The Pig Yard

May - this has been a really varied month with a theatre visit, foreign holiday, balloon flight and plenty of gardening interspersed with the usual working week. We said goodbye to our friends Tony & Jude who moved up to Scotland at the end of the month. Tony taught Steve to fly and we have known them for about 15 years so they will leave a hole in our lives, however we intend to keep in touch and possibly meet up at one of our visits to the Edinburgh Festival.

We went to see Insignificance at the Royal Theatre. This is a play involving the meeting of Marilyn Munroe, Joe DiMaggio, Senator Joe McCarthy and Albert Einstein. Four very different people and four very different philosophies coming together in an extremely amusing and poignant episode in the 1950s. We enjoyed it very much however the Northampton audience was small and unappreciative which was a great shame.

Jane has worked hard this month on potting on her plants in the greenhouse and setting out her vegetable plot.

So far she has a row of potatoes, runner beans, French beans, several varieties of lettuce, purple sprouting broccoli, onions and courgettes. She has bordered the plot with yellow and red sunflowers so that will make an interesting display later in the summer.

The work has only just begun and it will require weeding and watering through the summer for us to achieve the fresh vegetables we're looking forward to.

For more pictures of the changes we've made to the garden over the past seven years take a look at our garden page.

Steve neglected the grass during April and although our house sitters, Martin and Kate, had mowed the lawn while we were on holiday it needed some work on our return. To make life easier Steve went and bought himself a Stihl Combi garden machine. It's a petrol strimmer that has different attachments to cut lawn edges and cultivate. There are other attachments for hedge cutting and sweeping but we didn't bother with these.

The results of the new equipment speak for themselves especially around the edges of the rockery. The plants that Jane selected at the beginning of the year are maturing and adding colour.

The highlight of the month was our holiday in Paphos, Cyprus. This was our first package holiday for over 15 years and it was undertaken with some trepidation. As it turned out we were extremely lucky. We stayed in a hotel next to the sea with a very good swimming pool and close to interesting historical sites.

This is looking back at the hotel from a nearby lighthouse. We were standing only a few metres away from a Roman outdoor theatre which was called the Odeon.

We tended to spend a lot of time walking along the coast in either direction from the hotel. Walking north we past the tombs of the kings and if we walked south we came across the lighthouse first and then further on we came to the site of some wonderful Roman villas, the amphitheatre and mosaic floors unlike anything we'd ever seen before.

During our stay the days were hot (25 degrees Celsius or above), the evenings were warm enough to eat outside at the local restaurants and the nights were cool enough to sleep. Jane was pleased to find that mosquitoes were not a major problem, normally in warm climates she attracts mosquito bites that swell uncomfortably.

For more pictures go here

On our return from holiday the builders had been busy on next door's extension. In the process they had left a skip sitting in our yard, scaffolding extending into our garden and a general mess. It seems they had taken advantage of our good nature whilst we were away and so Jane had to do some straight talking when they next came to work.

They no longer automatically drive their vehicles up our drive and there is a little more respect, or at least as much as one can expect from anyone who is in the building trade. Hopefully the work affecting our drive will be completed by the end of June and we look forward to returning to normality.