Saturday, February 06, 2016


The weight that the Gorse Fox has lost has meant that many of his clothes no longer fit. The last few times he has needed to wear a jacket, he has found that he was swamped. It was time to do something about it. The Gorse Fox, along with his styling consultant, the Silver Vixen, headed into Chichester. A few minutes on Google had revealed a few shops that may have something suitable. As it was the first shop we tried was a success. House of Fraser had a department for mens tailoring. Twenty minutes later, the Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen left clutching a couple of stylish jackets. That didn't take long. (Incidentally, back in the early 90's the Gorse Fox sold and installed the first commercial parallel computer to House of Fraser).

Jackest in hand, we headed to M&S. New trousers were also necessary. The Gorse Fox wandered in and out of the changing rooms to give his styling consultant an option to accept or reject various styles and colours. Wardrobe selected, we headed back to the car.

Over all a very successful trip, and the Gorse Fox spent far less than he expected.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Engineering - well, Construction

As explained yesterday, today was to be fun-filled. The IKEA unit needed to be constructed and the drawers and boxes needed to be put together.

Actually, it all went without a hitch. The Kallax shelving unit went together without any fuss. In fact the biggest problem was fixing it to the wall. This was to prevent it from toppling, but the width of skirting boards was such that the Gorse Fox had to find a suitable spacer to allow the fixings to be tightened without pulling the unit backwards off the ground. Once that was all done, there were several boxes to be assembled, and some drawers to assemble and fix.

All done, and now the Silver Vixen is busy sorting out her fabrics and cottons and filling the unit.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Our Swedish Friends

Thursday started with the furry alarm clock licking the Gorse Fox at about seven o'clock. He stumbled out of bed and made the first coffee of the day, then started on his early morning reading. Jasper may demand feeding at seven, but he gets nothing until seven-forty.

A session on the running machine preceded breakfast and the second coffee, then the Gorse Fox started on the weekly admin. Once that was done and the nice man from Ocado had delivered the weekly shop, we headed off. It was time for another visit to our Swedish friends in Southampton. Who says that retirees don't know how to have fun!

Parking up in IKEA we made short work of the maze in order to get to the storage units. The Silver Vixen needed to replace a set of wire baskets which were well past their best and leaning dangerously. We decided on a replacement storage unit to match that which she already has against the other wall. Like all trips to IKEA, other bits and pieces were collected as we traversed the maze, and, of course, we stopped in the restaurant for tea, coffee, and a snack before continuing the trek.

After 3 hours the goods were paid for, the car parking ticket stamped, and we were on our way home. A very satisfying trip inasmuch as we got everything we had set out to buy, and we had also seen a credible replacement for the floating shelves that are in the Silver Vixen's sewing room at present. (The Gorse Fox has never like these as they do not seem to sit tightly against the brackets).

Back home, everything is sitting at the bottom of the stairs, waiting for the Gorse Fox to start work on it tomorrow. (There's no sense in having all the fun, excitement, and adventure in one day, if it can be spread over two).

Wednesday, February 03, 2016


It was a bit crips and cool first thing this morning. Some parts of the country saw frost, but we were spared that. It was wall-to-wall blue sky and bright sunshine.

The Gorse Fox had two football events today - first the normal Arun Amblers game. It was still quite cool and the Gorse Fox actually wore gloves for the first part of the game... it didn't take long, however, for things to warm up once the game had started. We had the usual random mix of players which were split into teams and then we got started. The Gorse Fox was on the losing side, but did seem to play well even if his timing was a little off, to start with.

An hour later, he was in his Southdowns Sharks strip and played two more 20-minute matches. Again, he was on the losing side, but he was very pleased with his performance overall. He notices that the Facebook page for the Leisure Centre features some photos from todays game and the Gorse Fox is evident in several of the pictures.

After 6 hours of football over the past three days, the Gorse Fox had a very quiet afternoon before setting to work on a Thai red curry for dinner.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016


The morning was taken up with the usual couple of hours of football. Though the Gorse Fox didn't win any games today, he did draw all but one. What was nice was how close all of the games were and what super football was being played by all. Excellent bit of exercise.

Back home the Silver Vixen was on the treadmill doing some of her own exercise. When she was done, and the Gorse Fox was showered and dressed properly we had some lunch o the left-overs of yesterday's Indian.

The bizarre aspect of the day came later. It is being reported that BT Broadband is down... yet the Gorse Fox has had no problem at all. Indeed he tried, again, to get the mobile banking app working. Lo and behold! despite the rumoured lack of broadband it finally kicked into life and the Gorse Fox now has it all set up and working again. He's even add a card to Apple Pay. Not sure whether he'll ever use it, but it's nice to have the option.

Monday, February 01, 2016


Though we were able to field a good team for today's tournament, we didn't win. In fact we only won one of our games, drew a couple and lost a couple. Frustrating, but that's the way it goes sometimes. It was interesting to hear the reports from the Lancing team of their participation in the FA People's Cup. Clearly, they had a very similar experience to ours, last year. They found a wide range of ages, no attempt to stop people people from running, and a very physical approach to the game. On top of that, one player from another team collapsed with a heart attack. All in all, the Gorse Fox is glad that Arun decided not to participate this year.

After a quiet afternoon, where the Silver Vixen spent the hours searching through her fabric stash for the right colours for her next project, the Gorse Fox realised that he had not retrieved anything from the freezer for supper. Not a problem. We both quite fancied a Chinese. We searched through the menu and checked the calorie and fat content of various dishes, eventually decided on the optimum menu. It was at that point that the Gorse Fox phoned through to realise they were closed on Monday.

The process started again. Indian it is then!

Sunday, January 31, 2016


It may have been bright yesterday, but it was grey, damp, and mizzly in the Cotswolds, when we woke up. We had thought about stopping off in Cirencester, but the weather really wasn't conducive to doing the tourist thing.

We had a good hotel-breakfast, with lashings of tea and coffee and an endless supply of toast. Urban-Cub and Pistol Pete joined us and carved their way through their own mountainous breakfast. We decided that the best thing to do would be to get on the road as soon as possible and just head home. The journey was pretty uneventful and we were home in a couple of hours.

Clearly Jasper was pleased to see us, but a bit snooty over our night away. Chris and Maureen had come in to check on him and give him some attention, so he wasn't too badly off!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Becky's Party

We had a fabulous afternoon and evening at Becky's 30th birthday. They had hired a barn conversion. It was now a very luxurious house with huge open plan areas which just begged to used for parties.

The Gorse Fox is not sure how many people turned up in all, but there were aunts, uncles, cousins, neices, nephews, in-laws, friends, co-workers and heavens knows who else.

The food was laid out buffet-style and people could graze all afternoon and evening. The drinks were stacked on tables and counter tops and would have put the average pub to shame, in terms of quantity.

Everyone seemed to get on swimmingly and we had a wonderful time catching up on everyone's news and what is going on in the remoter parts of the family.

A wonderful event, and only 1.5 miles from our hotel, so there was no long journey home afterwards.


After a lovely drive in lovely sunny weather, we found ourselves tucked away in the Cotswolds. Pistol Pete and Urban-cub had arrived yesterday and were already fixtures in the lovely old Inn. 

It is Becky's birthday party at a nearby village, so we thought that an overnight stay was the sensible thing to do. When we arrived at the Inn we had som lunch with Urban-cub and PP, then headed off to get changed for the big bash.

Friday, January 29, 2016


STorm Gertrude is giving the North a right battering. Here we have strong winds, but nothing too troublesome.

The Silver Vixen had to go into Chichester this morning, so the Gorse Fox took the opportunity to head into Rustington and get his hair cut. After, he strolled round the village to see if anything had changed since we left.  Nothing. No change. Shame, really as it's a lovely little town and needs some variety, some store that will attract people to visit.

Back home, the Gorse Fox had some lunch then made some time to go for a walk and see the recently opened parts of the development. He did notice that the plot that he and the Silver Vixen had originally looked at, has now been built - and has a double garage. Frustrating really as we really wanted a double. However, if we had been round there, we woudn't have the lovely neighbours we have here.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


After yesterday's drenching rain, we woke up to clear blue skies today. It's cool, but a blue sky always seems to make the heart soar.

The Gorse Fox has made the most of an Admin morning. He has been reviewing the current tariffs for the supply of gas and electricity and managed to find several that are significantly cheaper than that charged by our current supplier. Fingers flew across the spreadsheet and the online forms, In no time the Gorse Fox was dealing with a user-hostile form that kept re-seeting his entries if he made any mistake. Eventually, with expletives being uttered soto voce, the form was complete and the process has begun. He is "tied in" for 1 year, but that is not really a significant issue. The penalty for leaving early is not too much... and at this point the Gorse Fox isn't interested in leaving early, anyway.

As a point of satisfaction the Gorse Fox would note that the energy consumption here is less than half of what we used to pay in Kingston Gorse.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wet, wet, wet

Well as storm Jonas hit the UK we received high winds and driving rain. If the Gorse Fox had been indoors this would have been perfectly acceptable. As it was, he was committed to football. At ten he had an hour with Arun Amblers. Despite wearing two base layers, a football shirt and a waterproof jacket, he was soaked to the skin in the 6-2 win that whiled away an hour.

Next he changed shirts and become one of the Southdowns Sharks (a nice grey and black vertical striped shirt). The Gorse Fox took up his usual position at the centre of defence. The rain continued to  drive through every layer of clothing. Despite all the running around, the Gorse Fox was frozen by the end of the two games... both of which we lost.

He had a dry top that he could wear whilst driving home, but was very glad to get into a hot bath and have a good soak when he got home.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


It was an active day with the Gorse Fox having two hours of football. That's six games. We lost the first one 1-0, then drew 0-0, then won 3-0, 6-2, 4-2 and 1-0. Most satisfactory, though it was very windy and threatening rain.

Back home for a shower and something to eat then later in the afternoon, we headed off yo St Richard's Hospital where the Silver Vixen was booked for an MRI. We had to wait for a bit, but all in all it seemed fairly efficient and well-organised.

Monday, January 25, 2016


It was a glorious start to the day. Stunning red skies greeted the dawn. The Gorse Fox fed the cat and grabbed his first coffee before getting on to the running machine for some quality time with podcasts and perspiration.

We met up with Urban-cub and Pistol Pete at the Gribble Inn for lunch. It was, as usual, delicious. We all had a very tasty lunch and caught up on all the news. The Gribble has a limited menu but whatever you choose seems superb.

The sound bar that Gorse Fox ordered over the weekend arrived this morning. He got it for a good price, further discounted by an Amazon £10 voucher. It took a few minutes and a couple of false starts to get it connected to the TV, but it's ow working well and seems to deliver a much clearer and much richer sound than the TV's inbuilt speakers.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Home Alone

The Gorse Fox is been left home alone. The Silver Vixen is at an event at Ardently with several of her coven. Jasper is asleep on the bed.

The Gorse Fox has prepared a pork casserole in the slow cooker. This ca just bubble away all day until the Silver Vixen gets home. Once that was under way he made himself a nice brunch of egg, bacon, mushroom and muffins. That should keep him going until the Silver Vixen gets home.

Agent Mulder made contact. Clearly he is in the area hit by the snow storm "Jonas" on the eastern seaboard of the USA. They are not trapped in but the photo he sent, Westport was like a Christmas card.

Had a chat with Urban-Cub. She and Pistol Pete have got a week off. This hasn't started well as Pistol Pete has put his back out retrieving a saucepan from the kitchen cupboard. Let's hope that gets better very quickly. We are due to have lunch with them, at the Gribble Inn, tomorrow.