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Sunday, June 30, 2019

The Girls

Well the temperatures have eased. It was in the low 20s today but there was a very blustery breeze along the coast and that took the edge off a bit. In fact The Gorse Fox found that sitting in shade he was too cool and had to head out into the sun.

Football was a bit later today. This meant that the Gorse Fox had longer to work on the family tree. He decided that he would focus on his 3rd gt-grandfather with a view to finding out exactly when he died. He almost wished he hadn't bothered now. It is clear that he was a troubled man and had been sectioned in an asylum on several occasions. The last time was for 10 years and that only ended with his death. It must have been so difficult for his family.

Football took the Gorse Fox's mind off of things. We had a nice open 5-v-5 today. The sides looked pretty well balanced. The Gorse Fox was playing for the orange bibs. We moved ahead in the first half with 2-0 at half time. The Gorse Fox had shot high, wide, and at the goalie; he had also hit the post and the crossbar. It was not looking good. The second half started and the Gorse Fox was clearly having trouble as he hit the other post and scuffed a couple of shots. The goal tally from the rest of the team began to rise, and finally the Gorse Fox found the target. In the end we finished 7-2 winners... and the Gorse Fox was glad to have scored his 60th goal of the year.

After a light lunch we headed to LA to spend the afternoon with Bompa's girls. The Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen had a lovely afternoon with Cousteau-Cub, Urban-Cub, and Ellie. Urban-Cub also prepared a lovely roast dinner for us to crown it all off.

Saturday, June 29, 2019


It's been a fabulous day. Temperatures have hovered around the 30C mark here on the coast and the sky has been  cloudless.

Urban-Cub turned  up with Ellie after breakfast. She had come to collect Cousteau-Cub who will be staying with her over the weekend so she can see her dog, Tyson. After the whirlwind visit, the Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox were left alone to get on with being retired! The Silver Vixen tended some of her plants and the Gorse Fox returned to the family tree.

The family tree research was interesting in as much as it revealed a number of siblings of the Silver Vixen's great grandmother. The Gorse Fox had never found these people in previous research and they have opened up a new chunk of the tree. He also found another title mystery that needs to be solved... is Ada a sister of Alice, or is Alice also known as Ada? Only time will tell, but at the moment the Gorse Fox suspects they are the same person.

The afternoon was just too nice to stay indoors with the family tree. The Silver Vixen went and sat in the sun, and the Gorse Fox sat outside in the shade of the parasol, reading. One of his presents from J&T earlier in the year, was a book by John Nichol called Spitfire. This tells the story of the iconic plane from the point of view of the people who flew them and maintained them. This isn't fiction. This is a book of reminiscences from the pilots and aircrew... and is absolutely riveting.

On a separate note, the Gorse Fox tried the speech to text facilities of his iPad and iPhone. This proved to be extremely accurate and may feature in future blog posts.

On yet another separate note, today is the Birthday of the Gorse Fox's little sister. Not giving anything away, but the Beatles did write and appropriate song for the occasion. "When I get old and..." etc. Little sis is away on holiday in Portugal at the moment, but we hope she has a brilliant Birthday.

Friday, June 28, 2019

New toy

Well the weather continues to impress with afternoon temperatures in the high 20s. There is a little cloud about but it’s hotter than yesterday.

We had a lovely evening last night. The crew headed into Chichester and started off by having a drink at The Nags Head at St Pancras, then we wandered across the road to Giggling Squid. As usual, the food there was lovely... though Old Bill thought his green curry was a bit watery. The Gorse Fox had Gao Pad with chicken and an extra bit of chilli and it was outstanding. Cousteau-Cub came and joined us when she finished work and we all came home together.

Friday was focused on the domestic. The Silver Vixen caught up with some ironing And the Gorse Fox hopped to the shops with Cousteau-Cub for some hay fever medication. Cousteau-Cub headed off to work and the Gorse Fox returned to the family tree.

After lunch he decided it was time to upgrade the iPad and zipped across to John Lewis where he picked up a new iPad Air. The setup has been a doddle and now, just because he can, he’s writing this blog post on it.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Starting to sizzle

Another cracking day today. We had wall to wall sunshine and the temperatures were in the mid-20s. The Silver Vixen made the most of it and spent much of the day outside. Not so the Gorse Fox. He was distracted by some family tree ideas and ended up spending much of the day in front of a computer. It was, however, a successful exercise as he has managed to fill in a few extra bits of missing information on both sides of the family.

The Gorse Fox has also been processing a few old photos - trying to place them geographically and trying to date them. There's still a fair bit of work to do there.

There's a Sonning Crew outing scheduled tonight. We are celebrating (slightly belatedly) Tinkerbell's birthday.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Warming up

The sky started overcast and there was a cool breeze. The forecast was for it to get warmer as the "Saharan Bubble" (as the media have called it) rolled into the country. Sure enough the clouds have burnt off, and the temperature has reached 25C here on the coast. (It's no doubt hotter inland). The media reports of several deaths in France which are directly attributable to the heat). It's funny that this should hit just as the Gorse Fox has established email exchanges with this new relation who lives in Phoenix. They know how to do heat there!

The Silver Vixen went off to Pilates this morning and the Gorse Fox headed for football. He must have had a sixth sense as he decided at the last instant to travel via Fontwell and Arundel instead of the A259. It seems that roadworks have again been put in place and were causing significant congestion - the Gorse Fox, however, just sailed through on his route.

The game started with 8-v-8, the Gorse Fox playing for the yellow-bibs. Unfortunately we had another outbreak of childishness and two players stormed off in a huff.  Neither was blameless and things quietened down once they had gone. It was a close game in the first half and the score remained 2-0 at half time. In the second half, however, the yellow-bibs hit our stride and whilst we conceded 4 goals, we scored five more - running out 7-4 winners (with two goals from the Gorse Fox).

Back home we are enjoying a quiet afternoon in the sun.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Chim Chiminey

No football today, we were having a day out. The overnight thunderstorms missed us entirely and whilst there had clearly been bit of rain it had amounted to nothing. By the time Cousteau-Cub left for work, the pavements were dry and it was warming up nicely. In fact, though it remained fairly overcast throughout the day, the temperatures reached the mid 20s.

We hopped in the car and went across to Lewes where we we scheduled to meet with Badger and Mrs Tiggywinkle for lunch. It was a surprisingly good run across the south coast and we were there  and looking for a good car park in an hour.

We strolled up the hill to the High Street and then sought out the restaurant. It was right next door to the Courts. We had reserved a table, but asked to move out to the roof terrace as the weather was so nice. The views across the rooftops of Lewes to the Castle made it quite quaint.

We had a lovely and leisurely meal. The choice wasn't vast, but it was very good. Between us we tried their fishcakes, black bream, calves liver, and fish and chips. Every one of these dishes was presented beautifully and was excellent. The Gorse Fox would heartily recommend you stop off at "The Rights of Man" if ever you visit Lewes.

Time wore on and the car park times were winding down. We returned to the cars and headed onwards to Michelham Priory at Upper Dicker. The Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen had been here before, but it was a first for Badger and Mrs Tiggywinkle. It turns out that the Priory is a part of Historic Houses Association, so being members we all gained entry for nothing (saving about £10 each).

We only had about 90 minutes before they closed but had a lovely time wandering round.

We entered through the crypt and then made our way throughout the house, reading the various explanatory plaques and listening to the stories from the guides.

Having exhausted the inside, we headed outside and wandered round the gardens, chatting as we went. It really was a very lovely day.

We said our goodbyes and went our separate ways at about five o'clock. The Gorse Fox was a little worried at the thought of the rush hour traffic, but whilst heavy, it was no real problem and we were home before too long... just in time to see Cousteau-Cub cycling off to get herself a kebab!

Monday, June 24, 2019

Ticking over

This morning was focused on domestic activities. There were floors to be cleaned and washed and the kitchen to be given a bit of a clean after yesterday's splattering from the pork joint. Meanwhile, the Silver Vixen was upstairs cleaning the bathrooms. Finally there was a bit or ironing to clear, which we shared.

The Silver Vixen is out this afternoon with Lady Penelope, and though the Gorse Fox had intended to get some extra exercise, he's locked in front of the computer doing some family tree research. There are some new people to add to the tree (if not actually link them in yet), and there is a chunk of the family who moved to Canada for whom we have almost no information whatsoever. This is a bone of contention and the Gorse Fox returns to this bit of the family time and again in the hope some new records have become available. So far - nothing.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

New boys

It's been another lovely warm day. A bit overcast and muggy, but delightfully warm.

The Gorse Fox had football this morning and as we gathered there were a few new faces. Several chaps came along from a group who play at Pagham. They swelled the numbers and we ended up with a 6-v-5 / 5-v-6 game. It was a very close game overall and the new chaps fitted in well. Typically the Sunday games can be quite high scoring because of the small pitch and the non-stop nature of the game, but it was so close that we fought to a 2-1 win. The Gorse Fox scored one of the goals but spent most of the game trying to provide a stalwart defence.

Back home he settled back down with the photo book that Agent Mulder provided. The Gorse Fox was able to fill in many of the gaps in the story. He settled down and started to write up the missing bits, name the unnamed people, place the photos, and date some of them. He sent a copy off to little sis to see if she could add more... and will tidy it all up and send it back to Agent Mulder.

Urban-Cub turned up mid-afternoon to collect Cousteau-Cub. She was going to spend a couple of hours with them over in LA before Pistol Pete would bring her back.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Life and times

It's been a glorious day. Pretty much was to wall sunshine, and whilst lovely and warm it was not too hot. A perfect day for Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete to have their little "do". We headed across to LA and let ourselves in while Pistol Pete was still setting up the chairs and gazebo in the garden. Ellie was charging around and playing on her new swing and slide. The Silver Vixen immediately started an inspection of the new planting that Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete had been up to, and the Gorse Fox helped with the furniture.

J&T turned up soon after having had a frustratingly tedious drive down to the coast... but they were here and could relax. We started to catch up on the latest news and gossip - an exercise that would continue throughout the day. Pistol Pete fired up the BBQ and several mountains of meat were slapped on the grill. As usual, there was a veritable feast... and certainly more than enough for us all (and several regiments of the British Army).

After we had cleared away J&T presented us with two identical books from Agent Mulder. These were photo-books recalling and recording the life and times of Beloved Aunt. It was clearly a huge undertaking and it took us a long time to sift through the pages. There were many photos in there that the Gorse Fox had never seen before. It was a wonderful way to remember a most cherished and sorely missed Aunt.

Talking of family, we received a notification from Ancestry that there was a new DNA match for the Silver Vixen. When we checked it claimed that this person was almost certainly a first cousin, or perhaps a second cousin. This was intriguing so the Gorse Fox delved deeper. It was someone that we had never heard of, with a name that doesn't appear anywhere in the family tree. The problem was that the person hadn't submitted a tree of her own, so there was no easy way to check other than sending her an email, which is what he did. We now await a response to see who this mysterious cousin might be.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Will he never learn?

The Gorse Fox is typing this entry with one eye closed, but streaming. He never learns. Having prepared a marinade for some lamb that he plans to cook tonight, he has just wiped his eye. Despite having washed his hands thoroughly there was evidently some residual spices which he has transferred to his eyeball and it is now in full flood.

The Gorse Fox is not saying that it's been quiet today - but that may very we the most interesting thing that has happened. It's been bright and sunny with a cool breeze and given that the nights start drawing in from this evening it's about time the summer sorted itself out. Much of the morning was spent reading up on mesh networks and looking at the various offerings available. They seem to be a bit pricey but the Gorse Fox suspects that the price will drop over time. There's no frantic hurry, but it would be nice to have more transparent WiFi roaming across the house, garage, and garden without any dead spots.

Had a quick trip to Sainsbury's after lunch. There's a bit of a "do" over at Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete's tomorrow and we needed to get some contributions to take along. It also gave the Gorse Fox a chance to stock up on a few herbs he needed for tonight's supper. This is planned to be a lamb biryani.

Thursday, June 20, 2019


We woke up this morning to find reflective glass scattered across the road in front of the house. Clearly there had been a coming together, but one that was not loud enough to disturb us. The area is not covered by our CCTV but Old Bill had a look at his and thinks it happened between 21:30 and 22:00 last night. Now the Gorse Fox remembers being disturbed while watching TV last night but thought it was just the neighbour parking up. He should have gone to check. Oh well, he's done the decent thing and swept up the shiny shards.

Urban-Cub popped in with Cousteau-Cub and Ellie this morning. Cousteau-Cub had stayed with her overnight and needed to get ready for work and Urban-Cub and Ellie stopped for a quick chat before heading to Portsmouth to meet with Princess Steph and her brood. Needless to say Ocado arrived right in the middle of all this, just to add to the chaos.

Now that Jasper seems moderately settled on his new feeding regime, the Gorse Fox headed off to the farm shop to pick up some more wet food. We have cut this to once a day now, as he was leaving so much of the lunchtime feed. He seems pretty content with it all so we'll stick with this plan for now.

The Gorse Fox managed to get an appointment for a haircut this afternoon and made it part of his walking route. Though it had looked a bit threatening and he had taken an umbrella, he remained dry (and much more streamlined after the haircut).

Talking of crashes, it looks as if Condor (the big iMac) had crashed at some point in the last 24 hours or so. It may have been during the thunder, but the Gorse Fox isn't sure. Anyway everything is back up and running. He must say that it's immensely rare to have a problem on the iMac, so he puts it down to some external factor.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

That's better

The Silver Vixen headed off for Pilates and the Gorse Fox went along to football. There was a degree of trepidation in the trip. Yesterday, we published the new ruleset (including the sanctions) for the game. The Gorse Fox was interested to see how they would be accepted and whether we would see proper adherence. Initial feedback, as we were gathering before the game, was mainly positive. There were several questions regarding interpretation, but we ironed those out.

The game started with and 8-v-7 which changed to 7-v-8 as Crusher switched sides at half time. The Gorse Fox was playing for the yellow-bibs. The game was so much better than last week's. Players were clearly trying to play within the rules and the Ref was interpreting them with a sensible degree of latitude. Nobody was hurt, nobody complained, nobody argued with the ref, and all in all it was a pleasurable hour.

The game itself was quite tight in the first half. The yellows did manage to poach a couple of goals without replay in the first half. This was a little surprising as the Gorse Fox thought the attack from the orange team were, at least on paper, better than us. In the second half the yellows were at a one man disadvantage but managed to stretch the lead and ended up with a comfortable 6-0 win. (The Gorse Fox did manage to get one of these goals).

It's been a quiet afternoon and Cousteau-Cub is off to stay with Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete over night, so we have a quiet evening ahead - unless we organise a last minute rave.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

I've seen fire and I've seen rain

Well maybe not today for the fire. It started off brightly enough but by mid morning it was looking menacing and there were occasional rain showers. By mid afternoon the rain was incessant and very heavy, accompanied on bass by some distant thunder.

The morning was taken up with a couple of hours of football, preceded by several laps of the running track. By the time the "lads" had gathered we had a 6-a-side competition. The Gorse Fox was playing on the team with yellow-bibs and we looked a pretty well balanced squad. We won the first game 3-1 (which included a goal from the Gorse Fox), then won the second 3-1, and the third 3-0. That was a good hour... and we obviously came top of the league.

The second hour dropped to 5-a-side and was a little more sedate. The Gorse Fox was playing for the blue-bibs this time and we lost our opening game 3-1. It picked up for the second game which we won 3-0, and then the third game (where the Gorse Fox played in goal) ended up as 0-0 draw. Overall it was a good couple of hour exercise and the Gorse Fox managed to cover 10.5km (and his knees are now reminding him that he's not 25 any more).

Monday, June 17, 2019


If it's Monday it must mean a trip to Chichester. (Well that seems to be the way of things in recent weeks). It was bright and sunny today and after getting some domestic chores out of the way we hopped on the bus. Though it was a a lovely day, Chichester was surprisingly quiet. That could have been because people were stuck in the traffic on the A27 however.

The Gorse Fox had to visit M&S to change the polo shirts that Urban-Cub had got him. They were lovely shirts, and just the right colours, but the sizes were a little optimistic. He was lucky, for one of the shirts only a single item remained in his size... so he whipped it quickly before anyone else found it.

Meanwhile, round the corner at M&S Womenswear, the Silver Vixen was looking for some replacement swimsuits. It seems that too many swimsuits nowadays assume that the wearer has a backside the size of Wales. This is clearly not the case for the trim and prim Silver Vixen. There were a couple items that caught the eye, but in the end she only chose the one.

Cousteau-Cub is on an early shift today, but is off to the optician when she finishes work. Her eyes have been giving her some discomfort for a couple of weeks. It's probably the lighting in the office and the fact that she is stuck in front of a computer screen most of the day... but hopefully they can come up with some glasses or lenses that will suit.

The Gorse Fox has a meeting of the committee tonight to discuss the current state of our walking football... and what to do about the unedifying behaviour of some members on the pitch. (The Gorse Fox might be considered extreme, but he thinks the ref should be given a whistle and a baseball bat).

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Fathers' Day

It's Fathers' Day and for the first time in many many years all the family are available to meet up. It started with rain, and more rain. In fact the rain was fairly constant throughout the morning. There was no football today, so the Gorse Fox spent the time on the computer.

Cousteau-Cub presented the Gorse Fox with a lovely card and some aprons to wear while preparing food. These were not only very nice, but immensely practical as the Gorse Fox has a habit of splashing food on himself when cooking.

Urban-Cub had been on early shift at Gatwick but got away at a sensible time and managed to get her head down for an hour or so. We headed across to LA to meet with her, Pistol Pete, and Ellie. Again the Gorse Fox was presented with gifts and some lovely cards from Ellie (whose handwriting is astonishing!) and Urban-Cub. Ellie had managed to select a book about Peppa Pig's Grandpa (soon to hit the best seller lists, to be sure) and Urban-Cub had selected a couple of colourful polo shirts. Between all three of his girls, the Gorse Fox has done very well, but more importantly we were all together.

It was a lovely afternoon and Urban-Cub cooked a huge leg of lamb with all the usual trimmings. Amber and Jake joined us for dinner but by the end of it, Ellie was clearly beginning to tire. We headed home early evening - it had been a superb day.

Saturday, June 15, 2019


A bit of a grey day again and rain was forecast for the afternoon. The forecast was correct - but at least the rain wasn't very heavy.

Betty and Barney Rubble were due to visit but the Gorse Fox did have time to do some research during the morning. The problem he faces is that the family tree software he uses has an add-on feature called Family Book Creator. All of the examples and write-ups are very impressive and the gf would like to use it. The problem is that the software only runs on Windows systems and whilst a Mac version is promised, there is no indication as to when. The Gorse Fox was considering running Parallels so that he could install a version of windows to run pithing his Mac. It seems extreme, but at least he has started to evaluate whether it is worth the trouble.

Betty and Barney arrived and settled down with coffee and biscuits to catch up on the latest family news from both sides before heading out to lunch. The Gorse Fox had looked for somewhere new to try. TripAdvisor had provided reviews of the local restaurants and we decided to try the No.1 choice in Bognor - Mustards Restaurant and Bar. The reviews had been good and the place looked quite nice. We had chosen well. It was a sleek little restaurant, down a side street. The decor was tasteful and the staff were welcoming. The menus offered choices of "Lite Bites", fixed price, or a la carte... and the choices were really excellent with something for everyone - whatever their taste.

The food was lovely and between us we tried the grilled whole plaice in caper butter, the beer-battered cod on crushed minted peas, and a stilton, leek and asparagus tart. It really was delicious. The beer-battered cod was made with huge thick chunks of cod, and was cooked to perfection. This restaurant was another really good find and one to which we will certainly return.

Back home we spent the afternoon chatting and driving tea, generally putting the world to rights until they left late in the afternoon.

Friday, June 14, 2019


Friday has been a very domestic day. The weather was a bit iffy first thing but as the day wore on the sun came out and it's been a lovely afternoon.

Cousteau-Cub has been home for six or seven weeks now and we (i.e. she) has things well under control. Driving license now has correct (married) name and our address, she has a couple of bank accounts, she has a job (that she quite likes), she's been offered two other jobs (which she has turned down), and today we finally got her registered at the local doctors' surgery. (There are some advantages to working on a two shift pattern: 2-days early, 3-days late; it gives you time to get things done in the mornings!)

After Cousteau-Cub headed off to work the Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen went round to the farm shop to get some food for Jasper. We still haven't found a definitive mix of wet and dry foods that he will consistently eat, but we do seem to be narrowing things down. From there, it was off to Sainsbury's for a fish mix. The Gorse Fox had decided that we would have a Thai red fish curry for supper and needed to get some fish pieces.

The afternoon saw a raid on the rill. Again the blanket weed was getting out of control and the Gorse Fox managed to extract a couple of kilos of weed... and then two hours later another kilo of weed from the water.

With the exception of one of the acres, the garden is looking very good. We have decided that come the autumn, we will actually replant the remaining potted acres in the ground.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Duty calls

Not too much to report today. Ellie has been with us and that dictates our schedule to a degree. She woke around 7-ish and was soon asking for breakfast. Clearly she had worked up an appetite overnight as she demolished egg and bacon, an  individual apple pie (don't ask!), some porridge, and some cheese. She then proceeded to work it all off during the morning as she charged about.

By lunchtime she was hungry again - two sausages and a complete tin of ravioli sorted that out. AT this point she was getting fractious so the Silver Vixen took her up to bed and she just crashed for and hour or so. She's spent the afternoon playing in he sandpit, right up to the the arrival of Pistol Pete to collect her.

A rum and coke for the Silver Vixen and a G&T for the Gorse Fox seem like an adequate reward for the day's efforts... as a large pan of ragu bubbles away on the stove.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019


It's Wednesday so the Silver Vixen had Pilates and the Gorse Fox had football. There had been some early morning rain but it had cleared by the time we set off.

The Gorse Fox had a good session. None of "the usual suspects" turned up today so we had a really enjoyable game. There was no arguing, no moaning, and no dubious tackling, just good enjoyable football. The way the teams were picked, however, did mean that the Gorse Fox was pinned back most of the time. He did venture forward a few times, but each of his attempts on goal was parried by the goalkeeper. Never mind, it was a very enjoyable session and though the Gorse Fox failed to score we did manage to win 6-3.

The journey home was made more interesting by a torrential downpour and the fact that there was some for of "incident" near Flansham. Three ambulances and there police cars were in attendance and traffic was snarled up in all directions. It wasn't clear what the incident had been as though there were several parked cars nearby, there was no obvious damage to any of them.

This afternoon we had to p[op back to LA in order to collect Ellie. She'll be staying with us overnight as Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete's shifts are clashing. She's clearly very tired (and keeps telling us as much) but we have kept her going. Ellie had a nice video call with Urban-Cub just now and she's now in the bath and will be in bed soon. Hopefully she'll sleep well.


The Gorse Fox has just realised that it was 50 years ago this week that he returned from a year studying in US. it had been a good year in Rhode Island, but it was time to come home to the UK.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Isn't it quiet

Jasper decided that the Gorse Fox should be up and about at 6:30 this morning. No great hardship as he was already awake and it meant he got a chance to see Cousteau-Cub before she went off to work. She's been a bit under the weather for the last few days, but seemed a bit better this morning. Clearly a good night's sleep has helped.

The Silver Vixen had plans for the day. She was meeting up with a friend for lunch then going on to the Embroiderer's Guild for the afternoon. The Gorse Fox, of course, had football.

There was a very good turnout today so we had four teams... 3 or 7 and 1 of 8 players. The Gorse Fox played for the white-bibs for the first hour. We were a defensively strong team, but didn't really have a cutting edge. We fought hard and managed 3 0-0 draws. From a defender's perspective that was a good result, but it did take a lot of discipline and there was no opportunity for the Gorse Fox to roam forward.

In the second hour, the team were 6 a-side. It was a bit more open and therefore more fun. Again, we put on a disciplined defensive display and won all three games 2-1, 2-0, and 1-0. The Gorse Fox didn't cover as much ground as usual, but overall it was a good show.

Back home, the Silver Vixen is still out, and Cousteau-Cub is going out with friends from work when she's finished. A very quiet afternoon... only interrupted by the beeping of the Instant Pot as it cooks a 2kg chicken. The Gorse Fox has made use of the time to catch up on some scanning and filing and checking that "Lightroom" is able to handle the ".heic" photos from the new phone. (It is!)

Monday, June 10, 2019

Hello, hell, hello again.

Filthy wet day today. This is what it must be like living in Wales.

The Gorse Fox had an early trip to Sainsbury's planned - the car needed diesel and Her Majesty's Constabulary needed a USB Flash drive. What? you might ask.

The Gorse Fox received his fourth call from the Police regarding the attempt to gain entry to our car last week. This time they wanted to come round and take a formal statement and wanted a copy of the CCTV footage on a flash drive... which (of course) the Gorse Fox had to provide. He wasn't that bothered by this; if it helps to get this woman convicted it was £6 well spent.

The PCSO arrived late morning and viewed the footage. He commented that he now understood why the Gorse Fox had been given the name of the suspect. It was very clear and he recognised he immediately. We then went on to do the statement. This was all done on his special mobile phone... but instead of just recording what the Gorse Fox had to say, he laboriously typed it out on the screen's keyboard. As he was finishing the Gorse Fox commented that there had been another incident over night. This was reported on the local Facebook page and had been reported to the Police online. He read through the Facebook data and commented that our suspect had been released on bail, and he doesn't believe in coincidences.

It was a quiet afternoon waiting for the British Gas engineer to arrived and perform the annual boiler service. He was a nice chap and got the job done without any fuss. He also came in and bled a couple of our radiators in the bathrooms.

Sunday, June 09, 2019

Up North

Well everything is relative... There are those who believe "The North" starts at the Watford Gap, or York, or Manchester. The Gorse Fox believes the North starts at an imaginary East-West line that joins London and Bristol. By this reckoning he used to live "up North" when he lived in Hertfordshire, and when we lived in Bedfordshire. Today we were heading "up North".

Meeting with Denise and Dom, we had to find some point between us where we could have a leisurely lunch and a coffee and a long chinwag. We hadn't actually seen them since last November, so there was a great deal of gossip to catch up on. We had chosen to meet near Newbury. (Newbury itself is below the imaginary line but the Gorse Fox had found a gastro-pub in Peasemore which is just above the line - we were eating up north).

The journey was pretty uneventful even if the SatNav on the Qashqai decided to send us right through Newbury instead of round the outside. The Gorse Fox hates that SatNav.

We arrived at The Fox at Peasemore about 20 minute before they were due to open, but we were in need of the bathroom by the time we arrived and the chap opened up early for us.

We met the owner Laura who showed us to our table - clearly in the prime location in the bay window. We settled down for a coffee while waiting for D&D and chatted to Laura. It turns out that she knows our are well with contacts in Middleton-on-Sea and a friend in Chichester. She was absolutely charming and made us feel so welcome.

D&D turned up just after midday and we settled down with the menu. The Silver Vixen had lemon sole, Denise had baked hake, Dom had roast beef, and the Gorse Fox had roast turkey. The food was exquisite. It is quite clear why this pub is rated No.3 in the whole Newbury area.

We had a lovely few hours chatting over our meals and drinks before repairing outside and sitting on the rear patio for another hour. In the field next door, the village fete was in full swing, but we resisted. Soon after four the clouds had set in and it started to rain. We took this as an omen and bidding our goodbyes set off back to civilisation in the South.

This is a spot well worth visiting and certainly one to which we will return when we meet with D&D again.

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Just faffing

It has been incredibly windy today, so much so that they cancelled the Bognor Regis Carnival and Bake Off on health and safety grounds. This didn't affect us as we had no plans to attend anyway!

After a quiet start the Silver Vixen, Cousteau-Cub and the Gorse Fox decided to grab the bus and hit the high life in Chichester. The Silver Vixen wanted to return a dress to M&S and Cousteau-Cub wanted to look round several "previously loved" shops. It was lovely and sunny and the Gorse Fox left the girls to the shopping while he watched the world go by. He took the opportunity to try out the camera on the new phone as he looked down North Street towards the cross.

We strolled back down South Street and stopped at The Chantry for a bite to eat. It was meant to be only a snack, but their portions do tend to be generous. Whether we have any dinner tonight is still up for discussion. The Gorse Fox suspects it will only be something light.

The Silver Vixen spent some time pottering in the garden this afternoon and the Gorse Fox has been looking up various accessories on the computer. The earphones that you get with the latest iPhones are so uncomfortable and difficult to keep in that he is considering finding an alternative.

We plan to meet up with the Silver Vixen's sister and brother-in-law tomorrow.

Friday, June 07, 2019


It's been a very wet day thanks to the tail end of low pressure area this morning and the arrival of Storm Miguel this afternoon. We had planned to go into Chichester, but that can now wait until the weather is a little more clement.

The day was brightened up, however, when Urban-Cub arrived with Ellie this morning. It turns out though, that Ellie was a little under the weather and spent much of the morning asleep. AT least it gave Urban-Cub a chance to get some admin done.

The Gorse Fox has all but finished setting up his phone. The only outstanding item (he thinks) is to get his Nat West bank app working again. Obviously whatever he tried first thing wasn't't working and though he repeated the attempt several times he clearly broke some arbitrary limit and told him to forget it until tomorrow.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Pinpoint adverts

Now the Gorse Fox is not a medical professional. (He points this out just in case there had been any doubt in your mind). He was, however, somewhat confused when he went to gents washroom at West Quay.

In front of every urinal was a small picture fram (about A4 in size). Every one of these frames had exactly the same advertisement on display. It was an advertisement from from the NHS. It asked the reader "You would miss these..." and displayed a aircraft, a train, an interview appointment, and birthday or anniversary, then continued "so why would you miss your cervical smear test?"

Now the Gorse Fox reiterates that he is not a medical professional, but he suspects that these adverts are not being aimed at the correct demographic.

For the teacher

The pal for the day was to head to Southampton. The Gorse Fox wanted to go to the Apple Store and it is always nice strolling round West Quay. Ocado seemed to be in on the plan because they delivered our shopping early and we were able to get on the road earlier than expected. We had a brilliant run through and were parked in the multi-story 50 minutes after leaving home.

We headed straight to Apple as the Gorse Fox expected that it would take some time to get sorted. We were greeted and assigned our own little troll and, within a few minutes, the Gorse Fox was the proud owner of new phone and was sitting down starting the data transfer between the iCloud and the new phone. The Silver Vixen wandered off for some shopping, knowing this was like to take a while. In the end we were pretty well set up within 30 minutes.

We went off for a coffee and a wander round. The Silver Vixen had wanted a new handbag and after examining all that was on offer in John Lewis found a Radley bag that fitted the bill to a tee. Then we hit M&S where we managed to find an outfit that suited her beautifully.

We had realised, while having our coffee that the battery on the Silver Vixen's phone was giving trouble. It had plunged by about 30% in the hour. We returned to Apple and arranged to have a new battery fitted... that, however, would take a while so we left the phone and headed off to the new West Quay South to find some lunch. Our restaurant du jour was Casa Brasil. This provides a choice of lunchtime foods but we opted for the buffet plus rodizio grill. This meant that as long as we showed a green placemat, the waiter would continue to bring us various BBQ'd meats... chicken, chorizo, sirloin steak, gammon, pork, turkey.... and so forth. It was very good, and though the meat just kept coming, the portions were a sensible (i.e. small) size so you managed to get a lot of flavours long before you were full.

We returned to Apple. Though we had returned at the time suggested, the phone wasn't ready. It turns out that the engineer had broken the screen connector when he opened the phone, so not only did we get a new batter, we got a new screen. The Gorse Fox pointed out that the screen had had a glass screen protector on it, so they also fitted a replacement (free of charge). The Silver Vixen has a nicely refurbished phone as a result.

Despite leaving around five o'clock we had a pretty painless run through Southampton and along the M27/A27 to home. That was an unexpected bonus.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Hello, Hell, Hello

Nice bright start to the day but it did cloud over and the temperature dropped a bit. The Silver Vixen wasn't feeling it today, so decided that Pilates would be a step too far and stayed at home.

The Gorse Fox headed off for football as usual. The roadworks that delayed his trip yesterday were unlikely to be finished, so he took a slightly longer route. This proved to be a good choice as he arrived earlier than usual - the A29 and A27 were spectacularly clear today.

Football looked as if it was going to be a close run thing. The sides looked pretty even, but in the end the yellows ran out 3-1 winners. Unfortunately the Gorse Fox was on the orange team. The game was marred by some agricultural tackles from the usual suspects and childish tantrums (and storming off the pitch) from another. It seems to me that some people wish to play the game by their own rules. They don't like the official rules, and argue about every decision that goes against them when they stray into their own rule book. The Gorse Fox has a very simple view of this - if you are not willing to play to the official rules - then don't play; we can live without you!

Back home, the Gorse Fox was preparing lunch when the phone rang. It was the Police responding to yesterday's incident. We had a long chat and the Gorse Fox helped all he could. It seems bizarre that the technology the Police have a their disposal won't accept video by email, can't accept it on a USB stick or SD card, and expects it to be submitted on a CD! Who still has computers old enough to read and write CDs? The Gorse Fox suggested he put it in a shared folder in the Cloud which they could access. That seemed to satisfy them, but in the end they saw the copy that was on Facebook and decided that would do.

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Nice try

The Gorse Fox is not talking about rugby.

A message came in from Old Bill. He had picked up an incident on his CCTV. A young woman had been detected trying to get in to Two Hats' and our our cars. The Gorse Fox went back to his own CCTV and sure enough, there she was, brazenly trying the doors of our cars. The Facebook page for the development was already alive with comments but we were able to add video evidence. The Gorse Fox reported it to Sussex Police via their website. He then had the idea of posting the video to the Bognor Regis Facebook page. This stirred things up and within the hour he had a private message identifying the woman in question. All of this has been forwarded to the Police.

Meanwhile, the Gorse Fox had some football scheduled. It took a lot longer than usual to get there as there were roadworks on the A259 near Worthing. This added 20 minutes to the journey and subtracted 20 minutes from his warm up round the running track. The turn out today was sparse (for a Tuesday) and meant that we had only two teams. It was 9-v-9 (which is never good). The Gorse Fox had to be be disciplined as we were under continuous attack. In fact we lost 2-0, 1-0, and 2-0. Not a good result, though the Gorse Fox did have a few flashes of skill that even caused comment from the ref.

Back home it's been a quiet afternoon interrupted by a quick trip to Sainsbury's to get some fresh coriander. Tonight's supper was butter chicken with rice... and even if he says so himself, it was excellent.

Monday, June 03, 2019

Fangs for the memory

Another lovely day. The Gorse Fox must say that the weather here near Bognor Regis has, over the last few years, been absolutely lovely. The Gorse Fox has always held that there is a micro climate here, caused by the shelter afforded by the Isle of Wight, the Manhood Peninsula, and the South Downs, and this seems to consistently give us about the best weather in the country.

The Silver Vixen was off to meet up with a friend at Haskins today, so she headed off before ten o'clock as she wanted to get a bit of shopping done first. The Gorse Fox had an appointment at the dentist so he could hang on a bit longer... and anyway, he was travelling by bus (just love that senior citizen bus pass).

Dentist went well. She poked about, took some x-rays, poked about some more, examined the x-rays, then gave the Gorse Fox a clean bill of health and commented on how healthy everything looked. That was good news as he doesn't like "intervention".

Back home he's been cleaning up his old iPad and transferring the old mind maps to the new iThoughts module. Some of them brought back some very fond memories, just as others recalled some absolute nightmares.

Sunday, June 02, 2019


Well the Champions League final didn't end with a Spurs triumph. Maybe the Gorse Fox should have been playing!

We had a fairly typical 5-6-5 game today. The Gorse Fox's initial analysis of the teams was that we were going to get thumped. Well his analysis was wrong (again). It was a close run game and we managed to end up as 6-5 winners. The Gorse Fox was particularly pleased as he controlled the centre-back, central midfield positions well and acted as focus for spreading the ball around between our players. In the end he had managed to marshal the win and scored five goals along the way. A very good morning.

Leaving the Arun Sports Arena he popped along to LA and picked up Cousteau-Cub. Pistol Pete was still out with the dog, and Urban-Cub was at work. Jake was looking after Ellie.

Back home he has been reviewing the apps on his old iPad and deciding what to do about it. It is so old that it no longer receives updates and whilst it is very slow, it does work. One of his favourite apps was a mind mapping tool called iThoughtsHD. This has now been superseded by iThoughts. The advantage of the latter being that it runs on iPhone and iMac also. The problem is that the format of the files has changed. The Gorse Fox wrote to the developer for advice and received a response within the hour - very impressive. Unfortunately, it doesn't work because of the age of the iPad and the fact that it is too ancient to support the feature to which he refers. There are several other options, however, and the Gorse Fox will have to give them a whirl. He certainly wouldn't want to lose all the old mind maps that he had created. Some of these document the very real problems that some of Starfleet's customers were facing at the time - some solutions, and the fact they they thought they knew best (and almost never did). Next step will be to try and set up a WebDAV server on "tawny owl" and copy the files to there.

Saturday, June 01, 2019

Cooking with gas

Much of this morning was taken up with domestic duties. The floors had to be washed throughout downstairs and that always takes a while, by the time the furniture is shifted and then replaced. the Silver Vixen meanwhile was pottering in the garden and Cousteau-Cub had popped in to Bognor Regis to try and get to a hairdresser.

Urban-Cub called. An impromptu BBQ was arranged and got our bits and pieces together and headed over to LA.

We had a lovely few hours in the garden, chatting, and playing with Ellie. Pistol Pete fired up the gas BBQ and several metric tonnes of meat prepared - beef burgers, sausages, lamb kebabs, pork steaks, chicken pieces, kitchen and chorizo kebabs, salmon, and heavens knows what else.

It really was a feast - and absolutely delicious.

We left Cousteau-Cub with Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete and headed home. It was Champions League Finals night, but the Gorse Fox decided he didn't want the stress of watch Spurs play Liverpool... so we had a quite evening catching up on various recordings on the Sky-Q box.