The Pig Yard

January 2003 @ the Pig Yard...

Looking back over the last 3 years it seems as though January is one of our busiest months but if asked we wouldn't have put it in our most exciting of months. This January seems to have broken all records in terms of activities. It is usually the top month for seeing films.

New Years morning was wet but we went for a walk along the canal to Stoke Bruerne and took time out to watch the Morris Men performing their traditional dances. Here we have grown men doing country dancing, dressed with bells, beads and flowery hats, in the pouring rain - Britain does not get anymore eccentric than this.

We have never been great fans of Bond movies but Peers Brosnan has brought the humour back to the part that had been missing since Sean Connery became too old. This was a good action movie, with all the gadgets and car chases one expects from a Bond movie.

Our life is not always full of exciting events. Sometimes we slob out in front of the television watching down to earth programmes like East Enders. People frequently ask us why we watch it. It might be because it is so utterly depressing that whatever life throws at you, you can be grateful you don't live in the imaginary world of East Enders

The Lord of the Rings - Two Towers was the long awaited treat with a fast moving storyline and superb visual effects. Apparently the software used to develop the battle scenes with 10,000 orks will be used in future films. Each of the virtual characters is given a unique identity and personality so they fight in a particular way thus adding to the reality of the effect.

Generally the weather has been very mild but one weekend we managed to get out for a walk when the fields were frozen and the sky was blue.

The reflection of the cloudless, blue sky in the canal seems to agree with the swan on the left. The sheep on the right is very happy in his thick fleece.

One frosty, misty, Saturday morning Steve managed to undertake his flying base-line checks. This entails being examined to ensure he is still capable of commercial flying and has to be undertaken every 13 months. The last time he flew was back in October so he wasn't as sharp as he would like to be but was good enough to pass.

Dave had his 50th birthday and his special celebration was for a number of us to go out for a Chinese meal. The deal was eat as much as you liked for each course and there were a lot of courses. It was a really great night, plenty of food and wine, and superb company.

Steve had an unfortunate run-in with a reckless driver on a roundabout. A sales rep for IBM thought it would be Ok to go from the left hand lane of the feeder road across two lanes and turn right into Steve. The dent doesn't look much but it was a very loud bang and  repairs will cost close to £1,000. Thankfully the other driver admitted liability so his insurance will pay- albeit slowly.

The last weekend was very busy. We took the Friday off work to go to London with the express mission to see a couple of exhibitions - Arthur Rackham's work in Dulwich and the Body World in Aldgate. Although we knew roughly where we wanted to go we hadn't planned the exact route and so it became a bit of an adventure. We even used a bus which is probably Steve's most hated form of transport not experienced for some 30 years. We were pleased to have managed to see Body World as the exhibition is soon to move to Hamburg. I think we had a somewhat warped view of organ positions and feel more knowledgeable about ourselves.

Arthur Rackham was a very unusual illustrator and his ethereal but sometimes menacing pictures of fairies, gnomes and trees make classic pictures in Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, Grimms Fairy Tales, Alice in Wonderland and Midsummers Night Dream to name a few.

Sadly after the trip to London, Steve managed to catch some awful stomach bug that meant several days off work, another unusual occurrence, the last time being when he had mumps in 1976! A pretty good sickness record.....

After many months of debating to replace the Terrano we decided to buy a Land Rover Freelander from Marshalls of Bedford. We received excellent service and a very good part-exchange deal on the Nissan.

Only time will tell whether this was a good decision because Land Rover's are renowned for their unreliability. We're just hoping that the BMW diesel engine and the Ford build quality will make it better than it used to be.

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