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Tuesday, October 31, 2017


The Gorse Fox is nothing if not a disciplined footballer. So it was that today he got a bit less exercise than usual. The teams were picked and he found himself on a moderately strong team but arrayed against formidable strikers such as Pompey John and Brighton Bill. He made it his mission to stop either of them scoring. He patrolled back and forth and tracked their every move. In the end he achieved his mission. This did, however, mean that he didn't get an opportunity to ranges across or up and down the pitch the way he sometimes does. Never mind. Scores ended up 5-1, 2-2, and 1-1 in the first hour and then 0-0, 1-0 and 1-1 in the second hour. Very satisfactory.

The Silver Vixen is out with Urban-cub and Miss Ellie today. The plan was to go across to Shoreham, but the Gorse Fox isn't sure if they made it as part of the A27 was closed those morning. It delayed him and looked as if it would be closed for some time. (There are other routes they could use, but it depends if they tried or not).

Monday, October 30, 2017

Z Hanging

There is a technique for hanging cupboards on a wall or, indeed, other heavy items that uses a French cleat. This is effectively a pair of interlocking batons, one of which is attached to the wall, the other to the item to be hung. The Gorse Fox bodged a version of this to hang the Akiyama triptych earlier in the year. With the new Akiyama due this month, the Gorse Fox thought he'd look for a better solution. Amazon came to the rescue.

The Gorse Fox ordered three Hangman Z-hangers. This is an American product, but is available here in the UK.

As you can see from the picture, two bars are pressed with an offset such that they can lock together. One attaches to the picture, the other to the wall. Then the picture (or mirror, or whatever) just drops into place and can be adjusted from side to side as required.

As it was a triptych, it was a bit fiddly to ensure that all the frames were exactly level and equally spaced. With a little care, it was soon complete.

This really is an excellent solution to hanging a large (or in our case three large) picture. Now that he has tried it out, he will certainly order a further set for the new painting.

In the meantime the Qashqai is in for its first MOT and its annual service. The Gorse Fox has been looking into quotes for extending the car's maufacturer's warranty. So far there is a significant variance in the quotes, but the online reliability index implies that it would probably be a waste of money.

Sunday, October 29, 2017


Well the clocks went back, and thanks to the automatic cat feeder, Jasper was fed without intervention. This meant that the Gorse Fox managed to stay in bed until he wanted to get up at seven. Will have to use this auto-cat feeder every morning.

The weather looked promising and it certainly turned into a glorious day as the clouds scudded out of the way. The Gorse Fox had football this morning. It was a straightforward 5-a-side. He was playing for the 'orange-bibs'. It was a close game, but though the Gorse Fox did score, the team lost 5-4 in the end. Shame as the Gorse Fox had 8 shots saved by the goalie (let's call him Breeze Block).

Back home the Silver Vixen had loaded the slow cooker for some pulled pork. As the Gorse Fox writes this the smell from the cooking is wafting through the house and getting the digestive juices flowing.

The afternoon for the the Silver Vixen was spent in the garden 'faffing' (in her own words). Meanwhile, the Gorse Fox has been catching up on filing of photos from the last couple of months. This involves face tagging all of the people involved and geo-tagging those photos that aren't automatically identified... and, of course, filling them in the correct directories. Backup systems will kick in late afternoon and the libraries will be copied to the various backup locations.

Saturday, October 28, 2017


There was a slight air frost in Devon over night. Barney Rubble had run out of bacon so did a quick trip to the farm shop and commented how cold it was. After a lovely fried breakfast, the Gorse Fox packed up his stuff and loaded the car. It had been a lovely couple of days, and Barney's hospitality had been superb.

The Gorse Fox got on the road and slipped onto the A30 to Honiton, then the A35, and A31 before slipping on to the A27 and home. That route along the Jurassic Coast really is delightful. Traffic wasn't too bad, and the weather was bright so the views were superb. The Gorse Fox really enjoyed the drive, but it was nice to get home to the Silver Vixen.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Around and about

A pleasant lie-in this morning. No Jasper to yank the Gorse Fox from under the covers.

We headed out from Ottery-St-Mary to the exhibition centre at Westpoint. Today, after all, was the wood working show. The exhibition hall was huge - but we noticed it had been partitioned - perhaps a warning sign. We started or clockwise circuit of the exhibitors. An hour later we had spent £13 between us, had a coffee and were finished. It was a great disappointment. Some of the tools were brilliant, but we didn’t need them, and other than that there was just a load of chaps doing wood turning.

We noticed on arrival that there was a Crew Clothing sale going on in the other half of the hall. We wandered round. Well that was an eye opener. There were rows of trestle tables piled high with clothing. It looked a bit like pictures you see from a jumble sale. On the right hand side of the hall were women’s clothes, on the left hand side, men’s.We wandered round. There was some lovely apparel. The problem was that it had already been open for several hours and the choice of sizes was limited. Barney Rubble was interested in a jacket and went raiding the rails, the Gorse Fox wasn’t really in need of anything but did end up seeing a big chunky cardigan that had been reduced from £80 to £20. He hunted around and finally found one in his size and joined the queue to pay. This was epic. It stretched down two sides of the exhibition hall. In the queue stood  people with boxes full of clothes. The Gorse Fox almost felt embarrassed to limit his choice to just one cardigan. We got chatting to the chap next to us and that passed the time. Our conclusion was that many of these people were buying up stock and would then sell it on the Internet. If our suspicions were correct there will be a lot of good bargains coming up and people will make a good profit.

We headed off, stopping at Dart Farm for a look at the outlets. Dart Farm was absolutely heaving and whilst there were places to eat, there were long queues to be seated at any of them. We moved on towards Topsham and e stopped at the Bridge Inn for a pint and a ploughman’s lunch while sitting in the sunshine on the banks of the River Clyst. Despite being close to the road, it was immensely tranquil until a squadron of four swans decided to take off in formation. The clattering of their wings and their squawking as they picked up speed demanded everyone’s attention.

After lunch we toured round Topsham then headed back towards Exmouth. This was interesting as the Silver Vixen used to live in Exmouth when she was little. We went down by the Coastguard station where Barney Rubble volunteers, and then headed back to Ottery for a cup of tea.

After we had refreshed ourselves with a fine brew of tea we headed back out, driving down to Sidmouth for a walk along the promenade as the sun slowly set in the West.
This was idyllic. It was pleasantly warm, the sky was clear, and there was a comforting feel to the town as people enjoyed the late afternoon sunshine. Children were still playing in the sea and dog walkers were enjoying the space. We must have spent about an hour wandering about - first along the promenade but then through the town itself. The Gorse Fox made a mental note that it would be a good place to revisit for short break.

We stopped for dinner at The Golden Lion in Tipton, on the way back to Ottery. This is a pleasant little gastro-pub which is, apparently, run by a well known chef from one of the big London hotels. The Gorse Fox could well believe that. The quality of the food was exceptional and the choice was clearly dictate by what was available, fresh, from the local farms and boats. The Gorse Fox had a venison pie which was quite delicious. (It was also excellent value for money).

Thursday, October 26, 2017


Had a wonderful journey down to Devon. Traffic was at its most benign. In fact the Gorse Fox had to stop for a while as he was so far ahead of schedule.

Once he had met up with Barney Rubble we headed for the somewhat quaint local Indian. In the narrow streets of Ottery St Mary this nestled against the pavement and had all the hallmarks of a 1970s sitcom restaurant. We were the only customers… and while waiting to be served the Gorse Fox observed the more striking features of the decor. Wallpaper had been hung without regard to pattern matching, nor indeed to niceties such as having all the rolls the same way up. They had also forgotten to trim round the light sockets and plug sockets. At least it wasn’t flock wallpaper.
The food was adequate, though very salty. We were hungry so didn’t overly worry.
The evening was spent catching up on news all the family gossip. It was particularly m=nice to hear that Betty and Barney Rubble are hoping to move back into one house instead of living at opposite ends of the A30.

(Talking of nice news, Urban-Cub phoned to say that she and Pistol Pete had changed on the house purchase and they were aiming for a handover in late February. Obviously there’s plenty of time for that to change, but the time will whistle by so quickly as we approach Christmas).


Thursday this week is atypical. It started simply enough with a wake-up call from Jasper which the Gorse Fox managed to ignore until boy 6:30. Then the day had to start. Coffee and accounts was the order of the day. Then there was the weekly shopping delivery. At this point everything quietened down for a bit.

Lunchtime saw the Gorse Fox packing his bag for a quick trip to Devon. The Silver Vixen will have 48 hours of peace and quiet while the Gorse Fox roams around the Wordworking Show near Exeter. He is taking the Fiesta so that he hasn't got too much room in the car - after all he doesn't really need any additional tools and not having room in the car will ensure he isn't tempted (at least by anything big).

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Jasper's japes

The Gorse Fox was no amused when Jasper started his merry japes at 5:12 this morning He ignored him as long as possible but in the end had to succumb at 6:30. Enough was enough and the Gorse Fox was clearly not getting any further rest (let alone sleep).

It's Wednesday so that meant football. The Gorse Fox was picked for the 'yellow-bibs' and it was immediately clear that we were in for a thrashing. All the acknowledged mobile strikers were playing in orange. The Gorse Fox had his back to the wall from the off. We lost 5-1. The Gorse Fox failed to score but rarely ventured across the half way line. It was a matter of remaining disciplined and alert. He was very happy with is overall game today. Even though we lost, it would have been a lot worse had the Gorse Fox not been on good defensive form.

Back home we had an exchange of messages with the Silver Vixen's nephew who is staying nearby with his family. The question was whether we could get together before they head back to bandit country at the end of the week. In the end it was decided they would meet up with Urban-Cub and the Silver Vixen on Friday for breakfast. Shame the Gorse Fox won't be there, but he has other plans for Friday.

The Silver Vixen has been pottering in the garden this afternoon. She was sorting out some of the pots we have at the front of the house and preparing them for winter. The Gorse Fox must make some time to go out and put the garden furniture to bed for the winter and clear the garage so that it can be used for the car gain.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


The forecast said it would be dry and probably bright. The forecast was wrong. It was great and drizzly. This is unusual for a Tuesday when the weather usually smiles on the old lags walking round the football pitch chasing a ball, in vain!

It was good today. The random selection worked in the Gorse Fox's favour and playing for the 'blue-bibs' he managed two wins and a draw. No goals from the Gorse Fox (he couldn't have hit a barn door today) but he defended resolutely and he was pleased with his contribution.

In the second hour there was the usual change of personnel. The Gorse Fox ended up playing for the 'red-bibs'. Again he was on the winning side, again with two wins and a draw. He was doing better in the second hour and though he did have a couple of attempts on goal, one nicked the post, and the other grazed the crossbar. Never mind, it was great fun.

As the Gorse Fox writes this, supper is cooking. Tonight we have a UFO supper. This Unidentified Frozen Object has been sitting in the freezer for about a month, but it seems that the Gorse Fox forgot to write on the container to identify the contents. Only time will tell!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Dull and dark

It has been a very dull and dark autumnal day. We have had to keep lights on throughout the daylight hours and it is damp and wet outside. it certainly doesn't encourage you to leave the comfort of home. The Gorse Fox spoke with Barney Rubble this morning He will be meeting up with him soon and needed to make arrangements. There is a big wood-working show near Exeter and as we have a common interest it seemed an ideal time to get together and go off to the show ground.

Most of the rest of the day has been occupied with minor domestic tasks but provided a good excuse to stay indoors. It also gave the Gorse Fox  chance to read a recently acquired recipe book and catch up on the analysis from MOTD 2 of the demolition of Liverpool by Spurs yesterday.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Family Dinner

The Gorse Fox was wandering around like a little lost sheep this morning. There was no football. We hadn't managed to get enough committed players to make it viable, so again, we had to cancel. The Gorse Fox spent the morning searching for the Silver Vixen's 4th great grandparents. Fruitlessly! What is it about her paternal line? Her grandmother has been an enigma for years and her grandfather's forebears are untraceable.

We headed across to LA to have dinner with Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete. While we see plenty of Urban-Cub and Ellie, it's a while since we have seen Pistol Pete. We had a lovely afternoon as we all mucked in with baby duties and cooking preparation - in the background the TV was showing Spurs' demolition of Liverpool. A most satisfying afternoon which was topped off by a lovely roast dinner. While we were chatting Urban-Cub decided to try Ellie with a strawberry. This had us all chucking as she gurned a whole series of faces as she sucked on the strawberry. (Good job it wasn't a lemon).

Lovely day.

Saturday, October 21, 2017


The day started with a squall from the leading edge of Storm Brian. This meant that Jasper was not in the slightest bit inclined to go out so spent the first hour or two trying to climb on the Gorse Fox's keyboard.

The phone rang. It was Urban-Cub. Had she left Ellie's medicine in our fridge? Errr.. yes. She headed over to pick it up. Meanwhile, the Gorse Fox had decided to swap the security cameras around. Just as he was ready to start, another squall rattled through. The Gorse Fox had a coffee.

Finally it dried up and the Gorse Fox had a chance to go out and shuffle the cameras. Camera 2 now monitors the same area that Camera 1 had covered. The difference is that it is successfully dumping images to the FTP server. With Camera 1 inside the Gorse Fox did a factory reset and started from scratch. Whatever had been causing the problem was clearly and endemic issue as whatever tricks he tried, it still failed to connect to the FTP server.

The rest of the day was spent on the family tree, though not with research. Today it was time to bring some of the printed family folders up to date. This meant the new printer was rattling away through the afternoon.

Alongside the family tree, the Gorse Fox installed a second 'Alexa' (Amazon Echo Dot), this one in his study. Once it was in and connected he tried some of the simple commands to ensure it was awake, then he tried to use it to drive the Sonos in his study (we have Sonos speakers in most rooms). It took a moment or two, but the speaker burst into life and played a shuffled playlist of Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band for most of the afternoon. Now that's a result!

Friday, October 20, 2017


Today gave the Gorse Fox a first chance to save some suspicious looking activity from the security camera. A car pulled up across the road. A chap hopped out and took some photos of Old Bill's house, then he hopped back into his car and drove off. The Gorse Fox had seen it happen so made a note of the time and his car number plate. He passed all this info on to Old Bill and has saved the video clip from the CCTV. Old Bill has reported it to the police.

The rest of the day was dominated by a lovely few hours visiting the Gorse Fox's little sister and Trevor. They have spent a great deal of time this year having their kitchen extended and refitted. This was our first chance to see the finished article. It certainly was a huge improvement on the old room. It's now a large, bright, very social space and the kitchen fitments are well thought out and very smart.

We had taken Ellie up with us and she wandered round the family room in her walker and was enjoying exploring the new space - but would have found it even better if she had mastered the concept of cornering.

We had a lovely lunch and long chat. The Gorse Fox also made sure that his sister had linked in to the family tree online and could wander through its branches.

We left soon after three to make a quick run home. Well that went well. Not. SatNav diverted us from the usual route because of traffic and sent us down the M3. Three hours later we were approaching home. Fortunately Urban-Cub had beaten us to it and fed Jasper and ordered a Chinese. The only thing left to do was to make a cup of tea and open a bottle of wine.

Thursday, October 19, 2017


The day has been filled with administrivia. The most significant chunk of the day was spent binging the accounts up to date. This is not a difficult task - just time consuming. All the transactions were recorded, but for the last couple of months the Gorse Fox hasn't had time to cross check all the transactions against the statements. By lunchtime it was done. Tedious glad that it's done.

The Gorse Fox made some nice sweet potato and butternut squash soup at lunchtime. The Tefal soup maker we bought last winter is a marvellous little machine. You just chuck the ingredients in along with some water or stock, press a button, and twenty minutes later the soup is done.

We spent an hour or two in Chichester this afternoon. Gorse Fox wanted some bits from M&S and we had received notification that our new piece of artwork had arrived. We didn't want to collect it as it is a birthday present for the Silver Vixen and the artist is visiting the Gallery the week of the birthday. We want to get a dedication and personal signature from her during her visit, so we have left the painting at the Gallery (we have, however, paid for it).

Support in Chinglish

The Gorse Fox is always impressed by great customer support. Though he has had problems with one of the security cameras the manufacturer has been very responsive and is sending a replacement. The latest note that the Gorse Fox had from them this morning is a masterwork of Chinglish:
Thanks for your quick reply.
Please try again with this new one, this is a real excellent product in this IP camera market, as we addressed much attention and energy on in it. So hope you have an very enjoyable time with this item. Besides, we are always be here waiting for this again trail, real hope it can do a good job for you soon. Please keep patience to wait a one more days, ok? I am so sorry for all inconvenience we caused again. Please remember to let us know when you received it and have it worked.Ok?
If something you have any confusions when you use it, please contact me momentarily, ok? I will do my best to make it right for you.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Dozen

The day started with heavy rain. It was not looking pleasant for football, but The Gorse Fox and his crusty old lads wouldn't be stopped by a little splash of rain. As it happened, we didn't have to worry. The rain had all but cleared by the time we ran out onto the pitch.

The Gorse Fox was playing for the 'yellow bibs' and we were a man short. Having said that we were all very mobile and that made up for a lot. By half time we were 4-0 up and the Gorse Fox had scored one of the goals from a free kick.  In the second half, we gained a player (somewhat unnecessarily) and that completely unbalanced the teams. By the end of the game we were 12-0 up, and scoring at will. Looking back on it, we should have kept the sides as they were in the first half. We were having to work very hard, but were doing well.

Meanwhile Urban-Cub and Ellie were back at home and the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox spent the rest off the day with their company. After lunch the Gorse Fox was able to help Ellie settle when she was getting fractious, and she eventually fell asleep on his lap for and hour or so.

It looks like the Silver Vixen has succumbed to the cold bugs that Gorse Fox has been harbouring. Let's hope that she gets over it very quickly.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Kicking around

The Gorse Fox decided that despite his cough, he would be playing football this morning. He wasn't feeling 100% but assumed a bit of a run about might help shake things off. The first hour saw him playing for the 'yellow-bibs' and we had a pretty good time. All the games were close and we won 1, drew 1, and lost 1. Gorse Fox was warming to the task and set for the second hour.

A change of personnel and with to 'red-bibs' saw three more games. Again it was a sweep of 1 win, 1 draw, and 1 loss. A good couple of hours of exercise and no coughing fits (though they do tend to cluster in the evenings).

The Silver Vixen was away with her coven for the day so the Gorse Fox spent the afternoon analysing the Faircloth families of Cambridgeshire to see if he could make head or tail of who begat whom... and more to the point, who is his 7th great grandfather. Another hour or so should help narrow things down.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Stormy Monday

The Gorse Fox was delighted to sleep right through last night without having to sneak downstairs to prevent disturbing the Silver Vixen with his cough. Not only that but the Silver Vixen dealt with Jasper, so the Gorse Fox had a bit of a lie-in.

Ex-hurricane Ophelia is forecast to hit the western approaches today. This meant it was quite warm but it was very cloudy or dusty (apparently there is a lot smoke from the wild fires in Portugal and dust from the Sahara). After lunch it became so dark that all the street lights came on, the garden lights switched on, and Jasper started asking for food. It was so dark that the Gorse Fox half expected an attack from Saruman's armies of Orcs.

Most of the day has been spent fiddling with the security camera and trying to reactivate the FTP on it. (It works perfectly on the other camera). In the end he has written to the manufacturer.

He also spent time on the Law branch of the family tree and has made a few more breakthroughs which turns out to be quite exciting.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Bugs and back

The Gorse Fox's bug won't die off. As a result he got up soon after midnight when his coughing fit began. He decided it was again unfair on the Silver Vixen so went down and slept in a chair in the living room. Not ideal, but at least the coughing settled down and didn't disturb the Silver Vixen too much.

A message from a cousin who is working on the family tree triggered a load of research first thing this morning. She had made some assumptions about a couple of generations on the Law branch of the tree - the task for the Gorse Fox was to find some evidence that either confirmed or denied her research. It took a few hours but the Gorse Fox was able to confirm her assumptions and drive that branch of the family back a further generation.

On another tack entirely the security camera had stopped squirting images to the ftp server and wouldn't display on the phone. (It did however carry on recording). In the end a factory reset was required and complete reinstall. That wasted a couple of hours and whilst it's working again the alarms aren't being sent across to the ftp server.

That afternoon was spent back on the family tree - on the research that the Gorse Fox had started in the last day or two.

Saturday, October 14, 2017


The plan had been for the Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox to go across to Urban Cub's and look after Ellie whilst Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete went along to the developer and made their various choices for the new house. It sort of worked. The Silver Vixen went across. The Gorse Fox, however, stayed put. His cough/cold had hit with vengeance, in fact it was so bad last night that Gorse Fox slept downstairs so as not to disturb the Silver Vixen. (Note to self: Living room floor is not comfortable - and Jasper can still find you when he wants you to wake up).

While the Silver Vixen was out, the Gorse Fox spent the time wading through the family tree. So far, though he has found some mistakes, the information he found yesterday looks sound and he can support the findings with his own research and separately located sources. He's now got as far as his 7th Gt Grandfather in that branch of the family - but has clues to two further generations. For real detail he should try to get up to the Cambridgeshire Archives for a few days (ideally before they more to Ely).

Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete got back from their selection meeting. From what the Silver Vixen was saying, they are very excited and the choices they have made are very nice. The Gorse Fox looks forward to seeing them all.


The Gorse Fox was checking footage from the security camera this morning. It seems that we have a little chap doing his own thing with the web.

We still need to decide where to site the second camera - will try to give that some attention today or tomorrow.

Friday, October 13, 2017


The Gorse Fox  and the Silver Vixen have had a quiet day. The Silver Vixen has spent much of it sorting out her wardrobe and digging out the change from summer to winter apparel. The Gorse Fox has spent the day buried in the various genealogical indexes. This started as a simple exercise of checking the citations for one part of the family, then moved into more of an investigation as some folk identified in the census didn't turn up in the civil registration. A by-product of this was looking at the trees of various other researchers. Most of these were immediately discounted. One, however, intrigued the Gorse Fox. It was documented with citations and sources and looked as if it may be the result of sound research. Aft this proves to be true, this researcher has driven that part of the family from the Gorse Fox's 3rd Great Grandfather all the way back to his 9th Great Grandfather. Very impressive. So far the Gorse Fox has checked the first new generation and agrees with the conclusions. He suspects that driving back further will require access to original Parish Registers and that may require a trip to Cambridge.

The incipient cold, or whatever, finally seems to be emerging. The Gorse Fox has developed an unpleasant cough, or in fact it's more of a bark. He is trying to tame it with the trusty Fishermen's Friends - but having little success.

Thursday, October 12, 2017


It was a bright day. A tad cool, but generally nice. The plan was for Urban-cub and Ellie to spend the day with us. They arrived soon after breakfast. Ellie had not slept well. That meant that Urban-cub had only had about 3 hours sleep and was feeling the after effects.

We went through the latest papers and documents for the new house and then discussed her recent review with her managers, prior to her return to work. Finally we discussed the fact that her current tenancy is coming to an end, and what should be done about it (as it doesn't coincide with the availability of the new house). As if telepaths, the landlord made contact and asked to see her. This forced the issue. Urban-cub was straight with them and it looks as if they are going to be quite reasonable. They will confirm the suggested arrangements tomorrow.

As it was so nice, we took Ellie out for a walk. (Well, strictly speaking, we did the walking she sat there observing the world from her buggy). The Gorse Fox suggested she keep a scrap book and write up the story of her walk when we got back - but she didn't seem interested. (What can you do with a 6-month child???).

Urban-cub returned, Ellie was collected and a modicum of peace and tranquility was a restored.

Last month it was Two Hats' birthday. Due to other pressures we didn't get a chance to celebrate. Today was that chance. The Sonning Crew gathered and drank some bubbles and then made our way down to the Indian Restaurant. As usual, we were very well looked after and the food was lovely.  We had a super couple of hours of chat and laughter before taking a leisurely stroll back. Subjects ranged from upcoming holidays to lost phones, security cameras to politics. All in all a very pleasant evening (in fact a very pleasant day).

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Still fighting

The Gorse Fox is still fighting off some form of cold. He seems to be winning, in that it hasn't really developed, but he is feeling a couple of degrees off normal and has a slightly sore throat. He didn't let this stop him from playing football again today.

Urban-Cub had asked the Gorse Fox to print some more documents and so he dropped them off with her on the way across to Worthing. Slowly the 'lads' gathered at the sports centre and we went out into the grey autumn morning and split into two teams. The Gorse Fox played as sweeper again, but that didn't stop him from ranging forward when the opportunity allowed. He provided the assist for the first goal, then with a charge up the right touch line, scored the second from distance. The game was quite tight, but we increased our lead before conceding. The game finished off 5-4 to our side. Close as usual for a Wednesday.

Back home the Gorse Fox made a couple of minor improvements to the housekeeping software he wrote for the ftp server on 'falcon'. Then he spent the rest of the afternoon looking for a way of viewing the raw '264' files that are created by the security camera. This is clearly not easy. There were plenty of suggestions online, by none worked. It looks as if the Gorse Fox will have to find a way of wrapping the file and playing the encapsulated data. He thinks he may have found the way to do this, but that'll have to wait for another day.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


The Gorse Fox is clearly fighting off a bug. He had a disturbed night and was considering skipping football today. He decided to try and work it off (what ever 'it' is) so changed and headed out for Worthing.

Urban-Cub had some papers for the new house that she needed printing so the new printer chugged those out and the Gorse Fox dropped them off with her as he drove by on the way to Worthing. Football went along the usual lines. In the first hour, the Gorse Fox played for the 'blue bibs'. Though it looked as if we were going have a hard time, we ended winning 2-0, 4-0, and 2-0 and played some lovely football in the process.

In the second hour, the Gorse Fox played for the 'red bibs' and this worked out fairly even with a 2-1 defeat, 2-2 draw, and 4-0 win. The Gorse Fox is glad he made the effort but feels drained this afternoon.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Screen time

It's been a really good day. Some may not agree, but the Gorse Fox has spent the whole day in front of the computer(s). It started with a review of the images captured by the security camera - just to see if any adjustments were needed. It was interesting how quiet the area is overnight. Basically, no motion was detected between 11:30 last night and about 5:30 this morning. That seemed extraordinary, but the Gorse Fox has no reason to doubt the sensitivity of the camera (given it picked up a moth flying by the night before).

Next he decided to write the housekeeping routine that would keep the ftp server from filling up. If a job is worth doing, it's worth doing properly, so even for a simple task like this he sketched out a basic design, wrote the documentation, the wrote and tested the code. He's now set it to run automatically every morning.

The afternoon was spent on the accounts. The Gorse Fox has been allowing them to tick by for the last few weeks. It was time to have a bit of a deep dive and spring clean. Several hours in front of the spreadsheets were very satisfying. This isn't finished but it's getting there. He'll continue this activity when his eyes uncross themselves.

The Silver Vixen spent some time baking again today. She has to take something with her to a meeting this afternoon. Yesterday's effort was a prototype. Our joint analysis was that it was absolutely delicious... so today's baking was making the actual show 'n' tell for the meeting.

On a side note the Gorse Fox seems to be fighting an incipient sore throat at present. He's been drink copious amounts of water so has no doubt it will be an active night for the plumbing tonight.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Cook off

It's been a grey an uninspiring day, weather-wise. Once Jasper was fed and roaming, the Gorse Fox got stuck in to the spreadsheet that is helping Urban-Cub with all the house-buying decisions and budgets. To make it easy to share and collaborate on, he has developed it as a Google Sheet. In the past he has used these fairly extensively, but his default is always Excel. It didn't more that a second or two to adapt from one to the other. As always this spreadsheet will evolve over time, and in so doing will become more sophisticated and more accurate.

The Gorse Fox examine the overnight footage from the security cameras. Some of the blemishes and artifacts seen the previous night had gone. (The Gorse Fox had attacked the area round the cameras with a brush to sweep away any insects or arachnids and their traces). He still hasn't cracked the technology to allow him to view the videos on the Pi or the Mac, but he'll do some more research when he gets time.

Football was the highlight of the morning. A five versus six game. The Gorse Fox was on the yellow 5 man team and thought the orange 6 man team were going to hand out a good thrashing. That's not how things played out. By half time we were 3-1 up (including one goal from the Gorse Fox). The second half started badly with two quickly conceded goals to bring thing even. Then, however, we scored again and started to exploit our lead and mobility. Another goal from the Gorse Fox added to the total and we ended up 7-3 winners.

Back home, meanwhile, the Silver Vixen had been emulating Mary Berry. This afternoons dinner was already being prepared (don't you just love slow-cookers?) and then she progressed on to some baking. There's a wonderful smell emanating from the kitchen.

The Gorse Fox spent the afternoon with playing with 'falcon'. He wants to write some cleanup code that will strip out old recordings and old images. There are several approaches one could take, but again he returned to Rexx. He wrote a test routine to try out some of the techniques that he would need then put it all to bed for the day... after all, there's a Lithuania-vs-England game this afternoon. Hopefully, it can't be as bad, as pedestrian, and as uninspiring as the game against Slovenia last  Thursday.

Saturday, October 07, 2017


The Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen didn't have any specific plans for the day. With an ever increasing accumulation of stuff for Ellie, the Silver Vixen decided to clear some cupboard space so that she could pack it all away. The Gorse Fox returned to the Raspberry Pi 'falcon' that he had started to configure yesterday. Using his configurator program (which he wrote last last year) he built the scripts that were specific to 'falcon' and ran them through(*). He now has a Pi Model 3 B running as an ftp server storing the inbound files on a 64GB USB stick.

Specific accounts and repositories have been set up for the inbound ftp connections and the security camera(s) configured to use those accounts. Now, the camera deposits stills and video onto 'falcon' whenever it detects motion. The Gorse Fox must just write some code to clear the accumulation of files - say keeping just the last 3 days or whatever.

Urban-Cub dropped in with Ellie - she had some questions about the new house and wanted some copying done so that she can get their id information countersigned and sent off to the solicitors. She wasn't here for long - a bit of a whirlwind trip.

We settled back down to our respective tasks and the phone rang. It was Mrs Tiggywinkle. She and Badger were in the area and asked if they could drop by. Well, that was a no-brainer. It is always so nice to see them. We sat and chatted for a couple of hours drinking tea, eating biscuits and catching up on all the respective news. They are staying nearby overnight then going grape-picking at a vineyard near Goodwood in the morning. Sounds like fun as they get lunch and a wine tasting thrown in.

(*) He likes this approach to building working Raspberry Pis. It means that he can do a complete rebuild, if necessary, just by installing the master image then re-running the configurator with the scripts written for that Pi.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Lights, Camera, Action

The whole morning was spent in the garage. It was all about planning, obtaining, and installing. The planning was answering the question, how do we get power to the security camera? The obtaining was a trip to the shops to get the requisite cables and sockets and the installing should have been the installation. Two Hats, however, offered to help. He had already installed his camera so knew the potential pitfalls - more to the point he knew the Gorse Fox doesn't like working with electrics.

Plan A went out the window (actually the door - there is no window in the garage). The simple socket / extension solution that Gorse Fox had developed was changed. Two hats decided to run direct cables and not use the sockets as such. This took a while... but it worked and the Gorse Fox now has working power where he wants it and six spare outlets. The security camera is up and switched on and we can now monitor the area immediately outside our house.
The Gorse Fox is very pleased with the quality of the image.

The afternoon was spent with a spare Raspberry Pi Model 3. The Gorse Fox had decided to bring it slap up-to-date and to use it as an ftp server.

The afternoon sort of ran away with him... and he didn't finish. That is something that he can restart tomorrow. The idea is to see if he can get the security camera to dump video onto the ftp server when it detects motion. That way he can keep it for longer than if he depended on the camera's internal storage.

Thursday, October 05, 2017


The Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen were on G-Force duty. Urban-Cub was at the hairdresser for a few hours so we looked after Ellie. She is just becoming mobile, and the arrival of 'walker' gave her the means to charge around the kitchen. It was great fun, but there is no doubt that this will become a source of concern when she is independent of the 'walker'.

The Gorse Fox spent some time configuring the security cameras. He is very pleased with the quality of the images and now has to decide exactly where they will actually be installed. That, however, is a task for tomorrow.

The real excitement came when Urban-Cub called to say she had been contacted by her builders. They were releasing her house so could she come along and start the process to reserve the plot and get the purchase under way. As Pistol Pete was on duty, the Gorse Fox was asked to come along and help, ask any difficult questions, and ask for any clarifications. It was a very long process, but the builders did seem very thorough. It's a shame that they didn't release many of the plans, even in digital form. Anyway, the house plans look very good and have been modified since Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete first saw them. The modifications seem unique to their particular plot, and actually are very nice improvements.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Hot pot

Another cool start to the day. The heating had actually flicked on for the first time. It soon brightened up and warmed up though and by the tie the Gorse Fox went out to football it was quite pleasant.

Football was 5-a-side today. With the personnel available there was no way we would achieve two balanced teams. Unfortunately the Gorse Fox was on the side with only two mobile players. This meant it was going to be hard... and so it proved. In the end we managed to hold the yellow-bibs to a 5-3 win. In the circumstances that was a satisfactory achievement.

Back home much of the afternoon has been spent in the kitchen. A recipe suggested it would take two hours. What it forget to say was it takes at least another hour of preparation. The Gorse Fox hope is turns out better than the stir-fry recipe he tried yesterday. The beck was deliciously tender, but overall the dish was much too salty. The Gorse Fox should have been more suspicious when he saw the quantities of soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, and Chinese Five Spice that were recommended.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017


It was a chilly but bright start. The Gorse Fox had football and actually won his base layer for the first time in months. The games were good today. It was just 5-a-side and that always makes it more open and expansive football. The Gorse Fox open the scoring for his team with an overlap on the right and a shot low into the bottom corner. He then laid on the second goal and that was how the first game finished. The second and third games were both draws. The second hour saw a change in personnel. Again his team won one game and drew two. Overall he was very pleased with his game today.

Back home, Urban-Cub had brought Elli round for an hour or two. We all had lunch together but they had to leave soon after. Her good news is that the house they are  hoping to buy should be released by the builders next week - nd they are first on the waiting list. All very exciting for them.

The nice man from Amazon turned up mid-afternoon. He was delivering the two new security cameras that Gorse Fox had ordered. As he mentioned, he got them during a flash sale and as a result these were £10 cheaper (each) than the same model bought by Two Hats. Two Hats thought this was a bit of a liberty so he phoned Amazon and to be fair to them, they refunded the difference.

Gorse Fox hasn't started installing the cameras as yet. That will probably be an exercise for Thursday.

Monday, October 02, 2017


Not really too much of interest today. Once the morning was underway (breakfast over, ablutions complete, and dressed to impress) the Gorse Fox loaded up the car with some garden rubbish, the packaging from the new printer, and the defunct old printer. He's learnt from past experience not to arrive as the tip opens on a Monday. He picked his moment, then swept into the tip, parked immediately and disgorged the detritus of the last week. Well timed, the Gorse Fox was home in 15 minutes.

Two Hats has configured his new security camera but was having problems with setting up the SMTP feature that emails him some stills when motion is detected. The Gorse Fox gave him a hand and we eventually got it sorted out. Meanwhile, Amazon have had a flash sale of the cameras in question so the Gorse Fox has ordered a couple.

The rest of the day was spent working on the family tree. The problem that  the Gorse Fox has is that having over 2300 people stretching back across 14 generations means that there's a lot of checking and updating required as more and more records become available online.

Sunday, October 01, 2017


It's really very noticeable how dark it is in the morning when Jasper drags the Gorse Fox downstairs. It was about 6:50 this morning but lights were needed and as the weather was pretty bleak, we ended up leaving the lights on for a couple of hours. It was very grey outside and though not as wet as the forecast had projected it was a very autumnal day... and a fitting day on which to note that the central heating has switched on to auto (its been set to holiday-mode, i.e. off, for the last four or five months). It hasn't actually had to provide any heat today but it's now ready so to do if required.

The Gorse Fox had football this morning. It was a good game with just 5-a-side. That always makes for a free-flowing game as it gives us more room on the pitch. The teams seemed pretty evenly balanced, but in the end the Gorse Fox's "yellow bibs" pulled ahead 3-1 at the end of the first half and finished off 6-3 winners at the end of the game. The Gorse Fox was very pleased with the way he played today, acting as link man and play maker. He provided the assists for 4 of our goals, but didn't score any himself.