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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.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Beach time

It was a little cooler today. Still warm, but there was a cool breeze. Urban-Cub arrived just before 0900 to drop Ellie off with us. Ellie was clearly under the weather and was very clingy. To be fair, instead of being a misery, as many children can be when unwell, she was just a bit subdued.

The Gorse Fox dropped Cousteau-Cub off at work, mid-morning. She was explaining, on the way, that the Coventry Hobbit was not going to have his work permit renewed. His Visa allows him to stay until February, but his regular work will stop. He'll still be able to do some freelance work. The timing isn't great as it expires just as he returns to Thailand after his impending trip to the UK. The question they have to sort out is where he is going to go, and what he is going to do. Life is never boring!

Ellie had a nap at lunchtime and seemed a lot brighter afterwards. We decided a trip would perk her up.

The three of us hopped on the bus into Bognor Regis and after a quick stop in a furniture shop, we headed down to the promenade.

Ellie played on the swings for ages, whilst keeping a close eye on all the other children in the playground. We finally coaxed her away and stopped for an ice cream, then she dragged us back to play area and explored the slides and the swings some more.

It was coming up to 1700 before we hopped on the bus to head home for some tea. As the Gorse Fox writes, Ellie is in the bath under the keen supervision of the Silver Vixen. She still seems a little under the weather but hopefully a good night's sleep will restore her to her usual self.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Just stuff

It's been a nice day, though cooler than of late. The Gorse Fox was up first and pottered in the kitchen for an hour or so before there was any further sign of life. He had used the time to extend his infamous accounts spreadsheet even further. In turn, these additions have triggered further ideas that he will ponder before committing fingers to keyboard.

Urban-cub turned up with Ellie. Ellie would spend the day with us, and Pistol Pete would collect her when his shift finishes this afternoon. There was a certain degree of chaos during the handover as Ellie was eager to see Cousteau-cub, and she was only just emerging. At the same time, the window-cleaner had arrived to make everything sparkling clean and knocked for payment. Ocado was also due but fortunately, they were running late.

The rest of the day has really been spent at Ellie's beck and call.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

What's Up

The Gorse Fox is not playing football today. Cousteau-cub still needs to be taken to and from work, so he skipped football in order to help out.

There had been a bit of rain overnight, but nothing much. It was bright and warm when we went down for breakfast. The Silver Vixen headed off to Pilates and the Gorse Fox stayed put. The initial idea was to create some pivot tables in the accounts spreadsheet, but he was distracted for a while by the fact "condor" (the big Mac) seemed unresponsive. It took a while to get everything back to normal, but now it seems to be fine.

Returning to the accounts spreadsheet, the Gorse Fox created the first of the pivot tables. He will ponder its value for a while before rolling it out further across the months.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Peregrine Down

It is an inauspicious day. Peregrine, the Gorse Fox's production server is down. It has run without intervention or interruption for 930 days but today it off the air. The Gorse Fox tried to resurrect it, hoping it was just a networking problem, it wasn't. This actually required a reboot. As it was in this state, it seemed like a good opportunity to bring it up-to-date with all of the latest fixes and kernel changes. It took about an hour to get everything done, but now the server is humming away in the Batcave again. Hopefully, it will be another few years before the next intervention is required.

The weather today has been glorious again. Temperatures have been up in the high 20s and the sky has been cloudless. It was a lovely day to play football. At least, that's what the Gorse Fox thought, but many of his fellow players spent the whole time complaining about the heat. It goes without saying that there was no second session. With all the complaints about the heat, the players just melted away at the end of the first hour. The Gorse Fox had done his customary laps of the track before the football started, then played for the green-bibs. We drew the first game, lost the second and drew the third game. It must be said that we played some lovely football, though the Gorse Fox failed to score this week.

The Silver Vixen met up with one her coven in Arundel. She commented on how hot it had been and also how busy Arundel was today. The outdoor lido was clearly doing a roaring business.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Bank Holiday

The nice thing about a Bank Holiday is that you do not have to go to work. The nice thing about being retired is that every day is like a Bank Holiday. Today was a gorgeous day with record-breaking temperatures. The Gorse Fox had opened up the house early in the morning and maintained a pleasant airflow throughout the day. While it was hot outside, it was quite comfortable indoors.

There wasn't a great deal on the agenda. The Gorse Fox was distracted by some family tree stuff. This ended up consuming several hours of investigation and discovering some more cousins for the Silver Vixen. There's a bit more to do, but the groundwork has been completed.

The Gorse Fox manages his household accounts and budgets with a fairly sophisticated spreadsheet. Several thoughts collided and sent him scurrying down another track. The first thought was about the BBC show "Shop Well for Less". This is a rather pathetic look at people who have overspent and shows them how much money they could save if they hadn't overspent in the past. This made him think that the best thing they could do is manage their accounts and budgets properly. The second thought was that the cubs could probably benefit from a similar idea. Now, a spreadsheet such as that used by the Gorse Fox is all very fine if you sit down at a laptop every day, but maybe a better solution is a tool on the phone or tablet. The research started and in the end, the Gorse Fox installed "YOLT" to try it out and see if it was fit for purpose. Initial testing seems fine and it may be just what the cubs need... and is certainly what the victims of the BBC programme need.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Family day

It was a cracking day, lovely and warm, hardly a cloud in the sky, and only the slightest of breezes. It was a day to savour.

Unfortunately, there was no football. Some of our players clearly have no dedication and think it's more important to go away on holiday than it is to play football on a Sunday morning. No commitment! The Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen had a quiet morning pottering about. We were expecting Urban-cub and Ellie to bring Cousteau-cub this afternoon and to stay for dinner, so the Gorse Fox popped round to the shops for some last-minute cheesecake!

The early afternoon was spent enjoying the sun in the garden, but then the Gorse Fox had to start on dinner and the Silver Vixen did some dead-heading in the flower pots. The family turned up mid-afternoon and we had a lovely few hours together with dinner out on the deck.

Saturday, August 24, 2019


It was a glorious day. The Gorse Fox suspects people were heading for the coast in their droves. We had different plans. We headed up to the wilds of Hampshire to spend the day with Betty and Barney Rubble.

Driving against the flow, we had a wonderful journey up and had soon settled down for a cup of coffee and biscuit in their back garden. We caught up on all their domestic and family news. They too have ordered a new car. This was forced upon them by their impending house move. The new house has a single-car garage and a single parking spot. Their Prius wouldn't fit in the garage, nor would the Mondeo, so they have decided to sell the Prius and have ordered a Fiesta Active. This is small enough to fit in the garage. The Gorse Fox suspects that by the time we see them next, they will be ensconced in their new home.

At lunchtime, we headed off to the Hoddington Arms at Upton Grey. We had been there once before, several years ago, and liked it. It was time to revisit. We weren't disappointed. The staff were very friendly and the service was good. The menu was fairly extensive for a small out-of-the-way pub, but that doesn't detract from the quality of the food. We all started with some cod goujons, but then diverged over the main course. The Gorse Fox had some beer-battered haddock and it was really delicious. We were so full that we all skipped the desserts and headed back to Odiham.

We had a lovely afternoon drinking tea and chatting before bidding our farewells and getting back on the road home. Again we had an excellent trip back, clearly choosing a time when nobody else fancied being on the roads.

Friday, August 23, 2019

It had to happen

Yes, it had to happen. Ellie is just so good at night that we almost take it for granted. Last night, however, she actually woke and the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen had to go into her. She eventually dropped back off to sleep after about 90 minutes and, fortunately, didn't wake until 8 o'clock.

Urban-cub arrived to collect Ellie and take Cousteau-cub into work. This left the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox a couple of hours before we met up with the Sonning Crew. We had arranged to go into Chichester by bus and grab lunch at The Giggling Squid. It had been arranged as a "thank you" for the Gorse Fox taking Old Bill along to the hospital last week. It was a very generous and highly appreciated gesture.

As usual, the Giggle Squid provided a lovely setting for our lunch. Some tucked into the tapas platters, but the Gorse Fox went for the Chicken Gra Pao - asking for a "hot" version. It was delicious and it is unlikely any of us will need to eat again today. As usual, when we go out with the Sonning Crew, we had a lovely time.

Back home, the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox took a stroll along to the far end of the Crescent where the builder's hoardings have just been taken down. This gave us an opportunity to see the layout of the latest phase of houses that have been built and get our bearings regarding the area where the next houses will soon rise from the dirt.

Thursday, August 22, 2019


The theory is that Ocado will turn up sometime between 09:30 and 10:30 with our weekly shop. At 10:30 last night we received a message to inform us that they had operational problems and our delivery had been cancelled. They were kind enough to give us a voucher for the inconvenience caused.

This morning dawned and the Gorse Fox headed across to LA to collect Ellie. Urban-cub had an early meeting at the airport and a diversion to us didn't make sense. We were soon home and Ellie was tucking into egg and bacon with toast and marmite. So far so good.

We printed off the list of items we had planned to get from Ocado and headed off to Sainsbury's. AN hour or so later we staggered home with the shopping. The list was all very fine, but it was based on Ocado's categorisation which is "cupboard", "fridge", or "freezer". This bears no resemblance to the way in which goods are organised in the supermarket. We zigged, we zagged, we doubled back, we looped and at times, we gave up. Eventually, we were done and everything was stowed away. Ellie had been very good and patient throughout the trip, which was a bonus.

There was a very quick turnaround. We headed back to the car, this time with Cousteau-cub in tow. We parked up in Chichester and Cousteau-cub hobbled into work while the Silver Vixen headed off with Ellie and the Gorse Fox went along to get his regular chiropody appointment. When we met up again we decided to grab some lunch so headed into "Crispin's". It's always so friendly in there and the Silver Vixen was able to share her jacket potato, bacon, and beans with Ellie. The Gorse Fox went for a Caesar salad.

Ellie fell asleep before we had even left the car park, but woke with vengeance as soon as we got home. We spent the afternoon in the garden with her playing in the sandpit. Hopefully, we have wor her out and she will go down quietly at bedtime.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019


It's been a lovely day. There's wall-to-wall sunshine, and the temperatures are in the low 20s. Very comfortable. The Gorse Fox had cried off football again today, Cousteau-Cub still needs help getting to and from work - and while she is improving, we are happy to do our bit.

The Silver Vixen was out at Pilates for the morning and the Gorse Fox spent the time fiddling with this blog. He had received several comments from Google regarding some of the settings and some old posts which it deemed to be sub-optimal for mobile consumption. This triggered a bit of fiddling about and some experimentation. Thus we have a new theme, some widgets have been removed, and a couple of very old posts have been updated.

All Change

The Gorse Fox thought it was about time for a change of themes for the blog, and time to remove some of the redundant widgets. Please let him know if this causes any problems.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019


The Gorse Fox was up early this morning. He had to get Cousteau-Cub into work and planned to leave a little earlier than usual for football.

He arrived at the sports centre just after half-nine, got changed and headed out onto the running track. He had to make up for yesterday's indulgence! So it was that before the football started he had already tucked 9 laps of the track under his belt.

The football went well. We were a well organised team and moved the ball around between us. In the first game we managed a 4-1 win. The second game (which looked a bit harder) ended up 4-0, with a goal contribution from the Gorse Fox. In the last game of the first hour we managed a 2-0 win. As usual there was a big change of personnel and teams at that point. In the second hour we managed a win 2-1, a loss of 2-0, and a draw. It was really nice to get a full two hours of football played with decent numbers of players for the first time in a while. The Gorse Fox managed to cover over 12kms over the sessions - so felt that he had made up for yesterday's indulgences.

Monday, August 19, 2019

That was good

Now that really was good.

The Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen headed into Bognor Regis on the bus. We were deposited at the end of the road where "Mustard's Bar and Restaurant" is, a few seconds later were were walking in the door.

It was surprisingly busy for 7 o'clock on a Monday evening and we had to elbow our way through the bar area to the restaurant. We later found out that there a supper club from Aldwick meeting there this evening and they were busy getting their drinks in before going through to sit down.

By going through immediately we were able to be seated, get our drinks, and place our order before the restaurant filled up.

The food was simply superb. The Silver Vixen had a Terrine of Nutbourne Tomatoes and the Gorse Fox chose Seared Sesame Crusted Tuna Loin. He has eaten in restaurants far and wide, but he has never had such a wonderful piece of tuna. It's a shame really. The Gorse Fox can't see himself ever ordering anything else as a starter, yet there was so much from which to choose.

For our entrees, the Silver Vixen chose Half a Lobster and the Gorse Fox selected Beef Wellington. Again these were excellent. It may be just a small restaurant, but the standard of the food is off the traditional scale.

Finally, the Silver Vixen had Pear Poached in Sauternes, and the Gorse Fox had Triple Chocolate Brownie.

What a stunning meal. To cap it off, we left the restaurant and as we got to the end of the road, the bus turned up. Perfect meal, and perfect timing.


A day of sunshine and showers, but more importantly it is our 46th Wedding Anniversary. We have a quiet meal planned at a local restaurant tonight, but most of the rest of the day has been fairly typical. It started with running Cousteau-Cub into Chichester for work, then after some breakfast, we got on with various domestic chores. We stopped for some lunch and spent some time looking at hotel booking sites with a view to taking a few days away around the time of the Gorse Fox’s birthday, next year. We were looking at places in Devon and Cornwall, but haven’t decided on any particular location as yet.

The afternoon was spent with code again. Having had such a successful afternoon yesterday, the Gorse Fox thought he’d set up the same environment on the Mac in his office. No such luck. The base IDE installed with no problems, but the GUI extension failed to link in, whatever he tried. A frustrating couple of hours.

The Gorse Fox has just got back from collecting Cousteau-Cub from work and taking her to the chiropractor. Now we are just getting ready to go into Bognor Regis for dinner.

Sunday, August 18, 2019


The day started with torrential rain. This continued until mid-morning. Then the sky brightened up and the clouds were shredded by the ever-strengthening wind. Now, late in the afternoon, the sky is blue, the temperature is quite comfortable, but the wind is still fierce.

The Gorse Fox had football this morning. It was a simple 6-a-side game and, at first glance, looked well balanced. We had the two most mobile players, but they had a team that boasted all mobile players. We were under the cosh. By half time we were 4-0 down. Fortunately, we started to claw things back but never quite caught up. The final score was about 6-4. No goals from the Gorse Fox this week. He was too busy defending.

Back home it has been a quiet afternoon. The Silver Vixen has been reading and the Gorse Fox has drip-feeding some more aspects of coding in Python. He has now found a simple graphical user interface that he can use for simple dialogues, messages, and other displays. He doesn't need anything too fancy as he isn't trying to develop any complex systems. PySimpleGUI seems to fit the bill. Soon he will be ready to invent some application (or reinvent some utility) that will enable him to put all of this together.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

More code

Nothing really to report today. The Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen pottered around first thing, then settled down for a day with our hobbies.

The Silver Vixen was sewing in the Orangery, the Gorse Fox was watching YouTube and practising various coding techniques. Cousteau-cub managed to go out for a couple of short walks, but spent the day as quietly as possible.

Friday, August 16, 2019


Friday started earlier than planned. Jasper had decided he wanted to go out and, to reinforce the point, he used the Gorse Fox as a trampoline until he relented and opened up. Once up, there was little point in trying to go back to bed so the Gorse Fox had his first coffee of the day and settled down with YouTube.

The Gorse Fox has found a presenter on YouTube that has a clarity of style that makes learning quite easy. Though he has written Python code in the past, he never found that it flowed off keyboard the way some other languages did. The day, interrupted only by taking Cousteau-cub to Chichester, and lunch, has been spent buried in these YouTube videos as Corey Schaffer has patiently built up the Gorse Fox's understanding. In parallel,  he has upgraded the version of Python and the development tools on each of his computers.

The weather, as forecast, collapsed soon after lunch. It's quite dark and the rain has been pouring down for most of the afternoon.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

An arm full

Cousteau-Cub had to go to the chiropractor but the Gorse Fox was due at the surgery to get his bloods taken. The Silver Vixen stepped in. She ferried Cousteau-Cub across to Rustington and left the Gorse Fox to take his arm along to the surgery.

Perhaps he should explain. The NHS is currently providing free health checks for people between the ages of 40 and 74. As the Gorse Fox sneaks in to the lower end of the range he thought it would be sensible to have just such a check. He duly turned up at the surgery and presented his arm. The phlebotomist stuck her needle in and the vein started to express his very life-force. Unfortunately, the vein immediately shutdown. Perplexed, she grabbed another needle and stabbed him once again. There was a quick squirt of claret and, again, the vein shutdown. She decided to try the other arm. This was getting serious. The Gorse Fox only has the two arms and if this one didn't work there was no plan "c". The needle penetrated his limb and the process repeated itself; squirt, trickle, nothing. She decided the only solution was a different and much finer needle. She returned to the first arm. Blood finally squirted out and several vials were filled. She apologised for using the Gorse Fox as a dart board and he headed home. He will return in a couple of weeks or so to get the results.

The Silver Vixen arrived home with Cousteau-Cub who promptly went upstairs to lie down and get some relief before going in to work.

When the time had come, the Gorse Fox headed to Chichester with Cousteau-Cub. The usual 10 minute drive took well over 30 minutes today. It would appear that a van had overturned on the Fishbourne roundabout and the traffic was tailing back everywhere. As he fought through the back-doubles we heard that the A27 had been closed eastbound for recovery of the vehicle. Cousteau-Cub was duly dropped at work and the Gorse Fox, this time heading against the traffic, was home in few minutes.

We have received the quotation for the replacement of the decking. It is far more than we are willing to pay so we will look at other alternatives.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019


We\re not talking about football. It's the weather. It's been a foul day with incessant rain and blustery winds. The few breaks that have occurred were enough to lull people out then trap them in the next downpour. The Gorse Fox was not silly enough to get caught by that old ploy.

The Silver Vixen went off to Pilates this morning. The Gorse Fox had dropped out of the football. He had to get Cousteau-Cub to work in Chichester and had volunteered to take Old Bill across to Shoreham for a hospital appointment. Knowing the various bottlenecks between here and Shoreham, the Gorse Fox kept an eye on the traffic throughout the morning. Three options were suggested, none looked too problematic. In the end the Gorse Fox plumped for the A27 and despite being caught by two trains at Westergate, we still managed to complete the journey in 45 minutes.

Leaving Two Hats and Lady Penelope at the hospital, the Gorse Fox headed to the nearby superstores and plugging his headset into his ears went for a stroll around M&S and Tesco while listening to his book. Once bored with that, he returned to the car and sat in peace while the narrator chatted in his ears. A couple of hours later, as he had gone to grab a coffee, the text arrived to say the hospital appointment was over.

The Gorse Fox picked up his charges and pottered home through the late afternoon traffic. It looked as if it would be dire, but we managed to keep moving and were home within the hour.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Stacked Deck

After yesterday‘s storm, today’s lovely weather came as a very pleasant surprise. The Gorse Fox had football scheduled for this morning. But first, he had to take Cousteau-cub into Chichester ready for work.

There had been a tournament yesterday consequently there were fewer players than normal today. We did, however, have sufficient players to have a decent seven-a-side match. GorseFox was playing for the team with blue bibs and in the first game, we had to fight hard to manage a 0-0 draw. In the second game, we actually managed to win one 1-0. In the third game, we lost 2-1. The Gorse Fox did not manage any of the goals today however he was very pleased that he put on a very creditable defensive display.

Back home, the Silver Vixen had gone out to have a wander around in Bognor Regis. Gorse Fox grabbed a bite to eat and waited for the Silver Vixen’s return. We had a man scheduled to meet us this afternoon and look at our deck with a view to possibly replacing it with a composite deck. Whilst we are happy with the deck itself unfortunately as it is wood it is liable to splinters and Ellie does insist on running around in bare feet. A composite deck would at least ensure that she could not do any damage to her feet. We will have to see what his quote comes back as.

Monday, August 12, 2019


The G-Force were on duty until mid-afternoon. It was a wet and blustery day so we didn't really get an opportunity to take Ellie out to play. The Gorse Fox took her with him when he drove Cousteau-cub into work, but that was just the start to the day. Once home we sorted out some breakfast and then spent the morning playing, drawing, listening to nursery rhymes, and running around in the Orangery. She was, mostly, a joy to be with, but she did have her moments of absolute defiance.

After Urban-cub had collected Ellie, the Gorse Fox had to get Cousteau-cub from work and take her across to Rustington to see the chiropractor. We saw some pretty spectacular lightning on the way across and were washed by some heavy rain. Fortunately, it had almost stopped by the time we had to leave the car. Cousteau-cub seems to be making some steady progress and seems a lot better this week. Clearly, she will need to be careful but it's good to see things improving.

Sunday, August 11, 2019


The wind had dropped overnight. There was the odd drop of rain, but nothing that would really constitute a shower. We had a quiet start to the day. Old Bill suggested a walk along the promenade to get some coffee, and despite the attractiveness of the idea, we declined. We had several minor tasks to clear before G-Foce started their shift.

Pistol Pete had problems. A couple of fence panels had blown down in the storm. The Gorse Fox had volunteered to help replace them. We headed across to LA. Urban-Cub was a fair bit better today and was certain that she would be back at work tomorrow. The Gorse Fox helped Pistol Pete as fence panels were shuffled and others were fixed. It didn't take too long. Soon the garden was fully enclosed again.

We brought Ellie back with us and, as usual, she is in the bath and the Gorse Fox writes this. The sound of laughter and of splashing water pervades the house. It is always such a joy to listen to this, and such a relief not to be part of it!

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Candles - not in this wind

The forecast storm had hit overnight. There was some rain, but the real force was in the wind. Our heavy garden furniture was waltzing its way around the garden when we opened up the blinds. Several of our acers had toppled over in their pots. Several times throughout the day we went out to straighten things up.

Today was Urban-cub's birthday. She was meant to be at work but was still off sick. We planned to go across and see her. The Silver Vixen went across first so that she could watch Ellie while Pistol Pete took the dogs for a walk. The Gorse Fox and Cousteau-cub followed once Cousteau-cub was up and about and feeling able.

With Urban-cub still under the weather it was not really much of a celebration. We sat and chatted and looked after Ellie. Pistol Pete went out to do the big shop, and we sent Urban-cub back up to bed for an hour or so. We stayed on until late afternoon and then headed home. We'll see them again on Sunday as G-Force will be on duty overnight.

On a different note, the Gorse Fox has had problems with using his phone to play music or books while driving. He has never managed to get it working properly in either car. He decided he would have a concerted effort to solve the problem. Out came the manual for the Fiesta and he re-read the details. Doh! The problem was that he had not been unlocking his phone prior to connecting it to the car. He tried it out. It worked the first time. He then tried it in the Qashqai. It worked. All of this time he has silently cursed the fact it wasn't working, and the reason was he had not unlocked it! Oh well, he had the most of it and listened to part of a book on the way back from LA.

Friday, August 09, 2019


Well, that didn't quite go to plan.

J&T turned up as expected and we sat down for some tea and a chat. So far, so good. We heard the saga of Blade & Sophie's house move, and how it hasn't yet happened but is due this coming week. We chatted about the new cars that we have been considering and eventually ordered. At an appropriate moment, the Gorse Fox ordered fish and chips for us all. We settled down to eat. As the Gorse Fox was taking his last mouthful, the phone rang. It was Amber calling from Urban-cub's phone. Urban-cub had caught her finger in the car door and "there was blood everywhere", could one of us go over to help?

The Gorse Fox grabbed his keys, said goodbye to J&T and headed across to LA. Urban-cub was lying on the kitchen floor, Ellie was sitting on a little stool next to her,, and Amber and her friend were trying to keep calm. Urban-cub's hand was wrapped in a tea cloth which contained a bag of frozen peas and she was feeling faint. Ellie was trying to feed her with chocolate buttons, but that was making her nauseous.

The first thing to do was to assess the extent of the injury. Urban-cub can't deal with that sort of thing, so hadn't looked. The Gorse Fox carefully unwrapped the tea cloth. The cut on her finger had already started to close up and the bleeding had stopped. There was no real concern regarding the cut, the bruising, however, was likely to be a different matter. The Gorse Fox helped her to her feet and got her to the sofa in the lounge and we gave her some water. After a while, we took her up to bed and let her sleep. It turns out that she had been ill much of the day and hadn't been into work. Some of her symptoms were more likely to be a result of that illness than the accident with the car door.

The Gorse Fox stayed on until Ellie was settling down. Amber took over and said she would stay with Ellie until she was asleep, so the Gorse Fox snuck downstairs and came home.

Battening down

Strong winds and heavy rain are forecast for overnight and Saturday.  As the day has worn on, the winds have indeed got stronger and stronger. They have been battering away at the Orangery and sweeping the bifold doors open and closed as we had them partly open.  It's getting to a stage that we will have to close them completely and finish battening down the hatches. The forecast is serious enough that a number of major events have been cancelled - including Saturday's Chilli Fiesta at West Dean.

Cousteau-cub seemed a little better again today. She was able to stand at work yesterday and this helped a great deal. Apparently, her employer has called in their furniture chap to see if he can quote for a proper adjustable desk so that she can raise it to a comfortable level without propping things on books and boxes.

The Gorse Fox popped in to see Two Hats. We needed to complete the setup of his Raspberry Pi, which we had started last weekend. It only took about ten minutes to get things running how he wanted.

We are expecting J&T to drop in for tea later. We've invited them to stay for some fish and chips, but are not yet sure if they will have time.

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Driving around

It was grey but warm this morning and this afternoon has brightened up. The clouds are beginning to break up and the sky is nice and blue.

The Gorse Fox was on chauffeuring duty this morning. He had to get Cousteau-cub across to Rustington for her chiropractic appointment then get her home again. The treatment seems to be helping, but sitting at work is not good for her. She's best lying down or standing up and one of these is frowned on in most offices. Back home, she had some breakfast and then the Gorse Fox took her into work.

Back home again, the nice man from Amazon delivered the parcel-du-jour. This was a booster for the Sky-Q signal so that Cousteau-cub could watch on her tablet. The Gorse Fox set this up and tested it in the most remote corners of her room and it seems to work. Only time will tell, but he has every confidence (at the moment).

Wednesday, August 07, 2019


Cousteau-cub had an appointment with the phlebotomist so the Gorse Fox cried off football in order to take her. Strictly speaking, he could probably have done both, but he doesn't like to rush!

The SilverVixen headed off to Pilates. She left strict instructions that the Gorse Fox should hang out the washing when he returned from the surgery. As it happens, it was pouring with rain when he returned, so he used his initiative (frightening as that may seem) and grabbed the airer. This was erected in the Orangery and the washing duly hung up.

It was time to get his haircut. Unfortunately, it was also, apparently,  time to wake up Agent Mulder and Scully. The Gorse Fox stuck his phone in his pocket and as he walked to the barbershop, he accidentally dialled and redialled Agents Mulder and Scully. This is all very fine, but they are in Connecticut and thus, five hours behind us. He was calling them, repeatedly, just after five in the morning. The Gorse Fox suspects he is not the most popular cousin on this side of the Atlantic.

The rest of the morning was spent on administrative tasks. Road Fund License, emails, accounts, all sorts of trivia was cleared.

The Silver Vixen returned with Ellie in tow. We had agreed to look after her during the afternoon so that Urban-cub could do some of her own administration without interruption. As usual, she was a joy but did actually crash out for a sleep for an hour or so.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019


Cousteau-cub managed to get an emergency appointment at the doctor's this morning. This proved to be helpful because it was one of the partners, and she was able to authorise repeat prescriptions for Cousteau-cub's condition. The Silver Vixen was acting as chauffeuse so the Gorse Fox was able to go to football.

Football was limited fun. The problem was, again, the numbers. With 18 players we ended up with 9-a-side and that limits your freedom to move about. Fortunately the Gorse Fox had done four and a half kilometres on the running track before going down for the game. The game only added about 3 more kilometres... way down on what the Gorse Fox would expect. To rub salt into the wound he didn't manage to score, and to add iodine to the salt, there was no second session.

Back home Cousteau-cub is making the most of the medication and lying down with a view to being fit enough for work tomorrow.

Monday, August 05, 2019


Damp start to the day, but it brightened up nicely and we have a glorious, if windy, afternoon.

With the trials and tribulations of Two Hats' Raspberry Pi, the Gorse Fox decided he would rebuild his "falcon" from scratch using the same approach as we tried yesterday. Needless to say, it went without a hitch. The Gorse Fox did take the opportunity to modify the configuration slightly and in so doing has given himself a lot more flexibility. Though he did the whole process manually, he has been back through his configuration files so that he could do it again and run his configurator program. Very satisfying day.

Cousteau-Cub was in a lot of pain from her back this morning. The Gorse Fox is going to collect her from work and take her to the chiropractor. Hopefully, he can help. The problems she has is that she is running short on the meds and is not due back at the doctor until next week.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

That went well. Not.

A quiet day. Pleasantly warm, if not actually sunny. The Gorse Fox was up soon after seven as Jasper had decided that he needed company, or failing that, a place to howl. There was no football today as we could only muster 7 players.

The morning was filled with little victories. The most significant was that the Gorse Fox finally managed to get the remote full-screen access working to his Raspberry Pi. He's not sure that he will need to use it too much, but it's nice to know it's there.

At lunchtime, he headed across to LA to collect Cousteau-cub, but once she was deposited back at home, he headed to Sainsbury's to pick up some essentials for tonight's roast.

The rest of the afternoon was spent helping Two Hats with his Raspberry Pi again and preparing our "roast" pork.

Saturday, August 03, 2019


It was a nice slow start to the day. There was nothing specific on the agenda, but there were things that needed to be done.

The Gorse Fox was a bit concerned. He needed to wash the cars, which is not something he does with any regularity. The novelty of this activity might attract a crowd, and the Gorse Fox hadn't arranged for any seating or refreshments. He was quiet and quite circumspect as he prepared for the ordeal. This stealth approach clearly worked as he managed to get underway without any audience at all. It didn't take too long to get both cars bright and sparkly. The Fiesta is now buried back in the garage and the Qashqai is gleaming in the sun on the front driveway.

The other activity that consumed a few hours was sorting out the Raspberry Pi for Two Hats. We had to switch the 32GB Flash Drive for a 128GB device. This did not go smoothly. The Gorse Fox should have thought a little more carefully when he set it up to start with. He had mounted the original drive on '/home' and really should have dropped down a further level in the file tree, that way he wouldn't have run into the 'device in use' problems that were encountered when he started the attempted swap. In the end, a complete rebuild of the Pi seemed like the best way forward. This went without incident and the Pi has been returned to Two Hats with everything apparently working as designed, and the 128GB drive mounted where it is needed.

Ladies' Day

Yesterday was Ladies' Day at Goodwood. The Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen headed into Chichester for dinner and when we arrived we felt as if we were interlopers at some huge wedding. Ladies and gentlemen, dressed in their finery, wandered the streets of Chichester as they progressed from bar to bar or restaurant. We were decidedly underdressed for the evening in comparison with the erstwhile racegoers.

As we were a bit early, we had a sneaky drink in Trents' before moving on to Cote Brasserie. As usual, our meal was excellent and our server was absolutely charming.  The Siver Vixen started with a Prawn GratinĂ©e which she followed with the Fish Parmentier with a tomato salad. The Gorse Fox went for their August Specials menu and started with Tuna Carpaccio followed by Hake Piperade. The food was wonderful and it was a very lovely evening.

When we had finished we took a leisurely stroll down South Street to the bus station and hopped on the bus back home. Within fifteen minutes were settling down in our living room for a quiet evening.

Friday, August 02, 2019

Plans change

It's been a glorious day today. There was hardly a sign of a cloud in the sky, and the temperature has been in the low 20s. Ellie woke us at 6:30 and we were up and about by 7:00. Between the Silver Vixen, Cousteau-cub and the Gorse Fox, we tag-teamed her overwatch throughout the morning.

At lunchtime, Ellie came with us as the Gorse Fox took Cousteau-cub into work. By the time we were on the way back, she had fallen asleep. Of course, the journey is only ten minutes usually, and that just wasn't long enough. She woke as the Gorse Fox tried to get her out of the car, and though she needed more sleep, there was no way she was going to succumb.

Urban-cub arrived mid-afternoon and stayed for a short while before bundling Ellie and her bags into the car and taking her home. We had planned to go out and meet J&T for dinner tonight at Chiddingfold, but we received a call to postpone it. It appears that Blade & Sophie, who had been due to move home yesterday, were in limbo as there had been some cock-up somewhere in the chain. It would now be next Tuesday before they could move in. They did, however, still need to move out of their current apartment. J&T were rushing around trying to sort out some lock-up storage for their things and manage the ensuing chaos. The Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox quite understand. The table was duly cancelled in Chiddingfold and we decided to eat out in Chichester, instead.

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Driving around

It's been a pleasant enough day without being too warm or too cool. It started with Ellie calling from her bed, but once the Gorse Fox had brought her in to bed with us she dozed back off for half an hour. In the end it was gone eight before we actually emerged.

The Gorse Fox was pleased to have checked on Google before heading off to take Cousteau-Cub to the chiropractor. The Rustington by-pass had been closed by an accident and there were significant delays on most routes. He planned well. Firstly, he allowed plenty of time, then he checked the maps for some suitable side-roads. It worked perfectly. He completely avoided the traffic backlogs and we arrived with plenty of time to spare.

Having dropped Cousteau-Cub back at work, the Gorse Fox returned home for a relatively quiet afternoon. Ellie was having a nap and that gave us a little down-time. Late in the afternoon we grabbed Ellie's buggy and the Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox took her along to catch the bus into Chichester. We went all the way to bus station and then walked to the car workshop on Terminus Road where the Silver Vixen's Qashqai was bing sorted out. It must be said that the job they have done on the alloy wheels is really superb. They look as good as new and there is not the slightest hint that they had ever been scraped.

Only one more trip tonight, and that's to collect Cousteau-Cub from work.