It seems that Phil'n'FernGate has been resolved. It wasn't meant to be a puzzle or a fiendish psychological experiment. Just one of those little things... when I woke up that morning I didn't imagine that a few hours later I'd be posting letters to Sir Phil and Dame Fern (I know they're not, but they should be...).
Sorry to have kept you in suspense by not moving on with fresh and witty posts (yeah, right) to distract you from Lord Phil and Lady Fern. A technical hitch meant that for the past few days I wasn't able to log in to blogger. Normal service has now been resumed (as in you may or may not see a blog post appear from time to time...)