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Thursday, April 22, 2021


 It was another lovely day, but the clear blue sky and bright sunshine were deceptive. A chilly breeze was blowing and came as quite a surprise as we walked Ellie round to Dizzy Ducklings. (Urban-Cub had dropped her off with us at 7:30).

The Silver Vixen had an appointment this morning, so the Gorse Fox took care of the Ocado delivery and waited around for an Amazon delivery. Big Carl and his mate, Pete, came round to clean all the soffits and bargeboards and to clean the Orangery roof. By late morning the Silver Vixen was back, so the Gorse Fox left her in charge (as if she wasn't't, anyway) and headed off for the top-up shop. He was later than usual and his trip had obviously coincided with the local undertakers dropping off their zombies for their shopping. The idea of doing a quick shop soon evaporated as the Gorse Fox got trapped behind them as they shuffled up and down the aisles greeting each other time and time again, having forgotten they met in the previous aisle (and probably a previous life). The smell of formaldehyde was quite pervasive, and the in-store pharmacist threw up his hands and ran away to hide.

Back home, we again got a call to collect Ellie early. Her hay-fever was really troubling her. Fortunately, Urban-Cub had a good telephone consultation with the GP and had a prescription waiting. The Gorse Fox collected it ao that we could get her started. As these were eye-drops, it was not quite so easy. She was fine for the first drop in the first eye.... but that was that. She was not going to have the second eye done.

The Gorse Fox cooked some lovely thick pork chops for tea. They were delicious, but lethal. The Gorse Fox managed to lose a large filling (or half a tooth) as he relished the treat. Now he just has to hope it doesn't give any trouble before he can get it fixed.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Normal Service

 It's Wednesday. The weather is gorgeous, and it's bout 16C. That's not bad for April, particularly when you seen pictures from the US where they are still getting snow storms.

The Gorse Fox was up, washed, dressed, and making the coffee before Ellie woke. She had woken just after we went to bed, having fallen out of bed. The Gorse Fox suspects it shocked her a bit, but she went straight back down without a fuss. 

We walked Ellie to DD, then the Silver Vixen prepared for her Zoom Pilates, and the Gorse Fox headed off to Worthing for football. Again, we played 3 thirty minute games. With fitness levels as they are, this is  not yet easy, though the Gorse Fox can still manage to put on a spurt of speed when needed. Not really sure what the scores were today, but think we lost 2-1, 2-1 and the drew 1-1. Normal service had been resumed. The Gorse Fox played a lot better than yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. 

We got a call at lunchtime. Ellie wasn't well. We went round and collected her from Dizzy Ducklings. She has developed hay-fever, and was clearly suffering today. It didn't help that the Council had been out on the mowers trimming all the verges and cutting the field and play areas all around the area. We brought he home and she had a very quiet afternoon.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021


 It was a gorgeous day. Not a cloud dared show itself to sully the deep blue of the sky.

The Gorse Fox wandered round to meet Urban-Cub and walk Ellie to Dizzy Ducklings. She was beside herself with excitement to be back and see her friends. 

As soon at the Gorse Fox got home he did a quick change and headed off to Worthing for football. The team choice was little lop-sided, but for once, it was in the Gorse Fox's favour. He was playing on a team with 4 recognised attackers and found that marshalling the back was a relatively easy job. The Gorse Fox didn't feel that he played particularly well, but we managed a 4-0 win in the first game and a 6-0 win in the second. In the second game, the Gorse Fox actually played in goal for half the match. On the pitch behind us a coterie of yummy mummies were having a yoga session. As the session wound down and it was time for them to relax, the music was changed to "New Age" sounds and the leader of the session led them through the relaxation and wind down. During a break in the football the Gorse Fox pointed out that she was lulling him to sleep.

Back home, we had a quiet lunch and then went to collect Ellie from Dizzy Ducklings. By now, we had seen the list of children from DD that would be going to Bartons in September. There were quite a few and fortunately that included most of Ellie's friends. 

As we wandered back, with Bonnie, and her mum and sister we made our way into the field and the girls played on the carved tractor while we stood and chatted.

The rest of the afternoon has been the usual mix of playing (this included a pretend picnic in the lounge), dinner, and then the wind down to bed. As the Gorse Fox writes this, Ellie is in bed watching 10 (timed) minutes of YouTube for kids, and then that'll be it.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Super League

 Today saw the announcement that 6 of the country's biggest football clubs were breaking away to form a European Super League with teams from Spain and Italy. This got the Gorse Fox thinking. He ran through the various options and decided that we should put it to the club: "Should Arun Amblers apply to join the European Super League?"

Response from the team has been somewhat muted. He suspect the players are pondering the threat that they can no longer be called up for the national team, nor play in the World Cup.

Beyond the Law

 It's been a lovely day. The sun has brightened an uninterrupted blue sky. The Silver Vixen had plans and went off to LA to join up with a friend for a stroll and some coffee. The Gorse Fox knows well enough, that this would mean she would not reappear until dinner time!

The Gorse Fox squirrelled himself away in the study. It didn't start very well. The new laptop, merlin, would not start. The Gorse Fox phoned Dell. When he got through to a technician, quoted the serial number, and explained the problem the laptop burst back into life. No intervention was required. That was a relief.

Back at the code face, he is concentrating on a book of Laws (his mother's maternal family). At the moment this stretches back to the mid 1600s and an early draft of the book runs to over 300 pages. Today he has been working through the defat, page by page. As he goes, he rechecks the data and gathers more if he can. He also adapts the database so that when next compiled, the book will self-heal. The first draft covered some 360 individuals, but today's research has probably added another 20. This could be a long exercise as, so far, he has only got to page 65.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Binary split

 It's been a lovely day. The weather has been dry and bright, and after a leisurely start we have managed to drifty off into our individual hobbies. The Silver Vixen popped round to se Urban-Cub regarding some makeup, then returned to her sewing. The Gorse Fox continued to climb the various branches of the family tree.

It was interesting that the Gorse Fox was talking, yesterday, to one (Empson) cousin about another cousin from a different (O'Hara) branch of the family. This morning she popped up on his Facebook timeline, we made contact, and we exchanged messages for the first time since 1996. This drove the Gorse Fox to a different branch of his research and a different "book". He generated the initial rough cut, based on his research so far. Then he started to work through the book to see where there were inconsistencies, anomalies, or unsupported facts. That was most of the rest of the day gone as he rechecked data, found additional data, and delved further into the records.

Delving into old records was where the Gorse Fox used his computing know how and employed a binary split. He was looking for a record from a a microfilm. The microfilm ran to over 1000 images. He started by looking at image 500. That was clearly much too early for the data he sought. He then moved to image 700 (ok, it should have been 750 - but who cares). That was almost a direct hit. He backed up by one page and there was the data he was seeking. How lucky can you get?

The Gorse Fox has had a beef joint resting overnight in a dry rub. At lunchtime it went into the oven at 120C for 2 hours, then up to 140C for 30 Minutes, and finally up to 180C for a final 30 minutes before being taken out to rest. It was gorgeously succulent and a great success. Considering the joint was only £2, it was wonderful vale for money and Urban-Cub and Ellie cam round for dinner to enjoy it with us.

Saturday, April 17, 2021


Some days are really successful. Then, of course, that has to be balanced out.

The Gorse Fox had his weekly call with the cousins, which, as ever, was fun. Then that was followed by a long "Signal" chat with Chris, the eldest of the cousins. It turns out that he is an equal opportunity hater; disliking most of the major countries and their citizens. He told the Gorse Fox that his children accused him of being racist, but his defence was that he hated everyone equally. For someone that was born in the UK, lived in Malta, served in the Royal Navy, and has lived in Switzerland and Israel before retiring to Turkey - that seems strange.

The rest of the day was fairly frustrating. The Gorse Fox has been trying to track down information regarding is grandmother's sister's descendants. For most, it is not a problem.  But there is one nice Patricia Edith that is causing consternation. In the end the Gorse Fox has written to distant cousins in the UK and the US to see if they can shed light on the situation.

The Gorse Fox could get his usual Tadka Dahl from Ocado this week. As a result he has cooked his own. It turned out to be very tasty, but not as spicy as he would have liked. Fortunately, there was enough left for two more meals. He will have to remember to add some more chillies.

The other the Gorse Fox did, while preparing dinner, was to create a dry ru for the beef joint that we have planned for tomorrow. The joint is now suitable smeared in the dry run and nestles in the bottom of the fridge unit the Gorse Fox retrieves it for a long low and slow cook tomorrow.  

Friday, April 16, 2021

Well that was confusing

 You would thought that with a name like Sarah Ann Gould Bolt, it would be easy to find the various relevant genealogical information. Oh no. There were two Sarah Ann Gould Bolts and they lived in the same area. In fact they were cousins. It took the Gorse Fox most of the day to unpick the various records and work out which record belonged to which Sarah. Most confusing, but now the Gorse Fox is happy that he has it right.

Talking of genealogical research, he sent a message to clarify something. Within half and hour, he got a phone call from one of the Silver Vixen’s aunts. It was nice to talk with her and get just a few more morsels of info.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Light headed

 It has been a fairly ordinary day. No Hollywood stars came to visit, no politicians phoned for advice, and there was no call from Daniel Levy for the Gorse Fox to go a shore up the defence at Spurs. Instead, we had the delivery from Ocado, the bins were emptied, and life pottered on.

the Silver Vixen had arranged to go an help Urban-Cub sort out all of the boxes in her garage. The Gorse Fox, in the meantime, had to finish the weekly shopping at Lidl and Sainsbury's. The, on the way back, he stopped to see if there was much of a queue at the barbers' shop. There was. He went home dragging his locks with him. He put the shopping away and did the accounts, then set off on foot back to barbers'.

There was only one person waiting when he arrived, and one of the barbers was cleaning down and sanitising his work station. The Gorse Fox was called, the other guy was waiting for one of the other customers to finish, not a haircut. The Gorse Fox settled down. Slowly the operative hacked his way through the long, flowing locks. He trimmed the beard. He wrapped the Gorse Fox in hot towels and directed a flow of steam in his face. Finally he gave a facial massage. It was wonderful. The Gorse Fox is now feeling quite light-headed (and very cold around the neck).

Back home, the Gorse Fox had to wait for an Amazon delivery, but once that had arrived he wandered around to meet up with Silver Vixen and Urban-Cub. He was set the task of constructing Ellie's garden swing. He thought this would be fairly easy and fairly quick. Oh no, not on your nelly. It was a bit of a nightmare to put back together - not helped by Ellie asking if it was ready every 30 seconds, and her insistence on playing with the bits and pieces that the Gorse Fox needed. Never mind. In the end it was complete and secured to the ground with special pegs.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Hat trick

 It was a lovely morning for football. We had 3 thirty minute matches scheduled and shuffled the personnel between games. In the first two games the Gorse Fox was playing in yellow and we managed 1-1 drowse in both games. In the last game he was playing orange. We won this 4-3... despite the Gorse Fox who managed to get his foot to all three of the goals we conceded, claiming a hat trick of own goals! He did also score a cracking goal at the correct end, rifling the ball from just inside the halfway line. The problem was that the ref, tripping over his white stick, was disorientated and claimed the ball had followed a trajectory that took it above the height of the cross-bar, before dropping into the goal. The Gorse Fox and his team disputed this, pointing that was not possible as the ball was still rising as it clattered into the net. The goal did not count, The Gorse Fox was not amused.

We popped round to see Urban-Cub this afternoon. She had a couple of window troughs to mount, so the Gorse Fox decided it was safer and quicker for him to do it than allow her to try. 

That done, the Gorse Fox returned to Condor. He started by looking at the various systems and services that start when the machine boots. He would, by a process of elimination, try to determine which one was causing the problem. 

  • Sophos was disabled - no effect. 
  • Network drives were scanned for errors - no errors.
  • Google Backup/Sync was disable - no effect
  • GoodSync was disabled - no effect
  • OneDrive was disabled - voila!!!! Things started to work again
Now the Gorse Fox isn't sure if everything is back to normal, but the few tests he has run so far seem to run successfully and lay the blame squarely on Microsoft OneDrive (a clear can of sabotage). The Gorse Fox will see how things progress over the next few days. He is hopeful.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Things that make you go hmmmmm

 It's Tuesday... that means, for the Gorse Fox, it's football and for the Silver Vixen its an appointment with the hairdresser. Much excitement all round.

The Gorse Fox set off for Worthing. As he arrived at the level crossing a message flashed on his watch. His delivery from Dell would be delivered at 10:45. That was a shame. Nobody would be home. The Silver Vixen would have left for her appointment by then. Now, the package was only a mouse, but he wasn't happy to have them leave it out. As soon as he got to Worthing he logged onto the DHL website and changed the instructions to "Leave with neighbour". Now he could relax.

Football was good fun. The Gorse Fox lost 2-1 and 2-1, then won 4-2 (with 2 assists). It was only in that last game that our forwards started to use the midfield to cycle the ball to people in better positions. It made all the difference as the Gorse Fox had moved upfield and taken on the midfield role. We had also ditched the 3 touch rule and were able to play some more flowing football,

Back home, he showered then went to collect his package from Tinkerbell before popping round to see Urban-Cub and his little sister who was visiting with TDP. He said his hellos, then left them to it while he headed off to catch up with TDP and Ellie who had gone to play in the park. It was so nice to see family again after so long.

After a bite to eat, and after his sister and TDP had left, the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen returned to Urban-Cub's. The Gorse Fox was there to help get the security system set up - though, frankly, Urban-Cub had done it all herself. We did fail to get the doorbell camera working, but concluded we had ordered the wrong one. It wasn't compatible with the base station that controlled all the rest of the security system. Replacement is on order.

The Gorse Fox finally got back and was able to start on a rebuild of Condor. This took an hour or so and seemed be fairly painless. Well, painless until the Gorse Fox tried one of the processes that had been failing. It still failed. He rebooted the system in "Safe" mode. The problem went away. He rebooted the full system. The problem returned.

He is flummoxed. 

He suspects the next action will be to run diagnostics on each of the network disks and then detach them one-by-one to see if it is related to that setup. That, however, can wait until tomorrow.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Still sulking

 The Gorse Fox's iMac is still sulking. He has had to reboot it several times today, and there are various common tasks that fail every time, now. He fears that he may need to plan a complete rebuild in order to keep it going until he replaces it later this year. Fortunately, the MacBook is behaving impeccably and can be used as a an interim solution.

The Silver Vixen had her second jab today. The Gorse Fox went along with her, on the off-chance that he might be done also. No such luck. Though there were spare doses, the chap in charge said that because it was under 9 weeks since our first jab, he would be questioned as to why he gave me an unscheduled dose. The Gorse Fox will just have to wait for his call-up. (There was no problem for the Silver Vixen, as she had had a formal invitation).

No fresh family tree research today because the amount of time spent nursing Condor.

Sunday, April 11, 2021


 The Gorse Fox's iMac "Condor" is sulking because of the new laptop. As a result it seems to have become fairly unstable today and the Gorse Fox has had to intervene and reboot it several times. Top add insult to apparent injury he has been unable to restore a backup taken on "Merlin" to Family Tree Maker on "Condor". This should work, and certainly works in the opposite direction. In its own right, this has caused consternation and frustration. It has wasted most of the day with very little to show for it.

One thing the Gorse Fox was able to do was to create a book of the Silver Vixen's ancestors. This, hopefully, will trigger some more memories and provide some additional stories and and some corrections.

Now, back to the debugging.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

And Smile

 The Gorse Fox received his new laptop at tea-time yesterday. Despite specifically asking for McAfee not to be installed, the Gorse Fox had to remove it as he went through the set up. Merlin, as it's now called, certainly seems eager to please. Today, it has generated the "the Empson book" in under 3 minutes and, trying another complete book stretching back over 90 families, it finished about 300 pages without a murmur in about 5 minutes. Osprey couldn't even generate the second book. Osprey had to break it into 5 volumes!

Much of today (after the regular cousins' zoom call) has been spent re-acquainting the Gorse Fox with the incantations, frustrations,  and chants required to run Windows. Alongside this, he has been filling in more blanks in the family tree.

Talking of cousins, the Gorse Fox got a message from a cousin, Austin,  that he doesn't think he has seen since the early 1960s. He too is researching his side of the tree. The Gorse Fox has sent him the 300 page summary of his own research into that part of the family (what a good job he compiled it this morning as an experiment). Hopefully, he will find it useful, and may be able to fill in some of the more recent details.

Friday, April 09, 2021


 The Gorse Fox is looking at the records to find further details of his 10-time-Gt Grandmother. He has found very little and where others have found some data, they have not cited their sources. The Gorse Fox doesn't trust data without sources... particularly when they "claim" that she died in 1613 and the record, which they do reference< specifically refers to her as "The Window Margaret Gifford". The reason this is not to be trusted is that her husband is documented as dying in 1614. 

Time Travel

 The Gorse Fox decided to look into the order in more detail. He now understands that there are two components. The laptop (delivery by Dell) and the mouse (delivery by Syncreon).

The mystery doesn’t end there. He was astonished, if a little impressed by the Dell manufacturing...

  1. Order received 8-Apr
  2. Order confirmed 8-Apr
  3. Order in Production 8-Apr
  4. Order Shipped 7-Apr
He re-read the information twice. Indeed the laptop seems to have been shipped the day before he had ordered it. He wonders if this is a result of the 5G chip that was clearly implanted in his arm when he got the Covid-19 vaccine.

No Idea

 The Gorse Fox has no idea what is going on. 

  • Yesterday, he received a message from Dell that his machine will be delivered by DHL
  • Yesterday, DHL said they would deliver on Monday.
  • This morning, he received a message that it had left the manufacturing facility and to track it he should look at the Syncreon website. 
  • He looked at the Syncreon website and they said ETA was Tuesday.
  • Ten minutes later he received an email from DHL saying they plan to deliver late afternoon today.
The Gorse Fox has no idea what’s going on... but looks forward to seeing what arrives, and when. (Tuesday, incidentally, would mean the Gorse Fox having to cancel football. He’s not amused by that prospect).