The Pig Yard

June - We reported that May was a cold, wet month but it was nothing compared with June. This month has been the wettest in living memory but thankfully the flood defences around Northampton have been successful and the Nene didn't burst its bank once.

We managed to get away for a holiday in Lyme Regis, Dorset. We were both ready for a break and it was certainly very relaxing.

The first week of the month delivered some excellent flying weather and we managed to get a very pleasant Saturday evening flight. We took off from the Marriott on Eagle Drive in light winds and drifted towards Sywell. We never really got beyond the confines of Northampton Town and there were very few places to land. The variable winds kept playing fast and loose with us then suddenly from nowhere the wind speed went from 2 knots to 8 knots.

Eventually we managed to make a good landing on the back lawn at Overstone lodge surrounded by hoards of caravaning holiday makers who helped us pack away.

One Sunday morning we cycled to Delapre Abbey because they had the remnants of a beer festival so Graham and Sue had arranged for a horse drawn dray to give rides.

Sitting the Abbey gardens at the cafe we enjoyed a pleasant cup of Earl Grey tea, soaking up the sunshine and remembering times many years ago when we lived in a flat in Northampton and the Abbey garden was a refuge from not having our own garden.

The brick sculpture is superb and an overlooked piece of work.

During June Jane makes her annual pilgrimage to the Gardening World show at the National Exhibition Centre outside Birmingham. This year she went with Kate and Sue. Kate has a bit of a "thing" for Monty Don, presenter of BBC's Gardeners World, so Jane was please to get this photograph of Kate swooning at the feet of her hero.

This year's show included a food and clothes section and these detracted from the gardening elements. As it was Jane managed to make a few purchases including a large cantilevered sunshade, all we need is some sunshine now.

Our second flight of the month was quite an adventure. We were going to fly alongside Colin so we took off from Kislingbury playing fields. As the previous flight the winds were light and we floated towards Rothersthorpe taking half an hour to travel a couple of miles.

Nick took over the last part of the flight and shortly after he took control the wind started to pick up and turn round to an easterly. This is usually a sign of sea breezes finding their way up the Nene valley and can be quite fast on the surface. It wasn't long before we were experiencing 14 knots at 1,000 feet and gusting the same on the surface. We made a turbulent approach to one field only to experience some serious wind sheer that dropped us ignominiously into a field before lifting us up again.

Eventually we landed in a plough and furrow field on the outskirts of Maidford. The landing was fast and furious but there were no injuries and the retrieve crew were on hand to help us pack away. Unfortunately our first, unplanned landing caused some damage to the envelope, two panels were burnt out. This was soon repaired and we didn't miss any flights because the weather over the rest of the month was appalling.

We hadn't had a break since our week away in February. This was our first holiday alone for a couple of years and although it's great to go away with friends, we always enjoy our own company.

For the first time ever we rented a modern flat close to the centre of Lyme Regis - normally we go for country cottages stuck in the middle of nowhere. The flat was really good. Jane got up every morning, walked down to the town, picked up a Times, strolled along the front before coming back up the hill for breakfast and Steve would be just crawling out from under the covers.

Several mornings we had tea and toast out on the patio from where we could look out over Lyme Bay.

For more pictures click here...

The new kitchen saga was not over at the end of the month. The catalogue of irritations just kept growing:

  • The Corian work surface had been fitted and looked great, thank goodness something worked out

  • The replacement cooker unit  worked
  • A door was missing and another was damaged
  • A floor tile hadn't been fitted properly so it needed cutting out and replacing
  • The work surface had a globule of glue that had to be removed and then a few pits had to be filled
  • The dishwasher will not work on a timer overnight
  • And the wall tiles are on a special delivery of three weeks

This is probably/hopefully the last time we will ever, ever, ever change a kitchen.