Monday, February 19, 2018


The new release of the software used by the Gorse Fox for managing his family tree was made available overnight. The Gorse Fox has upgraded and spent the day sorting out the outstanding problems (as mentioned yesterday) and doing some fresh research. It has been a very successful day and several new names have been added to the tree. The Gorse Fox has now got a workflow that seems to do the trick - search in Ancestry (but probably ignore existing trees), verify in the General Register Office (if between 1837 and 1957), then seek additional information on Findmypast (such as the 1939 Register)... and, of course, do not enter any fact for which there is no documented evidence.

Sunday, February 18, 2018


That's better. The Gorse Fox was up early - had his eggs and bacon, and headed off to football. First game for about 10 days and he was itching to get going. Not a very auspicious start as the Gorse Fox was a little off the pace at first and we were soon 2-0 down. Then the Gorse Fox started to roam about and struck a good ball from the centre spot into the bottom left corner of the goal. Two minutes later we scored another. We then started to fire on all cylinders and by the end of the game had amassed 14 goals while conceding 4 or 5. The Gorse Fox collected a hat-trick. Most satisfying.

Back home the Silver Vixen had been chatting with Cousteau-Cub who is in Phuket having met up with Agent Mulder's eldest. He is taking a year to travel about and seems to have fallen in love with Thailand. His initial 13 stay has extended to 30 and he may extend it some more.

The Gorse Fox spent the afternoon working on the family tree. The problem he has been working on with the developers is not making progress so he has resorted to plan B. He told them to close the problem report. Removed the offending entries from the database and started adding them again using a different approach. He knew this would work all along, but wanted to help them with their debugging. Anyway, all is now resolved using plan B.

Saturday, February 17, 2018


The Gorse Fox has a security camera monitoring the driveway and entrance to the garage. This had been set up to deposit images onto an FTP server (falcon) whenever it detected an event. This stopped working some time recently. The camera was still recording to its inbuilt S~D card, but wouldn't send images to the ftp server and wouldn't allow the Gorse Fox to connect to it remotely.

It was time to sort this out. To start with the Gorse Fox dug out a spare (faulty) camera and connected it to the network to check that connection to the network via ethernet (instead of WiFi) didn't raise any unforeseen issues. It didn't. So after lunch, along with Two Hats (who has some tools for putting ethernet connectors on cables) we drilled a hole from the family room through to garage and ran a cable from the switch through to the camera. It was fiddly and the Gorse Fox is not sure he would have the patience to cable these things up with any regularity - but Two Hats persevered and we now have a bespoke ethernet cable in place. The camera is, once again, accessible remotely and seems to be depositing images onto the ftp server as required. He will have to monitor this for a day or two, but suspects we are back in business.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Keep taking the tablets

The Gorse Fox has noticed that the keyboard that he has connected to his Lenovo Tablet seems to a little erratic. It's fine once connected, but it seems to take a little while to connect properly. This could be because he keeps the Bluetooth switched off except when he needs to use it - and forgets to turn it back on. Even when he has switched it on it can take a little while to register the keyboard. He needs to experiment some more and see if he can make the whole process a little slicker.

Meanwhile, IRL, we had a good night with Ellie. She didn't wake until gone seven and even then was in no hurry to get up. We've had a good morning with her and as the sun is bright, the Orangery has warmed up and Ellie has made use of the additional space to charge round in her walker (with the occasional pit-stop to take on water).

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Breaking news

The Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen are on G-Force duty. Urban-Cub arrive just before 08:00 with Ellie and after a swift breakfast headed off to Gatwick, Ellie stayed with us and has been the focus of the day. The Gorse Fox did manage to get his Thursday admin done while she had a morning sleep, so all is well.

The phone rang as the Gorse Fox was preparing some soup for lunch. It was Urban-Cub. She had finally heard from her builders and has been given a completion date of 23rd February. Ooops - that's earlier than she had come to expect. Needless to say she, and Pistol Pete, are delighted and very excited.

Talking of excited, Cousteau-Cub reminded us today there are on 37 days to go before she is back with us. We can't wait to see her again.

During Ellie's afternoon nap the Gorse Fox considered his external security camera. It is still recording on the micro-SD card, but has stopped connecting to the WiFi and consequently he can't control it, nor will it post the captured images to the FTP server the Gorse Fox so carefully built. Plan B is to try it with an ethernet cable rather than WiFi. That will have to wait until the weekend, however.

The Gorse Fox has also heard back from the family tree software developers. They have given him some things to check, but again, these will have to wait - probably until Ellie has her morning sleep tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


The Gorse Fox is feeling a lot better today - but decided that football was not going to be on the agenda. That would have been a bit silly.

Betty Rubble came down to visit the Silver Vixen so the Gorse Fox has spent the day in the study working on the family tree. Not very successfully. He's looked up lots of information, but none of it has added to the existing knowledge base. Very frustrating.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Home draw

It was a foul morning and the Gorse Fox was not feeling much better. He decided that staying home was more efficacious than getting cold and wet playing football.

The Silver Vixen was going out for lunch with a friend so the Gorse Fox installed himself in front of the computer and spent the day working on aspects of the family tree. Most of the time was spent going through an online chat with the support team. The Gorse Fox still has a problem with some media files that are not getting uploaded. In desperation they sent him the pre-release beta code for the new version of the software. It all seems very nice and slick and does everything he wants of it - except sorting out the 19 media files. (Other media files have uploaded without incident both before and since this batch). The problem is back with their engineers.

Monday, February 12, 2018


Pretty uneventful day really.

Various domestic chores got cleared during the morning and then the Gorse Fox headed to Sainsbury's to top up the supply of porridge oats. Ocado have been out of stock of good porridge oats for the last couple of weeks and the Gorse Fox was almost down to the dust in the packet.

After lunch he picked up on Old Bill's family tree. He had texted some queries last night so it was time to try and help out. It took and hour or so but he drove the tree back and showed Old Bill how to start from a known point and work backwards through life events. In doing this we proved that the online tree from which he had picked up some information was clearly wrong.

The Gorse Fox is a little under the weather, so not sure if he'll be playing football tomorrow.

Sunday, February 11, 2018


Back home after Breakfast at Haskins the Gorse Fox set about cleaning the oven. Fortunately, as the oven is self-cleaning, this was fairly easy. The only fiddly bit is cleaning the racks. It all needed doing. The last thing we wanted was the smell to get worse next time we used the oven.

During the afternoon we were hit by a hail storm. Hailstones the size of ball-bearings hammered down. It was clear that we would soon be trapped and would have to await the emergency airlift. The Gorse Fox went and checked the freezer to see how long we could survive, based on our stores. We'll probably be all right for about two weeks.

At the height of the storm, when the hail was at its deepest, the Gorse Fox took some photos - in case they were needed for insurance purposes or of the TV news. You can clearly see the extremes of weather that we have to survive hear on the South Coast.


Well Tiffany's seems bit of a trek for Sunday breakfast. We've decided to do Breakfast at Haskins' instead. Always good value for money and it's a nice morning to pop out (given that there's no football this weekend).

Smoke - encore

The smell from the 'incident' yesterday, still lingers. Most unpleasant.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Smoke gets in your eyes

A wet and breezy day didn't encourage us to go out so we concentrated on pottering round the house. Old Bill knocked and we had a chat. He was about to download GoodSync onto the PC we have been cleaning up - so the Gorse Fox volunteered to go across and configure it. While there we also copied some of his old non-volatile, pre-retirement business files to a DVD so that he didn't need to keep them online - now that they are backed up and copied to DVD. The Gorse Fox also helped out with some of his family tree queries. As an aside the Gorse Fox noticed that he seems to get a totally different home page on Ancestry from that the Gorse Fox sees, no idea why.

Come late afternoon it was time to prepare supper. Oven was cranked up to 200c and the various dishes placed on the relevant shelves. The 'Gastro' chips were places on a mesh tray near the bottom with a drip tray beneath - to catch the oils or fats that would inevitable drip through. As the cooking time ticked along there was slight smell of burning fat. The Gorse Fox didn't think to hard (unfortunately) and boiled a kettle. The idea was to add boiling water to the drip tray to stop the fat from burning. Well, let's just say this was the smartest move he's ever made. The water mixed with the fat and evaporated instantly filling the oven and kitchen with an acrid smoke. It took ages for it to clear even with the extractor fans on full. A lesson learned, methinks!

Friday, February 09, 2018

Not a lot

Well, there's not a lot to report today. Ellie woke up at a perfectly respectable seven o'clock and we had a gentle start to the morning. By the time Ellie went back to bed for a morning nap, Urban-Cub was on her way. We had a lovely couple of hours with her before she an Ellie disappeared back home.

The afternoon was very quiet. The Gorse Fox spent some time on one of the Linux machines before getting a message from Old Bill. He was stuck in his research into one of his great aunts. The Gorse Fox had a look and cracked the problem immediately. Old Bill was delighted but admitted he had spent most of the afternoon trying to solve it. The Gorse Fox guesses that it is just experience that allowed him to get the search parameters right first time.

On a separate note, the Gorse Fox was also looking for opportunities to have a week down in Falmouth in the summer. There's not much availability, but he may have found a couple of openings. He needs to talk them through with the Silver Vixen and then we can decide if we'll go ahead.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Early start

For some reason Ellie decided that 04:20 seemed like a reasonable time to wake up. This started the day. The Silver Vixen changed her and the Gorse Fox went to heat a bottle. Fed, she started to settle. Then Jasper arrived and started to meow. This woke Ellie. The Gorse Fox chased Jasper away. Miss Ellie started to settle again. Jasper arrived again. He started to meow again. This disturbed Ellie again. The Gorse Fox chased him downstairs and decided to feed him - that would shut him up. The problem was that Ellie was now wide awake. The Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox tag-teamed until we got her back off to sleep. Fortunately, she then slept through until 08:15.

The day has revolved around Ellie. We did manage to take her out for a walk after lunch - and she slept until we got home. Not long enough, however, as she started to get a little grizzly late in the afternoon. Food and drink soon cheered her up (clearly taking after her grandfather). She's having a bath as the Gorse Fox writes this, so a Youtube Nursery Rhymes clip is in the next browser tab, ready to play as she emerges.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018


Another very cold night across the country - though we didn't really notice it. There were a few snowfalls, even along parts of the South Coast, but nothing came across as far as us. When the Gorse Fox headed out for football, he could see the odd snow fall, but nothing to cause concern.

Football was the usual fun hour of banter and exercise ending with an even 2-2 draw. The Gorse Fox got a bit narked at one point when accused of running. Now, he is not denying that he was running. He was. It is the hypocrisy and inconsistency that drives him to distraction. People were running throughout the game - but when the Gorse Fox opened up, then it was called as an infringement. Pah!

Back home the afternoon was brightened up by Ellie. She is staying with us until Friday.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018


If anyone has seen the news about the major fire on Phi Phi and is wondering about Cousteau-Cub and the Coventry Hobbit - the Gorse Fox has been in touch. Cousteau-Cub is actually in Phuket, so well clear. The Coventry Hobbit was still on Phi Phi and went along to help with first aid. Despite the press reports, the fire was confined to a moderately small area of the town - not the whole Island as the Swedish press reported.


It was a bitterly cold night so the Gorse Fox was looking forward to football with a degree of trepidation. He left, heading out in the usual direction. Almost immediately he hit traffic tailing back from Shripney's roadworks. A quick volte face was performed and the Gorse Fox headed up via Drayton and Tangmere to the A27. This turned out to be a smart move as he had a very good run through in the end.

Football was pretty successful He had a team of good ball players so it gave him some opportunities to roam more than usual. In the first hour his 'red' team won all three games and only conceded one goal. In the second hour he played for the 'greens'. This was more equal - a win, a draw, and a loss. Overall it was great fun.

Back home he went over to spend the afternoon with Old Bill. The reorganisation of his computer was completed and the offsite backup to Google Drive was under way. The Gorse Fox has left a USB drive with a backup of everything, and now Old Bill will download GoodSync and the Gorse Fox will set up his onsite backups in the next day or two.

In parallel with all this we wiped and reinstalled his old laptop. It now runs Ubuntu and he plans to use it for his family tree work. Yes, he is hooked!