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Monday, September 30, 2019


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

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

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

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Back in Boots

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

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

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

Saturday, September 28, 2019

A Good Drying Day

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

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

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

Friday, September 27, 2019

Around and about

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

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

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

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

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Not Gooey but GUI

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 25, 2019


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

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

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

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

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Out and about

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

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

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

Monday, September 23, 2019


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

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

Sunday, September 22, 2019


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

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

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

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

Saturday, September 21, 2019


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

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

Friday, September 20, 2019


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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Cables and hubs

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 18, 2019


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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, September 17, 2019


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

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

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

Monday, September 16, 2019


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

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

Sunday, September 15, 2019

First fix

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

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

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

Saturday, September 14, 2019


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

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

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

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

Friday, September 13, 2019


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

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

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Empty nest

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

And relax

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

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

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Great escape

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, September 09, 2019


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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, September 08, 2019


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

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

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

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

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Drop in

Today was a day for drop-ins.

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, September 06, 2019

Here and There

The pattern continues.

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

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

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

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

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Part of the furniture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Hip hip hooray

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Plans change

It was a bit grey today, but still warm.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, September 02, 2019

Not part of the plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Still Suffering

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

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

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

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