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,


  1. Nice post as always. I especially like the Derby facts and history lesson. More people in Indy, but less dense. Makes sense.

    Funny to see you do a similar trip on a different day. Some similar and some different pictures/experiences. Much better piglet shot.

    I don't think Chatsworth qualifies as a castle since it's not fortified. Big place though!

    I still haven't been to a football/soccer match here. We'll have to go with a local or two to get the inside tips.

  2. Thanks Steve. You are correct about Chatsworth. I may need to have you fact check before I post.

    I am in for another game, I left that one thinking "this is it?". Ray did tell me in my lesson this week that was the worse game Derby played this year. It would be fun going with some locals. See you Saturday.