Search This Blog

Saturday, June 30, 2018


It's another scorcher of a day. Much of the day has been spent in the relative cool of the Living Room. This morning it was because we were fixing the wall bracket. This afternoon it was to watch the France -v- Argentina match in the World Cup knockout stage.

It's not often that the Gorse Fox is rooting for the French, but when the opposition is Argentina he is happy to make an exception. The game was a cracker, finishing 4-3 to France. The cynical and sometimes downright unpleasant approach of Argentina was punished by the youth and relative discipline of the France team. It must be said, France are looking a real contender.

Hanging Around

This morning was a time for DIY.

The zero-gap TV bracket had to be unpacked and fitted. With the wall-paper going up in just over a week, it was important to make any mess in advance so that the paper could hide any marks and measurements.

The centre point was located and the gaps below and above were marked. Then the template went up on the wall to identify where al the holes should be drilled.

Two Hats came in to help and we adopted a Victorian approach - we doubled the number of fixing that were suggested. The wall may come down, but the bracket will stay there until Armageddon.

The bracket is now up, and loosely fixed. We didn't mount the TV as it will all have to come down again when the paper goes up.

Friday, June 29, 2018


Well that wasn't planned.

Some of the day went as expected but then it suddenly changed. Old Bill and Lady Penelope arrived back from their holiday and invited us over for a glass of wine. We countered, realising they had had a long drive and would be weary. Come here and we'll get a take-away. So it was that we roped in Two Hats and Tinkerbell, Old Bill and Lady Penelope and sat out in the lovely warm evening with some Chinese food and a few glasses of wine. In fact, for the Gorse Fox there may have been a few more than was strictly necessary.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Getting Old

The Gorse Fox has had an interesting day so far. There was some initial admin to get out of the way then he had to concentrate on his website. He had been contacted by someone who wished to have some changes applied. Fine. The Gorse Fox is always happy to amend and correct information. That's where the problems began.

It's several years since he last needed to apply changes to the website. In fact several years and several computers. Even though he had notes explaining what to do, he had clearly misfiled them and they could not be found. It then became a matter of working his way back in. This was hampered by some the security settings that he has applied. It took hours to get to the point that he could edit the pages in question. Eventually it was done.

Or was it?

You see the Gorse Fox had started to rebuild the site a couple of years ago and some elements of the site were rendered in the newer content management system as well as the old html-file based approach. He had to try to get in to the Joomla content manager. Fortunately those notes were easily found and the changes made. He checked the site. Changes weren't there. Hmmmm, there's a step missing somewhere. Sure enough he realised that the last this he should have done was to tick the files and press the "publish" button. That did the trick.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Keeping track

The Gorse Fox doesn't know about you but he has dozens of power adapter for different devices. He also has cables that run from switches to all manner of devices. Now that we have decided to re-jig everything in the living room the Gorse Fox decided it would be good to label everything.

The nice man from the Amazon turned up this afternoon with this device. The Gorse Fox is very impressed. It spews out labels with a choice of the number of copies, the font to use (one of three) and the text size (again, one of three).

The next task is to go round labelling all the different plugs, adapters, network cables, and indeed anything that stays still long enough to slap a label on.

Another another hot one

Like yesterday there was wall-to-wall blue sky only interrupted by the neat chalk lines of the aircraft con-trails drawn on the blue background as these aluminium tubes carried their loads to distant, exotic destinations.

The Silver Vixen went off to Pilates this morning and soon after, the Gorse Fox headed off for football. He had the so-called honour of picking the teams today. When he started he thought he would try to balance them - but when the teams were formed he was less sure that he had succeeded. Well, he needn't have worried. It was very tight and at half-time it was 1-1 and at full-time it was 3-3. It was hard fought but very well balanced. He must have got it about right!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Another hot one

Well no sign of a cloud anywhere today. It was a cracking day to be out and playing football.

In the first hour the Gorse Fox was playing with the black-bibs. This looked like an impending thrashing when the team had been selected. Indeed the first game was hard but we only lost by 1 goal. The second game was closer to the expectation and we lost 7-1. Then something clicked and in the third game we won 4-1. Miracles do occur.

In the second hour we were down to two teams and the Gorse Fox played for the white-bibs. This was a lot better and more evenly distributed. The Gorse Fox was able to roam a bit more and link up the play better. In this hour we won all three games 2-1, 1-0, and 2-1. Very satisfactory and the sun beat down on us throughout. (The Gorse Fox was glad he had put on sunscreen).

The Gorse Fox was surprised when he checked after the games. Whilst he felt that he had not actually covered as much ground as usual - and was conserving energy because of the heat, the actual distance covered and number of steps taken was much the same as usual (and, indeed, more than many weeks).

In the afternoon he played about with the link between his phone and the new TV and managed to get the TV to display his own photos when in "ambient mode".

This was really quite exciting and there's more to come when the paper is on the wall.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Wide Screen

Another fantastic day. Not a cloud in the sky and the temperature in the 20s.

The morning required a trip to Chichester. The wall mount for the new TV was now in stock, but as the Gorse Fox had a negotiated special deal, he wanted to handle this face to face rather than online. Even then, it took a long time to get things sorted out. The wall mount should be in store on Wednesday.

From John Lewis we headed into the city centre. We had to go to Virgin Holidays and sort out the problem that had arisen. The airline, it appears, have changed their schedule. This meant that we either had to sacrifice 1 day of out planned holiday, or upgrade with 2 extra days. We decided to upgrade once we had seen the prices. Our 10 day holiday is now 12 days, but the start date has slipped. Fortunately we are far enough ahead that we all still have time to adjust our plans (hopefully).

John Lewis turned up just after lunch with the new TV. We knew it was big, but when you see it in the living room it seems even bigger. The Gorse Fox actually needed help from Two Hats to move it. It's not crazily heavy but it is awkward. It took a little while to set it all up and get the system up and running but the impact is very impressive.

Sunday, June 24, 2018


Another fabulous day with wall to wall sunshine and a slight breeze to keep it from getting too hot.

The morning saw the Gorse Fox heading out for football. We met up at the arena and split into teams. The Gorse Fox was playing for the yellow-bibs. Again, an initial look at the team makeup made the Gorse Fox expect a sound a thrashing. Again he was wrong. We soaked up attack after attack and passed the ball well. Bit by bit we started to edge ahead and in the end we finished with a victorious 8-6 win. The Gorse Fox managed to get one of the goals (so that's his quota for the week sorted).

Back home there was time for a quick shower before settling down with the Silver Vixen to watch the England vs Panama game in the World Cup. He had commented that it would be nice, just for a change, to watch an England football match where you are not sitting on tenterhooks right to the last minute. Well, no fear of that today. 5-0 at half time and 6-1 at the final whistle. Excellent result.

The Gorse Fox has just received an email from the travel agent regarding next year's holiday. They seem to have changed the dates on us. He's sent them an email to check there hasn't been a mistake somewhere.

Saturday, June 23, 2018


Another gorgeous day. This seems to be turning into a lovely summer.

Much of the morning was spent researching the options we have for audio with the new TV. The old (inexpensive) sound bar would look out of place and it needs to have a separate sub-woofer to deliver the bass sounds. This would not work for our new, somewhat minimalist "vision".

The Gorse Fox looked at the options from Samsung but Sonos are about to release a new compact all-in-one sound bar (Beam). This appears to be suitable, though still demands two wires (one power, one audio). It does, however, look the least obtrusive of the alternatives available. The Gorse Fox needed to be sure it could really work the way we we would want. After lots of reading, lots of write-ups, and reviewing several manuals for the TV, he believes this is probably the best solution. A by-product of this is that it will also link in with all the rest of the Sonos system in the house. The Gorse Fox will sleep on it, but believes the decision is made.

While the Silver Vixen was busy planting some new climbers by the front door, the Gorse Fox started to rationalise the cables, wires, set-top boxes, and accessories that are clustered around the existing TV. This has simplified matters considerably.

This afternoon we have spent a lovely couple of hours having coffee with Tinkerbell and Two Hats. It's nice to catch up properly. We may live next door to each other but we do tend to be like ships passing in the night.

Friday, June 22, 2018


It's been a good day. The weather has been fabulous and we have got a fair bit done.

The Silver Vixen wanted to go across to Haskin's for some stuff for the garden. The Gorse Fox had received notification that the new wallpaper was being delivered, so stayed put. Sure enough it arrived well within the slot estimated by DPD but while the Gorse Fox was dealing with that, an email came in to say the TV we had been looking at was back in stock.

The Gorse Fox headed in to Chichester and sought the assistant who had been so helpful last time. The Gorse Fox explained he had received notification the TV was in, and wanted to buy it. The young assistant was genuinely excited. This, after all, was a big ticket item. The transaction was partly done. The TV will be delivered next week, but the wall mount was out of stock. As it happens, that is not a problem as we won't mount it on the wall until the paper has been put up.

The Gorse Fox headed on to Bunnings. He needed some shelving for the new Sky-Q mini box in the family room. He wanted to see what was available, or failing a suitable solution, buy the wood to make something. As it happened they had some nice floating shelves. Unlike previous junk, these had a tight push-fit. The Gorse Fox splashed out £12 and bought two shelves. It didn't take too long to get them fixed and they are as solid as a rock. All of the boxes, cables, switches and so forth were re-sited and the job was done.

Thursday, June 21, 2018


We had an interesting day. The man from Sky was coming.

Soon after 9:30 the chap from Sky arrived. The plan was to upgrade our existing Sky system to the new Sky-Q. This should give us more flexibility and the ability to record up to 6 channels in parallel (not that we are very likely to need that often). It also came with a separate mini-box to allow the system to be used in a separate room. It took him a couple of hours to get everything set up and working properly but it all looks very good and the picture and sound both seem much crisper (though that could be imagined). The only the only problem is that we have lost the old recordings from the old box and need load up the planned recording schedule again.

Today was Amber's 18th birthday... as her step-grandparents we were invited to join them all for a meal, late afternoon. We drove in too Chichester and did a little shopping before heading down to a restaurant called Smith & Wesson. This is an American-style diner with burgers, bbq, steaks,  tex-mex dishes and so forth. As it was very early, the place was almost empty. The background music was Country & Western and obviously tickled Ellie as she sat and bopped and rocked away as we awaited our meals. The food was plentiful and we had a nice couple of hours.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Almost normal

It was almost a normal day. The Silver Vixen had Pilates during the morning and the Gorse Fox had football.

Football looked a bit like a lost cause when the Gorse Fox saw the way the teams had been picked. He was playing in orange, but the yellows had a very strong and very quick and mobile attack. The Gorse Fox knew he was in for a long hard hour. So it was, except the sound thrashing he was expecting never happened. We defended solidly and resolutely. Through hard work and concentration and some telling passes up through the field we ended up with an unexpected 5-3 win. The Gorse Fox didn't manage to get on the score sheet today - but he certainly blocked a significant number of attempts on his goal.

After lunch Urban-Cub popped in for ten minutes while on her way to Chichester for some shopping. Once she had gone, the Silver Vixen retired to bed for a while. After the busy week and weekend, and having had two poor nights' sleep she needed some rest. The Gorse Fox is watching the football and looking at some furniture for the living room. We have an idea what we want, but haven't got an exact idea so he is wandering through various websites looking at images of possible candidate pieces.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


The Gorse Fox wrote last week about a telephone scam. Well, they are persistent little devils. He had blocked the original number, but got a call from another number with the same menacing sounding recording. He hung up. He blocked the number. He reported it.

What is concerning is how credible it sounds and how frightening it would sound to someone who is less aware of different scam tactics.

That was an interesting change

Tuesday so it must mean football... and after last night's win by England against Tunisia in the World Cup, there was a degree of eagerness as well as frustration to burn off.

In the first hour we had insufficient players to split into four teams as we do usually. We just split into two and played three games with the same team makeup except for a swap of goalkeepers. The Gorse Fox was playing in green and we won the first game 5-0, then lost 1-0, before finishing off with a 2-1 win.

At the end of the hour all but three players drifted away. The three of us left stayed on the pitch for a bit of a kick-about. Then we noticed half a dozen youngsters on the next pitch. We invited them to join us and split up 5 against 4. The Gorse Fox played for the team with 4 players, the other two "old blokes" played on the other team. Well these lads were quick - but then we weren't even pretending to play "walking football" - it was just football. They were nice lads and a couple of them had some real talent. The game probably lasted about 40 minutes, and the Gorse Fox's team won 5-2 (with one goal from the Gorse Fox). It was really good fun and made a really interesting change. (The Gorse Fox suspects these lads were a little surprised that people 50+ years older than them could keep up and even overtake them).

Monday, June 18, 2018

We had a very quiet day. Most of the day was spent with background tasks. The Silver Vixen was preparing for a day with her coven and the Gorse Fox was looking for further inspiration for our plan to redecorate the living room. Now when the Gorse Fox said he was looking for inspiration - he was searching online images of possible papers. On one site alone, he search over 6,000 images. It seemed to go on forever. Eventually he had got a shortlist of images to discuss with the Silver Vixen. We looked, we debated, we looked some more. One by one the images were dropped until we were down to one. Paper was eventually selected and ordered from a company in Belgium.

Now the Gorse Fox has to find someone who can put up the paper... as it is so expensive, he doesn't want to chance it himself. The first tradesman he approached took one look at the image and decided it was too much for him. At least he's honest!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

A bit of a do

There was no football today - and even if there had been, the Gorse Fox was not available to play. We had a bit of a "do" planned. Ellie had woken soon after 7:15 and we had got things under way. Once things were clear from breakfast the Gorse Fox brought the spare table in from the garage and set it up in the Orangery - it's not that we were expecting hordes, more that we were setting out a buffet and  this afforded us the most space.

Urban-Cub had had a bit of a lie-in and joined us before 10:00. As she, Ellie, and the Silver Vixen got  ready, the Gorse Fox started on the food preparation. Other than making a salad, most of this was a matter of picking up an order from M&S. We had ordered a number of items, but the Gorse Fox was a little shocked when the assistant wheeled out a trolley with a stack of crates that stood nearly 4 feet high. He explained that each item was delivered in a separate crate and "honestly, it's not as much as it appears". It's just as well as he would have needed a trailer to get it home!.

Trevor, Jane, Mask, and Agent Mulder arrived and just as we finished our hellos, the phone rang and it was Cousteau-Cub calling to wish a Happy Fathers' Day. We had a lovely chat, though the Gorse Fox was worried to hear that the Coventry Hobbit was in hospital with a sickness and a fever. Let's hope for a speedy recovery.

The rest of the a afternoon was spent chatting and catching up on news from the colonies while trying to  make inroads in the mountain of food. It really was a lovely afternoon and Ellie was so well behaved throughout. Unfortunately J&T, Agent Mulder, and Mask had to leave early evening as they had to drop Agent Mulder in London before spinning off home. (It turns out that that was an horrendous journey). Urban-Cub and Ellie left soon after and all of a sudden the Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox were alone. It didn't take too long to tidy up and assume the recovery position in the armchairs.

Saturday, June 16, 2018


It was a little grey today. Warm, humid, but a little grey. Ellie had started to stir by 6 am but didn't really wake and require attention until nearly 8 am. That is very satisfactory!

The day has revolved around Ellie and her needs. The morning proved interesting when she escaped over the side of her cot. It wasn't strain or an effort, it was a leap over the side onto the bed. The Gorse Fox then had to get the tools to adjust the cot down to its lowest setting. He's not clear that it will solve the problem, but it will at least make it more difficult.

After lunch we had a trip to Sainsbury's. With Agent Mulder and the Gorse Fox's little sister, her husband, and younger son due tomorrow there was a shopping list to fill and and the first of the orders to collect. Ellie came with us and spent the first half of the trip in the trolley and the second half walking, hand-in-hand, with Nana. She was obviously in the mood to get some exercise as she demanded going for a walk as soon as we got home.

Friday, June 15, 2018

On duty

It appears that there were problems at the airport and as a result, Urban-Cub had to go into work early. This meant that we were on duty earlier than planned. This wasn't a problem as we soon wore Ellie out and she went down for a nap.

While Ellie was napping the Gorse Fox made his first trip to B&Q* for some ironmongery. Urban-Cub had bought a swing seat for Ellie and the Gorse Fox planned to install it in the pergola. This needed special hooks, some chain to lengthen the drop, and some carabiners or link bolts to connect things together. It all went together pretty smoothly, though he did have to return to change the link bolts for carabiners. After lunch we took Ellie out to try the swing and she threw a strop. She did not like it at all. We'll have to see if this changes over time. Most of the afternoon saw her teddy bear enjoying the swing and her ignoring it while playing with water.

*Long time readers will know about the B&Q Bounce whereby it is against the laws of the Universe to make a single trip to B&Q. There is always a return trip within the hour to pick up some slightly different product or some forgotten product.

Thursday, June 14, 2018


Sometimes it's just time for a change. The Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox feel that we may have reached a point when we have to move things about in the living room. The problem we have is that there are some "givens".

  • There's two media panels that dictate where the various signals come into the room. They are at opposite ends of the same wall, so really the TV needs to be on or close to that wall.
  • There's a fireplace.
  • There's the fact that the Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen hate the sight of cables and wires.
  • We still have to cope with set-top boxes to deliver the TV channels to the screen.

These all constrain the design of the room and possible placement of furniture. We have spent much of the day looking at decorative options - wall paper, paint, and large murals. We have also moved the furniture around (and left it in the new positions for now to see how it feels). We have also been along to John Lewis to see what options we might have in terms of the TV itself. We did see some nice devices, but haven't done anything yet. We do, however some good ideas.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


It's been a lovely day again. The Gorse Fox actually had to apply sunscreen before going out for football.

We had a good tun out today, with many of the usual folk returning from holidays and injuries. We had a good 6-a-side match which ended up as a very tight game. The Gorse Fox played for the yellow-bibs and with about 15 minutes to go we were 4-1 down and it was looking like a lost cause. Then we slowly hauled it back to 4-4 before losing 5-4 with the last kick of the match. Oh well, you can't win them all.

Meanwhile Urban-Cub and Ellie were at home with the Silver Vixen. We had lunch together and then as we discussed that fact that we hadn't heard from Cousteau-Cub this week, she called. That worked out well as we each got a chance to have a chat with her.

During the afternoon, Ellie had a nap and we sat and chatted with Urban-Cub. We told he about some of the ideas we had been discussing regarding our living room layout and decor and she told us about the discussions she had been having regarding swapping her car. All very exciting. It was a lovely afternoon but eventually they had to leave so the Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox are now in recovery mode :)


The Gorse Fox has just had a phone call from an Oxford number 01865-589555 and the recorded messages said something like:
"You are being investigated by HMRC. Your name is part of a lawsuit being prepared for prosecution. You house is under surveillance. Please call this number immediately"
Now the Gorse Fox is always cautious and alert to scams or attempted scams. He wasn't in the slightest bit concerned as he had heard of this scam before. He logged on to "" and saw that over 8,000 people had checked on this number and it was considered "dangerous". In the comments below people had confirmed the same call had been received and some had actually responded to the call before realising it was a malicious call.

The Gorse Fox has posted this to the blog as a warning ti the unwary.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


A very pleasant day again. Lots of sun this morning but a little overcast this afternoon.

The Gorse Fox had football this morning and the Silver Vixen was going out to meet with one of the members of her coven before they both went on to a full meeting of another coven. They in turn had a guest speaker/workshop run by one of the Silver Vixen's favourite spellbinders.

The Gorse Fox's football went well. In the first hour he played for the green-bibs and we won 2 games and drew the third. During this he also had some very helpful coaching from a teammate who is actually a professional football scout and was until recently employed by a Premiership team. They were just a few little hints, but were both welcome and effective.

In the second hour the numbers had dropped. The Gorse Fox was playing for the red-bibs. We still had three games but all of them were against the same team. We won all three of these games and the Gorse Fox managed to score in each of the three games.

After a shower and some lunch he returned to the study. He has spent the afternoon working on his code. As expected this is the difficult bit... and at the moment he is feeling a little frustrated as he has an error that can't track down. As a result he has dozens of tabs open in his browser and is losing his way as he researches each suggestion. The frustrating thing is that he thinks he has seen a working example of the failing code, but cannot track it down. He's pretty certain he now understands the data flow of the authentication phase, but cannot get the syntax correct.

Monday, June 11, 2018


Well it's nice to report that we've had another lovely day, weather-wise.

There's been domestic chores for part of the day and also a well-timed trip to the tip. Well-timed? Well the Gorse Fox arrived and drove straight in and unloaded. By the time he left there was a queue out of the tip, and back down to the slip road. Smug face.

The afternoon saw the Silver Vixen disappear off to shops for a while to pick up some bits and pieces for the next coupe of days. Meanwhile, the Gorse Fox hit the study. It was time to try and get some coding done. Where this is challenging is a) it uses oAuth which is very poorly documented;  and b) it isn't supported by the language the Gorse Fox wishes to use.

Not to be deterred, he made a start. An hour or two later he had the first bit coded and working. There is a very long way to go but the Gorse Fox is quite optimistic. The next step is the going to be the hardest, but if he cracks that, he is sure the rest is going to be plain sailing.

Sunday, June 10, 2018


The Gorse Fox slept fitfully. He's not sure why, just couldn't drop off fully. It did result in some vivid and bizarre dreams. On included a delivery of a light fitting that was posted through the letter box in pieces and the bits were feasted on by Jasper!

Anyway it's been a lovely day and the Gorse Fox managed to get a game of football this morning. When he saw the way the teams had been selected he thought it would be a white-wash and his 'yellow' team would be soundly beaten. In the end it was a lot more even than he expected. By half time it was 6-6 which included two goals from the Gorse Fox. The second half became a bit more stretched and in the we won 10-9 include another goal for the Gorse Fox. This was a satisfactory morning.

The afternoon has been spent looking at code to see if the ideas that he had regarding the Goggle calendar are feasible. Nothing has been written yet, but he's quite optimistic.

Saturday, June 09, 2018


Another lovely day and the Silver Vixen again made the most of it with some more pottering in the garden. The Gorse Fox spent much of the day in the study. We have a spreadsheet that shows Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete's duty roster and who should be caring for Ellie when they are not available. This is fairly extensive and has a few complexities. Urban-Cub provided an update... confirming that the spreadsheet was the master source and to trust it over and above what her online calendar might say.

This got the Gorse Fox thinking. Why couldn't the spreadsheet also populate her calendar? Well, of course it can. You can create a "csv" file and import it into Google calendar and "voila". This, however,  is a one-off. There is no sensible way to update it, or to erase the mass of old entries and replace them with new entries.

The Gorse Fox was not happy with this and spent several hours trying to find a way that he may be able to remedy this. He thinks he has finally come up with a solution - though it is a little inefficient. He just needs to get some time to sit down and write the code and test it. This, he suspects, will be fairly time consuming and needs to written in a way that Urban-Cub can run it on her computer so there is still a lot of thinking to do.

Friday, June 08, 2018

Hanging baskets

It's been another glorious day. A few clouds scudding about but warm and sunny. The Silver Vixen has made the most of this by pottering in the garden most of the day. The Gorse Fox is not much of a gardener and provides assistance when required. Today he was called upon to help empty the old hanging baskets before they were replenished with the proceeds of the Silver Vixen's recent trip to Haskins. Everything is looking very smart out there now. Hopefully even the birds will be happy as the Gorse Fox emptied and cleaned the old bird feeder before refilling it and hanging it in the pergola.

The Gorse Fox has spent most of the day catching up on some reading. Nothing too heavy... recipes, historic houses, electric/hybrid vehicles, sourdough bread and so forth. A wide subject range but nevertheless it was good to be informed.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Online shopping

The Gorse Fox picked up Ellie from the child minder yesterday lunch time and we have been on duty ever since. She was no trouble and slept for a while during the afternoon and was back in bed by eight o'clock, sleeping through until seven thirty this morning.

Today she has been a bundle of energy working at her imaginary tasks - moving things from a to b and then back again. Eventually she wore herself out and had a nap until lunch time. Pistol Pete came along early afternoon to collect her so now we are in recovery mode.

While all this was going on the Gorse Fox has completed the forms to claim his bus pass. The Silver Vixen isn't yet eligible, but we'll sort hers out as soon as we are permitted. It says we should allow 10 days for the pass to arrive and it lasts for 5 years.

The Gorse Fox was sad to hear that House of Fraser is closing down a number of stores, including the one in Chichester. He hasn't used them a huge amount but has bought several very nice jackets and a lovely suit there over the years and the Silver Vixen has bought some lovely apparel from them also. It seems that we are moving into a post-department store market where hight street shops are really just display windows for things that you will actually purchase online.  (Hang on, that's the doorbell, it must be the Amazon delivery).

Wednesday, June 06, 2018


The Gorse Fox had to wrap his hand in a ziplock bag and hold it with gaffer tape so that he could have a shower. Amazingly, it worked.


Well that was different.

Yesterday was the wedding anniversary of Old Bill and Lady Penelope. The Sonning Crew decided to celebrate with a meal. A table was booked in Cote Brasserie in Chichester. We met up at six and strolled down to the bus stop. Yes, bus stop! Four minutes later the bus arrived and ten minutes after that we were in Chichester. Very convenient.

We started by going to Wetherspoons for a drink. What an experience that was. Foul mouthed yobs seemed to be the order of the day and the staff seemed dreadfully incompetent. On top of that several of the drinks we had ordered weren't available as they had run out. In the corner, tempers fared an a glass was thrown at a huge mirror as one yob stormed off. The Gorse Fox isn't sure he will ever bother returning to a 'Spoons.

We wandered along to Cote Brasserie and settled into our seats. The server made us welcome and took our orders with good humour - in fact we had a running chuckle with her throughout the evening. The food was excellent and we had a lovely evening.

The Silver Vixen had a ribeye steak, the Gorse Fox had seafood linguine, Tinkerbell had crepes, Two Hats had the ribeye, Old Bill and Lady Penelope also went for the linguine. All were prepared beautifully and were delicious. The Crew decided this was likely to become a frequent haunt.

Leaving the restaurant we strolled down to the bus station. We had a bit of a wait for our ride, but once we were on our way we were home in no time. It really was a lovely evening and the bus was a really convenient way of getting to and fro without anyone worrying about parking or having a glass of wine with the meal.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018


This afternoon the Silver Vixen spent several hours in Chichester at the hairdresser. When she got home she was armed with various supplies from Boots the Chemist.

It was time to attack the Gorse Fox's dressing. It needed some careful attention. In fact, it took more than 35 minutes just to remove the old dressing. It was so well soaked in dried life fluid that it had turned to a concrete-like consistency. Bit by bit, it was chipped away and eventually soaked and gingerly removed.

Healing had started and the Gorse Fox was quite pleased by progress. (He does heal quickly, as explained before). The Silver Vixen cleaned up the area round the wound and then put on a new, very neat, very comfortable dressing.


The Gorse Fox decided he would not play football today. Whilst the damaged finger is not painful, he doesn't want it to get knocked and start to bleed again. A quiet morning on the computer is far less stressful.

Having said that the Silver Vixen is going to change the dressing later today - so who knows what will happen! He certainly knows it will be a far neater job than that performed by the A&E doctor on Sunday night.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Dodgy start

Well it has been a dodgy start to the month. After The Gorse Fox posted his blog yesterday he set about preparing super. Part of the preparation involved spraining some carrot and as the device was out, the Gorse Fox changed the blade to use the mandolin feature. (Can you see where this is going?)

He grabbed a cucumber and in moments slices were disappearing into the tray. The last slice, however, contains the corner of the Gorse Fox's finger. Copious amounts of his life force were in danger of becoming the salad dressing. Finger was run under water and wrapped in kitchen towel. Kitchen towel saturated. New kitchen towel replaced it. Kitchen towel saturated... etc.

Now, the Gorse Fox is known for how quickly he heals. Many years ago he chopped the end off one finger with and axe and retrieving the errant stub, reattached it before heading for A&E. By the time we arrived it had started to re-affix itself and all the medics did was clean it and wrap it up. Finger is just fine now. It is against this background that, after three hours, he was still leaking heavily. A trip to A&E was necessary. The Silver Vixen drove and the Gorse Fox sat with one (wrapped) hand up above his head. Being Sunday evening we arrived quickly and entered what could only be described as the twilight zone. Various zombies (many with their own gravitational fields) occupied the waiting area - only stirring to go out and smoke or to make phone calls.

Eventually the Gorse Fox was ushered through and a doctor, barely older than Ellie took charge of his  wound. A seaweed dressing was applied - this is meant to stop the bleeding very quickly. It didn't, but she pressed on. Some two hours after arriving we left with a dressing on the finger that looked more appropriate for lagging pipes.

Oh well, today would be a better day.


The Gorse Fox got up and managed to get washed and dressed. Then on entering the kitchen found that the coffee machine had packed up. Now there are some first world problems that really are beyond the pale. A defunct Nespresso machine is just a step too far.

The Gorse Fox spent an hour on the phone with Nespresso. We tried every trick known to them, but to no avail. There was only one thing for it. The Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen got in the car and headed for John Lewis. We examined the choices, chatted to the assistant, went and had a coffee and then returned to buy a replacement. The natural balance of the Universe has been restored.

Sunday, June 03, 2018


As the Gorse Fox said earlier in the week, things are returning to a degree of normality. This means that there was football this morning. The Silver Vixen was off to Haskins Garden Centre for some flowers for the hanging baskets and the planter so she actually left before the Gorse Fox.

The Arun Sports Arena was deserted except for our team. This meant that as we were one man short, Pete, the centre manager, could join in to make up the numbers. It was a good game and the sides were pretty well balanced. The Gorse Fox was playing for the orange bibs and by half time we were 4-3 ahead (featuring two goals from the Gorse Fox). The second half was a bit touch and go and at one point the score evened up to 6-6, but then we pulled ahead again and ended up with 9-6 win. The Gorse Fox managed 3 of the goals in all - but didn't get to keep the match ball.

The afternoon has been spent with the Silver Vixen planting up her purchases and the Gorse Fox has been in the study doing some filing of photos. Recently he has found some batches of old photos from the Silver Vixen's phone and also had all the photos from the holiday, the wedding, and the weekend in Cardiff to stash away. This has proved time consuming as he tries to ensure the old photos are filed against the right dates. However, it is all done now. He still needs to complete the facial recognition on the photos, but that can wait for another day. He also has to note that the ".heic" format introduced by Apple isn't currently supported in Lightroom so he needs to a) change the settings on the Silver Vixen's iPhone and b) remember to come back and re-impoty the ,heir files in the future when support is available. (Fortunately, there's only about 20 to worry about).

As a side note, the Gorse Fox has noticed the difference in the apparent speed of the Mac since adding the extra storage. Memory hogging programs such as Lightroom really benefit.

Saturday, June 02, 2018


It has been a quiet day. The Gorse Fox started with some quality time on the running machine followed by some porridge and coffee. It seemed like a well-balanced start to the day. The Silver Vixen got some washing on the go and then headed off to one of the local garden centres. The Gorse Fox was waiting in for Amazon to deliver, so stayed behind.

It was a stunning day. Not a cloud in the sky, and a slight breeze to keep the temperatures comfortable. The Gorse Fox set up the garden furniture for lunch outside and fiddled about with various domestic chores.

Amazon delivered, finally, late afternoon.

The Mac was powered down and laid on its front. The little door was popped at the back and the memory modules were exposed. How fiddly would this be?

The Gorse Fox opened the blister packaging and removed one of the two new memory modules. After a bit of fiddling he could see which way round it should go and pressed it home. It didn't exactly go with the reassuring click that you often get with ordinary PCs but it had clearly engaged and locked. The second module was then installed and we were ready to go.

First attempt to boot didn't work. The Gorse Fox returned to first principles. Sure enough he had not only removed the electrical plug - he had switched off the circuit also.
Plug was reinserted and circuit reenabled.

The system came up without a hitch and on checking "About this Mac" he was pleased to see that all the memory was there and working.

The Gorse Fox likes it when a plan comes together.

Friday, June 01, 2018


Not mich to report today. G-Force have been on duty. Ellie woke at about 07:30 and it became a fairly typical day from there on. Breakfast - carnage - morning nap - lunch - carnage - short nap - supper. Then Pistol Pete arrived to collect Ellie.

We did take her out into the garden at one stage and she was intrigued by the Cotswold stone. She decided it needed re-arranging - stone by stone. The Gorse Fox tried to turn this into a learning exercise with the Silver Vixen as we counted the stones out one, two, three, four. She seemed to like "two" but wasn't impressed with the other numbers.

We're back on our own now and supper is finished and cleared away. The Gorse Fox suspects it will be a very quiet evening.

Dementia protection

The Gorse Fox has just ordered a further 16GB of memory for his iMac. That's tripling the current amount of memory so it should have quite an impact - hopefully.