The Pig Yard

October 2012

It's been a busy month and we've managed to pack in loads of cultural experiences. Steve became a year older but not wiser; Jane stoically soldiered on with her leg in its brace; and we managed to meet up with some friends and relatives that we haven't seen for some time.

Thank you to all those who sponsored Steve on his 50 mile cycle. For the latest amount collected follow this link:

Kate & Martin outside their house

Bulgaria Holiday

At the beginning of the month we jetted off to see our friends in Bulgaria. We had no expectations other than the country is part of the European Union, if one of the poorer members.

It's a country with a density of about 75 people to every square kilometre in comparison to the UK which has a density of 270. So there is plenty of space and land is relatively cheap. If the temperatures were more amenable (not 40 degrees Celsius in summer and minus 20 degrees in winter), and if everyone spoke English then we might consider buying land there but that's never going to happen.

For more on our holiday click here...

More News on Jane's Knee

Another month has passed by and Jane continues to limp around with the metal work strapped to her leg. She has had her MRI and another review with the consultant who has decided she needs an operation because she has not only damaged her medial collateral ligament, damage to her medial meniscus and a tear of her anterior cruciate ligament.

This level of damage can only be sorted by an operation so she has an appointment for 13 November when she will undergo a full anaesthetic and an arthroscopy. In the meantime she is getting some physiotherapy (private) to help her build the muscle around the knee.

Knee parts

Murphy's Teeth Sorted

For the past twelve months Murphy has been struggling with his teeth as they continue to give him problems. Apart from his breath smelling like rotten fish it is painful for him to eat at times.

After the third course of antibiotics in the past year we decided this wasn't going to clear up and decided to have the offending teeth removed. As always, he hated being put into the cat basket and when he gets to the vets he is very reluctant to come out. Thankfully the full anaesthetic had no adverse effects on his 17 year old body and before we knew it he was home again minus four teeth.

Since the death of Millie earlier this year he has become much more loving and is often looking for a lap to sit on in the evening. We recently read that cats are happiest when there are no other cats in the household so we won't be getting another cat until Murphy's life has run its course.

Grand Designs

This was our second visit to a Grand Designs show, but our first at the NEC. We arrived just as the doors were opening alongside hundreds of others and as the masses dissipated into the building it seemed as though there would be plenty of room for everyone however as the numbers continued to grow so it became more and more difficult to move around, let alone talk to anyone on the stands. We did see some staircase designs that we liked the look of and Jane was particularly taken by a potting shed combined with a greenhouse that might suit her needs in the future.

At lunchtime we couldn't find anywhere to sit down and eat or drink. Steve was getting increasingly tetchy and so we decided we'd seen enough and we left for home.

Grand Designs Logo

House Project

House Project Update

We've reached the end of October and we still haven't purchased the land because we are now negotiating  amendments to restrictive covenants in the contract with the sellers solicitor. As it stands the sellers have placed restrictions that would mean we cannot construct sheds or greenhouses anywhere on our land without their written consent. This is such an onerous clause that we will not buy the land under these conditions.

The negotiations continue and we hope there will be a resolution very soon.

Julian Clary @ Derngate

Julian Clary is a really “nice” person. The trouble with comedians who base their whole act on a single minority group premise is that it wears a bit thin after about 30 minutes and this was true for us. Of course the risk with criticising the performance is that one is accused of being a homophobe and we don’t think we are.

His act was funny in parts and there were times when we found ourselves not laughing but the two men beside us were laughing long and loud so obviously it is a matter of taste. What did we expect? Well yes that’s a good question – yes we expected double entendre and graphic descriptions of what gay men do for sexual gratification but it went on for too long on a single theme.

In the second part of the act he selected eight men out of the audience and under the guise of looking for a partner he humiliated them on stage asking them questions and getting them to perform tasks one of which involved a man who was at least middle aged bobbing blind folded into a bucket that contained plastic penises. We felt uncomfortable for him. Julian Clary is undoubtedly a nice person and ok in small doses (no innuendo intended).

Julian Clary @ Derngate

Jumpy @ Duke of York's Theatre

Jumpy at Duke of York's Theatre, London

This month we went to London to see Jumpy at the Duke of York Theatre. We’re so fortunate that Jane’s brother lives in north London within easy striking distance of the city centre and he is a superb host so we stayed overnight which gives us time to catch up with each other’s lives.

We selected Jumpy because it featured Tamsin Greig in the lead role. She’s an actress who we both admire for her talent in playing comedy and serious roles apart. She also has a long-standing role as Debbie in the Archers on Radio 4.

The play tells the story of the conflict of motherhood in the modern world, "every mother is a daughter", and also the issues of a midlife crisis. Tamsin had the opportunity to use her brilliant acting talents an example of which is how she managed to act awkward and totally unsexy when dressed up in a provocative maid’s uniform whilst later on turning on the sex and flirtation dressed in a drab wrap around dress. It was a great performance by all participants and once again we really enjoyed our trip to London.

Merry Wives of Windsor, Stratford Upon Avon

Many months ago we arranged to meet with our college friends Jon and Susie in Stratford to see Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor played by the Royal Shakespeare Company. We decided to stay overnight and found a pleasant B&B near to the centre of the town and within walking distance of the theatre.

We had a great time catching up with Susie & Jon and in some ways we thought the play would be a secondary part however how wrong we were. It was a truly superb production. The cast made the play come to life, the scenery was incredible and the technical production brilliant but presumably a nightmare to bring together because the opening few nights were cancelled due to “technical difficulties”. We were so lucky to see this and in such good company. We're now thinking about organising our next visit.

For what's on at Stratford in 2013 click here:

Merry Wives of Windsor

JAmes Bond - Skyfall

SkyFall, James Bond

Wow, what an experience. Firstly you have to get past the 30 minutes of 007 product placement adverts before the film begins and there are some sequences in the adverts which are lifted from the film so it does remove some surprises.

Once the film starts it's action packed from the first moment and the stunts come thick and fast, sometimes very fast. Like all Bond movies the story line is a little thin but at least in this movie there is a single theme to follow which twists and turns as Bond pursues his goals for Queen and country.

With all the hype around the film and many critics giving it 5 stars it was always going to be difficult for the film to live up to expectations but it came pretty damn close. Highly Recommended

Next Month...

  • Joan Armatrading in concert
  • Jane has her knee operation
  • Dave returns to Kenya for the last time
  • Alan Davies on tour
  • Finalise the purchasing of the land at Market Rasen

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