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Sunday, November 10, 2019

Eventually there was more light

It was a bright but chilly day. It was a day that was destined to be full.

It started with football. The Gorse Fox was picked for the yellow team and we managed to hold things tight for the first tem minutes or so. Then the orange bibs seemed to click into gear. AT half-time we were 3-1 down. The Gorse Fox had a few words of guidance for our forwards and in the second half, we started to haul things back. We also had an audience in the second half. One of the local teams were on-site for training and lined the barriers to watch. By the end of the game, the Gorse Fox's team had prevailed. Two goals from the Gorse Fox (one eliciting a round of applause from the audience) added to our total and took us to a 12-8 win.

Back home there was time for a quick shower, then the Gorse Fox met with Two Hats and we (well, he) removed the old dashcam from the Qashqai and installed it in the Fiesta. This didn't go quite as smoothly as we hoped, but at least it was done.

While we had been playing with the cars, the Silver Vixen had been doing a deep clean in the kitchen following the week's decorating. From there she went out to the Orangery and continued.

Next on the agenda was a trip to the local tip. Various boxes and bags of garden detritus had been accumulating in the garage. It was time for it to be cleared out. Being a bright Sunday, the Gorse Fox expected a queue at the tip but was pleased to be able to go straight in and out.

It was gone two o'clock and the Gorse Fox still hadn't heard from John Lewis to say his ceiling light had arrived. He decided to go along to the store. "Hello, my man, I am here to collect my ceiling light, order numb xxyyxxyyy". The nice man checked his computer. "I'm afraid it's not here, but it says it has been delivered to Chichester" a puzzled look crossed his face. "This is the third such case I have dealt with today" he explained. We debated the situation and concluded that these articles had probably been delivered to Waitrose, but that didn't help. Fortunately, the particular light was now in stock, so the nice man called Head Office (or wherever) and cancelled the original order and triggered a refund, then the Gorse Fox re-purchased the item from stock. Sorted.

Back home, he switched off the power and removed the old light. Installed the new light was a bit fiddly and when he switched the lighting circuit back on, nothing happened. He went back and fiddled some more. Nada. He went an spoke to Two Hats. He pointed out that there was an RCD master switch which had probably tripped when the Gorse Fox was working on the earth lead. Sure enough, that was the answer. The lights are now installed and working.

We had a flying visit from the Silver Vixen's nephew, late in the afternoon. He had been down at Butlins for the weekend with some friends and realising how close we were thought come and say hello.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

And there was light

The weather has been foul. It started off with  a hard frost on the Orangery but slowly the cloud cover took over. With the cloud came a small rise in temperature and incessant rain.

The Gorse Fox whizzed round to B&Q and then on to Screwfix. He needed a lamp switch, some cable and various bits and pieces to finish installing the new lamp in the family room. Installing you may ask? Well we decided on its location and realised the supplied cable wasn't long enough. New cable was fitted with a new switch, then the cable was run to the appropriate place through some more of the trunking.

The phone buzzed. A text message arrived from John Lewis to say the ceiling light was ready for collection. Cousteau-Cub decided to come along for the ride and raid Sainsbury's while the Gorse Fox was in John Lewis. It didn't take too long and soon after we got home Urban-Cub and Ellie arrived for a short visit. It was useful have Urban-Cub there. Because she is quite tall she was able to help hold the ceiling light while the old one was removed over the dining table and while the new one was being wired up and installed. We are very pleased with the finished job. So pleased, in fact, that we have ordered a further identical light for family room. That should arrive tomorrow.

The Gorse Fox sent an email-nudge to Skoda. Within a few minutes we had a reply. It seems that they want to send some documents through but are having a few problems this afternoon, but additionally they have asked what day we this week we would like to collect the new car. That sounds like real progress. (Now the Gorse Fox needs to get a little help from Two Hats to switch the dashcam out of the Qashqai into the Fiesta and to complete the sale of the QQ back to Nissan).

Friday, November 08, 2019


There was a brief panic this morning. Apparently, Pistol Pete hadn't been well and Urban-Cub asked if we could look after Ellie. There was nothing planned so we readily agreed. Then Pistol Pete decided he would be all right and we weren't needed. G-Force could stand down.

We had decided that the current lighting in the kitchen/family room wasn't really ideal, particularly now that the walls had been re-painted. This meant that a trip to the John Lewis' lighting department was needed. We wandered in, scanned the lights, hummed, hah'd, and eventually chose a new ceiling light to replace the existing pendants that are above the table. They didn't have one in stock, so the Gorse Fox will have to collect it tomorrow. In addition to the ceiling light we also selected a small table lamp, which we were able to bring away with us.

From there we had a whistle-stop tour of a couple of shops looking for some specific cushion covers that the Silver Vixen had seen. They weren't in stock, either. We headed back to the car and went on to Rustington. We were luckier there. We need 4 cushion covers (and their associated cushions) - they had 5 in stock. Money changed hands, the car was loaded and we headed back towards home, stopping off at The Oystercatcher for lunch on the way. We didn't push the boat out, just select from their lunchtime set menu. Some baked portobello mushroom id garlic and cheddar sauce to start with, then a chicken and mushroom pie for the main dish. Nothing special, just good pub grub.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

House sitting

The morning has been a little bitty. There was the usual Ocado delivery, then the Gorse Fox had to take Cousteau-Cub to the physio at the local cottage hospital (she would get the bus from there straight to work after her treatment). Next on the plan was a well needed haircut.  The Gorse Fox had thought about having cornrows but was worried about cultural appropriation (and his ever diminishing supply of hair).

After lunch it was the Silver Vixen’s turn to go to the physio. That didn’t take long and was really a sign-off as her treatment was over. Then it was over to Urban-Cub’s house where we house/dog sat during a viewing.

As the Gorse Fox said, a bit bitty.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Back to normal

Another day, another paint roller. Again the Gorse Fox started preparations as soon as he had finished his coffee. The Coventry Hobbit helped with the larger dresser, and once that was out of the way it was plain sailing.

The end wall was painted and the dresser moved back then as the room cleared it was possible to re-paint the wall that had dried patchy after the change in paint tins. Once that was done it was just a matter of putting everything back together. The shelves were rehung, the network switch installed, the Sky-Q box mounted and the TV restored to its bracket. All-in-all it is looking very cozy and we are both pleased. The Silver Vixen is now returning all the crockery and glasses to the dresser and sorting out where everything else needs to go.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Great progress

The Gorse Fox got stuck in from the word go. He finished his first cup of coffee then started moving the furniture to get a clear run at the walls. Out came the masking tape and by ten o'clock the wall was ready for paint.

The rollers started to spin and paint leapt up the walls. All was going well until the Gorse Fox got to the end of the first pot of paint. The second pot, though mixed at the same time, was a slightly lighter shade. On a complete wall, this wouldn't have been an issue, but halfway along a wall, it screamed at you. This wall had to be repainted. Even now, the Gorse Fox is wondering if it may need a further coat as he thinks he can still see some patches where the colour hasn't quite matched. Never mind, that won't take too long but can wait until tomorrow.

Only one wall to go now. That will need some help from the Coventry Hobbit as there is a huge dresser that needs to be moved.

Monday, November 04, 2019

Making Headway

The Gorse Fox woke up with a mission. The mission was to get the long wall of the kitchen/family room painted. He knew it would take much of the day so started removing the blinds and various obstacles to painting as soon as he had finished his first coffee of the day. A trip to the DIY store was required to top up on masking tape and to buy the cable trunking, but that didn’t take long.

As usual it was the prep that took the time. Getting the windows, doors, ceiling, and skirtings masked off took the rest of the morning. After lunch, however, it was easy to start wielding the brush and roller. It was late afternoon before we were finished. The Silver Vixen had client the day circling behind the Gorse Fox and moving things around and cleaning them. The last big job before moving the furniture back was to get the cable trunking installed. This went remarkably smoothly and the Gorse Fox was able to rethink the cable runs, freeing up a convenient socket for more convenient use. All the furniture is back in place, the Gorse Fox just needs to reinstall the TV at some point.

The decorating will continue tomorrow, but shouldn’t be as fiddly.

On other matters we heard from Skoda that the Silver Vixen’s car is now in the UK and we should should get a firm date for delivery later in the week.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Lost Lake

Yesterdays' foul weather has been replaced by a bright and gentle day. The wind has dropped and all is still.

The Gorse Fox had an appointment at football this morning. The guy who picks the teams each week confessed to the Gorse Fox that it looked a bit uneven and he was onto a hiding. The Gorse Fox looked and evaluated and guessed he was probably right.  The game started and we were under the cosh immediately. Having said that, the Gorse Fox managed a break and scored to open up the account for the day. By half-time, we were 5-1 ahead somehow. The second half was a bit more frantic but despite the opponents throwing everything they had at us, we hung on and ended up as outright winners 11-5, with a contribution of 4 goals from the Gorse Fox.

Back home the Gorse Fox arrived just in time to find the Coventry Hobbit and Cousteau-cub just leaving with Urban-cub and Ellie to walk their dog in Hotham Park. The Gorse Fox masked up the end wall and cracked open the paint can. Forty-five minutes later the end "feature" wall was finished. We chose a soft sheen colour called Lost Lake, which is a deep blue shade. He must say he is very happy with the result.

Saturday, November 02, 2019


The weather has been foul. There have been incredibly strong winds and tons of rain. It's been the perfect day to stay indoors.

Urban-cub and Ellie came round for the morning. Cousteau-cub and the Silver Vixen looked after Ellie while the Gorse Fox and Urban-cub went to see the local agent for the developer. Once we were back we had a fun couple of hours with Ellie. After some lunch, Ellie and Urban-cub took Cousteau-cub back to LA with them and left the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox to their own devices. We put our collective feet up for half an hour then looked at the decorating that stretched out ahead of us.

The Gorse Fox spent an hour or so removing the cables and feeds for the TV in the family room and preparing the area for the first coat of paint. He won't start on that today but should be able to hit the ground running when he gets down to it tomorrow (after football). The Silver Vixen attacked the bucket chairs (or at least one of them) with the Bissel Spot Cleaner that the Gorse Fox uses on the carpets. We'll have to see how it dries, but the wastewater from the process implies that a good deal of day-to-day dust and grime have been lifted from the fabrics.

Old age can be a strain. The Gorse Fox spent a while trying to think of the best way to make an accurate, if fiddly, cut in some cable trunking. His conclusion was that he would need some form of oscillating multitool. He looked at the prices online. A little steep, he thought. He texted Two Hats and he didn't have anything suitable. He returned to the online sites. Then he saw a good candidate device. As he started to consider it, the fog slowly cleared and it occurred to him that he already has just such a tool. He bought it as a special offer some eighteen months ago and has never even opened the box. Doh!

Friday, November 01, 2019

The Time Approaches

Earlier in the Summer the Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox looked at some paint colours for the kitchen/family room. We made a rough decision, but there were other priorities at the time. Today we decided it was time to resurrect the idea for decorating the kitchen. We started by revisiting the colours and trying some test patches on the wall. The eventual choice, while similar, was different from the initial colours.

The Gorse Fox went in to our local Deluxe Decorators Centre and had the colours prepared. The cans are now sitting in the kitchen waiting for some action. We are, however, expecting Urban-Cub and Ellie in the morning so decided not to get stuck-in until after that. The Gorse Fox has also been looking at some cable trunking. This should provide tidier cable runs that we currently have. Everything is now in place, so we can start tomorrow... or Sunday... or Monday. (You have to realise that it's very busy being retired).

Thursday, October 31, 2019


We had a day out. Betty and Barney Rubble had finally managed to move house and it was time to go and visit, now that the boxes were out of the way. They are still in Odiham, but now at the opposite end of the village.

The journey was made a little more interesting by the closure of the road near South Harting and a tortuous diversion down a single track road. Unfortunately it may have been single track, but it was two-way!

We found the house without any problems. It's about 35 years old, but in good condition. It has nice open-plan feel downstairs with a bright garden room at the back. There's plenty of space with a couple of spare bedrooms and an attic room which Betty  refers to as her art room, but could just as easily be used to keep her shackled and locked away! Barney has plans to add solar panels, a battery store, and replace the boiler with a heat pump. Sounds expensive, but it will reduce the running costs for the house.

We went across to Upton Grey for lunch. The Hoddington Arms provided a good menu and some good coffee. The Gorse Fox started with some mackerel and followed that with some pork belly; delicious. We pottered back to Odiham and spent the afternoon drinking tea and chatting before heading home just before six.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Close one

It was bright but not sunny. The Gorse Fox had football scheduled, but the Silver Vixen had no Pilates this week. This worked out well as it meant we could shift the Ocado order a day earlier than usual.

Checking the traffic, as he sometimes does, the Gorse Fox diverged from his normal route to avoid some horrendous local tailbacks. The diversion worked well and he was at the Worthing Leisure Centre at the same time as usual. We had a tight 8-v-8 game today. It was very competitive, but fun. At half-time it was still all square, with no goals from anyone. The second half was looking to go the same way, but we finally conceded two goals, scoring only one in reply.  Somehow you don't mind losing when the game has been so enjoyable and so tight.

Much of the afternoon has been spent working on some of the photos that the Gorse Fox has filed as "Unfiled", in other words, they are still waiting for some analysis, some facial recognition, some geo-tagging, and some chronological filing. It has been fairly successful as, once again, the old digitised diaries were able to cast light on many of the items.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019


It wasn't as cold overnight, nor as bright and blue this morning. It was grey and cool, but this is just fine for a morning of football.

The Gorse Fox climbed in the car, plugged in his audiobook and pottered across to Worthing. We had a good turnout and even teams of 6-a-side. In the first hour, the Gorse Fox played for the red-bibs, but for some reason kept thinking he was playing in blue. A couple of times he played some telling passes to the opposition, thinking they were his team. Never mind, he eventually snapped out of it. We lost the first game, drew the second game, and won the third game (with a goal from the Gorse Fox).

In the second hour, we re-arranged into 5-a-side teams. This time the Gorse Fox was playing in blue. The pitch was beginning to seem a lot larger in this second hour. We managed to win the first game, lose the second, and then win the final game. The Gorse Fox had covered just under 10 kilometres and, as he writes this, his legs are protesting at the abuse. Never mind. He has to build his stamina back up bit by bit, and today was a good push.

So it appears we may be about to have another election. The thorny question appears to be regrading whether EU citizens and 16-year-olds should be part of the electorate. The Gorse Fox believes that they should not. The 16-year-olds will just parrot the electoral bias of their teachers (not parents), and we have seen how the drip-drip of left-wing dogma has been leeching into education. As for EU Citizens, the Gorse Fox has now issue if they have the right of residence and intention to stay here; otherwise, it is just trying to load results.

Monday, October 28, 2019


It was a cold one overnight. There was ice on the roof of the Orangery when the Gorse Fox came down. He wanted to get downstairs early enough to see Cousteau-Cub off to work and wish her good luck with the job-promotion application. We got chatting and lost track of time. In the end, she had to rush to get the bus.

The sun was up and it was bright and cold. Once we were all ready for the day, the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen decided to go into LA for a walk. The logic was that we could park closer to the target coffee shop in LA than we could have in Bognor. We left the car and wandered along to the re-opened Look & Sea Centre. As we approached, the Gorse Fox spotted Barry (the peg and lucky heather seller*) so we stopped for a chat with him and his wife.

We went inside and grabbed a coffee and some carrot cake while watching the world go by and some clouds roll in and obliterate the sun.

After the coffee, we strolled along the river bank until the Silver Vixen decided that she should turn back to avoid getting stiff and cold. We had covered a couple of kilometres, but that was more than enough exercise on the new hip.

Back home the Gorse Fix has just installed macOS "Catalina" on the MacBook. He'll let this act as a testbed for a few days before rolling it onto "Condor" or the Silver Vixen's MacBook.

* The peg-seller or lucky-heather seller is football club banter for Barry because of his propensity to go travelling in his motorhome.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Family team

The Gorse Fox had football scheduled for the morning and the Coventry Hobbit had agreed to come along and try it. The Gorse Fox went along to LA to collect the Coventry Hobbit and we headed to the centre. The game turned out to be a 6-v-6 and though they seemed a little lop-sided, we expected it would be hard work and not in our favour. Again, it turned out to work against the expected run of play.

The Coventry Hobbit played in goal during the first half and did really well, keeping our goal secure during most of the first half. He did eventually concede twice, but that was in response to our 4 or 5 goal advantage. In the second half, he came out onto the pitch. We continued to build our lead and the Coventry Hobbit added 4 goals to our tally, the Gorse Fox 2 more. In the end, we finished the game with a 12 or 13 goal lead over their 4 goals.

The Coventry Hobbit declared it was fun and he was certainly keen to do it again.

We had a quiet afternoon.

Saturday, October 26, 2019


The day has deteriorated into a wet miserable autumn Saturday. To counteract that, however, we were delighted that the Coventry Hobbit finally received his National Insurance number today (he had lost it and had to write off for its replacement). This will make things a little easier for him. In addition to that, Cousteau-Cub and the Coventry Hobbit have an agreement to take over a small apartment in Chichester from the start of December. They are, needless to say, very happy.

The Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox have had a fairly quiet day. Urban-Cub and Ellie came along to collect Cousteau-Cub for the the day and overnight. The Silver Vixen has been pottering and the Gorse Fox has been working on the photos some more. The beauty of have so many diaries (and having digitised most of them) is that he can often pin down a specific photo or set of photos to a particular day or place. Bit by bit he is adding the information to the metadata that is associated with the photos themselves.

Old Bill and Lady Penelope are off to Jamaica this evening. One suspects they will have slightly more clement weather there than we will here.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Out then In

Yesterday we had a lovely evening out. The Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen drove into Worthing and parked along the sea front. We then strolled along to Casa Ciro, an Italian Restaurant with a good reputation. The Gorse Fox was gob-smacked at how busy it was considering the time was still before six. There must have been at least 60 people in there already when we arrived. The Gorse Fox had booked, so there was no problem getting a table.

The menu was extensive and had something for all tastes. The Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen both picked from the "a la carte" menu. The Silver Vixen started with a tomato, mozzarella and avocado salad with balsamic dressing. The Gorse Fox had a pate with garlic bread, caramelised onions and salad leaves. It was a very promising start and set us up nicely for the entrees. The Silver Vixen had a Spaghetti Carbonara and the Gorse Fox a Linguine Julia. They were utterly delightful and the linguine is certainly a dish to add to the mental checklist of favourite dishes.

From the restaurant we strolled along to the Pavillion Theatre on the pier. We had tickets too see Dave Gorman's show. We settled into our seats (3rd row, aisle, perfect) and had nearly three hours of excellent, clever, well-constructed humour. He is a thinking-man's comedian. Not smutty at all, which is nice, and his observations are well constructed and intelligent. A very enjoyable evening.

Today has been a bit quiet and we've stayed in. There was, deliberately, nothing scheduled. As a result the Silver Vixen has been pottering with the laundry and the Gorse Fox has been working further on the photos from 1974 and 1975. He did notice, however, that one of the professional dancers from "Strictly" has a show in Worthing next March. A few messages flashed around the Sonning Crew, and tickets have now been acquired for Tinkerbell and the Silver Vixen.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Black and white

Boy it has been wet. It was not a day to go out for a walk and the Gorse Fox had no intention of doing so. He did, however, have to pop along to the shops and the pharmacy. While out, it occurred to him that the cloud so low and rain so heavy, it felt like the clocks had gone back. Not by an hour, but by 60 years. It was so dark and grim it was as if we were living life in black and white back in the 1950s. We were characters in a film noir.

Fortunately it has brightened up this afternoon, and whilst neither dry nor sunny, colour has returned to the world.

The NHS have just been along to collect the various aids that had been provided for the Silver Vixen’s recovery. It seems surprising how quickly she has recovered from such an operation, but it’s so nice to see her virtually back to normal.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Leaps and bounds

The Silver Vixen has taken a giant step forward today. Not only did she go to Pilates, but she also drove there. So she is now returning to her normal range of activities, albeit gently, and carefully. The Gorse Fox took over once we had arrived at Pilates, and carried on to his football.

Football had a busy 9-v-8 format today. The Gorse Fox felt a bit like Horatio defending the bridge during the first half. Our defence was only breached once, despite the other team's superior numbers, mobility, and attacking players. We also managed to pull one back so that we went in 1-1 at half-time. During the second half, we had the extra player. This began to make a difference as we managed to score 4 more goals (one from the Gorse Fox) and they could only reply with one. All in all, it was a very satisfying game, if somewhat one-sided in the end.

The Gorse Fox collected the Silver Vixen on the way through. He remained in the driving seat as there was no point in her over-doing it after the Pilates.

It's been a quiet afternoon. The Gorse Fox has booked a restaurant for tomorrow evening and has prepared a beef casserole in the Instant Pot for tonight. He's also been looking at the family tree while the casserole has been bubbling away.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

A degree of normality

It has been a bright and cool day. The Gorse Fox has slipped back into his normal Tuesday routine for the first time in a while. He headed off to Worthing for a session of football preceded by a 40 minute walk on the track. It was nice to meet up with the Tuesday bunch.

The Gorse Fox was picked for the blue-bibs today. Not a strong team, but not too bad. We drew our first game 0-0, then against the run of play won the second game 2-1. That’s when it all came crashing down. The final game was an ignominious 5-1 defeat (though not unexpected when we saw the other team).

Back home the Silver Vixen was finishing off the task of emptying and defrosting one of the freezers. The Gorse Fox got on with the weekly Ocado shopping list before we settled down for a quiet afternoon.

Monday, October 21, 2019

In, Out, In, Out...

The Gorse Fox seems to have spent much of the day popping out, then returning. It started with a trip to the Nissan dealership to have the Qashqai MOT'd and serviced. Then having walked home he settled down for some breakfast.

He had domestic chores on the schedule for the morning, but took a break to take the Coventry Hobbit around to the Doctors' Surgery, then returned to continue with the chores, the most unpleasant of which was retrieving Jasper's pooh from the pea shingle by the side of the house and disposing of it. It's hard to believe how much pooh such a small cat can generate.

Nissan phoned so the Gorse Fox headed back out. He plugged in his earphones and enjoyed half an hour of his book while walking to the dealership. The car was ready and they have offered us a good price for it, when the Skoda comes. The Gorse Fox spoke to Skoda - our car is at the "port of exit", which means it is sitting on the dock in Hamburg (or wherever) waiting to be loaded onto a ship for the UK. The chap reckons we should have it in three weeks... which was good news.

Lat afternoon Cousteau-Cub arrived home and the Gorse Fox was on the move again. She had another appointment at the chiropractor, so we whizzed across to Rustington. BY the time she was finished it was getting a bit late to cook, so the Gorse Fox ordered some fish and chips. We were home just after 7 and all settled down to enjoy the fruits of the fryer.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Year on year

It's been bright but cool today. The Gorse Fox was up first and enjoyed a quiet cup of coffee as he read the day's email and prepared himself for the morning's football. The Coventry Hobbit was next to emerge as he had to get into work to prepare for the Sunday lunch service.

Football was a quick and punishing 5-a-side today. The sides seem to fall into and attack-vs-defence grouping. The Gorse Fox was expecting a rough time and a heavy defeat. Certainly, the orange-bis (attackers) charged into a 4-0 lead before the Gorse Fox scored his first goal for the yellow-bibs. By half time we had clawed our way back to 7-4. The second half was even more frantic and we finally caught up to 10-10 before the Gorse Fox scored the last of his 6 goals for the day and took the win 11-10 to the yellow-bibs. It was an immensely enjoyable game and that brings the Gorse Fox's total for the year to 87 goals which is the same total as the whole of last year - and he still has two months to go.

Back home we had a quiet afternoon. The Silver Vixen did some sewing in the Orangery and the Gorse Fox did some more work on the photo album/collection.

Saturday, October 19, 2019


It was a pleasantly slow start to the day. The Gorse Fox had to take the Silver Vixen across to the hairdresser. The idea was that he would drop her and return an hour later to collect her. As he headed back he received a message to delay by ten minutes. Too late, he was already en route. Then another message came in, suggesting he should wait a further 20 minutes. Not to worry, he had his book, so settled down in a car park by the beach to while away the delay. Time ticked by and he headed back to the hairdresser and went inside to wait. In the end, it was another 30 minutes before all was finished and the Silver Vixen was released from the various instruments of torture.

The Gorse Fox popped into a local garage who advertise that they buy cars. The buyer was not available, so the Gorse Fox left his details. He doesn't really expect to hear from them, but it was worth a try.

Much of the rest of the day has been spent back in bowels of the photo library. He has pulled out the relevant photos to send to Brother Clement, and he has done a bit more filing and categorisation.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Cor ad Cor Loquitur

It was an early start. The Gorse Fox had to get the bus to Bognor Regis and then the train, via Barnham and Brighton up to St Albans. Somehow the ST Columba's Over 65's lunch made the journey much of an adventure than a commute. The Gorse Fox plugged in his earphones and settled down to his latest audio book as he watched the countryside rush by.

He arrived at the school just before midday and signed in. He was soon chatting with old friends for 50 years ago: John Fox, Chris Jone, Tom Carol, David Nash, Paul Tominey, Laurence Rossiter, and Rob Hindley, to name but a few. He also got a chance to chat with Brother Clement who, at 90 years old, is still the school archivist and was interested in some the Gorse Fox's old photos.

Before we start down to lunch we had a brief concert from the barbershop singers. Last year they were rather average, but this year they really were superb and are clearly keeping up the school's long tradition in music. The Gorse Fox met and chatted with the Headmaster, who is also a Governor at Worth (where the Gorse Fox's cousin went to school, and his other cousin runs the Alumni Association). Lunch was a tasty affair with plenty of wine and beers available to ensure that everyone was suitably hydrated. Brother Paul popped in to have a chat with the Gorse Fox. We had studied together in the US back in 1968-69 and he has just celebrated his Golden Jubilee. He was able to bring the Gorse Fox up to date with several of our contemporaries, which was nice.

All too soon it was time to leave. The Gorse Fox tapped on the Uber app and 6 minutes later the car was waiting by the entrance.

Deposited at the station, the Gorse Fox caught the 15:58 train. The various railway apps show that the preferred route is via London, the tube, Victoria and onwards. The Gorse Fox eschewed the advice. It is far more convenient and comfortable to get on an empty train in St Albans and not have to stir until we arrive in Brighton, avoiding the nausea of fighting through the London stations on a Friday afternoon. It may have been slightly longer, but it was certainly more comfortable. He was back in Bognor Regis at 19:00, hopped on a bus and walked in the door at home at 19:20.

What a lovely day.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

All Clear

It was an early start. The Silver Vixen had an appointment at the hospital for her 6-week post-op check. The appointment was just after nine o'clock but the traffic is notoriously bad so we left ourselves an hour to get to St Richard's. As it happens we couldn't have left much later without getting quite stressed - we did arrive with about ten minutes to spare.

The Consultant saw the Silver Vixen and chatted with her about  her progress, any remaining discomfort, and checked on her range of movement. He was very pleased and gave her a clean bill of health telling her she could resume her normal life with the exception of parachuting and bungee jumping. The exceptions rather put a stop to the Gorse Fox's plans for her birthday, but he still has time to cancel the jump.

We went into Chichester. The Silver Vixen wanted some shopping from M&S and the Gorse Fox had his regular appointment with the chiropodist. While there, the heavens opened and we got thoroughly soaked. We did manage to get our shopping, however, and celebrated with lunch at "Ask Italian". It was nice meal (the Silver Vixen had lasagne, and the Gorse Fox had a pizza) and we both indulged in a sweet. We certainly won't need to eat again tonight. Having said that we did stop at Turner's Pies on the way back to the car and picked up some suitable examples for the Coventry Hobbit.

Back home, Urban-Cub popped in with Ellie for an hour. She had some emails that she wanted printed and doesn't have a printer at home. Ellie was her usual chirpy little self, but is clearly a little tired as she was falling asleep on Bumpa's shoulder by the time they were ready to leave.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019


There was a lot of heavy rain overnight but it was drifting away by the time that the Gorse Fox came down this morning. The schedule said "Football" so the Gorse Fox headed off to Worthing to meet up with the lads. We had a very good turnout and played an 8-v-8 game. The teams seemed a little loaded against the Gorse Fox, but we did manage to form a strong defence. Bit by bit we started to make progress and the Gorse Fox scored the opening goal. By half-time, we were 4-1 ahead. The second half was a bit harder as the orange team had regrouped and changed their tactics. They clawed a couple of goals back, but each time they scored we countered. In the end, we won 7-3.

After some early afternoon shopping with the Silver Vixen, the Gorse Fox returned to the photo albums, the scanner, and his ever-growing photo library.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

More Images

Not too much to report. The weather was very pleasant today and the Gorse Fox took the opportunity to go into Bognor Regis to get his train ticket for Friday's trip to St Albans.

Most of the rest of the day has been spent scanning and filing images. Several hundred done so far, but a few more to complete and then comes the filing, location setting, and facial recognition.

Monday, October 14, 2019


It had been very wet again overnight and rain continued, on and off, throughout the day. Though Cousteau-cub and the Coventry Hobbit both had work, the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox could stay in. The morning was the usual whirl of domestic duties.

Junk mail arrived through the letterbox. As a rule, it finds its way directly to the recycle bin. One item caught the eye; it was an offer for boiler maintenance and servicing. It was also £5 per month cheaper than British Gas. This triggered a phone call and after 35 minutes of hanging on, the Gorse Fox finally spoke with an agent. Five minutes later his monthly payment had been reduced to match the offer. It was either that or the Gorse Fox would have cancelled and switched.

This afternoon he discovered a feature of his Mac of which he had not previously been aware. There is a built-in utility called Image Capture. This has a neat facility that allows you to scan a page of photos and it will isolate each separate image and scan them individually. As he found some previously unscanned photo albums, this is a real boon.

Cousteau-cub has an appointment with the Physio this afternoon and is then returning to Chichester to view another property. It's not clear if the Coventry Hobbit will be able to join her, but hopefully, they can view it together.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Forests and photos

It had been very wet again overnight, but there was a temporary let up during the first part of the morning. The Gorse Fox headed off to his Sunday football appointment. Again the car park was rammed full, but he was able to grab a spot as parents left, having dropped their little treasures for a morning in the mud.

The football was, as they say, a game of two halves. In the first half, the yellow-bibs (featuring the Gorse Fox) managed to take a 4-0 lead, but come the second half the tide had turned and in the end we were lucky to finish with 6 apiece (including one goal from the Gorse Fox).

Back home the focus turned to old photos and the family tree. The Gorse Fox had a number of loose photos in the study and several certificates. Some of these were not really suitable to stick in the scanner so he used an App from Google called PhotoScan. This is an excellent app and allows you to take photos of photos or documents but instead of take the one image, it take one image in the centre of the subject then directs you to move the camera to each of the corners in turn (the exact spot is indicated with a white circle) a further photo is taken at each corner then the five images are combined. This makes sure that there's no flash back from the flash, and also manages the overall lighting. It really is very good indeed.

Having sorted out some of these photos, the Gorse Fox returned to family tree and added some of them, and some of the certificates to the relevant entries in the database. It turned out to be a very productive afternoon.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Family Tree

The weather has been pretty foul again today. We have stayed put for most of the day, the Silver Vixen has been sewing and the Gorse Fox has spent some quality time with Family Tree Maker and his photo libraries.

He has been exchanging emails with a cousin. Like the Gorse Fox (and his little sister) this cousin lost her father when she was very young. The Gorse Fox had forwarded a photo of her dad when he was a young boy. This triggered the email exchange and this afternoon he has been trying to remember all he can of this uncle so that he could fill in some blanks for her. It was an interesting exercise as his recollections are predominantly a series of disjointed flashes of images from the Gorse Fox's own childhood.

Cousteau-cub has been out in Chichester, despite the weather. She was looking for some accommodation to rent for her, the Coventry Hobbit, and their dog (currently staying with Urban-cub). It's always difficult finding something that suits you, particularly when you need to find somewhere that accepts a pet. The search is young; let's hope she finds something that they like at a price they can afford.

Friday, October 11, 2019


We had a lovely evening with the Sonning Crew yesterday. We ordered a take-away from the local Indian (Habib) and then settled down to evening of chat and laughter. It really good to get together for the evening, even if it was several weeks after Two Hats' birthday.

The weather has been miserable. It's been wet and dark. It has certainly not been conducive to leaving the house.

Urban-Cub popped round this morning and we looked after Ellie for an hour or so while she went on to Chichester shopping for a new phone. It was the longest we have had her since the Silver Vixen's accident, but she was very good and we had no problems as she settled down to do some drawing.

It's been a quiet afternoon. The Silver Vixen had a bad night last night, suffering from indigestion, so she made the most of a few quiet hours to have a rest. The Gorse Fox spent the time working on the family tree, some old photos, and took the time to install the latest version of Family Tree Maker (2019). Everything appears to have gone well (though the Gorse Fox does have backups if something has gone wrong). He'll check it all out and if there are no problems he'll install it on the MacBook as well.

The old photos are alway interesting and he has been selecting some good examples that can be embedded in the various family tree records. With the vast number that his cousin has unearthed recently, there is a lot to review.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Just Stuff

Not a lot going on today. The Gorse Fox took Cousteau-Cub along to the Chiropractor this morning, and then on into Chichester for work. The Silver Vixen had to manage the Ocado delivery (though the driver carried the bags through to kitchen for her).

She hit the treadmill again this afternoon - increasing the time and the distance covered. Again, it's an impressive improvement. She's doing so well.

The Gorse Fox had to collect a prescription this afternoon but then spent the afternoon at the computer trying to write some code. He says "trying" because he actually failed to write a single line. The problem is that he knows he needs to use a particular Google library and he cannot seem to work out how to include it in his configuration - and yes, he has downloaded it! Frustrating. In most cases he would say "Google it" but Google spectacularly fails to give a sensible clue in this instance.

We're out to dinner with the Sonning Crew to celebrate Two Hats' birthday this evening.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019


Well, maybe the use of the word trip is insensitive. The Silver Vixen made the most of the Gorse Fox's trip to Worthing and cadged a lift to the Community Centre where she normally does Pilates. The idea was to meet up with the "girls" (and that term is used in its loosest sense) and join them for a cup of tea.

The Gorse Fox continued on to Worthing and joined the lads for a 6-v-5 football game. It was clear from the outset that the yellow-team with the extra player had all of the attackers and the orange team had to man the defences without any recognised strikers. The Gorse Fox was on the orange team and tried his best to play more of an attacking midfield role. This seemed to pay off as we stormed ahead with three goals in a row from the Gorse Fox. Unfortunately, the yellow team began to work together and it all became a lot harder. In the end, we lost but managed to keep the score to 7-5.

Back home we had a quietish afternoon but the Silver Vixen decided it was time to extend her exercise regime. As the Gorse Fox writes, she is striding along on the running machine. This is good exercise and will help build up the muscles and her confidence.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019


The morning started with the realisation that being in the last quarter of the year, a new accounting spreadsheet would be needed soon. This, in turn, would need new budget settings for 2020. Now any long-term reader will know that the Gorse Fox enjoys playing with the accounting spreadsheets and refining them a bit more each year. So it was that there was very happy hour or two this morning cloning and refining this year's spreadsheet ready for 2020.

Once everyone was up and about (or out) the Gorse Fox decided it was time to perform the metamorphosis that converts the workshop back into a garage. This didn't take as long as he had expected. The various tools, the surrounding sawdust, and other detritus were well confined and soon the car was back nestling in its little home.

The afternoon has been spent reviewing some YouTube video showing various aspects of Python and Google authentication. Finally, the Gorse Fox has started to cut some code - which, as yet, doesn't work.

Monday, October 07, 2019


Monday has been a day of mixed weather. It was grey but warm and dry this morning, but this afternoon saw the rain set in and the temperature drop. The Gorse Fox had an interesting morning providing moral support for Old Bill. He has been trying to get Mercedes to take his issue seriously. The problem is that the brand new car has a distinctly agricultural sound when it starts up and even when it is warm it has an irritating chirping sound. The chap from the garage came along to video and sound record the issue and try to get to the bottom of the problem. Previously the response had been "well that the sound of this type of petrol engine". That didn't wash when the engineer turned up in a car with the same engine and it was almost totally silent. Time will tell as what happens, but the Gorse Fox had been along to do his bit.

This afternoon, the Silver Vixen was at the physioterrorism department. They were immensely pleased with her progress and see her as been well ahead of where they would expect at this stage of her recovery. Trekking in Nepal is still not recommended but she certainly has a bit more latitude now when it comes to getting around locally.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Netted It again

Sunday morning's football started earlier than usual. It's probably just as well as the Gorse Fox had problems finding a parking spot. The centre was incredibly busy with many of the external pitches in use. It was fairly quiet inside, however, and we were able to get on with our game without any problems. The Gorse Fox was playing for the yellow bibs today. It was fairly even to start with but with a goal from the Gorse Fox we went off at half-time with a 4-2 lead. The second half allowed us to be a bit more dominant and the Gorse Fox added 2 more goals as we racked up a final score of 10-3. He still hasn't got back up to the distances he normally covers during a game, but he's getting there.

Urban-Cub popped in to see us with Ellie at lunch time. They had been shopping and Ellie was keen to show us her sparkly new welly-boots. We had a nice couple of hours with them before they had to head home.

Cousteau-Cub and the Coventry Hobbit returned from their weekend house-sitting. We had some supper and then settled down for a quiet evening.

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Netted It

It has been a fairly benign day, despite the forecasts. So far, as the sun begins to set, there has been no sign of rain and the wind has been slight.

The Silver Vixen is busy sorting out the seasonal change in wardrobes. This involves swapping several metric tonnes of summer outfits for there Autumn/Winter equivalents. The Gorse Fox's only involvement is moving crates of clothes to make them more accessible.

The nice man from the Post Office rang the bell this morning. He had the new BT Home Hub for the Gorse Fox to install. This was fairly straightforward in essence. The time consuming aspects were re-seating the new hub in the "man cave" and hiding all the wiring. Velcro tape and cable ties were snipped and linked and after about an hour, everything was back to the satisfaction of the Gorse Fox. The afternoon has been spent checking the various connections and ensuring the device tables were a) correctly identifying those devices which are Static as opposed to DHCP, and b) the device tables actually reflect meaning full names and locations. As usual it turned out to be an interesting exercise and an opportunity to tidy some things up.

Friday, October 04, 2019

Refined it

The forecast was not good. The remnants of Hurricane Lorenzo were due to hit the country today. It appears that nobody had told the weather. It was a lovely bright breezy morning. The Gorse Fox made the most of it and hung out the washing, which soon dried in the stiff breeze.

The morning was filled with episodes of chores, of caring for the Silver Vixen, and of coding. The latter was a case of "gilding the lily". The code, completed yesterday, could be improved and the documentation extended. The Gorse Fox was in the zone.

The zone didn't last. This afternoon he decided to look at an old Python program he developed several years ago. How could that be improved and optimised? Well, the answer remains moot. Much of that old code was copied from a Google developer's sample. It is still just as obtuse now as it was then. The question remains, is it worth the effort? After all, the code works and has worked every day for several years. Maybe he'll let it ride.

This afternoon the Silver Vixen had an appointment at the hairdresser. There were several tasks that could be rolled into this, so we started off with a trip to Sainsbury's to change a dress that she had bought yesterday. She forgets how much weight she has lost and keeps selecting based on a size that she hasn't been for over a year. The dress has now been replaced with a sensible size and looks very nice. From there we zipped across to the hair salon and the Gorse Fox dropped her while he went back to the pharmacy to pick up some missing medication from her last prescription. Then the question was whether it was worth going home before collecting her, or not. He decided not. He went and parked by the salon and sat in the car listening to his book until she was ready to be collected and brought home.

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Got It

It has been a day of two halves. The morning was quite busy and involved taking Cousteau-cub across to Rustington for her appointment with the Chiropractor. Then the Gorse Fox took her across to Chichester and left her at work with her weekend bag. She and the Coventry Hobbit will be house/cat-sitting for a friend over the weekend.

Back home, the Silver Vixen had managed the Ocado delivery and managed to get some of the washing underway. Little steps, perhaps, but definite progress. As there was little else to worry about, the Gorse Fox retired to the study and the Silver Vixen picked up her sewing.

The code that the Gorse Fox has been working on is now working well. He's rather pleased as he feels that he is making good progress with his understanding of the features, functions, and some of the techniques available. Now the next challenge will be to find another task to automate and to build on what he has learned so far.

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Platform 1

It was cooler today, but the sun shone and the day was very pleasant.

The Gorse Fox left the Silver Vixen in charge at home (as if she wasn't anyway), and headed off to Worthing for some football. The game was a nice 6-a-side and started off as a very tight game. The Gorse Fox had his work cut out defending against their marauding attackers. Eventually, the dam burst and they scored. By half-time, the score was 2-1 but we were hanging in there. In the second half, it became a little more one-sided and the eventual score was 5-2. The Gorse Fox had tried his best but his stamina wasn't back up to its normal levels.

Back home we had decided that the Silver Vixen would be more comfortable in her own chair in the evenings. Recently she has been in an older chair with extra cushions to give her the height she needs. All we had to do was raise her chair to the right height. The Gorse Fox turned the garage back into a workshop. Plywood and pine were attacked with circular and chop saws. Holes were drilled, screws were inserted, and before long we had an elevated platform on which the chair could be supported. Hopefully, she will be a lot more comfortable this evening.

After her final jab, the Gorse Fox took the Silver Vixen along to Sainsbury's. He had some general groceries to pick up and the Silver Vixen wanted to buy some new leggings. It was a bit of excitement for her, getting out of the house and starting to roam about. Soon she will regain her full confidence and there'll be no stopping her.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Mixed bag

It has been a mixed bag, weather-wise, today. We've had warm sunshine, strong winds, and brief downpours. If you miss the rain, then it's actually quite pleasant.

Cousteau-cub was off early this morning, but it was still dry as she headed for the bus. The Coventry Hobbit left a couple of hours later. He has a long day planned as he is working a split shift. During the down-time in the middle, he was hoping to get to a swimming pool for some exercise.

The Gorse Fox rattled through the morning chores, the most important of which was to wash the floors downstairs. Fortunately, the Karcher makes fairly easy work of this and everything is nice and sparkly again. The Silver Vixen was weary so stayed quiet in the bedroom while the Gorse Fox was making all the noise. When he finished he retired to the study and spent an hour or two working on some Python code. He is determined to crack this but finds that it takes so long because he keeps having to refer to the online manuals.

We had our penultimate trip to the surgery this afternoon. The Silver Vixen had her jab and we managed to get home just as the heavens opened for another downpour.

Monday, September 30, 2019


The busy social life experienced by recovering retirees continued today. Cousteau-Cub and the Coventry Hobbit both went off to work leaving the old folk to look after themselves. The Silver Vixen had a friend from one of her covens come to visit in the morning. The Gorse Fox made himself scarce, only emerging to make more tea at regular intervals.

After lunch and a trip to the surgery for the Silver Vixen's jab she trotted off for afternoon tea with Lady Penelope. The Gorse Fox stayed put and pottered on the computer.

We received an email from the local Nissan dealer claiming that they want cars just like ours and offering a valuation. The Gorse Fox replied and awaits their response. He knows it's just and attempt to get us to purchase a replacement, but is interested in what the valuation would be and whether they would purchase the car without us making any other transaction with them. We'll see. (Our new car is scheduled to be built next week).

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Back in Boots

The forecast was for flooding in the Lower Arun district. We had some rain overnight, but it wasn't too bad. Clearly, with a very high tide due today and the run-off from the Downs, the Arun is going to be at risk today.

The Gorse Fox was back in his football kit today. The Silver Vixen is moving about well and confident enough that she was happy to look after herself for a couple of hours. The Gorse Fox joined up with the rest of the lads and we had a 6-a-side match over at Arun Sports Arena. It's only been four weeks since he last played, but the Gorse Fox was shocked at the difference it made to his stamina. Indeed, he was glad to do his turn in goal for 15 minutes just for the rest. It was a good game, overall, and quite close. The eventual score was 8-7 to the other team, but the Gorse Fox did contribute 1 goal on his return.

Urban-cub and Ellie brought Cousteau-cub and the Coventry Hobbit home, arriving just as the District Nurse came to give the Silver Vixen her jab. There was a little confusion at first as the nurse struggled to find a place where she was happy to park her car, but she sorted herself out in the end and got on with the jab. We had a mad 10 minutes with Ellie but Urban-cub had to leave so a kind of hush dropped over the house as afternoon naps took over while the Gorse Fox got on with supper.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

A Good Drying Day

It has remained dry all day, but there has been a strong breeze. Ideal conditions for drying the washing so the Gorse Fox got on with several loads of washing and filled the washing line. (A very domesticated display, he's sure you will agree).

After whipping around to the surgery for his flu jab the morning followed a fairly normal course with the Gorse Fox helping the Silver Vixen and then preparing a list for a trip to the shops. Urban-cub and Ellie arrived and spent an hour or two with us before heading off with Cousteau-cub and the Coventry Hobbit in tow. The Coventry Hobbit was going into Chichester to work, and Cousteau-cub was going back to LA for the weekend. The Coventry Hobbit will join them after his shift.

This left the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox on their own for a quiet afternoon. He had to get the shopping out of the way, but then we had some quiet time until the District Nurse arrived for the daily jab.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Around and about

It was a day of mixed weather. When the gf first got up the sun was shining and it looked promising. This soon changed and we had showers and high winds throughout the day.

The morning was fairly quiet to start with. The Gorse Fox managed a brief burst on the computer before other priorities took over. Mid-morning Urban-Cub and Ellie arrived to see Nana, but almost as soon as they turned up the Gorse Fox had to take Cousteau-cub across to the Chiropractor in Rustington. This visit was primarily so that she could receive the result of her MRI, but he did give her some remedial treatment while there.

The afternoon saw a trip to the doctors' surgery for the SIlver Vixen's jab. WHile there, they took the opportunity to also give her the flu jab. (The Gorse Fox is cheduled for his jab in the morning). When er got bak, the rain had turned torrential - just as Cousteau-cub and the Coventry Hobbit were about to go to Chichester. The Gorse Fox did the decent thing and said he would drive them in so thatthey wouldn't get wet waiting for the bus. This turned out to be a bit of a trek. Chichester was in a state of virtual gridlock and the return trip which we would expect to be twenty minutes took well over an hour.

The Coventry Hobbit had his trial shift working as a chef in a pub. We saw him when he got back, and it seems he quite enjoyed it. He's going back tomorrow and said that he'll give it a go for at least a couple of weeks as they clearly need the help.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Not Gooey but GUI

A fair bit of rain over night, but it's been dry during the day. Both the Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox seem to be fighting off colds. He's not sure, at this point, whether either is winning the fight.

The morning was spent cleaning the oven. (Who says we don't know how to have fun?). Fortunately, the oven has a self-cleaning feature but this doesn't apply to the racks, nor the top combi-oven. It took a while but everything is nice and sparkly now.

Cousteau-Cub and the Coventry Hobbit went in to Bognor Regis to try some of the local job agencies. Several have opportunities that he could start next Monday, but first he needs to see if he likes the trial he has scheduled for tomorrow evening as a chef at a pub in Chichester. It sounds as if he could be sorted quite quickly.

The afternoon was spent with the computer. The Gorse Fox installed BSF4ooRexx on "condor". This didn't appear to work the first time, but having uninstalled it, then reinstalled it we have a working utility. Why install this? Well it allows the Gorse Fox to combine the power of ooRexx code with the functions of Java. As such it fills in the major gap in ooRexx: a functioning cross-platform GUI. Now its working he'll have to learn how to use it. That's a plan for another day.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019


There was more rain overnight, but again it cleared during the morning.

The Gorse Fox has been trying to listen in to the REXX Symposium again, but with mixed results. There were several interrupts where he had more important tasks to worry about, and several occasions where the sound just disappeared from the feed. He's taking one such break to write this blog post.

The Gorse Fox did manage to get out and stroll into the village to get his hair cut this morning. Stopping on the way back, he looked at the new model of our housing development. This actually shows the last stages of the development and the houses planned for the next build phase. It looks really interesting.

Cousteau-Cub and the Coventry Hobbit have gone into Chichester this afternoon. The Coventry Hobbit has never been too Chichester so he wants to have a look around before meeting with a friend of Cousteau-Cub. She is, potentially, interested in the Coventry Hobbit working as a chef in a local establishment. We'll have to see how he gets on, and whether he feels suited to the role on question.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Out and about

Today started with torrential rain. Fortunately, it cleared up during the morning and remained dry for most of the remaining daylight hours. More rain is forecast overnight.

The Gorse Fox was up early this morning and had a good 90 minutes before he heard anyone else stirring. After breakfast he logged in to the second day of the Rexx Language Symposium, but soon had to drop off in order to take Cousteau-Cub and the Coventry Hobbit along to Bognor Hospital for Cousteau-Cub's physio appointment. In its own right this was fine, however, the Gorse Fox had made the mistake of taking the Silver Vixen upstairs before he left and because he waited for Cousteau-Cub was away a lot longer than planned. The Silver Vixen was not amused and actually made her own way back down the stairs in order to get her medication.

The afternoon saw the Silver Vixen take a rest, as did Cousteau-Cub and the Coventry Hobbit. The Gorse Fox sat at the computer and watched the afternoon proceedings of the Symposium until it was time to take the Silver Vixen to the surgery for her daily jab. (Up until now, the District Nurse has been visiting, but now that the Silver Vixen is a bit more mobile we can get the nurse at the surgery to  do the injection). When we got back the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox took a walk with a view to building up her stamina and strength. A little bit every day.

Monday, September 23, 2019


It's been a full day. Note full of any single event, just full of lots of bits and pieces. Where the odd gap did open up, the Gorse Fox joined in the webcast of the Rexx Language Association's annual Symposium. At first the sound quality was quite poor, but eventually, it got sorted out and became quite interesting to listen in on.

Other than that, the Gorse Fox was on laundry and taxi duty. A full day, but interesting.

Sunday, September 22, 2019


The weather forecast was dire. After the past few glorious days, we were expecting torrential rain and thunderstorms. Actually, we got about an hour of rain and then everything dried up and it turned into a nice afternoon. This shouldn't be a surprise to us as Cousteau-cub's birthday is usually blessed with decent weather.

We made our way across to LA. Cousteau-cub and the Coventry Hobbit were staying with Urban-cub and we had been invited to join them for a birthday celebratory lunch. The Mask came down from London and J&T joined us from Wokingham. It was a lovely little gathering, though unfortunately, Pistol Pete couldn't be there as he was on duty.

As usual, Urban-cub put on a huge feast involving two legs of lamb, a mountain of roast potatoes, and enough vegetables and gravy to satisfy a regiment of the British Army. Once we had all had our fill of the "roast" course, it was time to start on the Birthday cakes and the cheesecakes. It was a wonderful meal and was finished off with candles to blow out and party-poppers with which to frighten the dogs.

Once we were done, we had to prepare to get home in order to be ready for the District Nurse's daily visit. It took a while to load the car as Cousteau-cub and the Coventry Hobbit were coming back with us (with all of their stuff in tow).

Saturday, September 21, 2019


It's been another glorious day, even if the wind has been a little cool. The Silver Vixen has made the most of it and spent most of the afternoon sitting in sun, lapping up the rays. Her progress continues to impress and we even managed to go for a short walk around the Crescent today. She'll be out jogging before long.

The Gorse Fox had some tidying up to complete. There are a couple months of photos in Google than needed to be downloaded and filed on the local machines. When he analysed the tas he realised there was a lot of manual intervention required to create all the correct target folders. He decided that this was a task that could be automated. He installed ooRexx on a USB that could be run on the iMac. A few lines of code later he had a working script that dealt with the last couple of months of photos and should work for future photos when required.

Friday, September 20, 2019


It's been another lovely day. Not a cloud sullied the blue of the sky, though a cool breeze was quite noticeable in the shade.

It was another quiet day on the domestic front. A few chores, some washing, and then assisting the Silver Vixen. She is progressing well and has dispensed with the crutches when moving around downstairs, and only uses a single crutch when on the stairs. This is great progress.

The Gorse Fox spent a fair bit of time in the branches of the family tree today. A clue from his cousin in Suffolk helped him discover a new batch of distant cousins from Welwyn and Hatfield. He also contacted the hotel where we were due to stay next week with a view to rebooking for later in the year. Their quote came back, and whilst a little steep, he decided that it would be nice to have something to which the Silver Vixen could look forward. This is now booked for the latter part of November.

Talking of bookings, the Gorse Fox has been invited to the Over-65's Lunch at his old school in October. He enjoyed this immensely last year and decided to make the effort and go again. He has RSVP'd and also booked his train tickets. St Albans, brace yourself, here he comes!

Cousteau-cub and the Coventry Hobbit have arrived back in the UK this afternoon. Urban-cub, with Ellie in tow, has been to Gatwick to meet them and is bringing them back to LA for the weekend (it's Cousteau-cub's birthday on Sunday).

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Cables and hubs

We were just enjoying a quiet breakfast when the phone. Rang. It was Ocado and they were 30 minutes early “Would it be all right to deliver?” Absolutely. In fact we find they are often early, except on days when we want to out.

It was a morning of family tree research once the chores were out of the way. Nothing new came to light, but it did make the Gorse Fox question the information he had on a 3 times great aunt of the Silver Vixen. A bit more digging will be required.

The nice man from Amazon delivered our packages this afternoon. This gave the Gorse Fox a chance to try out some of the ideas he had regarding attaching drives and hubs to “Condor”. Well, the hubs have worked but the direct cable didn’t... but he’s not totally surprised.

The Gorse Fox sees that Cousteau-Cub and the Coventry Hobbit are enjoying a day in Florence. A lovely spot. He just hopped that she doesn’t overdo it.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019


We had a lovely long chat with Cousteau-cub last night. She was relaxing in a hammock in the grounds of her hotel in Tuscany. She is clearly loving it there but is considering leaving a day early so that she and the Coventry Hobbit can visit Florence on the way back.

Today has been a bit more of the same. The Silver Vixen has been pottering some more and managed to get out into the garden to fiddle with the raised beds. The Gorse Fox continued to work on "condor" and is looking further at options regarding extending to a further SSD and also extending the ports. This has taken a lot of reading and a bit of guesswork. He thinks he now has a solution in mind, but will hang fire for a bit.

The Silver Vixen had a visit from a member of her coven this afternoon. This meant that the Gorse Fox had to deal with some hubble-bubble to make the tea and managed to steer them away from the "eye of newt" in favour of some dark chocolate and raspberry biscuits.

The Gorse Fox took the opportunity to blitz his study while this was going on. Many megabytes of scanning and several bags of shredding later, he was astonished to find there is a wooden surface to his desk.

The Silver Vixen is enjoying the last bit of the afternoon sunshine at the moment.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019


Matron would be pleased. The Silver Vixen continues to make excellent progress and the Gorse Fox continues to try and provide whatever support is necessary (with the exception of injections, which are left to the District Nurse).

There isn't really much to report as we have just been getting on with her recuperation today. This afternoon Urban-cub and Ellie popped in for a couple of hours to see Nana. The Gorse Fox took the opportunity to whizz around to Sainsbury's for some bits and pieces but was soon back. We spent the afternoon enjoying the warm autumn sunshine in the back garden as Ellie pottered from one pursuit to another as the whim took her.

Urban-cub has managed to sort out cover for Ellie such that we do not have to factor her into our plans until after Christmas. This takes the pressure of the Silver Vixen and allows her to heal at her own rate without the pressure of "being ready" for a session as G-Force.

Monday, September 16, 2019


The Silver Vixen was scheduled to have her first session of physioterrorism today.  The Gorse Fox took her along and accompanied her to ensure that, between us, we remembered everything that was said or recommended. They were very good and caring and it went well. What surprised us both was that the next appointment was set for three weeks hence. Somehow we had both expected a more intense regime with several session each week. Apparently not. The view was that the Silver Vixen was doing very well and was more advanced than most people at this stage of their recovery. Next check in three weeks... but keep doing the exercises,

The rest of the day has been spent pottering. The Gorse Fox is immensely impressed with the speed of "condor" now that the new external drive is running the show. He contacted a local certified engineer to see if he could change the failing hard drive for him. The simple answer was "no". The particular model of iMac that is "condor" needs the removal of the bonded screen in order to access the drive and he was not willing to embark on that. External drive it is then.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

First fix

Another gorgeous day here on the South Coast. The Silver Vixen is making good progress and managing to scoot around the house with a single crutch and leap up and down the stairs with a pair of crutches. (Well, "leap" maybe a bit of an exaggeration).

The Gorse Fox's first attempt to fix "Condor" has been pretty successful and he has managed to clone the hard drive, and boot up and run the system from the clone. The cloning process reported a number of errors along the way and advised how to circumvent them. Thank goodness for the Time Machine backups. Having circumvented the errors the Gorse Fox has reverted to the internal (failing drive) for the moment. He has decided to re-clone the drive and ensure that he also manages to get the "Recovery" drive this time (he forgot first time round). That process is chugging away upstairs at the moment and will probably run for several more hours.

We've heard from Cousteau-cub. She and the Coventry Hobbit arrived at their hotel yesterday afternoon and are making the most of the peace and quiet and the lovely looking surroundings.

Saturday, September 14, 2019


The question of the day is "Is a sick Condor the same as an ill Eagle?".

Well the Gorse Fox isn't sure it's illegal, but it's certainly a real pain. Condor has crashed several times today and the new SSD drive didn't turn up until late afternoon for the Gorse Fox to start looking for some form of remediation. The Gorse Fox is now cloning the drive to the new SSD in the hope that he'll get a new, uncorrupted version that he can use while sorting out the failing drive. It's been fiddly, and it's been slow, but it is copying. (The Carbon Copy Clone app has reported that the disk is flagging errors so the Gorse Fox is moderately confident that if he can get a clean copy, he'll be ok).

In the real world, the Silver Vixen is making good progress and spent and hour or so out in the sunshine this afternoon. We've heard from Cousteau-Cub and the Coventry Hobbit and they have seen the sights/sites of Pisa and were ready to head, via Florence, to their hotel. We haven't yet heard from Urban-Cub today, but we did get a "WhatsApp" yesterday evening.

We are enjoying the peace and quiet and the fact that we only have to please ourselves.

Friday, September 13, 2019


It's been a quiet day. With only the Silver Vixen to worry about we have pottered at a gentle pace throughout the day. We had updates from Urban-cub and Cousteau-cub regarding their various trips. Urban-cub is already in Santorini enjoying a seat in the sun by the pool. Cousteau-cub and the Coventry Hobbit have just gone through to departures and found their flight has be been delayed.

The Gorse Fox is perturbed. He has found, again, that the iMac, "condor", has failed overnight. It's not clear what is causing this but the Gorse Fox fears it may be a failing hard drive. He has ordered a new external SSD which he'll install as a replacement and see if that clears the problem. If it doesn't, he'll use the disk as another Time Machine backup drive.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Empty nest

The Gorse Fox was up early. He was quiet enough that he didn't disturb the Silver Vixen even though he took a shower (as a rule he waits until she is up and about before such ablutions). Cousteau-Cub was up soon after and the Gorse Fox took her into Chichester for work. This will be the last such trip for a little while.

Back home it was a fairly typical Thursday with admin, chores, and the Ocado delivery to take care of. Alongside this, the Silver Vixen got up and about and had some breakfast.

Late morning the Sonning Crew arrived for a cup of tea and a chat. They all wanted to see for themselves that the Silver Vixen was on the mend and to check that the Gorse Fox was looking after her well. He passed inspection.

As they left, Urban-Cub arrived with Cousteau-Cub and Ellie. Cousteau-Cub finished her packing and they loaded the car. They were gone within the hour... and the Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox were alone again; empty nesters for a week while Cousteau-Cub enjoys some time in Tuscany with the Coventry Hobbit. At the same time, Urban-Cub is off to Santorini to attend the wedding of one of her friends from work. Pistol Pete is left in charge of Ellie and the home.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

And relax

Today has been a relatively quiet and relaxing day. No hospital trips were necessary. Indeed all of the trips today would be classed as standard domestic fare. The Gose fox picked up some prescription for Cousteau-cub then took her to work. This afternoon he popped along to Sainsbury's to pick up some bits and pieces. Very chilled.

The Silver Vixen has continued to make progress as she has moved around the house, leapt up and down the stairs, and done her post-op exercises. It really is good to have her home and see her looking so well. The district nurse visited this afternoon to give her an injection. This will continue for the rest of the month.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Great escape

It turns out that today was the day of the Great Escape.

The day had started ordinarily enough. The Gorse Fox took Cousteau-cub into work. The traffic was heavy and the journey that used to take six or seven minutes during the summer had deteriorated to 20 or 25 minutes.

Once home, the Gorse Fox started on a blitz of the house. Everything needed to be spotless for when the Occupation Therapist visited. It didn't really take too long, as he had been keeping pretty much on top of things. The OT turned up as scheduled and started working through her checklist. In essence, the biggest problem she found was the height of some of our chairs. These would have to be out-of-bounds when the Silver Vixen returned home. Chairs had to be such that the seat squab was at least 18 inches from the floor to ensure the hip was kept at the right angle. The Gorse fox would move some chairs around and that would be all right.

He went into the hospital. The Silver Vixen had had a good night and had done her morning physio. This meant that she had now done the stairs. This was the last impediment to her discharge and with that cleared, she was expected to be released tomorrow. Then it all changed. The multi-disciplinary team had had their regular meeting and decided enough was enough and that she could come home today. This was excellent news but would mean hanging around until everything had been made ready and the pharmacist had provided the correct medication to bring away. There would be no hurry.

The Gorse Fox headed off to the garage to have the wheel looked at once more. As he drove out, Urban-cub and Ellie drove in. The chaps at Chichester Cars could not have been any more helpful. Again they removed the wheel and again went through their diagnostic procedures. Their conclusion was that it was the tyre valve and pressure monitor. This had a silicone seal that had perished on one side and the air was bleeding out slowly. He showed the old one and it was quite clear that it was a problem. Ten minutes late a new valve and monitor were in place. Hopefully, all is now well with the wheel. Time will tell.

The Gorse Fox returned to the hospital. Ellie was being very good and Urban-cub had provided some bags for the Silver Vixen's stuff. This was all packed and ready. It was now a waiting game. Urban-cub and Ellie left in time to collect Cousteau-cub from work and take her home. The Gorse Fox stayed put. In the end, it was coming up towards seven before we tunnelled out and escaped. The Silver Vixen is now sitting on a dining room chair in the living room, with Jasper on her lap, watching a bit of TV. The World Order has been restored. There is, again, a form of equilibrium in the Universe.

Monday, September 09, 2019


Today is the Coventry Hobbit's Birthday. With his recent decision not to return to Thailand after the forthcoming trip, he made the most of the day by leaving the Island once and for all. He'll be spending a couple of days in Phuket before flying back to meet up with Cousteau-cub for their holiday in Tuscany.

The Gorse Fox heard from the Silver Vixen. She had been moved to a private room overnight. He bed in the war was needed for an elderly lady suffering from serious confusion. The Silver Vixen was shuffled down the corridor into a nice room with its own en suite facilities. This is a lot quieter and has afforded her a much better night's sleep.

The Gorse Fox drove Cousyeau-cub across to Bournemouth. She had an MRI scheduled and we were determined that it should be completed before her holiday. The weather was foul, but the journey was quite trouble-free. We arrived in plenty of time and joined the patient waiting for treatment or scans. The Anglo-European Chiropractic College was quite impressive. Students came out and escorted their next patient along to their treatment room and managed an impressive turn-over. Cousteau-cub seemed to be the only person scheduled for an MRI and was shown through on time. It took about an hour and the first thing she did when she got in the car was to take her meds. We had a good run home, getting in soon after two.

The Gorse Fox contacted Old Bill. Time was running away with him and he needed to collect the Fiesta from the garage after its MOT and Service. He kindly dropped everything and shuttled the Gorse Fox up to Chichester. The Fiesta was collected and returned home with a clean bill of health.

Cousteau-cub was due at work, so the Gorse Fox loaded the car and we headed off. She was soon dropped and the Gorse Fox continued on to the hospital. The Silver Vixen's friend had been visiting and they had treated themselves to "high tea" in her "suite". She left soon after the Gorse Fox arrived, but Urban-cub soon replaced her. She had been shopping in Southampton and stopped in on the way back to LA. We had a lovely few hours. The Silver Vixen was quite buoyant and it looks as if she may be discharged on Wednesday.

The Gorse Fox left the hospital and collected Cousteau-cub from work. It had seemed like a long day all round.

Sunday, September 08, 2019


The Silver Vixen had another disturbed night. One old soul is on a pressure sensor because she keeps trying to get up and is at risk of falling and damaging her new hip. She doesn't seem to sleep and keeps trying to get up and go to the bathroom. Everytime she she tries, and it could be every few minutes, a loud alarm goes off and wakes anyone sleeping nearby. The Gorse Fox suggested to the Silver Vixen that a shot of rum would help her sleep, and the empty bottle could be used as a club to make the restless patient sleep. Let's put that idea on the back burner for now.

Betty and Barney Rubble visited lated morning. The Gorse Fox and Cousteau-cub had only been there about ten minutes, but as there is a strict 2-visitor limit, we left them to it. The Gorse Fox dropped Cousteau-cub in Bognor and went on home. Two lockable medicine cabinets had been delivered and needed to be hung. This didn't take too long, but it did mean moving our existing key-safe.

Back home Cousteau-cub spent some time making room in drawers and the wardrobes for the Coventry Hobbit's clothes. He'll be back with us in a couple of weeks.

We went in to spend the afternoon with the Silver Vixen. She was quite spritely. She had managed to have a shower and was moving around quite well. We had a lovely afternoon, leaving her to it when supper came along.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Drop in

Today was a day for drop-ins.

It started early-ish with a trip to Chichester where the Gorse Fox dropped-in on the Ford garage to leave the Fiesta for Monday's service and MOT. Then he hot-footed back to the bus station and headed home. Cousteau-cub was up and about by then and wanted to go to Bognor so he gave her a lift so she could drop-in at the hair salon and get some pre-holiday shopping done.

Home again, the Gorse Fox put on some washing and headed out. This time he was dropping-in on Sainsbury's. They have just introduced these new scan-as-you-shop devices. The Gorse Fox, always loving a bit of technology, asked to be shown how it works and set off around the store. It was certainly very convenient, particularly if you only have an armful of shopping as opposed to a trolley-full.

Back home again, the Sonning Crew popped in for a status bulletin on the Silver Vixen, then the Gorse Fox headed into St Richard's and dropped in on the Silver Vixen for the afternoon. She looked much more relaxed today, having had a good night's sleep. Her various observations were returning to what passes as normal for her. She was seated comfortably in a chair and able to walk, with the aid of a frame, across the ward to the bathroom. This was tangible and visible progress.

The Gorse Fox set up her iPad and phone so that she could watch Strictly this evening. She wrote down the instructions, just in case. The Gorse Fox will be on standby with telephone support just in case it doesn't work.

Back home, he's been invited to join the Sonning Crew for a takeaway, but Cousteau-cub is clearly suffering after her exertions in Bognor, so he'll get something for her and keep her company this evening.

Friday, September 06, 2019

Here and There

The pattern continues.

There was some admin to start the day then the Gorse Fox pottered around with some domestic chores. Once Cousteau-Cub was ready we stopped off via the doctor's surgery to get a repeat prescription sorted out and then took the back road into Chichester.

The Gorse Fox arrived at the hospital just in time to see the Silver Vixen's cubicle closed as she started on some physio, then as she finished we were both "enrolled" into the group physio until she was called for a CT Scan. The Gorse Fox went with her as she was wheeled through the labyrinth that is St Richard's Hospital. She didn't have to wait long for the scan, but it did seem like quite a wait for the return journey.

The Gorse Fox left her on the ward and headed to Chichester Cars. They were going to try and diagnose the problem with the wheel. There was a short wait so the Gorse Fox made use of the time to go and see the Ford service department and then the Skoda dealer. The Ford service department were in chaos, but at least he got agreement to leave the car with them over the weekend - this simplifies the arrangement for Monday trip to Bournemouth with Cousteau-Cub. He then went to Skoda. It appears that our sales chappie has left the company, and we have a new guy, Toby, who will handle our order. The order itself has not yet been allocated a build week, but is likely to be beginning of November. Let's hope "Brexit" does't play a hand in this.

Back at the hospital, the Gorse Fox spent the rest of the day and evening with the Silver Vixen, leaving only when it was time to collect Cousteau-Cub from work. The Silver Vixen is feeling pretty pleased with herself as she has managed to walk a few steps with the walker, and is able to get out of bed and sit fairly comfortably in a chair. If only the demented souls in her ward would settle at night and allow her to get some sleep, she might actually feel a bit better.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Part of the furniture

It was a lot cooler this morning, but still bright and sunny.

A pattern is beginning to form as the Gorse Fox starts the day with emails and messages then get on with chores and dealing with the list of things wanted at the hospital.

Apparently, the Silver Vixen had a very disturbed night. It wasn't pain or discomfort, it was one of the old ladies who kept trying to get up and setting off the alarms every time she did. The Gorse Fox made sure he left the earplugs in easy reach when he left this evening.

He stayed with her through the morning and then phoned the car place to check they could perform their diagnostics on the wheel. It was a good job he called. They had a chap off sick and could no longer help today. The Gorse Fox will have to return tomorrow. He popped home for some lunch and to check on Jasper, then made his way back to the hospital.

There seems to be some good progress as the Silver Vixen has managed the physio, has got out of bed and has managed to sit in a chair. Indeed she sat in a chair while having supper.

The Gorse Fox received an email while at the hospital informing him that one of his football buddies was also in St Richard's having had a stroke. The Gorse Fox took some time out to go down to his ward, wish him well, and tease him unmercifully.

Back with the Silver Vixen, she was clearly flagging having had so little sleep last night. She just couldn't give in and sleep though. As she drifted off something would disturb her or she would try to resist. It is easy to tell she is feeling a little better as she is already starting to worry about all of the other old dears in the ward, and is watching out for them. One wanted to go upstairs and close all the curtains (there is no upstairs, they are on the top floor) and though barely mobile kept threatening to go and make some coffee as the trolley was late. Another insisted the nurse strip he naked so that she could go upstairs and have a wash. Goodness, all life seems to exist in that small ward.

The Gorse Fox stayed put until it was time to collect Cousteau-cub from work. Once home, he was astonished by an inbound phone call from the Silver Vixen's brother. Nobody seems to have heard from him for months, but he had had a text regarding her fall so phoned for a status report.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Hip hip hooray

It was a very wet start to the day, but it soon dried up and brightened up. It turned into a very pleasant day overall.

The Gorse Fox started the day with messages to update everyone on progress (or lack thereof), then he got on with chores. Jasper was wandering around, clearly very confused that the Silver Vixen still wasn't around.

Once Cousteau-cub was up and about we went into the hospital to visit the Silver Vixen and stayed with her until the Gorse Fox had to take Cousteau-cub on to work. She had had a much better night last night and looked pretty relaxed, considering. She had had a further x-ray and had been visited by the anaesthetist. She was scheduled to be first on the afternoon list. The Gorse Fox, having dropped Cousteau-cub, returned to the hospital so that he could be with the Silver Vixen when she was taken down to theatre. He's had lots of practice but still hates it when they wheel her away.

The Gorse Fox was annoyed. The new tyre was losing pressure like the old one. Clearly, the problem was not the tyre, but rather the wheel itself. The Gorse Fox returned to Chichester Cars who refurbished the alloys last month. They said the Gorse Fox should bring the car back tomorrow afternoon and they would take a look. The problem could be deformation in the wheel caused by hitting a pothole or even a small crack in the rim. They would try and diagnose the cause of the leak and we could decide what to do from there.

Back at the hospital, he settled down by the empty space where her bed had been and plugged in his earphone to listen to his book. He was in for the long haul. He was determined to be there when she was wheeled back. It was a peaceful 4 hours before she returned looking relaxed and comfortable. The surgeon had called the Gorse Fox to say the procedure had gone well and he had spoken to the Silver Vixen in the recovery suite. Now it was the Gorse Fox's turn to see for himself.

Trying not to tire her, he sat with her through the evening leaving only when it was time to collect Cousteau-cub from work. She was pain-free but under no illusions that it would stay that way. She was, however, convinced that the nursing staff would keep her as comfortable as possible.

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Plans change

It was a bit grey today, but still warm.

The Gorse Fox had woken early and was first down. He was busy sending texts and emails to all the friends and organisations that needed to know about the Silver Vixen. Relatives: check. Friends: check. Pilates group: check. Holiday cancelled: check. Cattery cancelled: check. Things were under control.

Urban-cub and Ellie gave Cousteau-cub a lift round to the doctor for her scheduled appointment and then on to work. Ellie was still suffering but Urban-cub had a prescription that she would fill and get her started on some anti-biotics. Hopefully, that would finally give her some relief. They packed up their stuff and headed home and the Gorse Fox went in to visit the Silver Vixen.

The Silver Vixen was still nil-by-mouth with the expectation that the operation would be this afternoon. She was desperate for a cup of tea but just had to look on longingly as the other patients supped on theirs. Her pain was pretty much under control, but she was eager (if that's the right word) to get the hip fixed. The Gorse Fox stayed with her until midday then headed home.

At home, the Ocado shopping list was next on the agenda, then it was a matter of waiting for the chappie to come and change the tyre on the Qashqai. As it happens, he turned up earlier than expected. He was the chap who had fitted the tyres originally, so we had a quick chat while he got started. He was done and dusted within about 15 minutes so the Gorse Fox headed back to the hospital.

Not much had happened in the intervening two hours, but the old dear in the next bed was getting very confused and very loud. Heavens knows how anybody gets any rest. The consultant turned up late in the afternoon to explain that the surgery would be deferred until tomorrow. The previous case was still underway, after six and a half hours (more than twice the expected time), and it would be better to just cancel the procedure for today. The plan is now that she will go down tomorrow afternoon. Disappointing, yes, but at least she could have a cup of tea!

The Gorse Fox left to collect Cousteau-cub and get home to make dinner, then picking up some earplugs, earphones, and various other bits and pieces headed back to the hospital for the evening.

Monday, September 02, 2019

Not part of the plan

Well, the best laid plans of mice and men, and all that!

The Gorse Fox took Cousteau-cub in to work and the car reported that its tyre pressure was low, again. Clearly, there is a problem with one of the tyre and it will need replacing. It seems a shame to have to fork out so much money just as we are about to change the car! The Gorse Fox stopped off at the garage and pumped it up as the Silver Vixen would need the car during the day.

The Silver Vixen was meeting with a friend at Haskins Garden Centre, so left mid-morning. The Gorse Fox spent a while working on the Family Tree and then refreshing the Time Machine backups on the Macs. As this was underway, the call came in. It was the Silver Vixen. She had fallen and was hurt. She couldn't drive the car back.

Tinkerbell leapt into action and gave the Gorse Fox a lift across to Haskins where we found the Silver Vixen. She was in a bad way and was having to use a trolley as a walking aid. It was clear to the Gorse Fox as we helped her into the car that she wasn't just hurt, her hip was broken. He drove her home. She was being a bit stubborn and insisting he went for his scheduled health check results before heading for the hospital.

Finally, at the hospital, she was seen quite quickly as the triage nurse clearly saw the seriousness of the injury. From then on A&E clicked into action and did what they do best. She was assessed, X-rayed, and given something to block the pain.

Meanwhile, back home, Cousteau-cub was joined by Urban-cub and Ellie and the Gorse Fox's support team clicked into action. Plans for the week were changed, lifts arranged, bags prepared... the whirlwind had begun.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Still Suffering

Apparently, Ellie is still suffering and said: "Mummy I want to be better now". Somehow you wish you could take it away from her, but realise we all have to go through this minor illnesses as we grow up.

The Gorse Fox was up first this morning and had a quiet hour looking at some old photos from his cousin John. These included a wedding group from the Gorse Fox's grandparent's wedding. They were very interesting as he hadn't seen them before. He kept up the forensic examination of the snaps until he had to leave for football.

We had a good 6-v-5, 5-v-6 game today. The sides looked a little lopsided from the start, and so it turned out. The Gose Fox was on the weaker of the two teams and we were under the cosh from the very start. At half-time, we managed to hold the score at 4-2, and by the end, it had doubled to 8-4. The Gorse Fox did manage to contribute one goal to the tally.

Back home, the Silver Vixen and Cousteau-cub have been at the shops this afternoon while the Gorse Fox has made a start on tonight's supper.

Saturday, August 31, 2019


We had hoped that a good night's sleep would see Ellie fully recovered and back to her old self. No such luck. Though she went down to sleep moderately early, she was awake and calling within about 30 minutes. This set the tempo for the rest of the evening and most of the night. She would sleep fitfully then wake up crying and calling for the Silver Vixen. The cycle usually allowed about 30 minutes of rest before the next intervention was required. The Gorse Fox was eager to do his bit but was not welcome at all. Only Nana would do. The Silver Vixen soldiered on, and Cousteau-cub did her bit around dawn. The Gorse Fox fetched and carried when needed but mostly just lay there feeling useless. He suspects we are all just running on fumes today.

Urban-cub came along early this morning to collect Ellie. The latest word from LA is that there is no real improvement and all she wants is cuddles with mummy. Let's hope she sees some improvement this afternoon.

The Gorse Fox spent much of the morning working on the family tree. There was little or no urge to do anything too active. The Silver Vixen is at the hairdresser this afternoon, and Cousteau-cub has been into Bognor Regis to shop for the Coventry-Hobbit who has decided that he will not return to Thailand after their holiday to Italy but rather will stay here in the UK and try and get a job.