The Pig Yard

October 2013

We moved into our temporary rented accommodation on 9th October and we severed our 40 year allegiance to Northamptonshire. We knew this was a huge decision when we first made it over 18 months ago but the true significance is still dawning on us. It's like starting from scratch. We know very little about the area and we frequently resort to Google for information about where to buy things.

Our nearest town is Brigg and it takes about half an hour to walk in. There are numerous places to go for a tea or coffee and the library is really helpful - we like Brigg.

Crosby Stills & Nash

Crosby, Stills and Nash

Since Crosby, Stills & Nash first formed in 1968 we have been fans. Their close harmonies, great guitar riffs and lyrics are timeless so when, back in March, we saw they were touring we decided to book some seats and then work out the logistics of how to get to Birmingham whether we were in Northamptonshire or Lincolnshire.

As it turned out the concert was in the same week as our move but we decided not to sell our tickets and took time out from filling boxes. We are so glad we did. These guys, with a combined age of 211, have not lost their talent even if they had to take the songs down an octave to reach the high notes. Stephen Stills struggled a bit with his voice but not with his guitar playing (best in the world?). David Crosby was spot on and his harmonies with Graham Nash could not be faulted. We could see they were enjoying the gig and being together and it came through in their music. They played for an hour (no support group) had a 20 minute break and then came back for another hour plus encores. It was a terrific night and one we will remember always.

We have moved

On Wednesday 9th October we moved out of the Pig Yard after 17 years – probably the best years of our lives so far. It has been an emotional and physical wrench. The move itself went well despite us being surrounded by a vast number of cardboard boxes some of which will remain unpacked until we move into the new house.

There were four men to move all our possessions into the lorry but only two when it was delivered to Manor Farm the following day. Everything went very smoothly but there are some things that have been mislaid no doubt they will turn up when we least expect them.

Removal Day

Steve's Birthday Cake

Steve's Birthday

Within a week of moving into our alien environment Steve had his 64th birthday. thankfully he didn't spend it alone as our good friends (Dave & Lucie; Sue & Graham; Nick & Val) joined us for the evening with D&L and S&G staying overnight.

It was a really good evening with a meal at the Jolly Miller just across the road. There were several attempts at referencing the Beatles "When I'm 64" but as Steve couldn't remember the words, the comments fell on deaf ears (literally).

Up North...

Our temporary home is just outside Brigg in North Lincolnshire. We say North Lincolnshire but it has a post code that puts us in South Humberside and it seems there is a local movement to retain the Lincolnshire name which makes it all very confusing for us new comers.

Life here seems to run at a different pace – if you can imagine London runs at 50 minutes to the hour; Northampton at 60 mins to the hour; well here our clocks have about 75 mins to the hour. Its a pace that suits us retired folk and of course everyone drives slower which can be frustrating, particularly when you need to get somewhere fast. Maybe we’ll learn to slow down. However the drivers are so polite, stopping at pedestrian lights when no one has pressed the button.

Because the pace of life seems slower everyone has more time to chat and therefore it is so much friendlier than Northampton but don’t expect to get away from the shops in a hurry. We’re also having to travel a little further to find the things we’ve got used to having – don’t expect to find a range of mixed nuts in the local Tesco, no you have to go further afield to fulfil that need, along with special treats for Murphy.

Talking of Murphy, he has settled in well but we only allow him out into the extensive garden accompanied in case his old, demented brain gets him lost. As it is he gets lost in the confines of the house.

On balance this adventure is doing us a lot of good. We have to think about where we’re going and our lives are no longer on autopilot. Thank goodness for the internet which shows us where the nearest Skoda garage, or B&Q or Home Bargains is located.

Brigg Town Centre

Timber Frame Completed

The Timber Frame was signed off on Monday 14th October and despite a few annoyances about the quality of the external membrane this has been resolved and our contractors can now get on with putting the roof on and fitting it out. We went upstairs (there aren’t any stairs so it was a case of climbing ladders) and we really like the views we get of the trees and across the houses to the Lincolnshire Wolds in the distance.

Timber Frame Completed

The same but different

We visited Tesco Extra in Scunthorpe to get a major shop and to pick up things that are not available in Brigg. At first sight everything was so familiar and we were lulled into a false sense of security however the store was laid out very differently and there was no way we could shop on autopilot as we used to.

It probably took us twice as long as normal but of course normal is now history and although everything looks similar nothing will ever be the same again – this is probably doing us a lot of good.

Tesco Stores Scunthorpe

Tile choices

So many choices

As the house build moves along (slowly) we’re now being asked by the builders to select our kitchens, bathrooms, tiles and flooring.

Last Wednesday (30th October) we spent a cold morning showing the electrician and plumber where we wanted electrical points, lights, radiators, toilets, showers, etc. so that they could start first fix next week. There are so many things to decide and a constant worry that we might be missing something.

Our visit to Tile Giant in Grimsby was made all the more relaxing by the presence of this furry black assistant who had moved from the warm under floor heating display to get a stroke from Jane. The trouble is Jane wants to return, not to choose tiles but just to say hello to the cat.

Captain Phillips - Film Review

On the recommendation of Dave & Lucie we took our first visit to the Vue cinema in Scunthorpe to see Captain Phillips.

First we had to find the parking for the cinema which turned out to be a lot easier than anticipated and then it was a short walk into the booking area. The seats were comfortable and we will certainly be visiting again.

Enough of the cinema, what about the film? When it was described as an edge of the seat film they were so right. Who would have thought that a story about a captain of a container vessel being taken over by Somali pirates could be so gripping. I looked across at Jane at one point towards the final climax and she was literally on the edge of her seat and a hand across her face anxious about the forthcoming outcome. Tom Hanks was brilliant and he portrayed the emotions of every moment brilliantly.

This was high drama on the high seas and we thoroughly recommend it – 5 stars!

Captain Phillips - Film review

Next Month...

  • Watch the house progress - roof, windows, first fix of plumbing and electrics.
  • Decide on kitchen design, bathrooms, flooring, etc
  • KT Tunstall gig in York
  • A trip to Goole to see the militant comedian Mark Thomas
  • Jane's sister visits from Tasmania

Regular updates of our activities are available on our blog site - click here to see the latest posts...