The Pig Yard

August - After a blistering hot July this month has been a disappointment. We did get to celebrate a couple of friends' birthdays on both occasions visiting the Heart of England in Weedon for a get together. The pub has a good atmosphere and an added attraction of two meals for the price of one as well as a deal whereby if you buy two large glasses of wine you received the rest of the bottle free.......

Visit our blog for home spun philosophy and rants.

This month we're making a great deal of our friend Sue's birthday flight because flying has not been a prominent feature of August or this year if we're honest.

We were up at sparrow's fart to take Sue for her birthday flight and what a beautiful morning it was. As Sue said "it's one of those Marc Pacan mornings" (Marc is a local artist who specialises in balloon pictures) because it had a light mist hanging in the low areas to start with. We had sufficient wind to take us down towards Hanslope with just a variable 3 knots for the final landing. The farmer was warm and welcoming, some horse riders passing on the bridle path were very pleasant and wanted to bring their horses over so they would get used to balloons. It was one of those mornings when you think you're still dreaming or have woken up in happy valley...

Nick did the final landing and Steve pulled the still-inflated balloon to the edge of the field before we deflated and packed away really quickly. As Steve, Nick and Sue sorted out the basket Jane and Val turned up ready to help and to pose for the final photograph.

Such a morning wouldn't be complete without a breakfast at the Super Sausage greasy spoon cafe - perfect. Graham couldn't join us for breakfast because he had customers coming into the brewery at 09:30 and he had to get some beer ready - shame. Sue did take him a bacon sandwich as a consolation prize.

In some respects it's been a sleepy month. The garden is looking neglected, the pond needs some cleaning up and the work we started in the spring still waits for completion. We just don't know where the time has gone.

Living in the centre of the village it is really good to hear the clip clop of horses as they walk by. Apart from the hard hats and fluorescent jackets this scene probably hasn't changed in 50 years.

The weather for Northampton Balloon Festival was not forecast to be very good but we'd seen this before and the weather has a habit of not delivering what is forecast. This year was exceptional. At check-in, late Thursday afternoon the heavens opened and there was thunder and lightning.

We got up early on Friday morning only to stand around in a marquee listening to the wind blowing and the rain threatening all the time - no flying.

Friday evening looked doubtful but we were given the go ahead. Nick and Steve were the first to get away with a request from the meet master, Les Purfield, to radio back what the situation looked like from 1,000 feet. Steve radioed down to say it looked and felt reasonably stable. There was some instability and low level turbulence but Steve managed a safe landing just North of Sywell Airport. For more details see our blog...

In previous year's there has been so much activity that the photographs have filled a separate page but not this year.

At the end of the month our battle with BT came to a satisfactory conclusion when they agreed to withdraw the charge of £135 for replacing their socket damaged by a lightning strike.

This event has left a bad taste and our view of BT has only worsened.

For more details read last months page.

We are quite thrifty when it comes to spending money on new furniture particularly when the old ones still have some wear and tear left in them. The old ones were not new when we got them but they were very comfortable. Unfortunately Steve is a bit of a couch potato and his end of the three seater was definitely showing signs of age, a bit like Steve himself. The cushions sagged and so the day arrived when we decided to look for replacements which wasn't an easy task.

Eventually we spotted these in BHS at a very reasonable price but there was an eight week delivery wait. Now they're here we're very pleased with them and Jane has little problem falling asleep but then she'd sleep on a washing line. Let's hope they give us many years of service.