Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Nice Walk

Missing football this morning meant that The Gorse Fox needed to do some exercise. It was a lovely sunny afternoon so it seemed like an opportunity for a bit more exploring. He dug out the OS Map and looked at some routes that would provide a nice circular route from home.

He headed out towards Rose Green, south west of home and then turned southeast to drop down through Aldwick.

This took the Gorse Fox on down to the beach where he wandered along past the beach huts towards Bognor West Beach and onwards to the Pier.

From Bognor Pier The Gorse Fox turned back towards home, walking up through the town to the Chichester Road and then onwards to home. In all, it was about 6.25 miles and on such a lovely afternoon was an absolute pleasure.

Nice Man

We had an opportunity to meet up with the chap who provided our blinds and shutters. He's such a nice chap that when we needed to get a blackout blind for the back bedroom, we decided to give him the business. Since our last meeting he has relinquished the previous franchise as it was up for renewal and required a further 5 year commitment. He wasn't willing to make a commitment of that length and it was not negotiable. Instead, he has branched out on his own and we are (very happy to be) one of his first customers.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Battened down

The Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox headed across to the Hillier Garden Centre. We needed an extra cover for the remaining bits of garden furniture - and had lots of valuable vouchers to spend. We had a good stroll around and stopped for a coffee and scone before heading home with our purchases.

It was a very successful trip and the all of the garden furniture is now wrapped up against the winter weather.

Feeling smug.

Taxing times

Not any more.

The Gorse Fox was chatting with Old Bill and he commented that he no longer has to do his tax self-assessment. This sounded good... so the Gorse Fox phoned Helen at HMRC and she checked a few things out and confirmed that he was no longer required to fill in a Self-Assessment and the request for this year's has been cancelled. She updated the system there and then and it should be reflected over night.

This is the sort of benefit that makes the spirit soar. There is no longer the nausea of filling it the online forms and waiting to see if all was well.

Sunday, October 23, 2016


It is definitely getting cooler over night. It was quite chilly in the Orangery this morning when we opened it up for Jasper.

Talking of Jasper, as he steadfastly refuses to learn how to tell the time and the clocks are due to change next weekend, The Gorse Fox has embarked on a sliding timescale for his food. Each day the ,meals will be about 10 minutes later than the previous day. That way he should be accustomed to the new times by the time the clocks change.

Football was great fun this morning. The Gorse Fox was on the yellow team and we fought out a 12-4 win. The Gorse Fox contributed a couple of goals, and managed to hit both posts and the cross bar as well as having several shots parried by the keeper. Very satisfactory.

Saturday, October 22, 2016


The Gorse Fox hadn't realised that when oiling the deck, he had been a little less than careful with the brush. As a result he had sprayed oil droplets onto the windows and frames of the Orangery.

As it was a lovely morning, The Gorse Fox grabbed a bucket and some cloths and spent an hour or so cleaning up the collateral splashes. This wasn't as easy as it sounds. The oil had dried and each drip needed to be scraped off with a penknife - and that needed to be done without scratching the glass or PVCu surface. It was fiddly, but in the end it was all cleaned up nicely.

In the afternoon Old Bill and Lady Penelope popped in with some wine they had picked up for us at their supplier. This seemed like a good opportunity to have a cup of tea and chat. Lovely afternoon.

Sad times

One of the Gorse Fox's oldest friends made contact through Face-ache. He had bee our Best Man at our wedding, and the Gorse Fox had known him since he was 12 or 13. His news was sad. His younger son, the same age as Urban-Cub, died yesterday after a four year battle with cancer.

The Gorse Fox cannot imagine how they must feel... and his thoughts and prayers go out to him and his surviving family. At least, after the long fight, Paul is now at rest.

Friday, October 21, 2016


Jasper again demanded an early start, but tis was no hardship as The Gorse Fox had to get up as he had forgotten to prepare Urban-Cub's packed lunch. With the help of the George Foreman grill a butterflied chicken breast and some bacon was soon grilled and some vegetables prepared. With the help of Mr Tupperware she would be leaving for work with a hearty, home-cooked meal.

The Silver Vixen had an appointment in Chichester. As she drove off, The Gorse Fox headed out to walk into Bognor. The first stop was Vodafone to return the Silver Vixen's old phone and get a rebate credited to her account. The store in Bognor wasn't as busy as that in Chichester so The Gorse Fox didn't have to sit around waiting at all. From there went on to the Council Offices. The enquiry desks were all manned and all but one were idle. Despite this The Gorse Fox had to take a ticket and wait his turn (in an otherwise empty room). A lady explained it was because "we all have different areas to cover". The Gorse Fox looked - it was a bit of an exaggeration - the desks either said "Benefits" or "General Enquiries". The ticket machine only gave those two classifications. The Gorse Fox played the game and was soon called forward. He supposes it was keeping their statistics in order... and data needs to be organised and retained in a well-ordered world!

The Gorse Fox continued onwards. He chose a route back via different roads - it was time to explore a little. He found his way back along towards Shripney, stopping for some shopping in Sainsbury's and M&S. A coffee in Costa, then back home. In all it was about a 5-mile loop and in the cool, but bright sunny autumn day, had been very pleasant.

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Well DPD (for that is their name) finally came good and delivered the Silver Vixen's new phone on the day requested. Phone is suitably configured and working and the old one has been wiped ready to be recycled.

The Gorse Fox has also had an Alexa Echo Dot2 delivered today. He's not sure how much it will be used but thought it would be an interesting experiment and gain in usage when integrated with the Sonos. (The Gorse Fox isn't sure that integration is available yet, but it is advertised so should be available soon, if not).

We tried to put the covers on the garden furniture today. That turned out to be much harder than it should have been... particularly as it didn't fit at all. In the end we sorted something out but will need a second cover.

Urban-Cub got a call on Viber at 3 this morning. The call had come from Thailand so she assumed it was Cousteau-Cub. To cut a long story short she phoned back and ascertained that all was ok... but left both her and Cousteau-Cub confused as to what had happened. This afternoon we heard from Cousteau-Cub. Investigating, she has realised that the call call from the phone of the Coventry Hobbit. He, however, was asleep in bed with his phone on the sofa in the living room. Clearly it was Tyson the dog that trampled on the right sequence of icons to send the garbled messages to Urban-Cub. Lesson for all is to switch off vibrate in the middle of the night.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


It was a very early start with Jasper-the-cat this morning. Still pick black outside but he wanted to play. The Gorse Fox gave in and opened up at boy 0630. Being Wednesday, there was football for The Gorse Fox and Pilates for the Silver Vixen so the early start wasn't too troublesome.

The football went well. It was a very tight game with a 2-1 win for the Gorse Fox's team with the last kick of the match. 

It was only when he arrived home that the Silver Vixen told him that she had received another annunciation from DPD (for that is their name) saying that her phone would be delivered by the archangel Tom between 1030 and 1130. So despite two separate confirmations that they would deliver on the 20th, they have no threatened to deliver on the 18th and 19th. It seems that their scheduling lacks three wise men. We assume that the delivery will, in fact, occur tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Urban-Cub is have a girly day with the Princess over in Portsmouth.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


And so it continues.

The company known as DPD (because that is their name), have not delivered the phone. Now when we check the tracking (following a star that rose in the east), it continues to tell us that the archangel Mark is still delivering to us - but not until Thursday as we had originally requested.

The Gorse Fox could have stayed for his second hour of football after all.

And the wait

Goes on


And so it came to pass that, in the days that are lit by the supermoon, a message was received. The Silver Vixen had an annunciation that the company that shall be known as DPD (for that is their name) would deliver her new phone on Tuesday. If this was not convenient, they provided a medium by which we could change the date.

As Tuesday was booked with football for The Gorse Fox and Naughty Girls (the coven) for the Silver Vixen we sent a change. The phone should be delayed until Thor's day. DPD were quick to acknowledge this change and all was well with the world. (Except that Jeremy Corbyn leads the Labour Party, Donald Trump is still a candidate in the US Elections, and war continues in Syria).

Tuesday started as usual, but whilst we were preparing for our day a message cam through from DPD (for that is their name). The phone was out for delivery. They had decided that Thor's day was not for us and that the archangel Mark would arrive between 13:08 and 14:08 with said phone. If we wished to change this we were to contact the same way as we had before.

Flushed with the success of the original change, so cruelly ignored by DPD (for that is their name), The Gorse Fox decided to cut short today's football and ensure he was their to greet the archangel Mark. So it is that he sits and waits.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Bersted Street

Cottages of Bersted Street in the Autumn Sunshine


Gosh it was wet overnight, and still pouring with rain when The Gorse Fox came down to greet the day and feed Jasper. Like yesterday, it soon dried up and the sun poked through. Unlike yesterday, however, showers continued to punctuate the morning.

The Silver Vixen and Urban-Cub decided on a trip to Chichester. Urban-Cub needed some clothes for work and a chance to stroll around the shops. As The Gorse Fox is not at his best at the shops when there is no specific target, he elected to stay at home and let the girls run loose.

The Gorse Fox decided a walk would be nice and by lunch time the sun was out and the sky was pretty clear. He headed down towards Bognor and then up Bersted Street towards Shripney. Now, Bersted Street is a no through road and you wouldn't use it unless you had a particular place to visit. This is a shame because there are some delightful cottages down there and a lovely old parish church.  These looked quite lovely in the autumn sunshine.

The Gorse Fox moved on up past the shops on the Shripney Road and stopped in at the pet shop to pick up some cat food. By the time he came out the sky was looking very grey and threatening. A couple of minutes later, when he was at the furthest point from home, the heavens opened. Up went the umbrella and the Gorse Fox strode onwards. Two and half kilometres late he walked through the from door, dripping over everything. He was soaked. He was soaked and the rain had just stopped and the sun had come back out. Typical.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Match ready

It was very wet overnight. When The Gorse Fox got up with Jasper-the-cat at about seven, the rain was still hammering down and it was very dark. The rain passed on over the next hour and by nine the sun was coming out and the paths were drying.

The Gorse Fox watched the re-run of yesterday's football whilst enjoying his coffee then had to get ready for his own game.

We had a very good turnout and the pitch was really too crowded to have any flow to the game. It was more like pinball. The Gorse Fox suspects that last night's late evening with the Sonning Crew may have contributed to his lack of form this morning. We ate well and there is a chance that the odd glass of this or that may also have been consumed. It was quite late before we got in... and it showed. It took until half way through the second half before The Gorse Fox actually hit his stride and that stemmed the rout. Unfortunately we were already 8-1 down and it was too late to recover the situation.

Saturday, October 15, 2016


Gosh, what a grey and dark start to the day. Fortunately it brightened up and by mid morning the sun was out (as it should be here on the South Coast). It has turned into a lovely day.

Various crates that have been cluttering the Gorse Fox's study have finally found their way into the loft storage along with a suitcase which had been hanging around since Urban-cub's holiday. The Gorse Fox has also been very domestic and used the new floor cleaner in the kitchen and family room. This is proving to do a very good job. The Gorse Fox just hopes it continues to work satisfactorily; he has, of course, completed and submitted the guarantee (just in case).

The Sonning Crew are scheduled to meet for dinner this evening. One expects that the odd glass of wine may be consumed along with a fine Chinese meal. Good job the Gorse Fox has football in the morning to run it off.

Friday, October 14, 2016


We had ordered a VAX machine to vacuum, wash, and dry the floors. This arrived yesterday and The Gorse Fox thought he'd better give it a whirl. The reviews seemed a little mixed. Some claimed it would save the world, others that it was a pile of junk. Only time would tell. The Gorse Fox filled up the tank and  used the machine to do the floor in the Orangery. There's a bit of a knack to it, but once mastered it seemed to do a very good job. Flushed with success he later did the hallway - again, a superb result and clear evidence in the waste water that was sucked up, that it had indeed cleaned the floor. Seems like a good result.

The Silver Vixen had ordered a book and a phone call had alerted us that Waterstones now had it in Chichester. We pottered into town for a few hours - the book was examined, deemed to be just what was wanted, and purchased. Then we went to the Opticians to make an appointment for January for the Silver Vixen to have her eyes re-checked. Boots don't seem to have mastered the idea of calendars. It is completely beyond them to book an appointment next year, and they suggest we should try again in November or December - but can't be sure when. (So much for technology).

A coffee and snack in Costa saw The Gorse Fox use Apple Pay for the first time. He was eager to try it, and as there nobody else waiting in line, this seemed like the ideal opportunity. Took a few moments to work out what to do, but it went through without any drama. We also dropped in to Vodafone and looked at the options for replacing the Silver Vixen's phone. The chap was very thorough and it looks as if we could probably do an upgrade at no net change to her current contract. No decisions were taken - but it gives food for thought,

Thursday, October 13, 2016


The Gorse Fox was very sorry to hear of the death of the King of Thailand. He had been the longest reigning monarch in the world, and was dearly loved by his people. The Gorse Fox's thoughts and best wishes go out to all our friends in Thailand, and all the Thai people who must, at this point, feel bereft.


Thursday - so we have admin and household things to fill the day.

The Gorse Fox was delighted that his new glasses arrived today. They took a few minutes for the Gorse Fox to adapt to the new prescription and the difference in the lenses. Now, and hour or so after trying them on, he feels quite at home with them and has noticed a significant improvement in the near-sight correction.

After lunch the Gorse Fox had to take the Qashqai for its annual service. It is a nice day, so he made the most of the weather and walked back from the garage. He just hopes they phone early enough for him to do the return trip on foot, rather than get the other car out.

Sonos is an interesting technology and the Gorse Fox was looking at some of its new features today. He can now stream podcasts and media directly from the iPhone (which he hadn't realised). This is, however, limited and will not work for every media application... most notable the BBC Radio iPlayer. This isn't a major drawback as he can still listen directly from the iPhone, but it would be nice to be able to stream it through Sonos.

Talking of the BBC Radio iPlayer, if you have never listened to "Mark Steel's in Town" then you are missing a masterpiece. He picks different towns across the country. Visits them for a few days, researches as much as possible, then does a stand-up comedy based on what he has discovered. The Gorse Fox thinks they are just brilliant, and recommends them most highly.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Disgraceful, there was a bit more cloud today. The Gorse Fox knows that Cloud is the latest and greatest movement in IT, but it really isn't needed in the South Coast skies. (The Gorse Fox recognises the need for rain - that should be managed such that it occurs overnight).

Football was interesting today. We had sufficient players to split into 4 teams and have a round-robin 5-a-side tournament. The Gorse Fox likes these sorts of games in the smaller cages as there are no stoppages because the ball never goes out of play. Though closely fought, The Gorse Fox's team ended up as winners of all their games. These did include a goal from The Gorse Fox, taken in the mode of Andros Townshend... dart along the right wing, dink inside and hammer the ball past the goalie. Very satisfying.

The Gorse Fox needs to do a bit of research - the backup system seems to have stopped launching automatically based on its schedule. As he isn't storing or changing much at present, this isn't a problem. He suspects this is a bug introduced in the last update. He'll monitor it carefully and, for now, launch the system manually.