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Sunday, September 30, 2018


A little cooler today, and bit of cloud around. There was no football so we had a quiet day. the Silver Vixen was focussed on a pattern that she was cutting out. The Gorse Fox spent time on the computer. A new version of the Family Tree Maker software had been released so he installed that and then spent a while checking through the various hints and tips that were showing up on Ancestry. Several new facts emerged and he was able to correct a couple of omissions.

In the afternoon he headed over to see Old Bill. The computer from which he had recovered files the other day was now ready to be wiped and repurposed. It didn't take too long. One small USB stick and twenty-five minutes later the old Dell Inspiron was running Ubuntu Bionic Beaver.

Just over three weeks until Cousteau-Cub is back home for a visit. We are all looking forward so much to seeing her.

Saturday, September 29, 2018


Another glorious day. We have been so lucky with the weather this year, and today we got another day of wall to wall sunshine.

We started the day with an early Amazon delivery. (This makes a change as Amazon usually seem to catch us on their return journey and deliver late in the afternoon or evening). It was only a multi-USB charger, but with watches and phones and tablets to charge, the Gorse Fox was planning to replace the old charger he had by the Silver Vixen's side of the bed. Cables were rationalised, tidied, bound up and run neatly as the new charger was put in place. We'll see how well this works out, over time.

We headed out late morning. Driving over the Downs, through Petworth and on to Chiddingfold. We found a parking space among the Aston Martins, Lamborghinis, Teslas, and other exotic vehicle outside the pub. Betty and Barney Rubble were already waiting for us in The Crown, so we went straight to our table. We had a lovey lunch. The Gorse Fox started with halloumi, then had fish and chips (as did the Silver Vixen). This was quite spectacular as the waitress struggled in with a fillet of fish the size of mature whale shark. It was absolutely delicious.

We spent the next few hours sitting and chatting. In fact it was gone five o'clock before we stirred. Barney and the Gorse Fox went out to the car. The Gorse Fox is lending him his compressor and we needed to transfer it between the cars. Then we all said our goodbyes (set up some potential dates for our next meeting) and headed back home.

We had a fairly normal evening of TV but we rounded this off by watching a documentary-come-autobiography of Eric Clapton, called Life in 12 Bars. Absolutely engrossing.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Matt paint

Overcast start today but it did brighten up nicely by mid-morning.

The Silver Vixen was scheduled to head across to LA and watch Ellie for a couple of hours. The Gorse Fox was planning to do some work on the windows seat so wouldn't be going with her.  He started, however, by updating the OS on his watch after upgrading his phone to IOS 12 overnight. All of this seems to have gone well and he hasn't noticed any problems during the day. If it all remains stable, then he'll upgrade the devices for the Silver Vixen.

Next he had a play with the TV. He wanted to see if he could connect a USB drive to the unit and download some Amazon Prime TV shows to the drive. This was not a success. There appears to be no option to download the shows - only to stream them. He'll have another look another day.

Out in the garage the widow seat was beckoning. The doors needed fitting and the whole unit needed some sanding down. The fitting of the door was not easy. This always seems to be the thing that gives the Gorse Fox the most trouble. The unit was manhandled onto its back so that he had gravity working in his favour, and after a couple of tries the doors were in situ. It then took some quality time with a belt sander to get everything to fit. Even now, the door aren't perfect, but they are pretty good.

The Gorse Fox sanded the unit down ready for a final coat of paint. That, however, is where he stopped. He is concerned that the chalk furniture paint that he has been using is just too flat and matt. He needs to discuss with Urban-Cub and will probably end up re-finishing it in satin or gloss.

Got a message from Barney Rubble. We plan to meet with them tomorrow in Chiddingfold. As Barney is intending to build his shed next week (when he has finished the quantity surveying for the materials) he wants to borrow the Gorse Fox's compressor. He doesn't need the nail gun (he has one of his own), but does need the compressor. The Gorse Fox dug it out from the corner of the garage and cleaned it up. he just needs to remember to put it in the car in the morning.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Summer's Swansong

The Gorse Fox could get used to days like this. A cool night but a cloudless sky when the sun came up. It has remained cloudless all day and has been very warm.

We had the usual start to Thursday with some household chores and the delivery from Ocado. Once all of that was dealt with we set off into the sunshine. Parking in town we strolled down to the pier.

A few fisherman were tending their boats and a pile of lobster pots was stacked on the pebbles. The glorious weather had brought out the visitors and there was a steady stream of people wandering along the promenade in both directions.

We headed eastwards.

It was a lovely warm morning and we made the most of it heading along past the seafront properties, past Butlins, and round the corner to The Lobster Pot.

It would have be silly to get that far and not pop in for a coffee, so we stopped. Realising it was lunchtime, the coffee we both ordered their seafood salad and enjoyed a lovely relaxed lunch in the sunshine.

Finally, the car park timer beckoned and we dragged ourselves away and headed back along the prom. There was a delay at one point where the traffic was being held as a film crew filmed a car rigged with cameras, and towed behind a camera truck for some TV show that is under development. All very interesting when you see them working on it.

We're back home naw and enjoying a quiet afternoon. The Gorse Fox has upgraded his Mac to the latest version of Mac OS (Mohave) and has also upgraded one of the MacBooks. He'll see how it works out before committing to the other MacBook. So far it seems ok on the Mac known as Condor.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018


Wow! What a day. Again it was chilly over night, but we have had wall to wall sunshine, without sight of a single cloud, since the sun came up. The temperature is hovering around the 20C mark and is 10 degrees hotter in the Orangery (even with the doors open).

The Silver Vixen had Pilates this morning - as is usual for a Wednesday, and the Gorse Fox set off for football soon after she left.

We had a couple of new boys at football today. One was the son of Runaldo and he turned out to be a very good footballer (though clearly much younger than the rest of us). The other was Suntan Barry from Worthing. The Gorse Fox is used to playing with him, as he is a regular on Tuesdays, but he is new to the Arun group.

The game started well with some wonderful passing play and a some classic use of "triangles" as we moved across the pitch. The Gorse Fox was playing for the "oranges" today and despite our slick play it was a quite a while before a goal was scored. To make matter worse it was the "yellows" who scored. We redoubled our effort and by half time we had pulled ahead, with a 2-1 lead. The second half was harder work as we were a man short, but despite that, we managed to pull further ahead. Finally, with just a few minutes remaining, the Gorse Fox cut through the middle onto a loose ball and scored his goal for the week. (He had been cutting things a bit fine).

The Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox are now enjoying a quiet afternoon.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Cold start

It was another cold start but it was bright and sunny and the temperature soon climbed up the scale. In fact it's over 30C in the Orangery this afternoon.

The Gorse Fox had football this morning. We managed two hour-long sessions again this week. Hopefully that will become the norm again now that summer is over. In the first hour the Gorse Fox played for the reds... and we won two games and drew one. This meant that we came top of mini league for the day. The team was very strong and all good ball players so it was really fun to play.

In the second hour the Gorse Fox wasn't so lucky... a totally different team and though we worked hard, we lost all three games. No goals from the Gorse Fox today.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Nearing the home strait

 The carcass of the window seat is now finished and painted. The Gorse Fox will examine it again to see if it needs a further coat of paint, but at the moment it's looking pretty good.

Originally he hadn't intended to paint the inside, but decided, in the end, that it would be better painted. Also, being white, it would be easier to see what inside.
The doors for the front of the windows seat have also reached the home stretch. The flat panels have been dressed with astragal mouldings and a thin MDF panel to appear like a raised panel door. Now that they are painted they are looking pretty fine.

The last major task, for later in the week when the new hinges arrive, is to rehang the doors. Then it'll just be a matter of getting the whole kit and caboodle across to Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete.

By the way, those hinges on the lid are perfect. They help raise the lid when opening, lock it open, then slow the descent when closing so that fingers can't really get caught in it.


Another chilly start and, again, the central heating kicked in overnight.

We were up and out early for a couple of appointments, but back home by mid morning. The Gorse Fox changed into his work clothes and headed out to the garage. The mouldings are now fixed to the doors and a first top coat of paint is applied to the insides of the window seat. The Gorse Fox is waiting and hour or so now before he can close the lid and get the outside coated.

Sunday, September 23, 2018


Well it's the first full day of autumn (astronomically)... it's pouring with rain and cool enough that the central heating has kicked in.

The Gorse Fox woke during the night and had one of those moments. One of those moments when he realised that he needed to make some changes to the window seat. Some hardwood edging was needed to finish off the raw plywood ends and some form of moulding was needed to make the doors look a less plain. The morning dawned (with its rain) and the Gorse Fox headed off to Wickes and got the relevant supplies. As he writes, the edging is now installed and he is waiting for the glue to go off before he starts on the moulding. Once that's done he can return to the painting (though he is considering a new set of door hinges!)

Saturday, September 22, 2018


The Gorse Fox  has now fitted the new friction hinges/stays to the window seat. They were a bit fiddly, though he did find some online instructions. The problem was that the lettering in the diagrams was tiny and was not scalable (why oh why don't people use scalable vector graphics for diagrams!). In the end the Gorse Fox used a bit of trial and error. He did need to add an extra wooden spacer to the framework, but he had half-expected that. Once that was in place it was just a matter of getting the angles right and siting the friction unit at the right level. Once that was done, it was easy.

Paint is still a bit tacky so the top coat will have to wait until tomorrow.

Meanwhile, in the house, the Silver Vixen seems to have emptied all her clothes into piles across the bed, the floors, and goodness knows where else. She seems to be having one of her two-monthly re-organisations (and associated clear outs). Jasper is hiding under a pile on the bed and the Gorse Fox is staying clear before he ends up on a hanger in a wardrobe somewhere.


Back to the project today.

Morning was spent sanding down the filler that the Gorse Fox used last weekend, then after a good clean up, the primer/undercoat was applied. Urban-Cub's windows seat is (finally) on the home stretch. The Gorse Fox has to wait for a couple of hours before he can start on the finish coat(s)... and still has to install the new friction stay/hinge. It would have been useful if they had provided any instructions with the hinge, but no. The Gorse Fox is going to have to try and find some guidance online or work it out from first principles with some scrap wood.


Today is Cousteau-Cub's birthday. The Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen look back over the years and think of all the joy she has brought us and wish that we could be with her for to celebrate this anniversary. She is an inspiration to us all and we hope that she has a fabulous day.

Friday, September 21, 2018


The G-Force were on duty again today. Ellie woke at a comfortable seven-thirty and we eased ourselves into the day. After breakfast we had the usual session of play and running around looking for mischief (Ellie that is, not G-Force).

The Silver Vixen had a parcel to return, which meant a trip to the Post Office. That's just a bit too far for little legs so we tucked Ellie up in the push chair and headed out into the sunshine. Though it was bright and sunny and even warm where sheltered, there was a very strong and blustery wind. This prompted the Silver Vixen to hit the internet on our return and see if she could find a suitable foot-muff for the pushchair as winter approaches.

Ellie slept for a couple of hours after lunch and then played for the rest of the afternoon until Urban-Cub arrived to collect her.

The Gorse Fox noticed an article in the paper identifying an Indian restaurant in Chichester as having come second in the country curry awards. He shared the news with the Sonning Crew. Plans are afoot to visit and try them out.

Thursday, September 20, 2018


It was another grey start. Not as blustery, and still quite warm. The Silver Vixen was out early as she had a an appointment. The Gorse Fox had a leisurely breakfast and then awaited the nice man from Ocado. As it happens the Silver Vixen was home just before he arrived.

The morning was spent doing admin until Pistol Pete arrived with Ellie. Then we switched into G-Force mode.

While the Gorse Fox was preparing Ellie's lunch an article came on The Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2. It was a discussion about recent problems with the railways and whether they should be taken back as British Rail. The Gorse Fox texted in: "There is NO circumstance that is so bad that it warrants a return to British Rail". Having got that off his chest he got back to cooking. The phone rang. It was the Jeremy Vine show - Would the Gorse Fox be willing to speak on air? No, he's cooking lunch for his granddaughter. So he then asked a bit more about the statement. The Gorse Fox enlightened him and thought no more about it. As the half hour slot came to end Jeremy Vine read out the text and associated comments, identifying the Gorse Fox. It was good to know that (for a change) the Gorse Fox got the last word.

Ellie had a brief nap during the early afternoon, then once she was up and about again, the Gorse Fox took her for a walk to the lake so that we could feed the ducks. She now knows the way and strides ahead as we clutch our bag of bird seed. She was much more positive about throwing the seed this time and the ducks clearly enjoyed their feast.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018


It's been another blustery day; there were a few short showers, but nothing of note. It's certainly been lovely and warm, despite the wind.

The Silver Vixen disappeared off to Pilates soon after nine and the Gorse Fox left soon after to get across to football. We had a 5-v-5 turnout today but that was soon wrecked by a new chap pulling up with muscle strain. That left 5-v-4 and we were up against it. At half time we were 4-1 down (though the Gorse Fox did score the goal). In the second half we shuffled the deck slightly, but still managed to lose by about 6-3. It was a good fun game with some nice football all round and some good banter.

Back home the Gorse Fox was full of good intentions - briefly. Then he sat down for a bit and that sort of blew the afternoon's plans.

The Gorse Fox did spend some time looking at how to extract health data from the iPhone. It seems that it is all very fine having data being gathered, but you need to be able to use that data or show it to health professionals if needed. There was no clear guidance in the iPhone app, but the Gorse Fox did find a companion app that extracts the data you select and dumps it as a CSV file that you can then manipulate.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


It was a very dark and blustery morning as the remnants of hurricane Helene battered parts of the country. Here on our part of the south coast it wasn't too bad, but it one of our garden pots was blown over.

The Gorse Fox headed off to Worthing for his football. Finally we got back to two one-hour sessions for the first time in weeks. The Gorse Fox likes the extra hour as it's a really good workout and by then the games open up a lot more. In the first hour he played for the blue-bibs We managed a draw and two wins. We did have an extra man, but he was a newbie who had never played before. By the end of the three games he was beginning to find his feet, but wasn't the greatest of assets in the first couple of games. The Gorse Fox did manage to get a goal in the second game. In the second hour he played for the red team. This, again, was played out as a draw and two wins, and again the Gorse Fox managed a goal.

The Gorse Fox's car was in need of petrol. He decided to go careless (though did have them with him just in case). The idea was to use Apple Pay from his watch and use the Apple Wallet for the loyalty card. It was very much an experiment... but it worked pretty well. Sainsbury's don't have scanners in the petrol station that will read the loyalty card off the phone (so they typed in the card number); they do however have the NFC scanner needed to use the Apple watch or phone to pay. Very easy and very impressive. At least The Gorse Fox knows that he doesn't necessarily have to take his wallet out with him when shopping for fuel.

Auntie Margaret came to visit in the afternoon. She is always interesting company as she regales us with stories from the wider family and from the past. We had a lovely few hours drinking tea and munching through scones, jam, and clotted cream.

The Gorse Fox decided to check one of his statements at tea time. He noticed a rogue transaction. In fact it was one of the rogue transactions that had triggered the problem when we were away in Guernsey. The Gorse Fox got on the phone to Santander. It took nearly half an hour to sort out, but the credit card has been cancelled, yet again,  and we await a new one. To be fair, there isn't a risk this new one was compromised - it's that the rogue transaction had been set up as a recurring payment and got carries across automatically. It has now been flagged as fraudulent so won't be carried across to the new card. It was interesting to hear that the new card with take 5-10 business days to arrive, but that payments from the Apple phone and watch will be valid as soon as the card is sent out (even before the Gorse Fox receives it).

Monday, September 17, 2018


It was a lovely day again - a little cool to start with, but it soon warmed up.

The Gorse Fox spent much of the morning in the garage. He was trying to get a little further on the window seat (yes, remember that). The problem was that one of the doors he had fitted was not a good fit. He tried using the belt sander to improve matters, but it just would play ball. In the end he cut a complete new door and fitted that. This fits a lot better, but there is a little give in the hinges so it binds slightly as it's closed unless you lift it gently.

Once the new door was in place the Gorse Fox set about the various blemishes and screw recesses with filler. The instructions say this needs to be left for 24 hours - so it's now setting up.

With all the woodwork complete for the day, the Gorse Fox started on a clean up of the garage. He is not the tidiest of workers and it took quite a while to getting everything squared away and the floor swept. It's all clean now, so when he starts to paint there should be little risk of any dust being deposited in the wet paint.

Talking of paint, the Gorse Fox headed to B&Q after lunch. He needed some more multipurpose primer and undercoat and some of the chalk paint in which the unit will will be finished. He also picked up a couple of door knobs while there. With a note from DPD that they plan to deliver a parcel tomorrow (which should contain the friction based soft close stays) the Gorse Fox is all set to get this project finished.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Beach life

There's another Sunday with no football. The Gorse Fox is disappointed, but the blow is somehow lessened by the fact that we had a lovely morning again and took a stroll in the sunshine along the beach to The Lobster Pot for breakfast. The whole Crew were involved and as we enjoyed our coffee and eggs we enjoyed the sunshine and the entertainment.

Entertainment? you ask.

Well yes. We had the joys of a yapping puppy that was slowly driving people mad (no names to protect the innocent) and an elderly chap in a Prius that decided to drive right in among the tables then try to do a three point turn when he realised he was in the wrong place. The three point turn was not going to work (without crushing several tables, chairs, and their occupants). People yelled and he stopped. He was ushered out in reverse and promptly swerved backwards all over the road. Clearly driving in reverse was just beyond the very limit of his ability.

We parted company with the Crew and headed into Chichester. We wanted to look at some things in John Lewis and have a bit of a mooch around the shops before heading home. The Silver Vixen found some solar lights that she had been seeking in one of the stores. The best part was that they were about one third of the price she had seen them elsewhere. They are now proudly hanging on the pergola where the hanging baskets had once been.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Brushed off

Mr Brush the decorator arrived on time this morning and set about the finishing coat of paint for the front of the house. He has done a brilliant job and the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox are very pleased with his work. He has done well out of this as Two Hats has asked him to do their house and Old Bill has also asked him. The Gorse Fox should get commission!

The Gorse Fox spent the morning in the garage. The gas struts were not going to fix themselves. They were a little fiddly, but he fixed the two 50Nm struts then tried the lid. It opened easily and stayed at 90 degrees without any problems... but when trying to closing it the fall was dampened at first but then when it got to about 45 degrees it crashed closed. No ideal with little fingers around. The 50Nm struts were replaced with a pair of 80Nm struts. These actively helped raise the lid (which was a good thing). Again, they held the lid open but when you tried to close it it took a sturdy pull to get it started and again the fall was dampened util it got to about 45 degrees, but again the lid crashed closed.

Plan B was needed. The Gorse Fox returned grabbed the scales and weighed the lid - 6.9Kg. This was spread across an area of 50 x 134 cm. He calculated the torque required for the stays. 173Kg/cm. New stays were ordered. Next task was (is) to get the belt sander on the window seat and prepare it for painting. The problem is that that needs the garage doors to be open and that will risk the sawdust to carry out onto the new paint while it is drying. Sanding will have to wait.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Celebrate good times

The Gorse Fox explained that we would be going out with the Sonning Crew to celebrate the birthday of Two Hats. We seem to have got this down to a fine art. We all gathered at six then strolled along to the bus stop. A bus turned up immediately (the Gorse Fox thinks it was waiting round the corner for us, and once it saw us it came along to collect us). We were in Chichester about 10 minutes later and took a leisurely stroll along East Street to the cross.

The plan was to have a drink in a suitable hostelry, then dinner. The Gorse Fox says "suitable hostelry" as the one chosen on a previous trip laid on a bit of a fight as entertainment. This was not suitable. We did consider revisiting it to see if there was any fighting going on, and if not, starting some... but decided against. We actually dropped in to Trents. This is a nice little pub on South Street. The Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox have eaten in their before and quite liked it. We weren't disappointed, it was quite quiet and there was plenty of room to sit and chat for an hour before we headed off to eat.

Dinner was at Cote Brasserie, about 50 yards up the road. We were shown straight to the same table we occupied during our last visit. The menu seemed to have changed a little, but the choice was excellent. We all enjoyed a really good evening, some wonderful food and some fine wines. At the end we settled up and strolled down to the bus station where we had about ten minutes to wait before we grabbed the bus home.

Brush on

It was a bit grey at first but turned into quite a nice day. The main event for the early part of the day was the arrival of the man with the paint brush. After wall papering our lounge, the Gorse Fox asked him to quote for painting the outside woodwork. The quote came in at a sensible value and the Gorse Fox told him to go ahead. Today was the day.

You have to understand that there isn't really a lot of woodwork to paint. Modern houses tend to use uPVC for much of the external construction - but nevertheless there is some and the man with the brush set about sanding down the existing surfaces. Once that was done he brushed on the undercoat. It looks good already, but he won't be back until tomorrow to finish with the gloss / satin finish.

While this was going on the Silver Vixen was tidying up some of the plants in the garden. It all looks very smart and neat now. The Gorse Fox went out for a bit of exercise and wandered into an area of Bersted he hadn't visited before. Some of it was very nice with some large bungalows in big open plots, but some was more typical of the mass building of the 1960s.

Today happens to be Two Hats' birthday. The Sonning Crew will be celebrating in the traditional way and heading out for dinner. We have chosen to use the bus and head for Chichester again, making use of our bus passes - with the exception of the Silver Vixen who is still to young to be eligible for one.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Linked Out

The Gorse Fox has been a member of LinkedIn since 2009. Now that he has retired he sees little or no value in it. He does, however, get bombarded by link requests, updates, and requests from recruiters. It was most satisfying to pull the plug on that account just now... consider the Gorse Fox Linked Out.


It was lovely bright autumn morning. Cool but sunny. The Gorse Fox used to like mornings like this when he was commuting. As the day wore on the warmth broke through and we had a super day.

Not a lot to report today. The Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox have essentially been on duty and on patrol with Ellie. We had our usual delivery from Ocado, and the gas struts that were ordered for the window box arrived. Ellie's morning nap was cut short by the front doorbell, and she was a little grumpy. We put her back down after lunch and she fought to stay awake as long as possible but eventually gave in and slept.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018


It was grey today. Very grey, and in the end we actually got some rain. The Silver Vixen headed off for her Pilates and the Gorse Fox headed off for football. They have started some new roadworks just down from us and they are causing utter chaos. To avoid this we both zig-zagged out through the next estate to get to the bypass. This proved quick and trouble free.

The Gorse Fox playing in a charity tournament today. There were six teams playing in a round-robin league trying to raise funds for Prostate Cancer Research. Our team alone managed to contribute 227GBP which wasn't bad. We lost the first game 1-0 to a silly goal, but then won the next three games without too much trouble. In the last game we played to a draw. The last game was interesting as the players were all slightly older than the other teams, but they were a very physical bunch. One grabbed the Gorse Fox's arm as he went past and as a result got dragged along to the other end of the pitch (much to his surprise). Another hacked away at the Gorse Fox until the Gorse Fox pointed out to him that this was meant to be a non-contact game but if he wanted to turn it in a rugby match it may not turn out how he would like. He backed off at that point and left the Gorse Fox alone. Their goalie was inspired. The Gorse Fox had four good shots on target which he saved and the rest of the team also peppered the goal to no effect.

Back home the Silver Vixen arrived with Ellie. We spent a lovely afternoon keeping her out of mischief (or at least controlling the mischief).

We tried playing with the Duplo construction bricks, we tried reading books, we played chase, we watched CBeebies, we played with the magnetic letters to spell things on the fridge... we had great fun.

In the end she had worn herself (and Grandpa) out. The Silver Vixen took her up for a nap and then both of us had a quiet hour in the lounge before it all started again.

As the Gorse Fox writes this, there seems to be a lot of laughter and and a huge amount of splashing coming from the bathroom. Jasper has gone away to hide (quite sensibly).

As for the saga of the phones; the Gorse Fox has now been switched back to his original number. All is again well with the world and the mobile phone number he has carried for about 20 years is still with him. He notices that the pure cell service isn't as strong as the old Vodafone service, but as the phone can use a back haul over the internet it shouldn't cause too much of an issue.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

On target

It was very grey this morning. The sort of morning that makes you think it's a lot earlier than it actually is. The Gorse Fox had to switch the lights on when he came down for breakfast. Despite the gloom, it was dry and remained so throughout the day.

The Gorse Fox had football this morning. He was playing for the green team. We weren't a strong team, but we were dogged. In the end we drew all three games: 2-2, 1-1, and 1-1. The Gorse Fox scored twice bringing his total for the year to 68. Harry Kane and Mo Sarah better watch out.

By the time he got home the Silver Vixen had gone out. She was at the Embroiderer's Guild this afternoon. The Gorse Fox grabbed a bite and then opened the new SIM from BT to start the process of switching his phone. It didn't take more than about 20 minutes to get everything activated and working, but it will be another 24 hours or so before he gets his old phone number back.

Monday, September 10, 2018


It was a lovely bright and sunny day, though the Gorse Fox was feeling a bit naff because of his cold. Not too bad, just a bit naff. The day involved a lot of aimless pottering, a bit of tidying, some recharging, and some research.

The Gorse Fox needs to get some soft-close struts to hold and control the lid of the window seat. He spent some time working out the weight of the lid and what size struts would be needed. This is not an exact science so in the end he ordered two separate sizes. As they were less that 2GBP each it's not going to break the bank.

This afternoon the Silver Vixen headed off with Lady Penelope for their meeting. The Gorse Fox took the opportunity to go out for a brisk walk. He feels a bit better as a result, but it has started his nose running.

The Gorse Fox explained about cancelling his Vodafone contract and requesting a PAC code so that he could transfer his number. Today he received a call from a Rotherham phone number that he did not recognise. He ignored it and went straight to to see if it was a known number. It was and it seems that all of the people reporting it had cancelled a Vodafone contract and requested a PAC code. Coincidence? The Gorse Fox suspects not. The number is now blocked on his phone. It was interesting, reading the comments, how many people were offered excellent deals once they had threatened to leave.

Sunday, September 09, 2018


There was no football again today. We could only muster 7 players. The Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen thought we'd make the most of the time and the bright start to the day and decided to have breakfast down at the beach again. The call went out to alert the neighbours and off we went. It was cool but bright as we walked along the prom but we found a lovely sheltered spot at The Lobster Pot and sat there in the sun and enjoyed a lovely and nutritious start to the day.

The Gorse Fox has been fighting a cold for a couple of days and the Silver Vixen seems to be on the verge of one. When we got home we resolved to have a quiet afternoon (a coded description for sitting in the Orangery and doing nothing). The Gorse Fox'd phone rang mid afternoon. It was Cousteau-Cub and the Coventry Hobbit. Today is his birthday so it was nice to be able to catch up and wish him a happy birthday in person (so to speak).

Late afternoon the Gorse Fox had got the bit between his teeth. He felt that we were paying over the odds for our mobile phone contracts. As his expires this week and the Silver Vixen's expires in December, it was time to look for some credible alternatives. In the end he chose a Family SIM from BT. This gave us 10 times the data we currently have (each) and the usual unlimited calls and texts. All of this for one third of our current bills. He ordered the first SIM for his phone then contacted Vodafone to cancel his contract. Needless to say he was put through to their "retention team". They tried to keep him and eventually came up with a deal that almost matched that from BT. The Gorse Fox rejected it. His view (which he shared) was why would he stay with them when they have clearly been milking his account and only want to do something when he threatens to leave. The process is now under way and when the new SIM arrives he will switch. (Incidentally, the reason for using BT as opposed to the test GiffGaff SIM he tried last week is that BT includes WiFi calling whereby the call can be carried over WiFi if the mobile signal isn't strong enough - Vodafone did this, but GiffGaff don't).

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Up Town

Lovely day today and a bit out of the ordinary. We headed out just before 10:00 and caught the train to London. We selected optimal seats and settled down. The problem was that at the first stop a family got on and sat behind us. Not only were they wearing Arsenal t-shirts, but they were loud, ill-spoken, and allowed their kids to have their tablets to entertain them. No headphones - just tablets on full volume for the whole coach to enjoy. Well, from the moment we saw the t-shirts we should have known what to expect.

Once in London we headed off to Covent Garden where we met with J&T and headed off for something to eat. We had a light lunch and then separated. The Silver Vixen, J&T headed off in one direction to the theatre. The Gorse Fox headed off towards Marble Arch. He set Google navigation to guide him and stuck his headphone in his ears. As he walked through the crowds he received instructions to turn left or right down various streets. He noticed that in addition to the audible commands he was getting vibrations from the phone. Two for left and one for right (or maybe it was the other way round). He though that was clever.

Arriving at Marble Arch he sent a text to his Canadian friend and within short while we had met up. We then set off across Hyde Park (avoiding the vast throng entering the "Proms in Park" concert). Eventually we stopped at the Serpentine and grabbed a coffee. We sat and chatted for a couple of hours, catching up on all our news and the gossip from Starfleet. It was a lovely interval and one that we must repeat on his next visit. (He travels for one week every month).

The Gorse Fox headed back to meet with the Silver Vixen and J&T. Down Oxford Street, fighting through the crowds and walking in the middle of the street when the traffic allowed.  Turning onto Dean Street and then finally onto Old Compton Street. He turned the wrong way that this point and it took him a few minutes to realise, before turning and locating the restaurant that was the rendezvous point. They had obviously had a wonderful time at "Motown The Musical" and were absolutely bubbling. We headed inside and were shown to our table. It was a small family run Italian restaurant and the food was both varied and excellent.

Once dinner was finished we headed back into the evening and walked down Charing Cross Road towards Embankment. We said our goodbyes as J&T carried on to Waterloo and we took the tube to Victoria. We didn't have long to wait for our train and arrived back at Bognor Regis just after ten. It had been a lovely day.

Friday, September 07, 2018


It was a bit chilly over night but there was a lovely bright sunny morning. It's starting to cloud over a bit as the Gorse Fox writes, but it's been a nice day.

Big news for the day was that Cousteau-Cub has fixed the dates for her next trip home and got the flights booked. Needless to say we are all very excited and are looking forward to seeing her.

After a gentle start to the day the Silver Vixen headed out to the front to plant some new shrubs to replace the lavender that we removed last week. As she worked, she was interrupted by various neighbours and caught up on all the news.

The Gorse Fox was doing some admin. He had noticed that whilst the insurance company had correctly recorded and used our post code on their correspondence, and on the individual schedules for the house insurance and part insurance, they had got it wrong on the car insurance. This triggered a phone call to get the error corrected. To be fair to them, not only did the correct it, they had a new schedule emailed out to the Gorse Fox within about 30 minutes.

The Gorse Fox has been invited to an over-65s lunch at his old school. He's very tempted to go but the one thing that is putting him off is the thought of fighting the traffic from St Albans back to the south coast on a Friday afternoon. This triggered a thought. Can it be done, sensibly, by train? Well, it appears that it probably can. The Gorse Fox would have to get the train across to Brighton, then get the train from Brighton to St Albans. Voila! It's not quick, but it isn't too different from the car times and should be more predictable. This, in turn, triggered the thought that it would be cheaper if he still had his Senior Railcard... A few minutes later that was renewed for the next three years and he's saved one seventh of the renewal price with the first journey.

Thursday, September 06, 2018


Ellie woke up a little earlier than usual, but nothing that would be considered unreasonable. We got the show on the road and pottered round her as she played, had her breakfast, and looked for mischief. Urban-Cub arrived mid-morning, stayed for a brief chat then swept Ellie up and took her home.

The Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox had a quiet day after that. The most exciting bit was probably the Gorse Fox heading off to the barber shop for a much needed trim. While there, Cousteau-Cub phoned, and the Gorse Fox suggested she called the Silver Vixen instead - and whilst she did, the quality of the call wasn't very good, apparently. She hopes to call back in the next day or two.

The Gorse Fox did manage to exchange messages with an old Starfleet colleague. We co-wrote a book together back in the 1980s. He's here in the UK on vacation (from Canada) and we have arranged to meet up in London on Saturday afternoon while the Silver Vixen is at the musical with Jane and Trevor. It'll be nice to see him again.  The Gorse Fox will have to see if he can find some photos from that period.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

On target

Well, bizarrely the Gorse Fox can't seem to get to the dashboard for this blog. As a result he's submitting this entry by email.

It's been another lovely day here n the South Coast. The Silver Vixen was out first as she had to go and feed Lady Penelope's cat while Lady Penelope and Old Bill were doing a wine run to Calais. After that, it was all back to normal with the Silver Vixen heading off for Pilates and the Gorse Fox heading off for football.

We had a couple of guest players from Worthing today. It helped make up the numbers. The sides were a little lopsided, but we had managed to hang on to a 1-0 deficit by half time. This would have been considerably worse had Linda from Worthing and the Gorse Fox not been defending so resiliently. The second half was not so easy. Two of our players had tired and lost concentration (as they always do) so it became a bit like the Alamo. Towards the end the Gorse Fox did manage to score one goal, but the eventual result was 4-1 or 5-1 (the Gorse Fox lost count).

Back home the Silver Vixen brought Ellie home with her. She's staying until the morning. She has a bit of a cold at present but it doesn't seem to be affecting her too badly and she seemed her normal chirpy and cheerful self. She's having and afternoon nap at present so the Gorse Fox has a few spare minutes to do this blog.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018


Another lovely day today. The Gorse Fox had football at Worthing. As they had run a tournament yesterday, the numbers were down a bit. This meant that we had to play 2 teams of 9-a-side as we didn't have the few extra to make it 4 teams of 5.

The problem with 9-a-side is that it can get a bit like pinball as the pitch becomes too crowded. When we assessed the teams at the start we concluded that we were going to get hammered. Having said that we did have a couple of decent defenders to play alongside the Gorse Fox. The first game ended 2-2, which rather surprised us. It did give some hope, however. In the second game we managed to win, 1-0 but it did require some fairly disciplined and frantic defending. The final game seemed to open up a bit. We scored and they drew level. Then the Gorse Fox managed to break through into the open space in the centre of the pitch. He called, the ball was passed to him, and he drilled it into the bottom corner of the goal. We won again. A good morning's play.

Back home we had a bite of lunch then the Silver Vixen headed in to Chichester for her hair appointment. This left the Gorse Fox to bury himself in the study and catch up a bit more with the admin started yesterday.

While tapping away the phone rang. It was Cousteau-Cub and the Coventry Hobbit on a video call. We had a lovely long chat and hope to talk again tomorrow when the Silver Vixen is available.

Monday, September 03, 2018


Today has been focussed on administration.

There is a backlog of accounts to be checked off against the statements and because the aggregator had a problem with some of the accounts for a while, the backlog was even bigger. The Gorse Fox, in the end, created a spreadsheet that allowed him to separate duplicates from the missed transactions. It took an hour or so, but it solved the problem. Then he started the usual statement checks. They are not finished yet, but are well under way.

At lunchtime the Gorse Fox had to head into Chichester. The car was being serviced and MOTd. He dropped the car roof then caught the bus home - making use of his bus pass. Back home he carried on with the accounts until it was time to get the bus back to Chichester. The service was brilliant. He left home at 1555 and was at the bus station in Chichester at 1610. It would be difficult to do much better in the car.

The car got a clean bill of health and is now nestled on the drive... next service is either August 2019 or 125,000 miles; whichever comes first. As the Gorse Fox has only managed 12,400 in the last four years he suspects the mileage threshold will not be too relevant.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Beach Life

Life's a beach - or something like that.  With another beautiful morning forecast we decided to head down to the seafront for a leisurely breakfast.

It really was too nice a day to sit at home with a bowl of porridge. The signal went up on the Facebook group and the whole of the Sonning Crew responded. Breakfast was "go".

WE gathered just after 0900 and took a couple of cars and headed to a car park in the centre on Bognor, then strolled down to the beach and took a lovely walk eastwards towards Middleton (passing the Butlins complex).

Round the corner, tucked in a sheltered spot is "The Lobster Pot". Even at this time it was getting busy, but we were early enough that we managed to get a table and didn't have to queue too long to submit our orders.

The Gorse Fox had the big breakfast (bacon, sausage, egg, toast, baked beans) and the Silver Vixen had avocado and smoked salmon on a muffin topped with poached eggs. This was all accompanied by lashings of coffee and tea. The perfect start to a sunny Sunday morning.

When we got home the Silver Vixen was on a mission. The lavender shrubs that had lined the path to our door "had to go". So it was that with hedge trimmer, dust sheets, fork, and spade we spent the next hour or three removing the old shrubs and disposing of them at the tip, then turning over the soil that was left and digging in some compost. New planting is planned... but that can wait for another day.

While we were out the front we met a new neighbour. The house opposite us has been a "Show House" for the last couple of years but has now been sold and a nice lady has moved in while we were away in Guernsey. We had a nice chat and gave her the low down on the area and the neighbours (after all, she needs to be warned!).

Chatting with neighbours seemed to become the theme for the early afternoon. Once we did finish clearing away we had a quiet hour in the back garden, listening to the rill, and enjoying a glass of wine or rum.

Saturday, September 01, 2018


Lovely afternoon with the Brighton Taylors. We with tea and biscuits in the garden followed (after a respectable time) with wine and rum (not together). Then we pottered round to the Indian for a lovely meal. The Gorse Fox is convinced they have a new chef at the restaurant as it has improved over recent months.

Finally it was back home for coffee and a chat. Lovely to spend time with them.

Switched on

It's a glorious day. The sun is out, it's warm, there's just the slightest of breezes. Perfect day for the start of (meteorological) autumn.

The day has featured various inconsequential bits and pieces. The Gorse Fox started by mending a couple of the vertical blinds where a clumsy foot had broken the weight pockets at the base. This didn't take too long and was achieved with some double sided sticky tape. The Gorse Fox hopes that it lasts, given they are in full sun and it may cause the adhesive to dry out or decay. Next on the agenda got bumped down the list when the Nespresso machine failed to produce adequate foamed milk. The Gorse Fox spent 30 minutes on the phone with their technical department and in the end we decided that the Gorse Fox had already done everything they could suggest so they are send a replacement unit.

Next we had to schedule a visit from the company who service the fire... and then pop out and do some shopping. This included a trip to Screwfix where we added a 12mm brad point bit to the toolkit. This was needed so that the Gorse Fox could finish fitting the switches that he installed a few weeks ago in the lounge.

Next the rill needed to be cleared of blanket weed. Considering it has only had water in for the last week, the stuff had gone crazy and came out in huge sheets (or should that be blankets).

We're now having a quiet hour before the Silver Vixen's cousins from Brighton arrive.