The Pig Yard

April 08 - Whatever happened to April, here we are half way through May and only just putting together last month's page. The update has missed some of our interesting experiences, like the arrival of the Nene Valley Harley Davidson Chapter driving into Northampton one Saturday morning and collecting for the Cynthia Spencer Hospice Charity (captured on Jane's phone but we have yet to find out how to download pix) but there's plenty of other events.

Steve's life has been in suspended animation whilst he went through a rigorous selection process for his job. The prospect of early retirement/redundancy or another 18 months of work was a difficult choice (please note the irony). Eventually he was selected and continues as Head of IT to complete the work he started 2 years ago.

It seems the seasons are shifting. In the early part of the month we had a significant snow fall and although it didn't last for very long, a matter of a few hours it was very white and exceedingly pretty. Normally when we have a snow fall like this the sky remains overcast and generally dull but this time it was different as can be seen in the photograph of our back garden - white garden and blue skies.

The cold weather didn't keep us indoors and it was really good to get out on our bikes. One of our regular routes is to go through Hunsbury and stop off at the lake to feed the ducks and geese. Steve looks a real geek with his woolly beanie hat and fluorescent cycle clips.

As always Jane had given out her load of bread a long time before Steve and therefore had time to take embarrassing photos. Steve likes to make the birds work for their bread and they don't get much unless their brave enough to come and take it from his fingers. Of course the really brave geese and swans are likely to remove fingers as well so you need to be careful.

Jane can never just participate in a sport she has to throw herself in body and soul and this is no different with her Table Tennis. She is now treasurer for the Towcester area Table Tennis league and apart from participating in the local tournaments she also helps with the organisation and the refreshments.

With Jane taking the pictures there are no photos of her actually playing.

After last months work on the fallen willow tree in the village we decided to finish the job and remove every part that was easily accessible. We gathered the clan and took down part of the fencing before setting about chain sawing every conceivable part and splitting the larger logs.

The problem with willow is that it likes growing in wet areas and consequently it is a very wet wood. As Steve was splitting the logs you could see the wet sap welling up from where the axe went in.

After a few hours the job was done, the trailers were full and we were off to the pub for a drink.

The day we did the logging was also our wedding anniversary - 37 years and still going strong, perhaps not having children means that Jane can give more of her time to Steve and feed the male ego but when there are children in a marriage then husbands take second place.

To celebrate we met everyone at the Boat Inn at Stoke Bruerne for lunch. Those of us who had been cutting wood in the morning hadn't changed into our best togs but who cares.

We followed up a pleasant lunch with a walk down the tow path. The canal was particularly full as can be seen from the water cascading over the top of the lock gates.

Having covered much of the vegetable plot with black plastic to keep the ground warm it meant Jane got a head start on getting her seeds in. We spent a whole afternoon digging, weeding and tidying the area so that it looks a lot better.

We installed a new compost bin against the garden wall and we hope to move the old compost onto the garden but we need to build up the edge against the lawn area so that the soil doesn't fall onto the grass. We intend to do this next month.

There is so much to be done in the garden we really need to make a concerted effort.

After 7 years ownership Steve has decided to sell the Audi. He spent several hours cleaning, vacuuming and polishing to bring it up to nearly new condition. It's only done 43,000 miles and he has of course looked after it very well so whoever purchases it will be getting a really good car. Look at Autotrader

The problem with selling our cars is that we have to change the personalised Pig Yard number plate and apart from the cost it also takes several weeks for all the paper work to come through.

Hopefully next month we will have news of it's sale and maybe even purchased its replacement.

Several months ago we booked to see a solo performance by Marti Pellow at the Royal & Derngate. We had a phone call a month before to ensure we understood that this was Marti Pellow singing jazz numbers he liked. We decided to risk and go along anyway rather than ask for our money back.

So it was an evening of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, et al songs which neither of us are great fans of, but it was an evening out and quite enjoyable.

One thing is certain he does like himself a great deal, mind Jane does say he is very handsome......