The Pig Yard

August 2012

It has been a strange month after such a busy July. We never tend to plan anything too major in August because we like to avoid the risk of running into children on holiday. The only time we ever go away at this time of year is if we go to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as we did last year which is always a highlight. Much of our time was spent planning, thinking and talking about the House Project especially as we received planning consent in the last week of July. We were also spending any spare time out on our bikes in preparation for next month's Cycle4Cynthia 50 miles, that was until Jane had her accident.

Our long cycles tracks can be seen by clicking here... and here...

Lady Godiva Animatron

Lady Godiva

Lady Godiva came to Northampton tr the end of July. This is a giant, automaton that has been pushed by a team of bikes starting in Coventry, via Rugby and completing its journey at the Olympics. The whole contraption is a work of art. To manoeuvre her around the town she had a team of people animating her arms and legs from a battery driven rig.

She came to Northampton to have a specially made pair of size 72 boots put onto her and she is picking up other items of clothes as she continues on her journey. There was a really good turn out with the streets lined by people and cafe owners coming out with cup cakes and coffee for the operators.

For more information click here… and here…

House Project

The house project hit a bit of stumbling block because the tree officer said we couldn't build the garage where we wanted it because it might damage tree roots and so it had to be moved by one metre. We suggested moving the garage in front of the house but it meant we would lose the workshop at the back but worse still we would have to resubmit our plans and wait 8 weeks for an answer. Just losing the gap  between house and garage gave a very difficult join between the two roofs and just didn't look right. The Architect suggested losing one metre off the right hand side of the house but this affected the utility room, downstairs bathroom and family room which are all smaller rooms. Jane came up with the idea of losing a metre on the left hand side which was the lesser of the two evils. We still hope to persuade the tree officer to allow us to stick to the original plan.

Revised Front View

Market Rasen Building Plot

Visit to Market Rasen 

We decided to spend a couple of days in Lincolnshire to visit the site, meet up with the architect, the solicitor and the vendors estate agent. We went with Nick & Val and stayed the Sunday night in The Advocate Arms which was reasonably priced and gave good accommodation and service.

The meeting with the Architect, James, went very well and we made good progress on understanding our future needs and determining the project timetable although the next steps depend on how long it takes to purchase the land. With this in mind our next meeting was with the solicitor and, as is normal these days, we actually met a conveyancer. He was practical and made some phone calls whilst we were there but it seems much of the sale depends on the vendors solicitor.

Before leaving Lincolnshire we met the Estate Agent and the vendors on site to discuss the boundary and some issues about the trees and thankfully everyone was in agreement.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1

Steve eventually succumbed to all the hype around tablets and bought the Galaxy Tab2. As an anti Apple geek he deplores the restrictive practices Apple applies to it's customers and competitors alike so there was no way he was going to buy an iPad. The Galaxy Tab has the same operating system as our Smartphones, the Galaxy S3, and so it is easy to swap between the two devices.

One thing people have said about tablets is that they are not creative devices but more useful when accessing information and after 4 weeks of usage Steve confirms that it is OK for writing small emails but not that good for writing large documents despite it having a very good handwriting recognition package. He hasn't used the voice recognition system yet. Overall he likes using it but he misses a "proper" keyboard as it remains his preferred input method. Change is never easy but technology changes are becoming more difficult to adapt to.

Samsung Galaxy Tab2 10.1

House Martins

House Martins Fledge

When we first moved into the Pig Yard we had swallows nesting in one of the barns and after some building work they went only to find a new home in our open garages. Over the years the swallows haven’t been too successful and in the past they have swap nests after one brood died in the nest.

For the first time this year we’ve had house martins nesting under the eaves of the garage and to our delight they finished the nest and we could hear the brood twittering away. If they could tweet they would have told this story themselves on twitter but they can’t so they didn’t. Last month the youngsters fledged and flew the nest. We think this is one of the adults sitting with the last bird to fly. In total we think there were three youngsters so not a bad outcome. We just hope the swallows do equally well.

Jane's Cycle Accident

Someone recently said to us that all this exercise wasn’t good for us but we don’t think they were thinking about accidents. We were out on a short cycle because the weather didn’t look too brilliant. We’d been to collect Dave & Lucie’s post and were on our way back home via Kislingbury. We were cycling along a flat piece of cycle path alongside the A45 when for no good reason Jane took a serious tumble trying to wipe me out in the process.

There was a loud crack as she hit the hard ground and it was obvious that it wasn’t looking good because she was in a lot of pain. She quickly went into shock and Steve went into panic mode. What do you do? Call an ambulance? Steve decided to call our good friends Sue & Graham who came immediately and while they took Jane to Casualty Steve put Jane’s bike in the care of a local nursing home; cycled like a mad thing to get home and pick up the car before heading for the hospital.

Steve found us all in Minor Illnesses and Minor Injuries (Miami) and Jane was quickly seen, assessed and x-rayed. Thankfully nothing was broken but she has a torn ligament, hence the pain, and must keep her weight off it for at least 5 days, no exercise for 3 weeks and plenty of pain killers.

Cycle Accident

Jane on her crutches

Jane On Crutches

Despite the advice from the hospital to rest and keep her foot up she decided three days after the accident that she was going to work. Steve was not happy with this situation and behaved like the inevitable grump that he can be. He still took her to work and therefore was complicit in the aftermath. Despite Jane's incredible determination she eventually succumbed to the pain and was brought home from work after three days.

She rested but the recovery process will be considerably longer than the hospital led her to believe so it looks as though our holiday in Copenhagen in early September will not go ahead and she is unlikely to be fit enough to participate in the Cycle4Cynthia event which will leave Steve to fly the flag.

Next Month...

  • Visit to Copenhagen to meet up with Tony & Jude (Hopefully)
  • House plans are finalised
  • Further visits to Market Rasen
  • Proceed with purchasing the land
  • Steve has his tooth reconstruction completed
  • Cycle4Cynthia sponsored 50 mile ride

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