The Pig Yard

May - Each month we start with a report on the weather, well this month we shall make no comment and that says it all. Jane is now working the first 3 days of the week, not getting home until around 7 o'clock which she's finding a bit tiring and Steve is just generally stressed and tired so our mid-week activities are a bit limited. Ten years ago we'd think nothing of ballooning several evenings a week, now we're just too dog tired to go out - it must be an age thing.

Despite the previous comment we are happy in our lives and we have little to complain about - this may explain the perversity of us complaining as we do about the society we live in.

At the start of the month we had the elections, both national and local county council, and Jane acted as a presiding office at a polling station. When the polls closed she then travelled to Towcester to deposit the ballot boxes and do the count for the Parliamentary arriving home at 4.45am the next day!! (This made it a 23 hour day)

Whenever we spend time in the garden we are usually weeding, digging, mowing and transplanting. Sometimes we miss the very beauty that is before our eyes - is this a general comment on our approach to life? Whateverrrrrr! (for those reading this in a different culture the word 'whatever' is utilised by the yoof culture to denote a complete lack of caring) - We didn't miss the first flowering of this Cordyline. Since this picture was taken it has developed quite dramatically with a mass of delicate green flowers.

The rest of the garden is really looking good particularly since Steve has decided not to scalp the lawn every time he cuts it and he's learning to live with the clover and other weeds that invade the typical English lawn (making it look much greener). If Steve had his way he'd rip the lawn up and have it all re-laid so it was perfectly flat with no weeds - it's amazing how close to being Obsessive Compulsive he can be and still live with Jane for over thirty years.

We don't often comment on our cats but this picture epitomises the way Murphy has the run of the place. He's sitting on top of Jane's Freelander watching us at work in the yard. The Crosby, Stills & Nash song - "Our House, with two cats in the yard" describes our home and life, Steve's got their CD in his car at the moment and it wafts him back to the time we were at college in the early 70's.

Our cats are extremely independent and pay us little attention unless they're hungry or require congratulations for catching a bird or mouse, when they are extremely voluble. The bird and mouse catching usually takes place in the early hours of the morning when one of them brings in their prize through the cat flap. Millie often brings in live mice and then lets them go in the hall so in the morning she's sitting looking at the shoes - a good indication that we should check if there is a lodger nestling in the toe of any of the shoes.

We love our cats and there is a certain constancy about them even in their aloofness.

After 8 years the gravel drive was looking very dishevelled. We promised ourselves that when all the major building work had been completed we would get several tonnes delivered which we have done. We started shifting barrow loads and within a few hours we had spread enough to cover the drive from the road to the gates and we still had two thirds of the gravel left so plenty for the yard. This will be done during June but not all in one go because it is very tiring and we were exhausted after doing the first part. Steve went back to work with aching muscles in places he'd forgotten he had.

The final effect is all worth the effort and it also acts as a superb burglar deterrent because you can hear anyone walking up the drive.

Steve bought a new mobile phone this month which matches the one Jane has. Having a mobile phone is a "necessity" these days but Steve is not a great user. He doesn't like using a land line because basically he will avoid talking to people if he can help it whereas Jane is far more communicative and frequently uses her mobile to contact friends and to book squash games.

For the second month running we went to Stratford to see Twelfth Night. We're still wondering why it's called Twelfth Night but perhaps the more literate amongst our readers can let us know. As is frequently the case Shakespeare uses changes of sex and identity to build the story and keep the audience interested in how it will all come good in the end. We always enjoy our Shakespeare weekends and we will certainly continue in the Autumn or Winter when time allows. What's next - Loves Labours Lost? We shall see...