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Wednesday, January 31, 2018


We were both heading out early this morning. The Silver Vixen to Pilates and the Gorse Fox to football. With the barricade of roadworks surrounding the village, we left early and headed out through Tangmere... the Gorse Fox some 10 minutes behind the Silver Vixen.

Football was a little lop-sided with 6-vs-7. The Gorse Fox was on the side with 6 players and we held our own pretty well until the last ten minutes of the game, when our forwards no longer had the legs to chase the ball. We ended up losing 6-4. The Gorse Fox was not at his most effective today - a few passes went astray and a couple of attacks got past him. Never mind - he'll do better on Sunday.

The Silver Vixen stopped in to see Urban-Cub on the way home from Pilates. With all the roadworks, it would have made life intolerable for Urban-Cub tomorrow - trying to drop Ellie off with us before work, then heading off up to Gatwick (through several sets of roadworks). It made more sense for the Silver Vixen to bring Ellie home. So it was that we spent the afternoon chasing Ellie round in her walker (no doubt in years to come, this will be reversed).

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Jet ski

It was a bitterly cold start to the day. The frost on the Orangery roof was looked like finely etched crystal - fortunately we didn't have to go out too early and the frost had disappeared from the cars by the time we did.

The Gorse Fox headed off for football. Knowing the traffic would be bad through the roadworks on Rowan Way and on the a259, he left a few minutes early so that he could whip up through Tangmere onto the A27. It turns out that even that road has roadworks. We are trapped. It seem that the quickest way to Worthing would be to head to the beach and grab a jet ski. (Though perhaps that might be a little chilly at this time of year).

Football went well. Play for the red-bibs in the first hour, we won all three of our matches, only conceding one goal. Good defending, you see! In the second hour, the Gorse Fox played for the blue-bibs. This time we drew one game before winning the next two. The Gorse Fox managed to score, again. Again it was drive from well within his half of the pitch that shot into the goal above the goalie without him even moving. Very pleasing!

Back home he has spent much of the afternoon on the Family Tree. The advice from the developers looked, at first, as if it had worked but on further examination it clearly hadn't. He spent the afternoon trying to generate error reports to see where the problems lay, but the error reports showed everything as clear. Meanwhile he has 19 media items that are queued up waiting to be uploaded. Frustrating.

Monday, January 29, 2018


A fairly quiet day spent predominantly at the computer. There were lots of bits and bobs to do before getting on with the Family Tree.

An email arrived from Starfleet in the Philippines. They had finally responded to the Gorse Fox's email and provided the magic id that he needed for the stockbrokers. That had to wait until the US company started work several hours later. Once the Gorse Fox was able to, he phoned and went through the 4234 phone menus to eventually talk to a human. Said human was quite helpful and explained that as the Gorse Fox hadn't transacted with them for several years, this new id was needed to prove that it was indeed the Gorse Fox. In the end the process involved answering a load of questions and then getting a separate phone call on his mobile as a double-check. Done... and the stock price had remained fairly stable over the weekend.

The Gorse Fox has also heard back from the software company behind Family Tree Maker. They think they have got to the bottom of the Gorse Fox's problem. It all makes sense and he will try their suggestion later, or tomorrow. He's impressed at the way they have followed up and kept him informed.

Talking of Family Tree, the Gorse Fox has finally found some Military records for his Grandfather. It had always been a bit vague, but now he has the records it makes more sense. They will take a bit more examination to see what else can be gleaned from the text.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Hat trick

The Silver Vixen was out at a Quilt Show today, across in Ardingly. This meant we were up soon after seven so that she could be ready to leave in plenty of time.

The Gorse Fox had football. It was starting a little later than usual, but that meant he had time to have a good English breakfast and give it tie to settle before the game started. It was close today, but the Gorse Fox's yellow-bibs lost 7-6 in the end. The Gorse Fox was pleased to score three of our goals - particularly as Gary "Breeze-block" was in goal for them.

Home again the Gorse Fox spent the afternoon in the study working on the Family Tree and restoring some files that had mysteriously disappeared (probably as a result of the power cut at the beginning of the week). He has also spent  time exchanging emails with the writers of the family tree software in follow-up to yesterday's problems. We still don't have a solution, but they now have additional diagnostic information.

The Silver Vixen got home at about 17:30 - just time to have a cup of tea before the Gorse Fox served up roast pork and roast potatoes for dinner.

Saturday, January 27, 2018


The Gorse Fox has had a quiet day. The Silver Vixen has been working on her sewing and catching up on some recorded TV and the Gorse Fox has been making some updates to the family tree. This is following on from some of the research performed at the beginning of the month when he was looking through the 1939 Register. He captured a lot of relevant images from the Register (Census) but hadn't actually connected them to the right individuals, nor extracted the individual facts. He still has a few more to go, but has made good inroads today. The one problem he has encountered is a fault in the sync process. This correctly uploads the facts and the citations, but fails to upload the media (image) associated with each fact. The Gorse Fox has spent the last 30 minutes chatting online with the support desk and providing them with screen grabs... looks like he may have found a bug. They are off to speak with the engineers.

Friday, January 26, 2018


The share price for Starfleet has been rising for the first time in a few years. The Gorse Fox decided that today would be a good time to sell so he went online and pressed the button. All looked good.

Several hours later he got a call from the brokerage saying they needed his global id number to enact the sale. The Gorse Fox has no idea what that number is and has never been aware of having it. The only recourse was to called Starfleet HR. They hummed and ha'd and eventually found an email address to which he should write. The Gorse Fox wrote. An hour later he had an automatic reply that told him to log in to intranet and look it up. The Gorse Fox is a retired, he know longer has access to the intranet and had pointed this out in the email. There was a further email address revealed in case your question wasn't answered. The Gorse Fox wrote to the next email address. This is in the Philippines. By now they will have gone home so the Gorse Fox has no chance of getting a response until Monday. Let's hope the price doesn't crash over the weekend!

The Gorse Fox popped into Chichester to get a few bits. He wasn't there long, but did manage to pick up some Turner's Pies on the way back to the car park.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Good News

It was a bright start to the day and it remained that way through until late afternoon. Though the Silver Vixen had an appointment at the hairdresser, the Gorse Fox had nothing particular on the agenda.

Having said that, the first part of the non-agenda was the weekly admin. The Gorse Fox uses Money Dashboard as an aggregator but, of late, it has been giving problems accessing the NS&I Premium Bonds. He spent some time trying to get to the bottom of this, and in the end had to contact the support desk. They confirmed there was a problem and they no longer aggregate information regarding Premium Bonds. The Gorse Fox is not amused.

Urban-Cub phoned. "I'm going to make your day" she said. Intrigued, the Gorse Fox listened. "Cousteau-Cub is coming home for a couple of weeks". The girls had been talking about this for a few days and have it all arranged. Needless to say this is the best news we have had for a long time. We may remain in contact over the internet, but nothing beats having Cousteau-Cub home. Dates have yet to be sorted out but it should be easy enough to pin down.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Sopping wet

Well the Gorse Fox would confirm that luck can run out when it comes to dodging the forecast rain. Today was very wet and and it did not relent during the Wednesday morning football.

The Gorse Fox had commented that when Ian or the Gorse Fox (both defenders) weren't available the scores seemed to be remarkably high. The Gorse Fox was back, but not Ian. The Gorse Fox was not paying at his best, but we did manage to keep the score down to 1 goal conceded. We also managed to score 9 (or was it 10) at the other end. A good win made more satisfying with a goal from the Gorse Fox struck from wishing his own half and curled beautifully into the top right had corner of the net.

At the end of the game we trudged off the pitch, soaked to skin. The Gorse Fox has a set of dry clothes in a holdall for just such conditions so whilst a lot of the lads headed for the showers, he dried off and put on the warm dry clothes and headed home. He much prefers the certainty of his own shower to the vagaries of the showers at the sports centre.

The Silver Vixen missed her Pilates today. She is still full of cold and didn't wish to pass it on. She has retired to her sewing room for the afternoon.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


It was pouring down with rain when the Gorse Fox got up this morning. He was expecting to get soaked to the skin playing football... but as it happened, the rain stopped except for the odd light shower.

Football was fun. In the first hour the Gorse Fox was defending in front of the best goalkeeper he has had the pleasure of playing with. We won 2-0, 4-1, and drew 0-0. As a defender this was very satisfying, even if the Gorse Fox didn't get a chance to cross the half-way line. in the second hour, we had a completely different mix. It was hard work, but we lost 1-0, drew 1-1, and drew 0-0, so not too bad.

When he got home he could see by the flashing lights on the oven that there had been a power cut. He checked with the Silver Vixen and apparently it happened just after he left for football. He was intrigued - what impact would this have had on Peregrine? He logged on and issued the "uptime" command. Sure enough it had now been running uninterrupted for 360 days - the Gorse Fox's uninterruptible power supply had kicked in and allowed the machine to carry on ticking even when the power was out in the house. Result!

The Gorse Fox phoned the concierge again. This time he got through. VIP meet and greet is now arranged and private (luxury) transfers arranged for the hotel.

Monday, January 22, 2018


A semblance of what passes for normality has returned. A leisurely breakfast followed by a few chores and then we retired to our respective studies.

The Silver Vixen is working on her sewing and wants to get a lot done this week. The Gorse Fox is flitting from one task to another on the computer.

  • Registering an online credit car account proved a challenge. In the end the Gorse Fox had to call the company only to find the reason everything was failing was that they had mistranscribed the Gorse Fox's birth date. Once that was sorted everything clicked into place.
  • Checking the monthly budget showed us performing very well this month so the Gorse Fox transferred some money into some envelopes to set aside for taxis to and from the airport when we go away on holiday later in the year. It's nice to know we already have all that sorted.
  • Phoning the concierge services for our holiday company we tried to arrange the VIP meet and greet and private transfer to the hotel... it may be several months away, but it would save some hassle. The Gorse Fox is awaiting a phone call back.
  • Returning to Urban-Cub's spreadsheet the Gorse Fox adapted it to show public holidays through until the end of 2019. He must say that he's very impressed with the way in which Google Sheets works. It has lots of features that operate differently from Excel - but somehow seem to do the job better. Conditional formatting being one, and the "query" command being another. Both exist in Excel, but neither seems quite as powerful nor easy to use.

Sunday, January 21, 2018


After a disturbed evening, Ellie managed to sleep through until 08:40 this morning. The Silver Vixen wasn't feeling too well and the Gorse Fox managed to take Ellie down stairs without disturbing her. We got on with preparing breakfast and were about to start on Ellie's porridge when the Silver Vixen came down.

The phone rang... it was Barry from football. Would the Gorse Fox be playing this morning? The Gorse Fox confessed that he wouldn't. It would be unfair to leave the Silver Vixen in charge when she wasn't feeling too bright. The rest of the morning and early afternoon revolved around Ellie and included her demonstrating that she could stand without support for a few seconds. She'll be out jogging before we know it.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

On duty

The Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox were on G-Force duty again today. Ellie didn't wake until 07:15 and again we brought her into our bed to play around for while. She seems absolutely captivated by the Silver Vixen's activity watch and keeps pressing the button to see the various displays.

The rest of the day revolved round feeding, changing, playing or allowing Ellie to sleep. Despite having a cold, she still maintains her sunny disposition and dissolves into laughter at the silliest things.

Not much else to report.

Friday, January 19, 2018


G-Force will be on duty over night tonight so we had arranged to pick up Ellie during the afternoon. We decided to make the most of the trip and stopped off for some lunch at The Charlie Purley in Shripney. This was the second time we had eaten there and whilst adequate it doesn't reach the heights of gastronomic excellence. The Silver Vixen had some lasagne and the Gorse Fox had a "Carnivore Burger". This made the Gorse Fox think of the Coventry Hobbit ... it was a decent burger topped with a thick slice of steak, a slice of turkey, and a slice of gammon - all served between two Yorkshire pudding slices. It was good and certainly provided all the protein the Gorse Fox is likely to need for the rest of the week.

We drove across to Rustington where the Silver Vixen wanted to get some stuff from Dunelm Mills. Urban-Cub and Ellie came and joined us there to look at the Winnie the Pooh sale goods. She resisted however.

We went back to Urban-Cub's and gathered all the stuff together then brought Ellie on home for the weekend.

Thursday, January 18, 2018


Thursday, so it must be admin. Though it had been a stormy night it was a lovely bright and clear morning.

Firstly the Gorse Fox got on with the usual accounts. This gave him an opportunity to do some account sweeping. This allowed him to sweep some excess into more Premium Bonds. The Gorse Fox must comment that the Premium Bonds have been a fairly good investment. Between us we do seem to win something every month.

After the accounts it was back to the spreadsheet. This was most satisfying as the Gorse Fox found some new techniques and discovered the wonderful "query" command in Google Sheets. This effectively allows him to issue an SQL-like command against the data in the sheet and extract tailored  versions of the core data. It's been handed over to Urban-Cub now to see if she wants any further development.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Spreading out

Ellie didn't wake until gone eight and the Gorse Fox went to fetch her and she played on our bed for a good twenty minutes before getting fidgety for some breakfast. This is what the Gorse Fox considers a very relaxed start to the day.

Because G-Force were on duty, the Gorse Fox didn't play football today. It was a shame because it looked like a lovely day for a game - bright sunshine and clear skies.

The Gorse Fox spent most of his spare moments converting the childcare spreadsheet from Excel to Google Sheets. The child minder uses Google docs, so it makes it a lot easier to share with her going forward. The work isn't finished, but it is almost there... only a few summarisations to finish off.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Well the forecast was wrong. It had warned of high winds and showers across the south coast and had shown rain rattling through between 10:00 and 13:00 - just when the Gorse Fox was meant to be playing football.

It was wrong. It was bright sunshine and it stayed that way until the sun went down. The Gorse Fox played for the orange-bibs today. In the first hour he lost two and won one game. He had expected worse and had had to be very disciplined in defence. Despite that, he did manage to cross the halfway line a couple of time and rattled the crossbar each time.

In the second hour it was a bit better with one draw and two wins - the last one come as a result of a goal from the Gorse Fox.

The Silver Vixen was out with her coven for the day, so the Gorse Fox got on with lunch then retired to the study to spend some quality time with some Excel spreadsheets. Late afternoon the Silver Vixen arrived home with Ellie. Ellie's childminder's son has an hospital appointment in the morning so G-Force are stepping in and Ellie is staying with us overnight.

Monday, January 15, 2018


The Gorse Fox and Old Bill headed off into the wilds of the Manhood Peninsula, towards Wittering. Throughout this area there seem to be tiny hamlets. It turns out that the place we were heading was only a mile or so from the cattery we had visited on Saturday.

The furniture maker was based in the outhouses of a nice house at the end of a lane. The outhouses comprised several old curved shelters (circa 1940) and a large wooden shed that was set up as a carpentry shop. The equipment was old and the whole place was a complete mess. The furniture, however, was well made and looked well-finished. The chap himself looked like a carpenter's version of Einstein, with a shock of white hair and a slight vagueness when trying to communicate.


What a could start to the day. It's 10:00, it's dark, and its thrashing down with rain. This is what living in Wales must be like.

The Silver Vixen's friend, who was due to visit, sent a message to say she had woken up with a heavy cold, so that has been cancelled. The Gorse Fox has prepared the car to help Old Bill collect some bespoke bedside cabinets. Let's hope the varnish or paint is waterproof!

Sunday, January 14, 2018


Sunday started with a leisurely breakfast before the Gorse Fox headed off for football. He played for the yellow-bibs and though we looked like the underdogs, we were 3-1 up at half time. Unfortunately two of our players fade in the second half... and the score started to change. In the end we lost 6-5 but nearly managed to claw it back.

Back home, showered and with some chores under the belt, we headed out to Chichester. The old Homebase store has been taken over by the Australian "Bunnings". We thought it was a good opportunity to go and see what they have on offer. Well, it was an Aladdin's Cave of tools and wood and general homeware and DIY. The Gorse Fox was very impressed by the breadth of the choice of makes and types of tools available. Prices were keen, and the Gorse Fox could see this becoming his 'go to' store for the future (not that he has any particular plans at present - and certainly doesn't need any new tools just now).

Saturday, January 13, 2018


Today was about Jasper. With a holiday booked for later in the Spring had to find a cattery that would take Jasper and in which he would be well cared for and happy. We have a cattery that we usually use is fine, but it's nice to have an alternative. Old Bill and Lady Penelope had found a place down near Sidlesham and were very happy with the set-up and with the care shown by the proprietor.

We set off, and were soon in the general area. The SatNav, however, was not at its most helpful. The Gorse Fox is very pleased that he spent some time with Google Maps before leaving. We eventually found the place and were shown in. The proprietor, Mark, seemed like a lovely chap who genuinely seems to care for each of his charges. There were only about half a dozen cats in residence this morning but he was able to give a complete history of every one of them. The place was spotless. This has just moved from being the alternative to being the first choice.

Friday, January 12, 2018

On duty

We are on duty again today. This means that most of the day has been spent on hands and knees chasing Ellie round the kitchen or gathering her scattered toys. While she had her morning sleep the Gorse Fox managed to finish the refinement started on the Excel budget sheet yesterday. It's not as elegant as it should be, but the Gorse Fox concludes (based on research and empirical evidence) that you just can't do what he wanted the way he wanted to do it. Never mind, plan b was adequate.

We popped in to Chichester after lunch. It was grey and a bit damp, but it was nice to get Ellie out in the fresh air and nice to have a stroll. We stopped off a Turner's Pies on the way back to car in order to pick up a chicken and ham pie for supper. The Gorse Fox should explain. He's not a pie person, never has been. Having said that, we had a couple of their pies at Christmas and the Gorse Fox thoroughly enjoyed them. So maybe you can teach and old dog new tricks (if the quality is right).

Pistol Pete arrived soon after five to collect Ellie. She was fast asleep in the cot and became a little grizzly when when woken (but we can all associate with that). She was soon ready to go and the car packed with all her paraphernalia.

Now that she has gone, Jasper has started to wander round again. He's very cautious when she is around and scuttles around trying to avoid her. He's a lot braver when she's gone - wimp.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

G-Force duty

The Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen have been on G-force duty all day today. This has been the focus of the day as she has scuttled about on all fours or in her walker.

While Ellie was having her afternoon nap, the Gorse Fox spent some time with Excel. The annual budget spreadsheet is getting its annual spring clean and refinement. This time the refinement was based on the Gorse Fox thinking that there must be a better way of making one of the calculations. He knew exactly what he wanted to do and could have coded it in an instant in EXEC2 or Rexx, but couldn't find a way of making the simplification in Excel. It's not a problem as he already has the correct answer... but just feels that there is (or should be) a better way to get there. He may return to this conundrum at a later date.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Play Misty

It was a fine start but when the Gorse Fox headed inland to zip across to Worthing he was surprised to find it was quite foggy. Back at the coast however it was clear and sunny for our football.

The Gorse Fox was playing for the orange-bibs and whilst the game was close, we did manage to win 5-4. The Gorse Fox was having a few problems with his hips and it took a long time to loosen up. Even now, many hours later he is having some discomfort and hopes that it won't keep him awake as it did last night.

The Silver Vixen collected Ellie from the childminder, on her way back from Pilates. She will be staying with us for a couple of days due to the way in which Urban-Cub's and Pistol Pete's shifts work out this week. So far she has been her usual happy self but seems to have developed a fetish for tissues and has been emptying the boxes of tissues, one tissue at a time.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018


Oh what a grey day. It has remained dark all day, but at least it stayed dry and wasn't too cold.

The Silver Vixen was upend about early and headed off to Urban-Cub's to help young Jake look after Ellie for the day.

The Gorse Fox headed off to football. The turn out wasn't as big as usual, but there was a tournament yesterday. when the teams were selected the Gorse Fox found himself play for the blue-bibs and looking at the make-up of the teams was expecting to be on the receiving end of three severe beatings. In the end, we did ok. We drew one, lost one, and won one. This put us 2nd in the overall stack and the Gorse Fox was pleased to have tucked two goals away.

In the second hour he was playing for the red-bibs. Somewhat less successful in this hour with two losses and a win.

Monday, January 08, 2018


The Gorse Fox received an offer from his energy company. As we approach the end of our current contract they were offering a new fixed price contract for the next 24 months. It's more than he currently pays, but is it competitive? The Gorse Fox spent an hour or so going through the details and the various comparison websites. In the end he decided it was not the cheapest, but was perfectly acceptable. He uses Bristol Energy and they are a community based supplier ploughing some of their profits back in to local charities and schemes. He likes this idea so signed up for a further couple of years.

Lunchtime saw the Gorse Fox making a couple of omelettes - not particularly significant, other than the fact that they finished off the last of the Christmas ham. That turned out to be good value having been used, at least for snacks, ever since Boxing Day.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Another win

First Sunday football of the New Year included two players who only play on Wednesday usually. It was nice to have some fresh blood. It was quite even and it was a long time before the first goal went in. Unfortunately it was agains the Orange bibs... and the Gorse Fox was playing in Orange. We pulled one back, but by half time were losing 3-1.

In the second half we rejigged our positions a bit and that allowed the Gorse Fox to roam a bit. In the end we started to make an impact and include two goals from the Gorse Fox we ended up 5-3 winners.

Most satisfactory.

Fall of the robots

The Gorse Fox went to Sainsbury's and, only having a single item, headed for the self-service checkouts. He followed the instructions - he'd be through in no time. It went something like this:

Start transaction;
No bags;
Scan item;
Finished; Total £4.50
Choose payment type - Cash
Insert notes - £10 inserted
Change given; £5 note delivered and..... Nothing!
Screen says it owes the Gorse Fox 3p...

Robot cannot do maths, and cannot deliver change. Human arrives, scratches head, calls another human. Second human rolls eyes. Somewhere behind the Gorse Fox another robot was failing, another human was being called. The Gorse Fox's human opened up the robot and slid out the intestines. He started rotating wheels... bit by bit the Gorse Fox's change emerged. Not a single 50p coin but 2 x 20p, 1 x 5p, and 2 x 2p... the wheel kept turning but nothing else happened. The robot had stiffed the Gorse Fox of 1p. There was no "deus ex machina". The Gorse Fox chuckled and told the human to keep the change.

Well they tell us that the robots will replace people, but at the moment they seem to require multiple humans to hold their hands.

Saturday, January 06, 2018


Epiphany - the Twelfth Night and traditionally the day on which the Christmas decorations are taken down and stowed away for another year.

So it was that the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen spent much of the day unravelling lights and winding them properly so that they are quickly accessible next year, wrapping ornaments, packing balls, and storing everything in dust-proof boxes. The boxes were stored away in the garage and the tree wrapped and stored in the loft.

It all took a lot longer than you would expect, but it is done for another year.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Ballet - encore

The main event for today was the ballet. Not, you understand, for the Gorse Fox but rather another event arranged for the the Sonning Sirens. (The Gorse Fox is becoming the default events coordinator for the Sonning Crew). With this on the schedule for the evening, we decided that we would go out for lunch so that we didn't need to squeeze supper into the mix.

The morning was spent pottering about. The Gorse Fox took down all the Christmas cards and went through them to update his database with any changes of address, new senders, and of course who had sent cards. (He has these records going back for years now). Tomorrow the more significant work begins - removing and stowing all the decorations.

We went out to The Old Stables at Fontwell for lunch. It is one of those places that can be relied on for friendly service and menu that will suit almost any taste. It can be chaotic on days when there is horse racing at the ground, but on days like to day it was just warm, welcoming and friendly.  We had a lovely lunch before pottering back home.

Old Bill had volunteered to chauffeur the Sonning Sirens to and from the ballet (at the Chichester Festival Theatre). The Gorse Fox stayed put nursing a cold that he has been fighting all week. He was glad he didn't have to go out. Some Lemsip tablets and a plate of cheese and biscuits gave him solace throughout the evening until the Silver Vixen returned. She had enjoyed the ballet immensely but commented that the dancers seemed older than those seen last week.

Thursday, January 04, 2018


A degree of normality has returned.

It's Thursday and the Gorse Fox has spent much of the day on the admin. There are still a few payments from last year to be registered, but the books for 2017 can nearly be closed. The new book (spreadsheet) for 2018 is now open and has had a few minor refinements over last year.

Meanwhile in the spare bedroom, the Silver Vixen has been having a bit of a potter and sort out.

Nothing that you would consider riveting today - just basic normality. However, the Gorse Fox can sit at the computer with a smug grin knowing that he hasn't had to worry about year-end targets and signings, nor has he returned to work with an inbox containing several hundred emails. Retirement is a source of endless pleasure.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018


The storm Eleanor hit the country overnight. We were lucky in that the only minor inconvenience was the noise of the wind. Others were less fortunate and saw flooding and power cuts.  By the time the Gorse Fox got up, the worst had blown through and we were just left with gusty winds.

The wind made our Wednesday football quite lively - but at least we were dry today. The Gorse Fox played for the orange-bibs and though the game was close, we managed to come out 4-3 winners, with the Gorse Fox scoring one of the goals.

Back home he taped up the legs of the spare table that we had used in the Orangery and managed to get it back to its normal storage place in the garage. Orangery now returned to normal layout. We'll take the decorations down in the next couple of days.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018


The magic of Tuesday weather has evidently worn off. Last year we seemed to play football on Tuesdays with very few days where it rained. Well today the first Tuesday of 2018 ended that run. The Gorse Fox spent two hours playing in the pouring rain and was soaked to the skin. Fortunately he always has a warm, dry, set of clothes in a bag in anticipation of just such a day. When finished he changed into his dry clothes and felt a lot better. (It also helped that he had been on the side that had won 5 out 6 games and drawn the sixth one.)

The football transfer window is open and the Gorse Fox was flattered to be approached by the Brighton captain. He is trying to build a team to win the national "People's Cup" (Arun Amblers played in this two years back). He asked the Gorse Fox if he would join because though he had a good attack and midfield he needed a strong defence and reckoned that, looking across the Brighton, Lancing, and the Worthing teams, the Gorse Fox was his first choice. The Gorse Fox was quite chuffed by the approach, but politely declined. Experience has taught him that the quality of the refereeing and the degree of aggression that you see in these games takes the fun out of playing.

Monday, January 01, 2018

New start

Well that was a bit of a blast. We had a lovely New Year's Eve with the Sonning Crew.

We had set up the Orangery to use as a dining room and that gave us all plenty space and it worked really well. Even the Chinese food arrived spot on schedule. It appears that a number of empty bottles found their way into the house through the evening as the Gorse Fox found loads of them when he cleared up this morning. He cannot imagine from whence they came.

Much silliness was evident throughout the evening and it was filled with laughter. We stayed put in the Orangery until just before midnight when we went into the lounge to watch the fireworks on TV. The fireworks were certainly spectacular - possibly the best so far. The Crew dispersed and the Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox did a cursory tidy-up before heading for bed.

The Gorse Fox was up for eight o'clock and set about the clearing up properly. It took a while and he still needs to find homes for some things, but essentially it's done. The table has been folded down and in the next day or so will be returned to its hiding place against the wall of the garage.

Much of the rest of the day has been spent back working on the family tree and looking for relevant entries in the UK 1939 Register (a sort of census conducted on 29th Sept 1939 at the outbreak of war). He's beginning to make progress but there is a long way to go... and there's lots of people that he has been unable to find so far... and many are still redacted.