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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Fixtures and fittings

Bitterly cold night last night, but lovely and cosy indoors.

Most of the morning was taken up with our friend Trevor who came to measure up for the new blind in the sewing room. It always takes a while because he is such a nice bloke and we end up chatting. He also had a new range of blinds and that meant that the Silver Vixen had a choice to make. The choice was muddled by the fact that Urban-Cub was here and between them there was a lot of coming and going with various swatches. Eventually a choice was made and the Gorse Fox paid his deposit. Trevor went away and we now have to wait for the delivery and fitting.

Talking of fixtures and fittings the door on our "slide and hide" Neff oven has failed. It neither slides nor hides. It just sits open and jammed. Needless to say it is just outside the warranty period. The Gorse Fox has had to arrange for a Neff engineer to come in on Monday to fix the problem This will cost a chunk of money... and John Lewis have suggested that they may make a contribution if it does end up costing us. The Gorse Fox is particularly miffed because if the warranty ran from the day it was delivered (which, after all, is logical) it would only be a week out of warranty. But no! Neff run the warranty from the day the order was submitted... which for us was the start of December 2016. The Gorse Fox is not a happy bunny.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Plan D

Well it may mean that we resort to Plan D. Clearly the door is not going to play ball and though the Gorse Fox spent a while trying a few further ideas this morning, there is no way he can get the door furniture to fix properly.

It took a while but we found the original supplier of the doors and after an exchange of emails, we now know exactly what we need. The Gorse Fox now needs to order the door and get someone to come and hang it (that way it's not the Gorse Fox's problem if he doesn't get it quite right).

We have Urban-Cub and Ellie turning up later and they plan to stay for a few days. The Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen popped in to Sainsbury's to top up on the things we might need and the Gorse Fox has just finished assembling a casserole which is now cooking "low and slow" in the oven.

Talking of cooking, the Gorse Fox has been looking at multi-cookers. They seem to provide a cross-over between slow-cooker and pressure cooker. There's a lot of hype surrounding them, but having read several articles, he can see that it would be a useful addition to the kitchen... so watch this space.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019


We have some lovely doors in the house. One, however, is a little problematic. It is one of a pair of double doors that closes off the utility space. The problem lies with the fact that the carpenter who initially hung the door didn't quite place the handle mechanic in the right place. As a result the screws that hold the latch in place penetrate the door just where the from and back panels are joined and have caused them to separate and they don't hold the screws. Examination shows the internal fabric of the door is essentially fibre board. There's nothing for the ironmongery to grip.

The Gorse Fox decided it was time to try and get this sorted. The gap was cleaned and Gorilla Glue applied and held tightly closed with big g-clamps. As the glue cured the Gorse Fox examined the problem in greater detail. This was only going to solve a part of the problem. He then researched expanding foams, resins, and wood fillers. He has no doubts that a resin would solve the problem permanently... the only problem would be reforming the voids for the latch - and in such a hard material, the Gorse Fox is not convinced that would be easy.

Plan C has been implemented. A wood filler is currently curing in the void and hopefully that will do the trick... if not we may to revert to Plan B - the resin, or Plan D - a replacement door!

Buy the way the Gorse Fox woke up with a thick head and was a bit chesty so decided that football was a no go today. Hopefully should be feeling more up to it tomorrow.

Monday, January 28, 2019


The Gorse Fox is very pleased to say that the Raspberry Pi known a "peregrine", which is effectively his production server has now been running without incident, intervention, or interrupt for two years. In that time it hasn't actually had to revert to the UPS power, but it's good to know it's there just in case.

Code monkey

The Gorse Fox woke up with code on his mind. There used to be a wonderful utility in VM/CMS called "WAKEUP". This was a simple event handler that would sit and wait for some defined event to occur then return control to the program. Events could be external interrupts of various kinds, or pre-defined events that were coded into a simple schedule file. It always seemed to form the basis of so many of the utilities that the Gorse Fox would write.

The need for a scheduler, though simply satisfied by the UNIX "cron" job as an interim, never quite seemed as sophisticated or powerful. SO it was that the Gorse Fox spent the first part of the morning refreshing his memory regarding the ins and outs of WAKEUP. Then it was left to fester.

The Silver Vixen had an appointment in Chichester.The Gorse Fox took her along and kept her company. It was most interesting and quite astounding what can be done nowadays. Anyway, all seems well and we were soon back home.

Urban-Cub popped in for a chat on her way back from work and joined us for lunch. The Gorse Fox retired to the study afterwards and has spent a little while crafting the first few bits of a new Wakeup routine that he can use on the Raspberry Pis, Ubuntu server, Mint laptops, or the Macs (it would also work on Windows if we ever booted the Windows laptop that's tucked away somewhere).

Sunday, January 27, 2019


The Silver Vixen was off out today. Along with one of her coven she was visiting the South of England Showground at Ardingly for one of the annual quilt shows. The Gorse Fox was left to his own devices... subject to whatever whims and fancies took Jasper's mind.

In the morning he headed off to football. He was glad to be playing indoors today. Though it was dry, there was a bitterly cold wind. We had a nice 5-a-side game and the Gorse Fox was picked for the Orange team. Though we gave away the first two goals, we soon took a grip on the game and by half time were 4-2 ahead. The second half saw the score stretch to 8-3. The Gorse Fox managed to score 3 goals today, so he was pretty pleased with the overall performance.

Back home he settled down to update one of the test computers (tawnyowl). The idea was to get it up to date then look at using it to send regular reminders to the Gorse Fox's Gmail account. As explained yesterday, he will have to remember to make deposits each month into Ellie's Premium Bonds. By get tawnyowl to send an email on the same day each month (with all of the details included) it will make it easier to ensure it is done.

A test has been set up for tomorrow morning, and assuming that works, then the proper reminders can be sent without fear of forgetting. The Gorse Fox is now wondering about generalising this in some way... but will have to sleep on that.

Saturday, January 26, 2019


The Gorse Fox invested some Premium Bonds in Ellie's name and in so doing set up an account for her. All of the details have now come through... so the Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen were gearing up to set up a Standing Order to make a regular investment.


Apparently it doesn't work like that. In order to protect against money laundering, we cannot set up a Standing Order for a child's account if the child is under 16. We either have to pay online with a debit card every month, or send a cheque (yes, a cheque - how quaint is that?).

Positively anti-diluvian... in fact almost as backward as US Banking. Now the Gorse Fox will have to set up a monthly reminder so he doesn't forget to make the deposit.

So close

Well it's been an industrious little morning. A leisurely start was followed by a rush of blood to the head and the Gorse Fox decided that he would mount the shelves in the sewing room. Careful measurements were taken for height and position then the instructions checked (yes, the Gorse Fox reads instructions - occasionally). He hadn't got the exact fittings recommended so headed off to Screwfix. They too were deficient in the wall plug area, but the Gorse Fox had spotted a very similar plug which looked like an even better bet. Purchases clutched in hand he returned home and continued the little project. Holes were drilled, levels checked and more holes were added. The new plugs were inserted and the frames mounted. Shelves were attached and voila the Silver Vixen now has two perfectly level, very secure shelves on the opposite wall to where they used to be.

The Gorse Fox is very satisfied with these new multi-purpose wall plugs (made by Fischer). They seem to adapts to virtually any type of wall through compression or expansion as the screws are tightened. He'll certainly use them again.

We are expecting Trevor, the man that does the shutters and blinds, to visit on Thursday so that we can select the right blackout blind and he can measure up. We're so close to having the room finished.

Friday, January 25, 2019

And relax...

Ellie woke at about seven. The Gorse Fox thought it was earlier than that so snuck in to sooth her back to sleep. At first she was having none of it and demanded to be picked up. She came in to our bed and snuggled down and was quiet for a further 45 minutes. That was a pretty good result.

Urban-Cub arrived soon after breakfast to collect Ellie and so, by late morning she was gone. It only took a few minutes to restore order and then settle down for a quiet day.

We popped out after lunch to have a look at some cars. As the Gorse Fox said yesterday, we aren't actively looking to change, but the Silver Vixen asked whether there were any equivalent vehicles to her Qashqai. We spent an interesting hour or so looking around and deciding that as far as SUVs are concerned she's still very well suited.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Back on duty

G-Force have been back on duty today. Urban-Cub dropped off Ellie soon after breakfast and then headed off to Gatwick. Ellie made herself comfortable with the toys and a background of Peppa Pig. She was no trouble and we all kept each other amused throughout the morning.

We did a spot of lunch for Ellie at midday then she went down for a sleep while we had some lunch of our own, then put our feet up for an hour. The afternoon was pretty much like the morning with the exceptions that we were in the living room and the background was Paw Patrol!

Not much else to report. Old Bill had test drive of a lovely C-class Merc, but in the end couldn't get the deal he wanted. The Gorse Fox went online and configured a couple of Mercs out of interest, but he isn't really looking to change cars at present. His view is that our current cars are in good condition, are serving us well and until there is a sensibly priced electric car, or hybrid, then there is little point in changing. (Having said that - a major win on the lottery may change his mind).

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Yellow Warning

There was actually a yellow weather warning which incorporated our area of the country. Despite the warning of ice and sleet, we had a moderately mild night with only the slightest frost. There are some clear advantages to living so close to the sea.

The Silver Vixen was off to Pilates first thing and the Gorse Fox soon followed to get to football. We had a good turnout with 7-v-7 split into two well-balanced teams. It was bitterly cold on the pitch but it was one of the best games we have had for a long time. There was some really nice football played, and it was all done in the right spirit. The Gorse Fox was playing for the yellow-bibs and by half time we were 2-1 down. In the second half we pulled it back to 2-2 and then 3-3 but they got one final winning goal so in the end we lost 4-3. The Gorse Fox did, however, score our third goal so he was happy.

Back home, showered, and lunched the Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen loaded up the car with stuff for the recycling centre. We are almost seeing the light of day upstairs! There is still a collection of stuff that has been piled up at the end of the Orangery that may need to be dealt with, but the Gorse Fox hasn't yet asked what the the Silver Vixen has planned for the pile.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Steady now

It was cold this morning, but very sunny. The Gorse Fox decided that though his knee was still a bit swollen, it was giving no pain, so he would play football. As he was getting ready, his phone pinged with a message from the Abbot... indeed a voice from the distant past. He has made contact with the Headmistress ( who is now a Dame) and suggest that we get together with the Mother Superior for a meal sometime in February. Was the Gorse Fox interested? Too right he was. That sounds like a very nice idea.

He headed off to Worthing. He isn't quite sure how it works but somehow two normal cups of coffee seem to multiply in his body and produce several gallons of wee. By the time he got to the sport centre he was fairly uncomfortable.

The bright but low sun made for a challenging game as when you looked across the pitch, all you could see was silhouettes. The Gorse Fox played for the white bibs in the first hour. We won two games and drew one. This meant that ended up on top. In the second hour we played a single game and the Gorse Fox played for the orange-bibs. This was much more relaxed and more fun. We were 2-1 down right up until the last minute or so when the Gorse Fox ghosted in on a free kick and scored the equaliser. His knee seems to have fared well, so he's pleased he took the chance.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Done... Almost.

Well that's been a good day. The Gorse Fox got stuck-in first thing. The blinds came down, and the whole "feature wall" masked off. A couple of hours later the wall was finished in nice light blue. The Gorse Fox left it for an hour or so to check he hadn't missed anything or required a second coat (which it didn't). All of the masking was cleared to reveal lovely crisp lines. Then the blinds were put back up.

The room is looking good... but until we have a couple of shelves up and a new blackout blind installed we can't think of it as finished. We have contacted the chap that has provided all our shutters and blinds and he will be round in the next week or two to measure up. Once that is complete we'll move the cot in there. The Gorse Fox will sort the shelves out in the next few days.

Sunday, January 20, 2019


The Gorse Fox 's knee has not yet stabilised and is still fairly swollen. He decided that, though no pain is involved, he would give football a miss. It's probably sensible and was certainly useful as we were able to get on with decorating the Tardis Sewing room.

Now the Gorse Fox should explain that the Silver Vixen is an ace at squirrelling things away. This is great until you need to move things because the room is to be decorated and reconfigured.

We spent the morning extracting all that had been stored in various dimension of the space-time continuum. Slowly bedroom 2 filled; then the landing; then bedroom 1; then the family bathroom.

The photo on the left is a small portion of the stuff that found its way into bedroom 1. The Gorse Fox suspects that the Silver Vixen is planning a very long life as he estimates that at a rate of one project a day, she has enough material and patterns for a further 237 years. Jasper had just given up and gone to hide downstairs.

Eventually the room was as empty as it was going to get. (There was still enough to fill a large removal truck).  The big IKEA unit was shifted to the new position. This is when it became clear that supplied brackets were not going to work because of the depth of the skirting boards. The point is that with Ellie sleeping in there, we have to be sure that if she should try to clamber up the unit, it couldn't topple. The Gorse Fox cut some wooden fillers and fixed them to the back of the unit and then fixed through them into the wall. That unit isn't going anywhere!

The Gorse Fox started with the filler to caulk the various settlement cracks, then sanded down the joinery. Once cleaned up, the areas were masked and painted. This didn't take too long and it seemed like a good time to stop for lunch.

After lunch the Gorse Fox headed back to paint the last two walls that would receive the background colour. All done. Only the feature wall to finish. Much of the chaos has been shipped back into various backwaters of the universe, or black holes. Slowly carpet is appearing in odd places and there is a possibility that our bed may make an appearance again before bedtime.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Watching paint dry

Well a lot of the day has revolved around watching paint dry. The Gorse Fox has done a lot of cutting-in, but until the skirtings are properly dry, he can't start on the walls. He suspects that another 30 minutes should do the trick.

Meanwhile, the Silver Vixen has started clearing things in the spare bedroom. The Gorse Fox suspects there will be a big trip to the tip.

Good start

Well that's been a good start to the day.

Floors washed downstairs. Masking complete and skirting boards painted in sewing room. Now the Gorse Fox has to wait for the paint to dry before he can paint the first two walls.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Winding up

Last night's dinner at Reina Kitchen was superb. It is a really nice addition to the food scene in Chichester. The Gorse Fox is no expert on Turkish cuisine so cannot attest to the authenticity of the menu; what he do is say that everything he tried was absolutely top notch. He started with a dish of halloumi and Turkish sausage (sucuk). It was delicious. The sausage was a bit like a chorizo but had a much finer grain and was far less salty. Then for the main course he had mixed shish - which provided both lamb and chicken pieces that had be grilled on skewers and served with a salad and bulgar wheat. Others tried a mixed seafood dish, or a lamb dish. We were all very happy and the only significant comment was that in a further trip, we might skip the starter. (The Gorse Fox thought - speak for yourselves!)

We just missed the bus home which meant a very cold wait for the next one, some 50 minutes later. This is a mistake we won't repeat!

Today started suitably slowly. The Gorse Fox went round to the paint shop to get all the paint for the sewing room. The chap was ever so nice and even though the Gorse Fox doesn't have a trade card, he provided a 10% discount. Once home, the Gorse Fox got on with filling the various settlement cracks round the doors, windows, and skirting boards.

This afternoon we have been faffing about a bit, but as part of this generic faff we did drop in to Wickes and picked up the last (hopefully) of the decorating supplies that we need. There is no longer any excuse not to get started. The Gorse Fox is now winding himself up to attack the walls tomorrow.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Young Turks

It has been a decided quiet, domestic day. The Silver Vixen spent much of the morning chained to ironing board, while the Gorse Fox did the accounts, then sorted the Ocado delivery before heading out to the barber's shop to get his long flowing locks cut short.

This evening will be another night out. We are heading for a new Turkish restaurant in Chichester to celebrate (somewhat belatedly) Old Bill's birthday. We've looked at the menu online and it looks very interesting and we're quite looking forward to it.

(It was really quite cold out, but the sun was shining brightly and it was warm enough to sit down and enjoy the Orangery this afternoon. The sun had raised the temperature to the mid-20s in there and it was a pleasure to make the most of it).

Wednesday, January 16, 2019


It was a very grey and damp start to the day. The Silver Vixen was off to Pilates and the Gorse Fox headed in to Worthing for football. By the time he arrived it was raining properly... it was a good job he had brought the jacket he received at Christmas from Ellie. This is a windproof and waterproof zip up jacket and turns out to be perfect for such days.

We had a 5-a-aside game played in one of the small cages. The rain was driving down as the game started and the Gorse Fox was being very cautious as his right knee was feeling a bit sore and unsteady. The game went well and the knee didn't really cause any significant problems. We managed a convincing 9-6 win which included 2 more goals from the Gorse Fox. As much as he enjoyed the game it was good to get out of the rain when we finished.

Back home, after lunch, the Gorse Fox headed off to Screwfix - there's some decorating to do in the sewing room, and that requires some preparation. Once we have the prep done we can use the local Deluxe Paint Centre in Bognor to provide the right colours to match up with the original shades used by the builder.

We headed out mid afternoon. Guildford was our destination. Not a place we know, so we were very dependent on the SatNav once we were in the vicinity. The rain was still making driving pretty foul and as the trip wore on and we approach the town we started to get impacted by the rush hour traffic. We finally wove our way through the back streets and found the car park next to G-Live.

Parked up we wandered in to the venue and took our pre-booked seat at a table in the restaurant and waited for the Gorse Fox's sister and brother-in-law to join us. We had a lovely dinner and arranged for our dessert to be served during the interval along with some drinks.

Ah, but what were we there to see, you may wonder.

Well we had very good tickets to see "Sandi Toksvig: A National Trevor". This was her latest tour and was a couple of hours of her chatting with audience about the things that amuse her, make her wonder, and trouble her. It was intelligent, it was thoughtful, and it was absolutely hilarious. She had the audience (over a thousand people according to one of the ushers) in the palm of her hand. The first half was more focused on her musings, the second half was much more interactive with Sandi taking questions from the audience, getting the audience to do things, and generally making the spirits soar.

By the way, booking the table was brilliant as we effectively had it for the evening. At the interval we headed for the restaurant, sat down and our desserts were there waiting for us along with our drinks. None of this milling around by the bar with the great unwashed, for us!

We left the car park around 10-ish and got home at 11, so it was a good run. Fortunately the rain had stopped, though the temperatures had dropped to about 3C.

Overall it had been a brilliant evening. The Gorse Fox's only criticism would be how uncomfortable the seats were at G-Live.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Leaden legs

The Gorse Fox had football this morning and the Silver Vixen was going across to see some of her coven so we were both out and about. It was quite grey, but mild and as the morning drew on the sun came out and it was really quite pleasant (even if the temperature seemed to be dropping).

While waiting for everyone to assemble, the Gorse Fox made the most of the running track and did several circuits to loosen up. We had a very good turnout for football and the Gorse Fox found himself with the red-bibs for the first hour. Three games played and two wins followed by a defeat. It was good fun though we did have a couple of quite good players who tended to hog the ball a bit to the detriment of the rest of us.

In the second hour it was a lt quieter. Just two teams of 5-a-side. The Gorse Fox was on the yellow team and though the teams looked quite even, we dominated the three games and won all three of them. The Gorse Fox contributed several assists and a goal of his own. Very satisfying.

The Gorse Fox is feeling the after effect now. His legs really feel quite leaden.

Monday, January 14, 2019


It was a very leisurely start to the day. Once we had had our porridge and coffee the Gorse Fox retrieved the various grits of sandpaper from the garage and headed for the sewing room. The filler used on Friday was well cured by now and it was time to sand it smooth.  The Gorse Fox was very pleased with the results. Considering it had looked like it had be sprayed by a machine gun, then, once filled looked like a relief model of the Alps, the application of the sandpaper has eroded it all back to a perfect wall surface.

The next issue was to find a suppler for the particular paint that we want. This took a bit of tracking down, but the Gorse Fox has found an outlet in Bognor. A brief phonemail confirmed they could supply what we need so the Gorse Fox will pop along there sometime this week. He also needs to head for Screwfix at some point to get some spare nozzles for the decorating sealer, and some various types of masking tape.

Sunday, January 13, 2019


Well once we had everyone up and about the Gorse Fox headed off to football, leaving the Silver Vixen in sole control of Ellie. (This might imply that the presence of the Gorse Fox is a significant help, normally - that would probably be an exaggeration). A run on the 3G astroturf would be very welcome.

The game today was a 6v5 then 5v6 game as we had uneven numbers. The Gorse Fox played for the yellow bibs and though we conceded the first goal, we went in 5-2 ahead at half time. We had benefited from the man advantage in the first half, but lost that in the second half. The second half was hard work, but we did manage to end up 9-6 winners and that included the Gorse Fox's first proper goal of 2019.

We took Ellie back to Urban-Cub late afternoon then stopped off at the Oystercatcher for dinner on the way home. The Gorse Fox suspects a quiet evening is on the agenda.


It's just before 10 a.m. and the Gorse Fox is worried about Peppa Pig burnout. Having upgraded the SKY subscription yesterday to allow access to Nick Jr., this has been playing since first thing - and we seem to be running through the 52 episodes of Series 1 of Peppa Pig. The Gorse Fox is becoming quite the expert and getting very worried about how hard Mrs Rabbit has to work.

He's going to try and take his mind off these worries by going off to playgroup football.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Ellie sitting

Ellie woke at a reasonable hour and we got up and going. The day was spent focussed on monitoring her games, explorations, drawings, and meals. We took her out to feed the ducks at the lake during the morning, but she seemed more interested in watching other children feeding the ducks than doing it herself. As we walked back she insisted we diverted via the playground and spent some time polishing the slide as she whizzed down to a waiting Silver Vixen and ran back for the Gorse Fox to lift her up to the top again.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Mixed bag

Today has been a bit of a mixed bag. The Silver Vixen continued with her exploration of the darkest recesses of her sewing room. She has clear sufficient jungle to allow access to three of the wall and the Gorse Fox removed the shelves yesterday. This morning was focussed on filling the holes left by the fixings for the shelves. Over time there have been two set of shelves in virtually the same place. This meant that there remained a series of holes that looked as if the room had been sprayed from a machine pistol.

The Gorse Fox headed out to the garage to retrieve his filler compound, palette knife and various pliers and knives. The holes were deep so this was going to take a couple of passes. The first pass filled the deep ends of the holes and trimmed any remaining wall plugs that couldn't be removed. Several hours later he returned to make another pass and fill the holes completely. He'll leave these over night and sand them smooth tomorrow.

The afternoon started with a walk and the start of a new audio book "Dark Fire". This was actually a BBC Radio 4 full cast dramatisation and so it meant that it had plenty of sound effects and actors. The Gorse Fox still has a way to go before it is finished but it's very good so far.

We had a quiet hour before Urban-Cub arrived with Ellie. G-Force are now on duty through until Sunday afternoon. As the Gorse Fox writes this, Ellie is trying to see how wet she can make the Silver Vixen as she attempts to bath her. (The Silver Vixen is bathing Ellie officially, not the other way round).

Thursday, January 10, 2019


Over the years the Gorse Fox has used several repositories for his photos. Flickr which was subsumed into Yahoo! Picasa which became functionally stabilised and, to all intents and purposes, became Google photos. It seems that none of these services (even when you paid a subscription) is immune from change.

In the latest chapter of these photo repositories, Flickr, which became subsumed by Yahoo! has now been sold to SmugMug. AT first we were told that there would be no changes. Now we find that they will be applying limits to the "free" accounts. Now, the Gorse Fox decided he's better check his account; after all most of the photos in this blog from 2005 through to 2015 are actually hosted on Flickr. Checking the account wasn't so easy. Once it had been subsumed by Yahoo! the sign-in was via Yahoo!. Now, BT (from whom the Gorse Fox get his broadband) provided the sign-in credentials... and in the intervening years, the Gorse Fox has changed his BT account details. The first step was to try and remember the original credentials. It took a while, but we managed.

Having logged in to the Flickr account the Avatar confirmed that the Gorse Fox was in fact a "Pro" member. Brilliant! Nothing to worry about. Well, not quite. He checked his account settings and they said he had a "free" account... and invited him to upgrade. He hesitated and then tried to upgrade. Can't do that... you're already a Pro account. The Gorse Fox seems to be in Catch-22.

Deciding that whatever happens he needed to protect his photos, he pressed the button that allowed the whole kit and caboodle to be downloaded. Nearly 7000 photos arrived in 15 separate zip packages. They were carefully moved to the correct folder and Google photos then grabbed the lot and has them carefully backed up.

Now the Gorse Fox is waiting to hear from Flickr about his account status. The thought of having to relink thousands of blog photos to new locations is quite daunting.

The Silver Vixen is back into re-organisation mode. The sewing room has been further emptied so that things could be moved about and shelves could be removed. The Gorse Fox has an appointment with some decorators' filler in the morning.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Hanging around

Well today was a bit of a change from the plans we had made at the beginning of the week. The Silver Vixen was scheduled to go to the hairdresser in Chichester yesterday - but the hairdresser was unwell. The appointment got rescheduled to today. The Silver Vixen caught the bus and headed off.

The Gorse Fox was hoping to play football, but yet again we couldn't muster sufficient players. The Gorse Fox decided to walk in to Shripney to pick up a few bits from Sainsbury's. It was chilly but sunny and bright. It was a perfect time to walk, particularly as the Gorse Fox wore his headphones to listen to the end of an Audible book.

Once back home, the Gorse Fox prepared to hang the new painting we bought for Christmas. The mirror which currently occupies the chosen space was removed and rehung in living room. The painting is now prepared and waiting to be hung in hallway. The Gorse Fox just needs to wait for the Silver Vixen to get home to confirm the exact height and location... then it should only take a little while to finish it off.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019


Well the lethargy of the past few weeks has come to an end. The Gorse Fox was finally able to get a game of football today. There was a good turnout today with 6-a-side teams playing in blue, orange, back, and white. The Gorse Fox was playing for the white-bibs. It didn't start well as the Gorse Fox got his first goal of the year - an own goal! After that things settled down and we managed to play six games in the two hours, winning three and drawing three. He covered a fair bit of ground so is expecting some very heavy legs in the morning.

After lunch the Gorse Fox put a nice gammon in the oven and then we popped into Chichester to return some gadgets to the hospital. We were so quick in doing this that we didn't even incur parking charges. Once home, we had a quiet afternoon while the gammon slowly infused the house with the delicious smell of roasted ham.

Monday, January 07, 2019


Several years ago - 2007 to be accurate - the Gorse Fox built a shelving unit to store the Silver Vixen's fabrics. This has followed us from house to house, despite its size and weight. The recent exploration of the sewing room discovered this unit in the corner along with a tribe of pygmies. We shooed the pygmies away and then had to decided on the fate of the shelving unit.

After a brief discussion it was doomed. There was nowhere for it in the house or garage and it was so big that it couldn't really be moved anyway (without a significant emptying of everything else in the room). The Gorse Fox set about reducing the 25mm plywood to its component parts - plinth, sides, top, crown moulding, back etc. This involved a great deal of banging and heaving with a big hammer and a pry-bar. Eventually it started to give way and was slowly dismantled. (Not, you understand in a way that would allow it to be remantled - if there is such a word).

An hour later the Gorse Fox was loading the wood into the car for a trip to the recycling centre. Job done.

Talking of recycling we had several items that Ellie had outgrown. These were advertised for sale in late November bu there were no takers. The Gorse Fox then tried the local hospice - but though they do take some things (and their website says that includes children's bits) they said they are no longer able to take them. However, they did point the Gorse Fox at another local charity. He pooped along to AliKazam at Shripney and they received all of the items with open arms.

The Silver Vixen spent the morning squirrelling away the Christmas decorations into their packing boxes. The Gorse Fox has not stowed them back in the garage. We are slowly returning to normal. Indeed with the recent clearout we are discovering parts of the house that had been long hidden.

Sunday, January 06, 2019


The Gorse Fox is relieved to note that the dishwasher cycle has completed without incident. Hopefully the deep clean that her perpetrated on it this morning has cleared whatever the problem had been.

Time will tell.


Oh dear. It looks like we have a problem brewing with the dishwasher again. What is it about the Christmas period that seems to jinx household appliances?

Deep clean is going on as the Gorse Fox writes this, having already cleaned out all the filters. Let's see if this does the trick; if not the Gorse Fox can see another trip to John Lewis on the horizon! (Currently he's going through all the reviews to find a candidate replacement, but the sticking point for many seems to be the noise level - we want one that is suitable quiet).

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Twelfth Night

Well it's not strictly twelfth night, but as the Christmas decorations went up a day early, they have come down a day early. While the Silver Vixen continues to explore in her sewing room (she found Dr Livingstone at some point this morning, and two small dinosaurs that scientists had believed extinct) the Gorse Fox spent the morning taking down the Christmas lights, cards, and various sparkly bits. Lights have all been rolled and repacked in their original boxes. Some of the decorative balls have been packed away, but most of the  decs are neatly lined up on the table in the Orangery ready for the Silver Vixen to pack back into the storage boxes.

The Gorse Fox has also been through all the Christmas cards and entered the senders into the annual database. The Gorse Fox has records of all the cards sent and received stretching back to 2004.

We have received a call from the Gallery. The painting that we ordered before Christmas has arrived and is awaiting our collection. The Gorse Fox will have to get in to Chichester in the next couple of days and collect it.

Friday, January 04, 2019

Long countdown

It was another cold night, but the house was lovely and warm when the Gorse Fox came down this morning.

With respect to the recent thoughts regarding some extension to the house,  the Silver Vixen has come up with a Plan C. Most of the morning has been spent by the Silver Vixen sorting out her sewing room, and the Gorse Fox working on a new Sketchup model to illustrate Plan C as described by Silver Vixen. It does look do-able so will probably occupy a lot of spare time in the near future.

The afternoon saw a change of subject. Our planned holiday this year is still several months away, but it was time together the checklist built and start on the early bookings for the cattery, the airport transfers, and the hotel at the airport. Still plenty to do, but at least the countdown is under way.

Thursday, January 03, 2019


It had been cold overnight, but the house was nice and warm when Ellie woke us around seven. She came and played in bed with us for a while before we headed downstairs for breakfast.

Most of the morning was spent watching, monitoring, or playing with Ellie while Peppa Pig, Finding Nemo, and Moana played on the TV. The Gorse Fox made the most of the distractions and manage to get the slow cooker loaded up and bubbling away for later.

Pistol Pete came along just after lunch to collect Ellie and we then had a quick tidy round before the second architect came. She was a nice lady and came armed with a ticklish of items to cover. The Gorse Fox, in the meantime, had printed off various plans, requirements, and measurements so that she could leave with all the information that she might want. Again, Two Hats came in to join the conversation and see if there was an opportunity to look at things as a joint project. The architect left us and went to look at Two Hats' layout then headed off. We expect to hear from her with some estimates in the next few days.

As forecast, the temperature seems to be dropping. It's nice to nice and cozy indoors.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

A day of miscellany

There was no real theme for the day. Football should have restarted but we only had 8 players available so it wasn't worth the trip... the game was cancelled yesterday.

The Gorse Fox spent some more time during the morning refining the 2019 budget and also closing off all the statements and transactions from 2018. This proved a little more time consuming than expected as the accounts aggregator that he uses had stopped checking a couple of the accounts a while back. As they are pretty idle accounts this hadn't shown up until the Gorse Fox did his year end sweep.

The Gorse Fox headed down to the Sales Office for our development. If we decide to proceed with some sort of extension (and that is a big IF) then he will need to get permission from the developer. He needed to check the name of the contact as it's several years since he went through the process last time and people do tend to change their jobs.

After lunch there was scheduled trip to the hospital for some tests, and then back home agin where we managed a quiet hour before Urban-Cub arrived with Ellie. Ellie will be staying with us over night as Urban-Cub is on early shift and so is Pistol Pete.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019


It had been a late night. We had a curry with Tinkerbell and Two Hats. The restaurant was very busy and they were struggling to cope. Though our table was booked for 19:30 it was 21:00 before our meal was actually served. This is way too late for the Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox. A disturbed night was to be expected.

We saw the New Year in, watching the fireworks from London and then part of the Madness Concert. It was boy 01:00 before we finally went to bed. Jasper, therefore, was not our best friend when he started to use the Gorse Fox as a tramline at 07:00. There was no getting away from it, however, and he got up.

There were a few chores to clear in the morning and the traditional checking of the utility meters. (A tradition for the first day of every month). The Gorse Fox was pleased to see quite a drop in usage over the last month in comparison to the same period last year. He has no idea why!

Urban-Cub and Ellie turned up to spend the rest of the day with us. This gave the Gorse Fox and Urban-Cub an opportunity to wade through the spreadsheet that we use to manage Ellie's care. It took a while to check it all out and get the plans for the next couple of months in place. Eventually it was done, printed, and agreed.

Urban-Cub and Ellie stayed for lunch and dinner, then with Ellie washed and ready for bed they headed home. It has been a nice start to the year.


The Gorse Fox would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy New Year.

He wishes you good health, the love of your family and friends, and contentment. He asks you to to be kind; to be respectful of others whatever their colour, creed, or orientation.  Do not bicker, insult, or take cheap shots at others who have a different view to yours. Show tolerance in all things.

If we all subscribe to this, then the world will be a better place and we can start to make things better and, one by one, heal the rifts that separate us.