The Pig Yard

September 2012

It's been a difficult month and we were starting to believe that everything was destined to go wrong. Jane's injury (more on this below) from her cycle accident has dominated the month and there have been innumerable consequences. Firstly we had to cancel our holiday in Copenhagen with our friends Tony & Jude; then we had to go through the hoops to reclaim some of the lost costs through our travel insurance and we still haven't heard as to whether we will be compensated; and finally Steve managed to drop Jane's new Samsung Galaxy S3 on the gravel drive, cracking the front screen. Again getting this repaired took most of the month and Jane had to revert back to an old iPhone for two long weeks.

Jane has also been running Speed Watch in the village and we have done more sessions than anyone else. We are a good team and manage to get a good hit rate on anyone coming through the village whilst we have the speed gun. Our community involvement is very high with Jane organising Speed Watch, editing and producing the monthly village newsletter, sitting on the village hall committee whilst Steve is on the Parish Council, developed the village plan and edits the village web site. We're not sure who will undertake these activities when we leave the village at the end of 2013.

Jane with her caliper

Jane's Knee Damage

Two weeks after her accident Jane returned to Accident and Emergency to see a consultant. The information she was given by A&E  immediately after the accident was complete nonsense. Jane would not be walking within five days and she was told that she  had torn her medial collateral ligament and there may be other ligament or knee damage. She was supplied with a brace that immobilised the leg so she couldn't bend it at all. She was referred to the fracture clinic for further investigation and possible physiotherapy once the swelling had gone completely.

She remained cheerful despite not being able to get any exercise and she has been advised that she is unlikely to be able to exercise for several months. In the meantime she becomes more proficient on her crutches and Steve runs around helping wherever and whenever he can. It’s amazing how tiring this is and he has been found asleep half way through the evening. Of course this means Steve would undertake the Cycle4Cynthia fifty miles on his own.

More News on the Knee

In the last week of the month and five weeks after her cycling accident Jane eventually got to see a specialist consultant who made profuse apologies about the delays and explained she should have been seen in the immediate two weeks after the accident. He believed she had certainly torn her medial collateral ligament but there may be other damage but he couldn't tell until the knee had been scanned. He arranged for a MRI scan in the week after we get back from Bulgaria and he would see her again on 18th October.

In the meantime they have taken her leg brace away and given her a knee brace that allows some knee movement and instructions that she needs to start bending the knee and doing some bending exercises whilst sitting down. The consultant was complimentary about Jane's fitness level saying she was as fit as a 50 year old; Steve says she has the body of a 40 year old however Jane thinks she's still 25.

Two days after having the bionic brace fitted she managed to walk from an out of town car park into town and back again, a round trip of at least 3 miles.

Jane's bionic knee

Northants Web Forum

Northants Web Forum

After over twelve months of trying to get funding to set up a community web forum Steve has eventually got this off the ground and the project was launched this month with 30 people attending from various community groups. Jane managed to attend with her leg out straight under the chair in front. She thoroughly enjoyed the event. Steve has not lost any of his presentation skills, making it a humorous and light hearted event. Jane was not the only fan,  he received some very flattering comments from some of the other attendees.

It's too early to say whether the project will be successful as it has funding for twelve months and it is hoped that during that period with advertising and word of mouth the group will grow to see at least 50 new community web sites evolve and a small group of experts share their knowledge to help others.

For more information click here...

Steve Cycle4Cynthia

Steve took part in Cycle4Cynthia charity cycle ride. Jane is the cyclist in our family and normally Steve just goes along for the ride but because of her recent accident he was left to carry the McCarthy flag on his own without his trainer and motivator. He confessed he wasn’t looking forward to it especially as the weather forecast kept getting worse and worse and his fitness levels were not good.

There are many lycra clad people on the event who make light of cycling 50 miles but for Steve it’s the toughest physical event he takes part in so it is a serious challenge however it’s in aid of two excellent causes (Cynthia Spencer Hospice and MacMillan Nurses).

After 20 miles he didn’t feel too bad and when it started raining heavily at 30 miles he did have some doubts as to whether he was going to make it. Needless to say he gritted his teeth and pressed on arriving at the finish after 4 hours and 20 minutes, soaking wet; thoroughly exhausted but still managing a smile. Jane and our good friend Sue were at the finishing line giving out medals and he got a special kiss from Jane, or at least he liked to believe she wasn’t kissing all the finishers. Thanks to Jane’s persistence we managed to raise nearly £500.

To see the track click here...

If you would like to sponsor Steve then follow this link:

Steve finishing cycle4cynthia

Revised Front Elevation

House Project Update

Due to the tree officer’s intransigence it has forced us to move the garage one metre to the left as seen from the front elevation. The roots from a very large Lime tree may have been damaged if we had been allowed to build the garage in its original position. To avoid us losing more garden we decided to take one metre off the left hand side of the house – our living area is now 5250 mm x 6000 mm but that should be large enough in an open plan house.

The land purchase is moving forward and we believe we may be able to complete in the latter part of October. This will mean we can start tidying up under the trees during November, weather permitting, and make an application to the tree officer to clean up some of the trees; possibly remove a diseased Ash and Horse Chestnut. We still have a lot to do: select a timber frame company; submit engineering drawings for Building Regulations; select a Groundworks company and a builder. We probably won’t see any holes in the ground until Spring 2013.

End of Season in the Garden

So Steve may have cut the lawn for the last time this years and it all looks neat and tidy in the picture however looks can be deceptive.

This year has been the worst year in the garden we have ever experienced. Despite all our efforts the weather was always against us with the Spring starting unusually warm and dry enough to warrant a drought warning and hose pipe ban. It then turned colder and a lot wetter. The outcome has been a complete loss of all the root crops; tomato blight both in the greenhouse and in the vegetable plot. Even the rocket which Jane normally has great success with wasn't as good.

The successes were the runner beans, a few courgettes and squashes and the special pink potatoes most of which are still in the ground.

Garden view

Next Month...

  • Visit to Bulgaria
  • Jane gets her leg scanned and undergoes Physiotherapy
  • Finalise the purchasing of the land at Market Rasen
  • Visit Grand Designs Exhibition in Birmingham
  • Julian Clary at Northampton Derngate
  • Steve's birthday
  • Jumpy @ Duke of York Theatre
  • Merry Wives of Windsor - Stratford upon Avon

This Weather Widget is provided by the Met Office

"Steve Says" has moved onto the Blog Site - click here to see the latest comments...