The Pig Yard

February 2012

A short month but it has been busy with visits up to Lincolnshire to meet our architect to discuss the potential development. For much of the month we've been worrying about Millie who has not been at all well.
We were also fortunate to be able to meet up with our friends Tony & Jude from Scotland who were down in Northamptonshire for a week. We went to London to catch some of the wonderful culture that's available in our capital city. We also went to see Chris Addison at the Derngate theatre who was very funny.

House Project

House Project

There has been some discussion between all the participants as to whether we needed an architect because at one time we believed Potton, the timber frame supplier, would hand hold us all the way through to the point of handing over the keys. It turns out that due to the recession in the building trade their internal resources are no longer available. We’ve all agreed to use an architectural practice based in Cleethorpes called Hodsons. These are the same architects who obtained the original planning permission on the site we’re buying. We look forward to working with them to produce designs that fit our different requirements and to make best use of the site.

Millie Hasn't Been Well

We have shared our home with cats since before we were married – so that’s over 40 years. In most cases we have been very fortunate in that they have generally lived to a ripe old age. The last time we experienced serious illness or death in our cats was about 16 years ago when Milo died at the age of 17. This month we have faced a problem with Millie who has been diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism and chronic kidney failure.

We started giving her tablets for the hyperthyroidism however after ten days she started being sick and was unable to eat. Another visit to the vet didn’t give us a great deal comfort and we were given some Zantac syrup which was to reduce the production of stomach acids, a side effect of chronic kidney failure. After three days of medication she stopped being sick and started drinking water again however she didn't eat a thing for over a week.

Our Millie is the dearest of cats and has always been a lovely addition to our family however we are having to face the reality that her days are numbered (as are all of our days). This also raises the dilemma as to when quality of life drops below a reasonable standard and is this a temporary or permanent drop? Another visit to the vet and then a minor operation has seen her starting to eat again and she is getting back to full strength.


Tony & Jude

Tony & Jude Visit

Our friends Tony & Jude were in Northamptonshire so we arranged to join them on a cultural visit to London. We had time to catch up on the train down and then after a coffee we split up with them going to the Lucien Freud exhibition whilst we tried to get into the London Aquarium however because it was half term the queues were too long so we enjoyed a stroll along the embankment and then meandered through the city until we found ourselves at the Royal Academy of Art and meeting Tony & Jude for lunch in the RA restaurant – very swish too.

After wandering around the Hockney exhibition we walked down to the South Bank for an early dinner in a restaurant overlooking the river. Unfortunately we couldn't get on the same train back because our cheap tickets were for a specific train and so we had to wait an hour at Euston.

David Hockney - The Bigger Picture

We were really pleased that we managed to get tickets to see the David Hockney exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art.

Because we had pre-booked we had no problems walking into this sell-out showing. There’s always a risk of looking at some pieces of artwork and thinking I could do that but of course we haven’t, probably couldn’t and Hockney has with great verve and style. Our personal preferences were those that depicted the actual scene but posterised the colours. It was intriguing how he had visited the same Yorkshire scenes sometimes within days of each other to record varying light levels or visited at different times of the year illustrating the changes of colour and light through the seasons.

His iPad/iPhone work was good however it would have been really interesting to see how he built up the pictures from a blank screen. It should have been possible to record every “brush” stroke and then play it back as a timed activity – now that would have been fascinating.

And finally, if you haven’t been to see the exhibition and you are interested in landscape art then it has to be a ”must visit”.

David Hockney - The Bigger Picture

Chris Addison on tour

Chris Addison at the Derngate

We went to see Chris Addison (Mock the Week) this month. We arrived at the venue with ten minutes to spare only to be told the time on the ticket was wrong and we had to wait for over twenty minutes before being allowed in to take our seats, not a good start. Thankfully Chris Addison came on and announced that he was his own warm up so we were in for quite a night. In the first half he appeared to be overdosing on adrenalin with some of his humorous comments being lost in asides to himself. He lived up to his reputation of being a middle class comedian who takes the piss out of his own class and hates the coalition government with a vengeance. Such phrases as – “I hate the Tories, they are scum” shortly after chastising Cameron for his sexism and suggesting he’s worse than the cartoon stereotype of Silvio Berlusconi who, nudge, nudge “genuinely tried to get young people into politics.” He muses on the recent riots and likens the TV coverage to a new drama series, filmed over three nights and featuring different cities, cleverly poking fun at his own middle class views and perceptions. Chris links each of his themes together in a way that often appears chaotic and unscripted, interspersed with moments of giggling at his own comments. It seems he has rambled off into a completely unrelated topic, and you can wonder where this is going, but he always draws the strands together and delivers on the punch line.

If there’s one criticism that is that he kept balancing his acerbic wit with a softening tale, an example would be his decrying of the Royal Family only to then say how much he enjoyed the humour displayed by Prince Philip. His material shows a great comic and observational talent, so that even when he is saying things that are controversial, the audience can’t help but laugh and to some extent agree with his views. He then goes on to discuss how views are often established whilst very young and cemented in by the choice of paper or media you decide to read or listen too. The message is profound and delivered in a charming style often poking fun at himself and his beliefs.

Web Site Developments

Steve has been busy developing the village web site and is now helping a local grant funded organisation to improve their web presence.

He finds it very satisfying especially when people start to use the site for blogging.

Web Sites

Next Month...

  • Dave & Lucie return from Kenya
  • Review first draft of house plans
  • Visit from Tony & Jude
  • Spend a couple of days in Market Rasen
  • Visit David Hockney Exhibition at Royal Academy
  • Jane's Birthday
  • Martin & Kate return from Bulgaria

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