. Not so the Gorse Fox. He was distracted by some family tree ideas and ended up spending much of the day in front of a computer. It was, however, a successful exercise as he has managed to fill in a few extra bits of missing information on both sides of the family.

The Gorse Fox has also been processing a few old photos - trying to place them geographically and trying to date them. There's still a fair bit of work to do there.

There's a Sonning Crew outing scheduled tonight. We are celebrating (slightly belatedly) Tinkerbell's birthday.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Warming up

The sky started overcast and there was a cool breeze. The forecast was for it to get warmer as the "Saharan Bubble" (as the media have called it) rolled into the country. Sure enough the clouds have burnt off, and the temperature has reached 25C here on the coast. (It's no doubt hotter inland). The media reports of several deaths in France which are directly attributable to the heat). It's funny that this should hit just as the Gorse Fox has established email exchanges with this new relation who lives in Phoenix. They know how to do heat there!

The Silver Vixen went off to Pilates this morning and the Gorse Fox headed for football. He must have had a sixth sense as he decided at the last instant to travel via Fontwell and Arundel instead of the A259. It seems that roadworks have again been put in place and were causing significant congestion - the Gorse Fox, however, just sailed through on his route.

The game started with 8-v-8, the Gorse Fox playing for the yellow-bibs. Unfortunately we had another outbreak of childishness and two players stormed off in a huff.  Neither was blameless and things quietened down once they had gone. It was a close game in the first half and the score remained 2-0 at half time. In the second half, however, the yellow-bibs hit our stride and whilst we conceded 4 goals, we scored five more - running out 7-4 winners (with two goals from the Gorse Fox).

Back home we are enjoying a quiet afternoon in the sun.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Chim Chiminey

No football today, we were having a day out. The overnight thunderstorms missed us entirely and whilst there had clearly been bit of rain it had amounted to nothing. By the time Cousteau-Cub left for work, the pavements were dry and it was warming up nicely. In fact, though it remained fairly overcast throughout the day, the temperatures reached the mid 20s.

We hopped in the car and went across to Lewes where we we scheduled to meet with Badger and Mrs Tiggywinkle for lunch. It was a surprisingly good run across the south coast and we were there  and looking for a good car park in an hour.

We strolled up the hill to the High Street and then sought out the restaurant. It was right next door to the Courts. We had reserved a table, but asked to move out to the roof terrace as the weather was so nice. The views across the rooftops of Lewes to the Castle made it quite quaint.

We had a lovely and leisurely meal. The choice wasn't vast, but it was very good. Between us we tried their fishcakes, black bream, calves liver, and fish and chips. Every one of these dishes was presented beautifully and was excellent. The Gorse Fox would heartily recommend you stop off at "The Rights of Man" if ever you visit Lewes.

Time wore on and the car park times were winding down. We returned to the cars and headed onwards to Michelham Priory at Upper Dicker. The Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen had been here before, but it was a first for Badger and Mrs Tiggywinkle. It turns out that the Priory is a part of Historic Houses Association, so being members we all gained entry for nothing (saving about £10 each).

We only had about 90 minutes before they closed but had a lovely time wandering round.

We entered through the crypt and then made our way throughout the house, reading the various explanatory plaques and listening to the stories from the guides.

Having exhausted the inside, we headed outside and wandered round the gardens, chatting as we went. It really was a very lovely day.

We said our goodbyes and went our separate ways at about five o'clock. The Gorse Fox was a little worried at the thought of the rush hour traffic, but whilst heavy, it was no real problem and we were home before too long... just in time to see Cousteau-Cub cycling off to get herself a kebab!

Monday, June 24, 2019

Ticking over

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

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

Sunday, June 23, 2019

New boys

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

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

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

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

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Life and times

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

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

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

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

Friday, June 21, 2019

Will he never learn?

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

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

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

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Crash

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

That's better

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

I've seen fire and I've seen rain

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

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

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

Monday, June 17, 2019

Trip

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Fathers' Day

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

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

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

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

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Friends

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, June 14, 2019

Domesticity

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Duty calls

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Armistice

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

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

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

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

Anniversary

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

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Isn't it quiet

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, June 10, 2019

Hello, hell, hello again.

Filthy wet day today. This is what it must be like living in Wales.

The Gorse Fox had an early trip to Sainsbury's planned - the car needed diesel and Her Majesty's Constabulary needed a USB Flash drive. What? you might ask.

The Gorse Fox received his fourth call from the Police regarding the attempt to gain entry to our car last week. This time they wanted to come round and take a formal statement and wanted a copy of the CCTV footage on a flash drive... which (of course) the Gorse Fox had to provide. He wasn't that bothered by this; if it helps to get this woman convicted it was £6 well spent.

The PCSO arrived late morning and viewed the footage. He commented that he now understood why the Gorse Fox had been given the name of the suspect. It was very clear and he recognised he immediately. We then went on to do the statement. This was all done on his special mobile phone... but instead of just recording what the Gorse Fox had to say, he laboriously typed it out on the screen's keyboard. As he was finishing the Gorse Fox commented that there had been another incident over night. This was reported on the local Facebook page and had been reported to the Police online. He read through the Facebook data and commented that our suspect had been released on bail, and he doesn't believe in coincidences.

It was a quiet afternoon waiting for the British Gas engineer to arrived and perform the annual boiler service. He was a nice chap and got the job done without any fuss. He also came in and bled a couple of our radiators in the bathrooms.

Sunday, June 09, 2019

Up North

Well everything is relative... There are those who believe "The North" starts at the Watford Gap, or York, or Manchester. The Gorse Fox believes the North starts at an imaginary East-West line that joins London and Bristol. By this reckoning he used to live "up North" when he lived in Hertfordshire, and when we lived in Bedfordshire. Today we were heading "up North".

Meeting with Denise and Dom, we had to find some point between us where we could have a leisurely lunch and a coffee and a long chinwag. We hadn't actually seen them since last November, so there was a great deal of gossip to catch up on. We had chosen to meet near Newbury. (Newbury itself is below the imaginary line but the Gorse Fox had found a gastro-pub in Peasemore which is just above the line - we were eating up north).

The journey was pretty uneventful even if the SatNav on the Qashqai decided to send us right through Newbury instead of round the outside. The Gorse Fox hates that SatNav.

We arrived at The Fox at Peasemore about 20 minute before they were due to open, but we were in need of the bathroom by the time we arrived and the chap opened up early for us.

We met the owner Laura who showed us to our table - clearly in the prime location in the bay window. We settled down for a coffee while waiting for D&D and chatted to Laura. It turns out that she knows our are well with contacts in Middleton-on-Sea and a friend in Chichester. She was absolutely charming and made us feel so welcome.

D&D turned up just after midday and we settled down with the menu. The Silver Vixen had lemon sole, Denise had baked hake, Dom had roast beef, and the Gorse Fox had roast turkey. The food was exquisite. It is quite clear why this pub is rated No.3 in the whole Newbury area.

We had a lovely few hours chatting over our meals and drinks before repairing outside and sitting on the rear patio for another hour. In the field next door, the village fete was in full swing, but we resisted. Soon after four the clouds had set in and it started to rain. We took this as an omen and bidding our goodbyes set off back to civilisation in the South.

This is a spot well worth visiting and certainly one to which we will return when we meet with D&D again.

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Just faffing

It has been incredibly windy today, so much so that they cancelled the Bognor Regis Carnival and Bake Off on health and safety grounds. This didn't affect us as we had no plans to attend anyway!

After a quiet start the Silver Vixen, Cousteau-Cub and the Gorse Fox decided to grab the bus and hit the high life in Chichester. The Silver Vixen wanted to return a dress to M&S and Cousteau-Cub wanted to look round several "previously loved" shops. It was lovely and sunny and the Gorse Fox left the girls to the shopping while he watched the world go by. He took the opportunity to try out the camera on the new phone as he looked down North Street towards the cross.

We strolled back down South Street and stopped at The Chantry for a bite to eat. It was meant to be only a snack, but their portions do tend to be generous. Whether we have any dinner tonight is still up for discussion. The Gorse Fox suspects it will only be something light.

The Silver Vixen spent some time pottering in the garden this afternoon and the Gorse Fox has been looking up various accessories on the computer. The earphones that you get with the latest iPhones are so uncomfortable and difficult to keep in that he is considering finding an alternative.

We plan to meet up with the Silver Vixen's sister and brother-in-law tomorrow.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Miguel

It's been a very wet day thanks to the tail end of low pressure area this morning and the arrival of Storm Miguel this afternoon. We had planned to go into Chichester, but that can now wait until the weather is a little more clement.

The day was brightened up, however, when Urban-Cub arrived with Ellie this morning. It turns out though, that Ellie was a little under the weather and spent much of the morning asleep. AT least it gave Urban-Cub a chance to get some admin done.

The Gorse Fox has all but finished setting up his phone. The only outstanding item (he thinks) is to get his Nat West bank app working again. Obviously whatever he tried first thing wasn't't working and though he repeated the attempt several times he clearly broke some arbitrary limit and told him to forget it until tomorrow.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Pinpoint adverts

Now the Gorse Fox is not a medical professional. (He points this out just in case there had been any doubt in your mind). He was, however, somewhat confused when he went to gents washroom at West Quay.

In front of every urinal was a small picture fram (about A4 in size). Every one of these frames had exactly the same advertisement on display. It was an advertisement from from the NHS. It asked the reader "You would miss these..." and displayed a aircraft, a train, an interview appointment, and birthday or anniversary, then continued "so why would you miss your cervical smear test?"

Now the Gorse Fox reiterates that he is not a medical professional, but he suspects that these adverts are not being aimed at the correct demographic.

For the teacher

The pal for the day was to head to Southampton. The Gorse Fox wanted to go to the Apple Store and it is always nice strolling round West Quay. Ocado seemed to be in on the plan because they delivered our shopping early and we were able to get on the road earlier than expected. We had a brilliant run through and were parked in the multi-story 50 minutes after leaving home.

We headed straight to Apple as the Gorse Fox expected that it would take some time to get sorted. We were greeted and assigned our own little troll and, within a few minutes, the Gorse Fox was the proud owner of new phone and was sitting down starting the data transfer between the iCloud and the new phone. The Silver Vixen wandered off for some shopping, knowing this was like to take a while. In the end we were pretty well set up within 30 minutes.

We went off for a coffee and a wander round. The Silver Vixen had wanted a new handbag and after examining all that was on offer in John Lewis found a Radley bag that fitted the bill to a tee. Then we hit M&S where we managed to find an outfit that suited her beautifully.

We had realised, while having our coffee that the battery on the Silver Vixen's phone was giving trouble. It had plunged by about 30% in the hour. We returned to Apple and arranged to have a new battery fitted... that, however, would take a while so we left the phone and headed off to the new West Quay South to find some lunch. Our restaurant du jour was Casa Brasil. This provides a choice of lunchtime foods but we opted for the buffet plus rodizio grill. This meant that as long as we showed a green placemat, the waiter would continue to bring us various BBQ'd meats... chicken, chorizo, sirloin steak, gammon, pork, turkey.... and so forth. It was very good, and though the meat just kept coming, the portions were a sensible (i.e. small) size so you managed to get a lot of flavours long before you were full.

We returned to Apple. Though we had returned at the time suggested, the phone wasn't ready. It turns out that the engineer had broken the screen connector when he opened the phone, so not only did we get a new batter, we got a new screen. The Gorse Fox pointed out that the screen had had a glass screen protector on it, so they also fitted a replacement (free of charge). The Silver Vixen has a nicely refurbished phone as a result.

Despite leaving around five o'clock we had a pretty painless run through Southampton and along the M27/A27 to home. That was an unexpected bonus.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Hello, Hell, Hello

Nice bright start to the day but it did cloud over and the temperature dropped a bit. The Silver Vixen wasn't feeling it today, so decided that Pilates would be a step too far and stayed at home.

The Gorse Fox headed off for football as usual. The roadworks that delayed his trip yesterday were unlikely to be finished, so he took a slightly longer route. This proved to be a good choice as he arrived earlier than usual - the A29 and A27 were spectacularly clear today.

Football looked as if it was going to be a close run thing. The sides looked pretty even, but in the end the yellows ran out 3-1 winners. Unfortunately the Gorse Fox was on the orange team. The game was marred by some agricultural tackles from the usual suspects and childish tantrums (and storming off the pitch) from another. It seems to me that some people wish to play the game by their own rules. They don't like the official rules, and argue about every decision that goes against them when they stray into their own rule book. The Gorse Fox has a very simple view of this - if you are not willing to play to the official rules - then don't play; we can live without you!

Back home, the Gorse Fox was preparing lunch when the phone rang. It was the Police responding to yesterday's incident. We had a long chat and the Gorse Fox helped all he could. It seems bizarre that the technology the Police have a their disposal won't accept video by email, can't accept it on a USB stick or SD card, and expects it to be submitted on a CD! Who still has computers old enough to read and write CDs? The Gorse Fox suggested he put it in a shared folder in the Cloud which they could access. That seemed to satisfy them, but in the end they saw the copy that was on Facebook and decided that would do.

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Nice try

The Gorse Fox is not talking about rugby.

A message came in from Old Bill. He had picked up an incident on his CCTV. A young woman had been detected trying to get in to Two Hats' and our our cars. The Gorse Fox went back to his own CCTV and sure enough, there she was, brazenly trying the doors of our cars. The Facebook page for the development was already alive with comments but we were able to add video evidence. The Gorse Fox reported it to Sussex Police via their website. He then had the idea of posting the video to the Bognor Regis Facebook page. This stirred things up and within the hour he had a private message identifying the woman in question. All of this has been forwarded to the Police.

Meanwhile, the Gorse Fox had some football scheduled. It took a lot longer than usual to get there as there were roadworks on the A259 near Worthing. This added 20 minutes to the journey and subtracted 20 minutes from his warm up round the running track. The turn out today was sparse (for a Tuesday) and meant that we had only two teams. It was 9-v-9 (which is never good). The Gorse Fox had to be be disciplined as we were under continuous attack. In fact we lost 2-0, 1-0, and 2-0. Not a good result, though the Gorse Fox did have a few flashes of skill that even caused comment from the ref.

Back home it's been a quiet afternoon interrupted by a quick trip to Sainsbury's to get some fresh coriander. Tonight's supper was butter chicken with rice... and even if he says so himself, it was excellent.

Monday, June 03, 2019

Fangs for the memory

Another lovely day. The Gorse Fox must say that the weather here near Bognor Regis has, over the last few years, been absolutely lovely. The Gorse Fox has always held that there is a micro climate here, caused by the shelter afforded by the Isle of Wight, the Manhood Peninsula, and the South Downs, and this seems to consistently give us about the best weather in the country.

The Silver Vixen was off to meet up with a friend at Haskins today, so she headed off before ten o'clock as she wanted to get a bit of shopping done first. The Gorse Fox had an appointment at the dentist so he could hang on a bit longer... and anyway, he was travelling by bus (just love that senior citizen bus pass).

Dentist went well. She poked about, took some x-rays, poked about some more, examined the x-rays, then gave the Gorse Fox a clean bill of health and commented on how healthy everything looked. That was good news as he doesn't like "intervention".

Back home he's been cleaning up his old iPad and transferring the old mind maps to the new iThoughts module. Some of them brought back some very fond memories, just as others recalled some absolute nightmares.

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Maybe

Well the Champions League final didn't end with a Spurs triumph. Maybe the Gorse Fox should have been playing!

We had a fairly typical 5-6-5 game today. The Gorse Fox's initial analysis of the teams was that we were going to get thumped. Well his analysis was wrong (again). It was a close run game and we managed to end up as 6-5 winners. The Gorse Fox was particularly pleased as he controlled the centre-back, central midfield positions well and acted as focus for spreading the ball around between our players. In the end he had managed to marshal the win and scored five goals along the way. A very good morning.

Leaving the Arun Sports Arena he popped along to LA and picked up Cousteau-Cub. Pistol Pete was still out with the dog, and Urban-Cub was at work. Jake was looking after Ellie.

Back home he has been reviewing the apps on his old iPad and deciding what to do about it. It is so old that it no longer receives updates and whilst it is very slow, it does work. One of his favourite apps was a mind mapping tool called iThoughtsHD. This has now been superseded by iThoughts. The advantage of the latter being that it runs on iPhone and iMac also. The problem is that the format of the files has changed. The Gorse Fox wrote to the developer for advice and received a response within the hour - very impressive. Unfortunately, it doesn't work because of the age of the iPad and the fact that it is too ancient to support the feature to which he refers. There are several other options, however, and the Gorse Fox will have to give them a whirl. He certainly wouldn't want to lose all the old mind maps that he had created. Some of these document the very real problems that some of Starfleet's customers were facing at the time - some solutions, and the fact they they thought they knew best (and almost never did). Next step will be to try and set up a WebDAV server on "tawny owl" and copy the files to there.



Saturday, June 01, 2019

Cooking with gas

Much of this morning was taken up with domestic duties. The floors had to be washed throughout downstairs and that always takes a while, by the time the furniture is shifted and then replaced. the Silver Vixen meanwhile was pottering in the garden and Cousteau-Cub had popped in to Bognor Regis to try and get to a hairdresser.

Urban-Cub called. An impromptu BBQ was arranged and got our bits and pieces together and headed over to LA.

We had a lovely few hours in the garden, chatting, and playing with Ellie. Pistol Pete fired up the gas BBQ and several metric tonnes of meat prepared - beef burgers, sausages, lamb kebabs, pork steaks, chicken pieces, kitchen and chorizo kebabs, salmon, and heavens knows what else.

It really was a feast - and absolutely delicious.

We left Cousteau-Cub with Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete and headed home. It was Champions League Finals night, but the Gorse Fox decided he didn't want the stress of watch Spurs play Liverpool... so we had a quite evening catching up on various recordings on the Sky-Q box.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Off duty

Ellie was very good overnight, again. We didn't hear from her until about 7:30 - which is quite acceptable to all concerned! The Gorse Fox went down to open up and get some eggs and bacon on. Ellie seems to have got the last for eggs and bacon and along with a pancake and some porridge, she got the day off to a good start.

Cousteau-Cub got up a while later and while the Silver Vixen was showering, Cousteau-Cub and Ellie did their yoga in the lounge. In the background a YouTube video played Cosmic Kids Yoga and led the proceedings. It was hilarious to watch.

Once Ellie had completed her exercises she joined us on a trip to the farm shop. She carried a little shopping basket to help with Jasper's food (which is what we had gone to get). She was very helpful, as you can imagine. Back home she solicitously watched as we prepared Jasper's lunch, then decided that she wanted to play in the garden for the rest of the time. The swing was installed and used occasionally, flower pots were relocated, then relocated again, and eventually put back where they started from. She was still enjoying the afternoon sunshine when Urban-Cub arrived to collect her.

The Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen are now off duty and the house has returned to normal.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

The wheels on the bus

Well that was a bit different. As regular readers will know, we usually have Ocado deliver on Thursday mornings. Well this morning things went awry. The chap from Ocado phoned to say he had broken down after his previous delivery and was stuck. It would be at least two hours before he would be on the move again. However, he was only about 400 metres from the house as the crow flies... did we want to collect our shopping directly from the van. Well, it seemed like a good idea so the Gorse Fox trotted round with the car and he loaded the boot with all our shopping. Everything was done and packed away before 10 o'clock. All in all it worked quite well.

The Gorse Fox had an appointment at the chiropodist in Chichester. He was due there at the same time that Cousteau-Cub started work. We decided to make a family outing of it and the Silver Vixen came along with Ellie. She just loved the bus and kept muttering "this is amazing" much to our amusement.

It's been a relatively quiet afternoon. After Ellie's sleep she played in the sandpit destroying sandcastles. She's busy flooding the bathroom again at present.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Lost

It's Wednesday and the day started brightly, if a little cool. The Silver Vixen had Pilates scheduled for the morning and the Gorse Fox had football. Traffic was light and despite leaving home a little later than planned he arrived at the sport centre at the same time as usual.

The game was 7-v-6-v-7 match where one player swapped sides at half time. This did not work out well for the Gorse Fox. Though it was still 1-1 at half time, the change in personnel saw us ship a further 4 goals in the second half, without reply. We had our chances, and the Gorse Fox had four shots on target which were saved, he also hit both posts and grazed the cross-bar. Such is the life of centre back.

As he drove home it started to rain and that set the scene for most of the afternoon. While fiddling with some spreadsheets the Gorse Fox decided to do something about the credit balance he had on one of his credit cards. It's a card that we haven't used in 5 or 6 years and it has sat there with a chunk of money all of that time. The card itself is lost somewhere in the house. Well, no more. The Gorse Fox phoned the issuer and after jumping through all of the usual security hoops, asked them to transfer the money back to the linked account. Done.

Urban-Cub turned up soon after four o'clock. Ellie will be staying with us for the next 48 hours, so G-Force are on duty. As the Gorse Fox writes, the Silver Vixen is busy bathing Ellie. So far the water isn't seeping out from under the door - but it will probably come!

Cousteau-Cub is on a late shift, so won't be home until after nine.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Back to work

Nah... not really! The Gorse Fox still wakes up most mornings unable to believe he doesn't have to go in to work. In fact not just today, but ever. He is still surprised by this, but so thankful.

Cousteau-Cub was up first this morning. She does not have the luxury of retirement and she had to get in to work for an early shift. Well, early in terms of her job, not early by Urban-Cub's standards. The Gorse Fox was up soon after and saw her off. The Silver Vixen had arranged to meet with Urban-Cub at Haskins for some shopping during the morning so she headed off soon after the Gorse Fox left for football.

The Gorse Fox had a moderate game today. He seems to have retained his fitness while away, but his 'touch' needs some attention. Balls were often over hit, or were wide of their mark. Never mind - it will come back with a few games under his belt. In the first hour, the Gorse Fox played for the yellows and we managed to lose the first game 2-0, draw the second games 0-0, and win the last game 1-0 (with a goal from the Gorse Fox). In the second hour we played on a smaller pitch. The Gorse Fox was playing for the red-bibs in this game, but we managed to lose all three matches. The Gorse Fox did manage to have two goals disallowed, however.

Back home this afternoon his legs feel like lead.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Bank Holiday Monday

Well, tradition says that you should go out and sit in traffic jams during a Bank Holiday. The Gorse Fox was never a traditionalist. Tradition says you all go to the seaside or big festival on Bank Holidays. The Gorse Fox lives at the seaside and can't be bothered with the the great unwashed at a festival. Tradition says you make the most of a Bank Holiday because you are going back to work for the Summer tomorrow. The Gorse Fox has retired - he doesn't give a flying fig.

The Gorse Fox, Silver Vixen, and Cousteau-Cub have had a day relaxing at home. The Silver Vixen cleared the part of the garage where she keeps her gardening equipment and the Gorse Fox caught up on the ironing of all his holiday shirts and trousers. Then we cleaned the rill. You see, it is possible to have fun without a traditional Bank Holiday!

The Gorse Fox also reviewed some accounts and one that he had opened a while back was getting some very poor online write-ups. He only had a nominal amount in said account, but he was thinking of repurposing it. Well, he did. He's closed it. Taking a leaf from Cousteau-Cub's book he's opened another online account with N26, a German based bank (fully licensed to operate in the UK). He cannot get over how simple it was too register... name. address, NI number, then photos of driving license or passport, a selfie to match against the photos and that was it. Done. Very impressed.

To complete the theme of the last few days, the Gorse Fox has booked to return to Jamaica next year. He managed to score a good deal and the deposit is now paid. He's also been in touch with Agent Mulder and he's hoping that they can join us once again but won't be able to confirm for a week or so.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Defending

The Gorse Fox was up soon after seven. Things are, after all, back to normal.

Not a lot was scheduled for the day, but we did have football. The Gorse Fox got changed as usual and headed off to the arena. We had a couple of newcomers today. The Gorse Fox knew both of them from Worthing, but it was the first time they had joined us for Sunday. Once Jack had chosen the teams, the Gorse Fox knew he was in for a torrid time and so it turned out. We managed to score and in fact kept ourselves ahead in the first half, button the second half the flood gates open and we ended up losing 10-4.

The game was marred somewhat by one of our longstanding (and more troublesome) members getting nippy with the new lads. Unfortunately, that's the way he is when he's in a mood (which he clearly was today). The Gorse Fox was not impressed with his shirt tugging either. That's the first time he stooped to that as a way to stop the Gorse Fox.

Quiet afternoon... a large chicken is about to enter the Instant Pot as the Gorse Fox starts to consider the menu for supper.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

More Planning

It's been another quiet day. The sun has been shining and it's been lovely and warm When the Silver Vixen checked just now, it was 31C in the Orangery.

The Gorse Fox started back on the accounts. He was delighted to find that, despite the holiday expenses and the recent acquisition of another iPad for the Silver Vixen, he has finished the month with fractionally more money than he had started with. That's very heartening.

With that in mind he returned to holiday planning. Virgin have come back with another quote, significantly less than the first two. In fact it is now virtually identical to last year's prices... which is good news. He also looked at a couple of other options. There were a couple of spots in Antigua that looked rather nice, and several choices in the Cape Verde Islands to add to the locations he found on the Algarve yesterday. There's no hurry, but it is nice to get something in plan.

While looking at holidays, the Gorse Fox also took a look at an option for a short break in Seville. That looks very tempting and will be kept on the back burner.

We took Cousteau-Cub over to Urban-Cub during the afternoon. She'll be staying with them overnight.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Planning

The Gorse Fox has had a quiet day. Much of the day has been spent in front of the computer. The biggest task was the proper filing of all of the recent photos and then all of the facial recognition. This took several hours. We had purchased some official photos from the resort and had the master copies on a CD. The copies that they had emailed were lower resolution so the Gorse Fox powered up the Linux bag (Eagle) and copied the master files off the CD and the copied them in to master photo library. (The CD would not open on the MAC).

Much of the afternoon was spent with TripAdvisor, Expedia, and emails flying back and forth with Virgin Travel. The Gorse Fox has been trying to see what can be done regarding a return visit to Royal Plantation next year. On the assumption that we may pause, he also looked at options for the Algarve. No decisions have been made as yet, but there do seem to be some options... and he's already driven the quotes down fairly significantly.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Back to earth

The bump came at seven. The Gorse Fox was awake. He didn't want to be, but his body clock had reverted to normal and demanded his attention. A strong coffee beckoned and the Gorse Fox thought "who is he to ignore the call?".

The Silver Vixen and Cousteau-Cub stumbled down the stairs a while later. Cousteau-Cub had an appointment at the bank before work and also wanted to vote so the the Gorse Fox walked her round to the Polling Station to show her where  it was and the quickest route back to her bus stop. Back home the Silver Vixen was well on top of the post-holiday washing, making the most of the lovely weather to get stuff out on the line.

We had to pop across to collect Jasper, late morning. As usual Mark had taken exquisite care of him and Jsper seemed a bit reluctant to come home. He complained the whole way back in the car, but once inside the house he was quickly back to his usual self. He's done a complete tour of the property, inside and out, and is content that we haven't changed anything without his permission. He's back, and he's back in charge.

Domestic duties continue to be the focus. The accounts were brought up to date, thought there are still some statements to check. Then we hit Sainsbury's with vengeance. It didn't take too long but we did seem to come back with a huge amount of stuff.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

And home

We had a quiet morning with our books and then settled  down for lunch. It didn't seem to matter what we did, we would be interrupted by staff and guests wishing us a safe trip home and asking when we would return. It really was quite moving.

It escalated as 2pm approached and we waited for the chauffeur. Our butler loaded the car with juices and canap├ęs and the resort management came to see us off. We had a lovely ride up to the airport. It was interesting to hear the driver's views on various things, but particularly his view that Jamaica should never have asked for independence. It was much better under British rule, in his view, and there was far less corruption in high places.

We arrived at the airport and joined the throng. The Gorse Fox had checked in online, but we stall had to drop our bags. He was a annoyed that the seats which we had booked way back last year, and were still confirmed last week - had suddenly been re-allocated and we had been moved back by several rows. The agent at the desk couldn't help and the flight was just about full so there was no leeway. We were whisked along through security and down to the lounge.

As we arrived, we bumped in to one of the Gorse Fox's football chaps. He was scheduled on the same flight, so joined us in the lounge. He had been out in Jamaica on business (having lived there for a while a few years ago). It was nice to share a pint with him before the flight.

The escort came to take us to the flight and we pre-boarded. As it happens, the seats we had been allocated were fine. In fact we concluded they were better. They were at the back of that cabin, meaning we had nobody to knee us in the back, and we right by the exit so that we could be among the very first off the plane.

The flight was comfortable and quick, but the food was disappointing. The Gorse Fox admits we have been spoilt for the last couple of weeks, but even still. The chicken choice had run out, the pork was average, and the gnocchi (which the Silver Vixen had) was really stodgy and unappetising. The Silver Vixen settled down with a film and the Gorse Fox listened to music. We managed to get some sleep, but only and hour or two.

At Gatwick we were first off and zoomed along to baggage reclaim. Our bags were off fairly quickly and as we walked out landslide the driver grabbed our bags. 40 minutes from touchdown we were in the car and heading home.

We got back in time to see Cousteau-Cub before she went off to work. She's on a late shift today so didn't have to leave here until 11:45. Now it's just a matter of unpacking, getting the washing under way, showering, and having a nap.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Winding down and packing up

Our last evening was spent saying farewell to various members of  staff and enjoying the entertainment on the terrace whilst having dinner. The Silver Vixen tucked in to a ribeye steak while the Gorse Fox enjoyed a plate of grilled snapper.

The entertainer sang a series of classic songs and tried to cajole the audience into dancing. He finally got some up on the dance floor by asking about how long they had been married. 5 years, 15 years, 35 years came the answers called back from the dark. The Gorse Fox called 46 years and we got a chorus of 'Wows' and round of applause.

No gym this morning. We have packing and check-out to worry about. The flight isn't until this evening but Virgin do recommend getting to the airport 4 hours before the flight. The Gorse Fox isn't sure we'll do that - but we will be there in plenty of time, hopefully.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Thunder

The day on the beach has been enjoyed with the background beat of thunder, which has rattled around all day without actually coming to anything. The Silver Vixen has been wading through another book, but the Gorse Fox has just been people watching and admiring the glass-like surface of the sea and the gentle lapping of the waves as they caress the beach.

We broke into our busy schedule for some lunch at the beach bar and the the Gorse Fox went to the travel office to see if there was a deal to be done for next year. He has some quotes but, as yet, the airlines haven't released their premium economy prices. It's funny, before we got here we thought we'd go somewhere different next year, but we find this so relaxing and quiet that, once here, we decided we'd probably come back if we can get a good deal.

The Gorse Fox popped into the photographer to look at the formal photos that had been taken. They were excellent so he purchased the lot and has a CD with the images as well as digital copies sent by email.

The Birth of Cool

Ok, that title is misleading. Miles Davies wasn't on the stage last night. We were, however, treated to two separate jazz sessions.

Our butler, Orayne, had escorted us up to the restaurant and got us seated on the upstairs verandah. Some wine was poured and the menus presented. In the corner an attractive American girl was struggling with the concept of using a fork and was stabbing her food with it as if trying to kill it. (Why do so many people struggle with the simple etiquette of holding and manipulating a knife and fork?). In panic she realised the time and asked for her meal to be packaged up and taken to her room so that she could see the final episode of Game of Thrones. (In contrast the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox have never watched a single episode, and haven't even switched on the TV the whole time we've been here).

The Gorse Fox started with a salad nicoise. Light, tasty, and the perfect way to start the meal... the Silver Vixen went for Camembert frit with salad. Then for entrees the Silver Vixen chose the rack of lamb while the Gorse Fox selected sole meuniere. He must say that the seafood he has had on this trip has been exceptional, but this dish topped the lot.

In the background the jazz played.

The first act alternated between flute and alto sax and set the mood beautifully. When his set finished he was replaced by a jazz guitarist (same chap as last week) and a singer. The guitar was very much in the style of George Benson (not so much Django Reinhardt this week). The singer had just come off the cruise ships, but he did a great job with plenty of classics from George Benson, Ray Charles and so forth. 

It was a really good evening's entertainment and an excellent meal.

Our last full day stretches out ahead of us. Let's see what it brings.