The Pig Yard

November 2011

Another month flashes by and there seems to be enough time to do all that we would like despite Steve being retired and Jane supposedly only working two days a week. We saw the departure of Dave & Lucie to Kenya and the arrival of Jane's sister, Ruth, from Australia. Ruth's arrival was quite dramatic because we met her at Heathrow after a horrendous drive down the M1/M25 arriving late and seeing Ruth being pushed out in a wheel chair. She contracted food poisoning on the first leg of this long journey and it had taken its toll. Thankfully she was much improved after a few days.
Our second visit to Kenya was really exciting so we have developed a complete page of photos and comments, more later. At the end of November the met office declared it the driest and warmest November for over 100 years and the local water authority are about to declare a winter drought.

KT Tunstall

KT Tunstall Gig

We went to see KT Tunstall at Warwick Arts Centre on Warwick University Campus ( a good venue if you get the raked seats).
KT was preceded by two mediocre warm up solo artists who left a lot to be desired and we would prefer to go straight into the gig although it gives young “talent” a chance to get in front of a large live audience. Both of these two were forgettable - forgotten them already. KT herself came on at around 9.30 to wild applause and the whole auditorium erupted as she began her set. She played quite a few numbers off her last album – Tiger Suit but also played some of her older favourites much to our delight. What a show she put on. This was a one woman show, no backing musicians and so she digitally sampled all the rhythm and backing sections as she introduced each song.
It was truly wonderful to see how this simple intro could be turned into something with such depth. She is a really talented songwriter, musician and singer. Her voice has tremendous power, with great control and variety. Why have we never been to see her before?
Take a look at her equally creative web site:
I quote from her web site below – this lady is a deep thinker and it shows in her lyrics – respect!
“Making the album felt a bit like an archaeological dig, digging deeper to uncover what most turns me on,” says Tunstall. “The best way I can describe it is that I felt I discovered the indigenous part of myself by going back to campfire dance music just as much as club dance music. When I grind my boot heel into the floor it’s connected to when I went clubbing in Berlin. Losing yourself in the middle of nowhere around a fire is no different to losing yourself surrounded by hundreds of people on a dance floor.” KT Tunstall

Tin Tin

What a really good film this is. We had no expectations other than we’d heard this wasn’t a standard cartoon or animation because not only had they used famous actors for the voices they also did the acting and their movements were then cleverly translated into an animated format. I think the star of the film isn’t Tin Tin but Snowy. his dog. Apart from Snowy rescuing Tin Tin time and time again his expressions were brilliant. So the film kept us both captivated for it’s whole length. The story line was solid and the script and action had a lot of humour in it. The real test is did Jane stay awake – well she slept through all the trailers and suddenly woke up asking if she’d missed the film but it was just beginning and she stayed wide awake and on the edge of her seat until the very end. Highly Recommended ****
For a professional review click here...
Tin Tin Film Review

Leopard on the Masai Mara

Kenya Holiday

Our second holiday in Masai Mara courtesy of our good friends Dave & Lucie didn't disappoint us. There's always a risk attached to repeating a holiday like this. On our first visit in 2008 we saw virtually every African animal we could think of so what else would we see? We needn't have been concerned because we saw different creatures and also behaviours we had never seen before.

This was the short rains season and we were prepared for some rain however it did rain longer than expected and the Masai Mara become a flood plain, resembling paddy fields rather than African savannah. For more photos and comments click here...

Our House Project

The project has taken on a new life. Dave found a piece of land with existing planning permission on the edge of Market Rasen in Lincolnshire. This is not an area we had considered as particularly desirable but land is certainly cheaper there than in Northamptonshire. In a short space of time we made a couple of visits to the site and the surrounding towns to get a feel for the area. The site is perfect and although there is planning permission for 4 bungalows the planners are likely to accept a resubmission for planning for 2 houses and a bungalow. The vendors, who live next door to the site, are concerned that the development does not overlook their property so this may cause us a problem.
We're busy drawing up rough plans of that we would like our new house to look like and the interior layout. we're opting for an open plan kitchen/diner/living space.
So we made an offer and as we go to press it looks likely that our offer will be accepted. More next month!
Great Doddington House Design

Murphy unwell


Last month Murphy had not been well. Steve had taken him to the vet twice at the end of October because he was refusing to eat and even hissing at his food bowl. It turned out that he had a gum infection that was really painful when he ate. After two weeks of antibiotics it had started to clear up but just before we went on holiday he started to show symptoms again. Whilst we were away Veronica, a neighbour, looked after him and nursed him through a rough patch by enticing him to eat with sea bass and fresh chicken. He's still not 100% and we may have to contend with this for some time because he is getting on in years (16 years old). Another visit to the vet is imminent.

Next Month...

  • Skoda Yeti arrives at long last
  • Jane's mum's 90th birthday bash
  • Jane's sister Ruth returns to Australia
  • Christmas shopping - oh dear!
  • Christmas at Nick & Val's
Yeti on its way

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