The Pig Yard

January 2002 @ the Pig Yard...

The first flight of the year - 1 January 2002 - was a beautiful, frosty morning and a golden opportunity for Steve and Dave to do their annual Type Rating Exam. They both completed their flight safely and had a lot of fun.

For Steve this was his first flight in this balloon (carries 8 passengers) since September 2000 because of the Foot and Mouth outbreak which put a stop to flying for most of 2001. Although nervous his concerns were unfounded and he was in control for the final part of the flight and the landing.

The retrieve always had us in view, floating across the Northamptonshire countryside. Frosty winter mornings are always so clear that you can see for miles. On this occasion we were concentrating on everyone's flying so didn't relax long enough to take in the distant scenery.
Packing away after such a delightful flight is never a drudge, particularly when there are so many experienced people around to help. The prospect of a bacon sandwich back at the Sizzling Sausage added a certain vigour to the whole process and it wasn't long before everything was back on the back of the trailer and we were heading off.
We took a week away from work in Derbyshire with the usual suspects plus Steve's brother. We stayed in the Granary at Hopton Hall. Although it does not look very big it is deceptive as it accommodated 11 of us very comfortably with all rooms having en suite facilities.

Please do not adjust your screens, the fog in this picture was real fog. Throughout the week we saw the sun once on Wednesday afternoon for about 30 minutes. We did not allow this to dampen our spirits.

We went for a walk around Cromford, black rock and the canal. From left to right: Val, Jane, Dave, Lucie, Nick, Martin, Graham, Kate and Sue. All smiles and silly hats.

Most of us were never in a rush to get up and out in the morning but Dave decided to go for a brisk walk around Carsington Water very early. He returned at about 10 o'clock just as the rest of us were ready to do the same walk and so he did it twice - brave or foolhardy...

The view from one end in the mist gave it a very Lord of the Rings look. Most appropriate as we were planning to see it the next Friday en mass.

. Across the water it is possible to see Hopton Hall. We were staying in the Granary within the grounds. We were offered a guided tour of the grounds but the time was never right so we missed out on this opportunity.

Carsington Water is managed by Severn Trent as part of the reservoir system supplying water for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. The visitors centre provided an interesting stop on the 8 mile circumnavigation and the refreshment area was excellent with most people indulging in cakes.

This one tonne granite sphere is held aloft by the water pressure from underneath. It is possible to spin the ball as it is lubricated in the cushion of water. There are a circle of onlookers to be seen reflected in the watery, black surface.

This month cannot go by with mentioning the marriage of the year between Kate "Yo Bitch" and Martin "Slowhand". This was such a superb event that a whole new page has been created to do it justice. Go to Wedding for the complete Hello Magazine version.

On the Friday evening of our return from Derbyshire we all went to see Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring. This was 3 hours of excellent entertainment which had most people on the edge of their seats, everyone else was hiding behind their seats. At the end of the film everyone was ready for more which is always a good sign for the next two films.

This film was rated PG but arms and heads were being removed at the swipe of a blade, hardly the material for an 8 year old. For film reviews try

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