The Pig Yard

April 2013

We have been so busy we got past the end of the month and forgot to update the web site - this has never happened before. Perhaps it isn't us being busy but the first signs of dementia.

We celebrated 42 years of married life so Jane arranged a couple of nights in London with bookings for several exhibitions and an evening show, see below for details. We've also been preparing the house in readiness to go on sale and searching for an Estate Agent who we trust and have confidence in. We know it's not usual to see the words Estate Agent and trust in the same sentence but we think we have found one, we hope so.

Jane at Victoria Station

Victoria Station - Wetherspoons

We spent a couple of days in London at the beginning of the month for our 42nd anniversary and Jane had arranged several events to keep us busy. After travelling down on a packed train, (it was half term), we dropped our bags at the Norfolk Towers Hotel and decided to walk down to the river through Hyde Park and stopped for lunch at Victoria Station. We then caught the Tube to see the Lichtenstein exhibition at Tate Modern. It was excellent – bright, intriguing and colourful.

After the exhibition we just had time to make our way to Jane's brother in Islington. We had a relaxed chat and then walked to Ask in Islington for dinner, where we managed to finish off a couple of bottles of house red. It started to pour with rain and we made our way back to our hotel in Paddington wet but happy. It was a very good day and one to remember.

River Trip To Ansel Adams Exhibition

We asked ourselves why we’d reached our mature years without ever taking a Thames river trip. Ok, the weather wasn’t good and the top of the Shard was in cloud but we enjoyed every minute of the trip down to Greenwich. It seemed appropriate to visit the National Maritime museum by boat which was awash with school children however we found a safe haven in the Ansel Adams photography exhibition. His black and white photographs are so absorbing all the more so when many of the effects were achieved in the dark room. He was a great believer in photo manipulation after the event to achieve the result he had originally envisioned.

Of course in the digital age this is so much easier even if you don't use a full blown version of Photoshop there many pieces of software to manipulate an image at the click of a button. For Ansel Adams he would dodge and mask his photos in the darkroom where the chemicals he used would vary in strength and effectiveness. Jane was disappointed because there weren't many of his very large prints but the ones there were displayed the Californian coastline in all its glory.

Thames River Trip

Hayward Gallery Light Show

Hayward Gallery Light Show

On day two we visited the light show exhibition at the Hayward Gallery on the South Bank. This was an assault on the visual sense and really fascinating with various installations throwing the eye into not believing what they were seeing or colour changes that deceive and change as other colours are thrown into the mix.

The item in the photo is a light within a cube of mesh that throws ever moving shadows over the walls of the room. It felt as if the whole room was moving and perspectives of size kept changing. You have to see it to appreciate the concept as words don’t do it justice.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Jane arranged for us to see the Curious Incident of the dog in the night-time at the Apollo theatre in central London. We had both read and enjoyed the book so we were intrigued to see how this could be produced as a stage play. How could the story of a boy with Asperger’s syndrome be translated to the stage? Were we in for a surprise? It was excellent – the acting was very strong with a good supporting cast however the real wow factor came from the staging.

The simple set of graph paper on the floor and walls that lit up in various ways was just unbelievable and it linked so well to the light show we’d seen at the Hayward gallery in the morning. This evening was one of those memorable moments in our lives.

Curious Incident

First Cut is the deepest

First Cut Is The Deepest

That maybe true for affairs of the heart but it doesn’t apply to our lawn. Steve gave the lawn its first cut but because it was the first cut and the grass was a bit long and wet he did it on a higher cut than usual. If the weather keeps improving then he will be out there again within a week to get it down a bit more. Our lawn has always been prone to moss and the wet winters of the last two years have just made matters worse. It doesn’t look too bad from a distance.

Once the house goes on sale it may require cutting twice a week.

Oblivion - Film

We went to see Oblivion despite it receiving some damning criticisms from the Sunday Times film critic. Thankfully we ignored them because what do critics know. We love sci-fi so even a poor story line will have us hooked as long as the gadgets are smart and Oblivion had plenty of expensive technology even if the connection between earth and the Control Centre went off at night – we cannot figure out why that would be but let’s not dig too deep into the practicalities because this is a film and not reality.

So earth has been invaded but humanity has survived sufficiently to realise that the planet is no longer sustainable so techies remain on the planet to harvest its resources before migrating to another habitable planet. Or at least that’s how it starts. Without wishing to give too much away there is a twist that comes out of nowhere and is very good. There are doubts and the doubts are what make this film very entertaining. Plenty of edge of the seat stuff and similarities to Moon with questions about one’s own existence for good measure.

We enjoyed it very much and after the initial enjoyment we spent some time discussing the flaws in the story line but as mentioned before “let’s not dig too deep into the practicalities because this is a film and not reality”. We gave it 4 stars (out of 5).

Oblivion - film

Tree Clearing

Tree Clearance

Towards the end of the month we met with the Tree Officer to discuss some of the trees that had been identified as in poor health and therefore unsafe as well as a number of self set Holly trees that were growing in the way of the drive.

After much discussion the Tree Officer informed us that the planning consent over rode any tree preservation order and therefore the trees could be removed. After she had left the site Nick and Steve fired up their chain saws and within two hours they had removed the offending trees. It is amazing how much this has opened up the site because the Holly had grown unchecked for several years and had become straggly and entangled in each other. There’s a lot more to be done…

House For Sale

We’ve taken the plunge and put the house on the market. We took time preparing so that it was freshly painted and clean but we were not prepared for when the estate agent came in with his assistant, a photographer and the Energy Performance man.

The rooms were “dressed” for the photos so we had to put loads of stuff out of sight to give an uncluttered but lived in look – not an easy concept to achieve in our house. So it has been advertised! Click here for a preview… We now wait for the nail biting experience of the first viewings and of course we have to keep the place neat and tidy.

House For Sale

Next Month...

  • The House Build Project Progresses
  • More visits to Market Rasen
  • Appoint Main Contractors for house build
  • Mark Knopfler concert - Royal Albert Hall

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