Sunday, 27 November 2011

My sweet new ride and Thanksgiving in England

Hello friends,
An exciting week for us other than we were all under the weather for part of the week so we ended up taking it easy this weekend.  Now to rewind to mid week...

The high point of the week was picking up my sweet new ride, or "tight" new ride as my nephew Owen would say.  We picked it up Tuesday and were able to get insurance the same day as well.  Since we do not have any history here we had to contact our Brownsburg insurance carrier and have them email us a letter saying that Lori hasn't had a claim in 5 years which knocked two-thirds off of the insurance cost.  Unfortunately I can't say the same so the best part was Lori was going to be driving the Vaux.  Or so I thought.  Such was not the case however and we can both drive the car, it is just in Lori's name.  Surprisingly (not really) Lori claimed dibs on the Beamer so I get the 2005 Vauxhall Corsa 1400 cc.  Both cars are automatics and 5 door hatchbacks as you can see; it was not that easy finding an automatic in our price range, it is actually not that easy finding an automatic over here.  I did drive a manual Fiat Panda 1100 cc at the car dealer.  If you are not sure what those are picture a blue colored box sitting on a Radio Flyer wagon chassis powered by a riding lawn mower engine assembled using staples and duct tape.  That was the low cost option but for 500 pounds I went first class with the Vaux.

Obviously a little let down from a BMW (little let down from this car, HUGE let down from our first BMW) but it gets me there and is a little taller which is nice.  Plus the car is mildly embarrassing to the kids which only makes me like it more.

Lori's plain old basic BMW and my full of character Vauxhall.  "No Fair!" as Kalle would say.

The BMW emblem.

The Vauxhall emblem.

Hatchbacks are very common here.

View from Karl's balcony.

On Wednesday we had our parent teacher conference for Kalle.  It went well, Kalle is adjusting nicely and her school work was fine.  The strange part is that we do not get a status report on her grades and can not track them on a website like at home.  We get a report card at the end of the year and at midterm.  We are kind of going with the flow since we are in their country but that was very strange for Lori and I.  There is another American student in Kalle's class so I will talk to his mom and see if I am understanding the report card situation correctly here.  Basically the students are tested at the end of the year and have to pass that year's level to advance.  The teacher is not worried about Kalle's progress which is good, just a little strange not being able to see her grades through out the year.  I'll have to do some more bird dogging on this subject.   

We are still working with Karl's school to get him advanced in his math.  He is in the advanced class for his year and they are adding, subtracting and multiplying fractions.  He took Algebra last year (Pythagoras theorem, solving equations for/with variables, etc.) and was taking Geometry this year before we left.  He said none of the students in his class know anything about variables in equations yet.  His other subjects are fine and the school is working with us to keep him challenged in math.  Thankfully his personality is to push himself so I think he will be fine but the math over here is not up to Brownsburg's standards.  Lori and I are so thankful for our teachers at home, particularly Mrs. Smith, Mrs. McMullen, and their aides.  We didn't realize how lucky we were to have had them.  Thanks ladies, we REALLY appreciate your work now.

My provisional driving license came back this week.  It is my learner's permit which allows me to schedule my theory (written) test.  Once I pass my theory test I take my driving test then I can get my UK driving license.  My theory test is scheduled for December 10 so if it all works out I will take my driving test before we leave for the Christmas holiday.  I am trying to get this done ASAP because the driving instructor is supposed to watch certain habits such as not crossing either hand past 12 or 6 o'clock.  They also have a ridiculous rule that at all traffic control lights drivers have to shift their cars into neutral and apply the parking brake.  I am starting to miss the freedoms we have as Americans, this experience will certainly make me appreciate those freedoms more when we return.  I have been taking my driving lessons during the week but with Lori working she has been taking her lessons on Saturday morning.  Kind of restricts our Saturdays on lesson days but we shouldn't be a big deal for December since outdoor activities are limited now.

Thanksgiving was very weird this year.  Obviously it is not celebrated here so when Thursday came it didn't even feel like a holiday.  I think this was only the second year I didn't celebrate with family.  The first year (Jeff will correct me if I am mistaken) was when he and I lived in Denver and one year we ended up going to Bobby the Pro's family celebration (hope all is well Erin and Bob - say hi to your families from Lori and I).  So this year Ed and Becky Lheureau hosted the Rolls ex-pats Saturday for Thanksgiving dinner.  The Frey's attended also (you can check out his blog at and we met the Anderson's and Holloway's.  The food was great (forgot the camera Dana, sorry <head hanging in shame>).  We had turkey, stuffing, gravy, roast potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce, mac & cheese, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bar, peanut butter cookies, and dinner rolls.  All washed down with wine, beer, Coke, coffee, juice, water... definitely one of the best meals we have had in our short time over here.  My personal favorites were the stuffing and gravy, sweet potato casserole, and pumpkin bar.  We had a fun time meeting the other couples and discussing the vacation destinations and comparing our American - British differences experiences.  Some of the other couples also play Euchre so maybe we will be able to put together a couple of Euchre games in the near future.  Becky introduced us to an English Christmas tradition - English Crackers.  A website selling them and providing a little history is for those interested in learning more about them.  For those not interested in checking out the website they are decorative party favors which look like three tubes of decorated cardboard connected by a couple of wires.  You grab the two outer tubes and pull apart which breaks the middle tube.  The middle tube has a party favor and a "cracker snap" inside it, the "cracker snap" makes a small bang when pulled apart.  Some of the favors included paper crowns, tiny airplanes, mini brain teaser rings, and mini bowling ball and pins game.  A neat tradition I was not aware of so thanks Becky.  Thanks also to Ed and Becky for hosting, it was a lot of fun. 

On Sunday we went to Woodlands Evangelical Church, the closest Lutheran church to us.  You can check out there website at  It was interesting, Lori and Karl didn't really like it while Kalle wants to go back.  I was noncommittal so I would like to go back a few times and see which side of the fence I end up on.  The church had about 150 people there today and we sang a lot of songs, six I think.  They had a band accompaniment - two singers, a piano, a trumpet, a flute, and a dusty drum set.  Not sure if the drummer was absent or if that is just for special occasions.  Anyway, we started out with the normal church announcements followed by a lesson for the kids followed by the kids leaving for their lesson downstairs.  We sang some more, and more, and more, had the sermon, and sang some more.  No communion or offering.  We met a couple of Rolls people after the service and had a nice time but the jury is out on that church's verdict.  Not sure what we'll do if we don't attend that church, maybe check out a Church of England church or the closer than close Methodist church.  Speaking of churches, the kids will have a treat Wednesday.  Karl has an Inset day (teacher in service in US) and Kalle should be home because all of the schools are striking on that day to protest pay or pensions or something.  So the kids and I may go to a Church of England Wednesday morning service.  They are quite excited.  As for the strike - apparently all government employees belonging to certain unions are striking that day in protest.  But they are going back to work Thursday so I guess everything will be okay.  We shall see. 

We did a little Christmas shopping on Friday and Sunday, hope you like your English coal Owen and Lena.

I wasn't missing American football until I Face Timed Jeff last week.  It about Packer-Bucs kickoff time so he graciously stood by the tele and switched his iPhone camera so I could watch the kickoff.  Then he tried sitting down away from the tele.  Seriously?  So we chatted whilst I watched the game on my iPhone which was great.  Thanks again Fat Boy.

And finally, my "Dan Stine complaint of the week" feature shall forthright be named the "Dan Stine extreme self restraint in the face of surmounting adversity moment of the week".  You're welcome Dan, and I feel your pain.  You're still wonderful tho Christy.  I think renaming that feature will be my moment this week.   

Thanks for listening,

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Football game, Chatsworth Castle, and Derby history

Howdy y'all,
I'll start this week's blog out with my Dan Stine complaint of the week - The news of the day Wednesday was Ikea delaying our furniture delivery another 10 days. So we will be watching TV from the carpet for two more weeks. Not a good day for me.  (But Lori did buy me an office chair to sit in to stop my complaining.  As though that will stop me.  But it does help - thanks Lor.)

Here is Karl playing Xbox online with his Brownsburg buddies (Luke and others).  Technology can be awesome sometimes.  He and Luke are trying to schedule some times to be online which would be great since Karl is missing his friends at home (thanks a lot Linda and Stan). 

Saturday morning Lori had her first driving lesson. I have had two so far plus I have started the process to get my UK driving license. It sure will be nice to get that out of the way.  They have a couple of funny rules (at each intersection we have to put the car into Neutral and apply the parking brake when the light is red) we need to learn plus some bad habits to break but driving has been okay so far.

Also on Saturday we checked out a craft show at Derby High and went to the Littleover village center for lunch.  The show was pretty small and we left empty handed.  My hands were soon full however.

Lunch on Saturday from a local eatery.

This is Chicken Tikka cold Cobb with salad.  Salad in this case was lettuce, tomatoes, onion and pickle.  It was a large Cobb, probably an XXL size in America.  Way to much bread for me over here.  Sandwich was okay and very big.

The Derby County Football Club stadium.  Home of the Rams.  And destination of Karl & I Saturday afternoon to take in our first English football game.

This was interesting.  It is the ticket entrance to the stadium.  You enter a short hallway, insert your ticket into the reader and the turnstile opens to let you into the stadium.  It reminded me of cows going to slaughter.  It was so narrow I had to turn slightly sideways to get through the little hallway.  You also went through the gate behind your seats then went up a bunch of stairs straight to your seating section; unlike a NFL or college stadium where you can enter anywhere then walk around the stadium.

Hull City was in town.  30,312 in attendance.   

Here is Hull City scoring the first goal.  They would add another later to complete the scoring.  A couple of soft goals allowed by Derby.  Towards the the end of the game the Hull City fans were chanting "Come On Dar-bee, Come On Dar-bee" to taunt the Derby lads.  this was the only chant I could understand during the game.

I thought the game was fun and would go back.  Karl was very bored and doesn't want to go back.  A downer was I didn't understand any of the chants so I couldn't join in.  Not any hooligans at the game, probably a good thing overall.  The small contingent of Hull City fans were louder than the stadium of Derby fans which was weird.  I do feel a little like I didn't get the full experience - no inappropriate chanting, no hooligans.  Maybe I will have to attend another game in the future.

On Sunday we decided to check out Chatsworth Castle.  The Freys and Lheureaus were going Saturday but we had already made other plans so we jaunted up on Sunday instead.  My impression was WOW - this is a castle.  You can check it out online at  To briefly summarize the Chatsworth guide book: Chatsworth was purchased in 1549 by Bess of Hardwick and her husband Sir William Cavendish.  They built a house on the grounds and it was passed down until the 6th Duke of Devonshire, William Spencer Cavendish took possession.  In 1818 the 6th Duke started renovating rooms and adding onto the structures.  Other owners made renovations/additions as well but it appears the 6th Duke is credited with making the castle grounds and buildings what they are today.  An interesting note is that Chatsworth Castle was used by Elizabeth I to hold Mary Queen of Scots prisoner multiple times.  At this rate we will see all of Mary's prisons.  

I took pictures but none are worthy of the grandeur of the place.  We have been to a castle ruins and castle remains but nothing like this.  The expansiveness of the grounds driving up to the castle was impressive.  Per castle trust literature the site has roughly 1800 acres with the walkable park portion of the site being almost 990 acres.  It was very cool driving on the grounds and seeing deer herds in the distance and sheep flocks literally within touching range.  We will have to go back when the weather is nicer and we can check out some of the grounds.  Plus some parts are being renovated so it would be nice to see the rest of the buildings.  Now on to the pictures. 

They had a Christmas market there this weekend which was the main attraction.  A lot of gift and food shops.  Karl and I tried ostrich burgers; thumbs up for KJ, thumbs down for me.  Lori and Kalle passed on the ostrich.  I also tried a German traditional Christmas drink called Gluwein, which is a hot, spiced wine.  Another thumbs down.

The group posing by a horse statue inside the stables.  No horses anymore, it looked more like a courtyard than stable.

The path leading from the house tour entrance.

The path leading to the house tour entrance.

Detail of wall artwork.

A few themes inside the house tour.  One was beautifully painted walls and ceilings.

The Oak Room - various people and artwork adorned the walls.  Note the clock base on the right.

Another theme - over sized painting crowding the walls.  Very nice paintings though. 

Not sure if this is a clock or art.

The formal dining room.

Everyone is on Facebook.

Another theme - sculptures.  The kids aren't used to the clothing deficient artwork.

The original Jheri Curl.  Reminded me of Ricky's Jheri Curl in Coming to America.

View of back side of one of the castle wings.  No pics of the main building as that is undergoing a face lift.

Greenhouse and more sculptures.  The hunting tower is off to the left on top of the hill.

Part of the petting farm.  This Berkshire Sow was smiling in her sleep.  What do pigs dream about - truffles?

The Steve Frey pic - This little piglet watched me the whole time.  He was kinda cute.

These guys and gals were fascinating.  Their coop said they were Buff Cochins which is a chicken breed originally from China.  The interesting parts were their size (about double the other chickens) and feathers that were overly puffy and covered their legs and feet.  The rooster actually walked like a man.  Its feet point outward, it walks upright with its head back, and it strided forward.  As it walked towards me it gave me the feeling that he was coming to challenge me to a fight.  Oddly fascinating.

Also in the first time category; we tried a local Cantonese All You Can Stand Restaurant Sunday afternoon called Zing Vaa.  It tasted like your average Chinese buffet but charged like an upscale Chinese buffet.  (Add Sun Lik Beer to my world beer list BTW.)  That didn't make our favorite restaurant list.  We actually have a very very short favorites list.  One of the restaurants that does qualify is The Mallard, coincidentally they are close to our house and have bottomless soft drinks and chips.  Restaurants do not have free refills on soft drinks here which requires a little getting used to.

And for those of you wondering about where we are living for the next two years...

- We reside in Littleover which is a village (suburb) outside of Derby.  Littleover's latitude is 52.9 degrees North; as a comparison Saskatoon, Saskatchewan latitude is 52.1 degrees North.  Much farther north than I thought when we started the relocation process.

- (From Wikipedia)
Derby's urban population is 236,000 with a density of 7,842.5 people per square mile.
Indianapolis's urban population is 1,219,000 with a density of 2,273 people per square mile.
Lansing's urban population is 300,032 with a density of 3,174.9 people per square mile.
Upper Peninsula's urban population is 299,184 with a density of 18.2 people per square mile.

- (From local Derby websites)
Cresswell Craggs (not sure where that is yet) has Bronze Age burial burrows and stone circles.
  Definitely a place to check out in the next couple of years.

In the First and Second Centuries the area was controlled by Roman armies.  Modern Derby dates back to 921 AD when it built up by King Edward the Elder to protect against the Viking resurgence in the East Midlands.  He took the East Midlands from the Vikings in 917 AD.

(Local jargon note: The area around Derby is Derbyshire, similar to the area around Indianapolis is Indiana.  The region of England that Derbyshire is part of is East Midlands, similar to the region that Indiana is part of is the Midwest.)

A proud local claim to fame is Derbyshire is one of the cradles of the Industrial Revolution, or the very birth as one local claimed.  The River Derwent between Matlock (the same Matlock as my Matlock Bath post) and Derby provided power to the first industrial scale cotton mills.  Once the cotton mills started mass producing they exported the textiles out of the area and eventually out of England which spurred Europe, North America and other regions to start industrializing.  This fact was a little harder to confirm since the start of the Industrial Revolution isn't pinpointed but most sources agreed that Derbyshire may have been or was part of the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution. 

Thanks for listening,

Monday, 14 November 2011

Movies, Used Cars, Matlock Bath, and a Mackworth Walk

Greetings.  An interesting weekend filled with more English firsts.  Not good or bad firsts, just English firsts.  No other way to describe them so I will just call them English firsts.  Now onto our misadventures...

Friday after work we snap decisioned (that's new English Aunt Joanie) to go see a movie.  The local theatre was showing Arthur Christmas for the girls and The Immortals for the boys.  Since we were in a hurry Lori bought tickets and I bought snacks/supper.  At least we tried to.  The theatre's over here have different ratings.  They have U, PG, 12, 15 and 18.  U is universal for all ages, PG is open to all ages with parental approval, 12 is for ages above 12, 15 is for ages above 15, and 18 is for ages above 18.  No exceptions.  The Immortals was a 15 so Karl's couldn't go so we decided to all see Arthur Christmas in 3-D to his great displeasure.  (Side note: 3-D glasses are not part of the admission prices and are sold separately so we kept ours in case we see another 3-D movie during our stay.)  While Lori and I are straightening this out across the movie theatre admissions area I found out that they do not serve butter on popcorn, the options are salted or sweet.  Salted is plain popcorn with salt, sweet is basically kettle corn you get at summer festivals/fayre's.  (We go to fairs, they go to fayres.)  So we opted for one of each and went to see the show.  Kalle liked it, Karl not so much.  I agreed with Karl.  Popcorn was okay but I missed the butter.  We did find out that they show 15 minutes of previews before the movie starts over here like they do at home.

Also on Friday Karl asked me to talk to his school about his math class.  He is in Year 8 here.  Year 1 here is our kindergarten so US school 7th Grade is English school Year 8.  He is in Brownsburg's High Ability program (as is Kal) so most of his classes are a grade or two above his grade level.  Math in particular he is very good at so he is taking high school level math classes at home.  Here he is in Pre-Algebra which is the highest math class for Year 8 students.  Unfortunately he is doing work now that he did almost two years ago.  So in class Friday he was tapping his pencil on his hand to relieve the day dreaming boredom when his annoyed teacher called on him.  Karl answered the question immediately and the annoyed teacher was momentarily speechless.  So I need to talk to his school today and see what needs to happen to get him into a different math class.  Kalle has moved into Year 6 math class here also.  She took a math assessment test and afterwards her teacher said to me "she's quite good in math isn't she".  So she was placed a year ahead for math.  She said some stuff is new but most stuff isn't so we'll monitor her as well.  Apparently they are a little behind in math over here.  Karl also said the US does more work on computers than over here.  He misses his GTT class where you could design something on a computer than have a machine make the three dimensional object out of wood. 

Onto Saturday - We decided to go used car shopping to see what options are available since the taxi (me) is very restricting to Lori's work hours.  What an exercise in futility.  I did an internet search before hand and found eight used car dealers.  So Saturday morning we piled into the car (more on that unhappy subject later), punched the postal codes into the SatNav and off we went.  To nothing.  Five addresses that were not car dealers, one dealer that had four cars, one dealer that had cars but nothing in our price range, and one address we didn't even bother trying.  Car shopping is pretty low on my enjoyable activities list normally, over here it is just above eating dirt.  One dealer did tell us about a used car lot in Mansfield which was 35 minutes away northeast so off we go again.  On the way through town we drove by the geographically bunched car dealers and checked out their stock.  We found a used Smart car - automatic, seats four and 4,000 pounds.  Higher than we wanted to spend but at least we have an idea of what the market is in the Derby car lots.  But we trudged on, finally making it to Mansfield and checked out a couple of car lots.  They did have a used manual Rover hatchback for 2,500 pounds but we passed for now.  So we ended the search without a car but with another idea - look into car leasing options.  So that is my task this week.  I'll update y'all on my progress.

On the afternoon ride back from Mansfield I spotted a tourist attraction sign for Heights of Abraham cable car rides.  After more snap decisioning by Lori and I we detoured to the Heights of Abraham.  The rides ended up being closed for the season (bummer) so we decided to check out the little burb called Matlock Bath whilst we were there.  You can check it out online at ( if you wish.  I'm not sure we will be back once the cable cars are running, kind of a far ride for a cable car ride.  Semi-interesting town but I am pretty sure we saw all of the attractions.

A husky watching the meandering crowds.

View down the main drag - reminded me of Cincinnati or Hancock with the houses perched on the hillside.

Can you really pass up a photo op like this?

The store is a ceramic pot/figurine painting store.  I am guessing the store name is intentional although I have not heard any Brits say they are going to the potty yet.  Usually they go to the toilet or the loo.

Do the steps remind you of anything Jim and Tammy?  They did for Lori and I.

Stone wall I thought was neat.  The top blocks alternating heights is what captured my eye.

Matlock Bath claim to fame.

The Petrifying Well - reminded me of the geological rock and mineral exhibit at Tech.

Not sure what the fish is but it's a big 'un.


Steve Frey pic - turtles sunning themselves.

Steps into the bath and fish pic.

A little bath history - 20 deg C is 68 deg F for the US folk.

View of the entire bath.

Big mouth pic I found interesting.

Close up info on the Mako Shark info sheet.

Teresa Robinett pic - a holographic horse.  This one was only 3-D.

An interesting hologram of Frankenstein's monster.  Now he is sad...

Now he is happy.

A brief history on Matlock Bath.  The first bath was opened in 1698.  As a comparison the city Philadelphia was founded in 1682 (by the Quaker William Penn).  The long history here is one thing I constantly find interesting. 

Supper at some slow serving pub.  KJ ordered the New York burger.  I don't think you will find this burger in NY but I could be wrong (yes that is English bacon on a NY burger).  One note on his salad - they have salad cream over here to put on the salad.  The cream looks and taste like greasy mayo.  Mayo is very popular over here btw.

The Dana Johnson pic of the day - I tried a local dish.  Sausage Toulouse Casselouet.  Full of white beans, vegetables and pork sausages but not flavor or taste.  Nothing heaps of pepper and a little salt can't cure.  Typical English dish.

On Sunday morning  Lori and Kalle baked a pumpkin pie as a practice run for Thanksgiving at the Lheureaus.  Taste was good and she has her required "tweaks" so we'll be ready.

After some deliberation we decided on doing our first local walk.  I bought a 30 Walks in Derbyshire packet for some weekend sight seeing.  With the weather changing we probably won't get any more walks in so this was our first and last walk of the season.  It was the closest walk and included castle remains so I thought why not?  As usually happens when I start thinking I didn't quite know what I was getting into.

Walk card.  6 miles - 4 hours, definitely doable.  Next time I will read the back of the card.

We started out in Markeaton Park - between the park and the Derby University building in the back ground is where our temporary flat was located.  Quite the harbinger of what to expect in hindsight.  The directions out of the car park didn't make sense so off we went looking for the path.  After walking to the other end of Markeaton Park we noticed that there are TWO car parks.  Would have been nice to know but at least we found the path. 

Markeaton Park Rose Garden and Cafe.  Note the sun position as we left around 2 PM.

Geese pics - not sure what the ugly colorful fellow is but he was big and the geese all moved for him.

White and Gray colored swans.  I really need to get an English bird book.  Not sure if the gray swans are a different specie or just dirty.

On the path to Markeaton Stones farm.  This bridle path was started in 1735 and served as a route to get into Derby.  It is rumored to have been travelled by Mary Queen of Scots (remember her from Tutbury Castle?) and Bonnie Prince Charlie (more on him later).

Steve Frey pic of the day - a lot of sheep on the walk.  The back of the card said pastoral which means walking through the animals pastures.  Kind of weird opening a gate into a sheep pasture then walking through the middle of their field.  Impossible to not step on their droppings also, not sure what to do with the shoes but they'll never be the same.  We should have brought our hiking boots along.  We also could have brought our wellies, or rubber boots as the Brits say.  Why are they called wellies you ask?  Per Wikipedia they "are a type of boot based upon leather Hessian boots. They were worn and popularised by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. This novel "Wellington" boot then became a fashionable style emulated by the British aristocracy in the early 19th century."

Jim Seppanen pic of the day -  I thought the entwined limbs looked neat.

The troops marching on.  We are about one quarter of the way through at this point.  All uphill so far.

Representative shot of trees - most trees limbs are bare, a few leaves are green, some are yellow, and a lot are brown and barely hanging on. 

Quite a lot of hedgerows over here - reminds me of reading about the murderous hedge rows in France during the Allies D-Day invasion of WWII.  I definitely see why they were so difficult to get through.

Another Jim Seppanen pic - I also need an English tree book.

Upper Vicarwood Farm on the bridleway.

The Lona Jacobson pic of the day - if only it were by an apple this pic would be perfect.

View of the pastoral land.

Off the stone path and onto the dirt path.  Boots would have been nice about now.

Another view of the scenery - we are almost half way and KJ's winding up his "this is boring" speech.

Mackworth Castle.  Much smaller than I anticipated.  A little more info on the castle is at  Apparently it was more of a manor house than a castle. 

Front of castle.

Houses attached to front castle wall.

Looking inside the gate.

Some cows for Steve - with the domestic animals on this walk he would have loved it.

Bonnie Prince Charlie showing us the way.  You can check out Wikipedia or another source for the complete story of Bonnie Prince Charlie but the abridged version is as follows:  Prince Charles was the grandson of Stuart King James II of England and VII of Scotland.  James had ruled the country from 1685 to 1689, at which time he was deposed by the Dutch Protestant, William of Orange, in the Revolution of 1688.  James II exiled and Prince Charles was eventually born in Rome in 1720.  Charles tried taking back England for his father in the Jacobite rising of 1745.  Prince Charles' forces landed in Eriskay, Scotland on 23 July 1745 and fought their way down to Swarkestone Bridge in Derbyshire (6 miles south of Derby on the river Trent).  His forces ended up stopping at the bridge and returned to Scotland because of a rumored British army that really wasn't.  He was eventually defeated at the Battle of Culloden on 16 April 1746 but part of our walking path was on Bonnie Prince Charlie's retreat path back to Scotland. The little arrow above Charlie is representative of the small signs/markings that are used for paths over here.  

All Saints Church.  Not sure if this a called a garden or a cemetery but it is full of graves.

Gate to the church.

Back of church.

More Steve Frey pics.

These smaller guys reminded me of Roger's growing pig farm.  How's the snow up there Rog?

Markeaton Craft Village back at the park.  The park has a few shops open in the day time.  Quaint would probably best describe the village.  Notice the sun now?  It was 5 PM when we returned, muddy shoes and all.  Quite the walk but I did learn two things.  1) Read the whole card before going on a walk and 2) start the walks in the morning.  Still beats watching the Travel channel though.

Some miscellaneous items:
Our washer - slightly larger than our flat but still about half the load size of our home washer.  The soap tray is open because we have been told to leave it open when not in use to prevent mold growth.

Part of the kids PE kits.  From left to right; Kalle's trainers, Karl's football boots, and Karl's trainers.  Karl has football for PE every Friday and a different activity every Monday.  He was surprised how competitive it was, kids have suffered broken arms and legs during football PE.  He played keeper (goaltender) last week and had fun.

Radiator heat.  No air conditioning at all over here.

Heat adjustment.  Settinsg are I to IIII, the snow flake next to I tells us it is the coldest setting.

Our dryer, small as well.  See the plastic tray sitting on top?  That tray collects the water and must be emptied after a couple of loads.  None of the dryers here vent outside.

Wall outlet.  Each outlet has an on/off switch.

The pool car, a BMW 116i.  Trading in a sports model car for mom's grocery getter model is tough. (No offense mom.)  No Virginia, driving is not fun anymore so Lori can drive now.

And this week's facial hair winner - the lower lip hair!  More popular than the Chuck Liddell because it is not as visible.  Not as cool though. 

Thanks for listening,