The Pig Yard

May 2012

Another month flashes past largely because we're both so busy. Jane sometimes requires to be in two places at the same time with working at least two days a week, often more and then having to produce finance accounts as Treasurer of the South Northants Table Tennis league and she also had to produce the village newsletter. In comparison Steve's life is a lot more tranquil and relaxed. We managed to fit in several cycle rides these can be tracked here and here. On one of these rides Steve managed to lose a tooth filling by chewing on one of Jane's wine gums and to cut a long story short it resulted in mind numbing toothache, a visit to the dentist and several days of discomfort. Steve now has to make a decision about the future of this troublesome tooth.

We continue to stay fit with Jane playing squash; table tennis; swimming and cycling. When the weather is good enough she also cycles to and from work. Steve is a reluctant exerciser but swims and cycles in a vain attempt to keep his waisteline from expanding even further. Rarely a dull moment.

Tony & Jude

Our Scottish Break

The month kicked off with us flying up to Inverness to stay with our dear friends Tony & Jude.

It was a really good week with the Scottish weather being particularly kind although one day we were sitting out on the terrace enjoying tea and cakes and the following day we had biting winds and snow.

For more on this go to our Scottish holiday page...

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Whilst in the Highlands of Scotland our friends Tony & Jude took us to the Eden Theatre in Inverness to see Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.
It isn’t a film we were attracted to when it was on general release as it looked and sounded too bizarre however we couldn’t have been more wrong. The story centres on a fisheries expert who is approached by a consultant to help realise a sheik’s vision of bringing the sport of fly-fishing to the desert and embarks on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible possible.
The cast were perfect with Ewan McGregor in the lead role as a semi autistic fisheries expert and Emily Blunt as a young consultant driving the project forwards.

A good dose of comedy is added, surprisingly, by Kristin Scott Thomas who plays the spin doctor to the Prime Minister and backs the project because it might help develop better relations with the Yemen.
Perhaps it was because we were in Scotland and some of the film is shot in Scotland, maybe it was because we were relaxed and in good company, but whatever the reason we were just in the mood for a romantic film with a great feel good factor at the end.

Salmon fishing in the Yemen

Stewart Francis gig

Stewart Francis at the Derngate Theatre

We went to see Stewart Francis at the Derngate on Saturday night (12th May). We loved his one liners on Mock the Week and we wondered if he could hold an audience for an hour. We needn’t have worried because he just kept them coming. He has a a terrific ability to play with words and deliver a peculiar view of the world. We were laughing out loud for most of the time and if we didn’t laugh it was because he moved on so quickly we hadn’t registered the joke.

With so many jokes it is nigh on impossible to remember them all but a couple we do recall was his story about being a member of the Canadian Dyslexic Society, the BFG. They had an international convention in Mali however half the attendees went to Lima and he finished up in Albuquerque. Another joke involved him looking up the meaning of the word digress in the dictionary and he then proceeded to go off subject never to return until about twenty minutes later. It was a great evening.

Garden Work

If we are to move next year we need to make sure the house and garden are looking their best. There was an area behind the house that contained piles of stone, blocks all covered in black plastic. We got a quote from a local landscape gardener who after some delays due to the weather came in and completed a very good job.

We're in the process of populating the area with some healthy pot plants and we need to paint the back wall white to really smarten it up. There are two kiwi fruit climbers in pots against the trellis fencing however we think they may not have survived the very cold winter. We need to remember to wrap up our pot plants next winter otherwise we shall be replacing them all again in 2013.

New Patio

Drive Improvements

Improvements to the drive

The drive that is directly under the electric gates used to give us a problem in the winter because the frozen ground would swell and stop the gates opening properly. Also if it snowed clearing this are was always difficult on a gravel drive.

To avoid this issue we decided to have this small part of the drive blocked. It looks so much neater and makes the rest of the gravel drive look a little untidy. Steve has weed killed the gravel and we will be ordering 5 tonnes of gravel to be delivered in early June.

Swallows Return

Ever since we moved into the house in 1997 we have been blessed by the arrival of swallows in the late spring or early summer. Even when we had the garage built they didn't miss a year. Their success varies from year to year, with some years not producing a successful brood and other years managing to produce two.

Last year our neighbours cleared out their house martin nests and covered the eaves with netting so that they wouldn't return so this year for the first time we have house martins building a nest under the eaves of the garage. Ok it makes a bit of a mess down the front of the newly painted garage but it will be worth it to see the youngsters flying later in the summer, fingers crossed.

Swallows in the garage again

House Project

House Project

After many trials and tribulations our housing project has reached the critical stage with the planning application being validated by West Lindsey council. The plans and design and access statement have been validated so the process begins. To view the application follow this link...

If all goes well we will hear the outcome in 8 weeks time and then we start buying the land, deciding on which company will build the frame and start getting the groundwork started.

Next Month...

  • Visit Susie & Jon in Holmfirth
  • Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy @ The Derngate
  • Steve gets his new Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone
  • Trip to Darlington & Durham
  • Visit FrameWise House Frame Company

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