A little international flavour to the greeting this week since Spain is playing Italy for the Euro 2012 Football Cup. I am not rooting for either team but since sports will be on the tele tonight I'll be watching.
The Better Halves Club met at The Great Northern (link) this week. I had a burger which was okay but still not a US burger. (I am looking forward to our Scotland tour, we were told they feed their cattle with grain instead of grass which makes it taste closer to US beef so I'll keep you posted.) There were five and two half memebrs there. This was the last meeting for one of our members and the first meeting for a new member which evens out I guess. Plus the newbie has an adorable two year old so now we'll have two cute little half members in the club.
On Friday the 2012 London Olympic Torch was in Derby for a cauldron lighting ceremony with a huge stage and multiple music acts in one of the local parks. The local newspaper said there was about 20,000 people at the event which sounds right since the park was packed. For the night four families met at one of the ex-pat's house that was within walking distance of the park and then foot caravaned our way down. We ended up getting a great spot by the torch path as you'll see. After the event we trecked back for an impromtu pizza party. Overall a fun night to end the week. You can read about the torch here.
The Sarah Anderson pic - our group. Kalle sitting on the blanket with the partially hidden Frey foursome. Karl is on the right scowling at something. Dave is standing in the blue jacket talking to Sarah (facing the camera) with baby Anna rounding out the Anderson trio in the tri-wheeled stroller. Blue clad Mark and itchy ear Tracey are standing behind the Freys while cute little Andrew is imprisoned in his stroller with his toy cars and flag. The railing in the background is the torch path.
Picture of the stage from our spot. This is about half an hour before the scheduled torch appearance. Note that we are far off to the side away from the bulk of the crowd.
The holy Torch! It has 8,000 holes to match the number of torch bearers.
Just after lighting the cauldron.
Bonus Time! After they brought the Olympic Flame (the Flame is brought over from Greece and is constantly burning until the Opening Ceremony) to its secret overnight location they walked around with the Torch for pictures. We all had our oppertunity to touch the Torch and have our picture taken with it. How awesome is that?
Kalle with the Torch.
Karl with the Torch.
Our weekend activity was Sudbury Hall and Museum of Childhood (link). The write up sounded good, "stunning" hall and hands on Childrens Museum so I figured this would be a good stop with Lori gone. The museum is for the kids and we have seen the really impressive local manors/halls/houses already so Lori wouldn't mind missing another one. The weather started out dodgy but really brightened up in the afternoon so we were off to a good start once KJ finished playing Xbox with his US mates. He woke up Saturday morning and saw some of his mates still online so he connected with them for a few hours.
Impressive build up leading to a mildly disappointing tour.
Front entrance to the Hall. Check out the Daimler Elizabeth model car.
Close up of the Daimler limo.
Old school pea-shooter. Karl had never heard of a pea-shooter before.
A penny-forthing from 1900.
An Egyptian ceramic ball from 1000 BC.
Small boys worked best as chimney sweeps.
Kalle ironing. They had a lot of hands on exhibits which the kids enjoyed.
This was before the child labour laws were enacted.
Kalle washing the clothes Victorian style.
The game on the right is snakes and ladders, similar to chutes and ladders in the US. I took the picture because Kalle's classrom disciplinary system is snakes and ladders. Being on the snake is bad, being on the ladder is good. I think she is on the snake as much as the ladder.
I thought the museum displays were interesting; they detailed home, school and work life for kids in the 1600's up to the 1900's. The kids ran out of patience by the end of the museum but enjoyed it overall. I found it interesting and not to long.
Next up was the Hall. It was advertised as stunning which was true of the ceiling plasterwork and limewood carvings but the rest of the house was a little lacking of stunningness.
Check out the ceiling above the staircase.
Plasterwork and painting under the Great Staircase. This was impressive.
The Saloon - the secondary entertainment room used for the semi-important people.
Check out the limewood carving surrounding the portrait.
Another impressive 3D ceiling, this was the end of the "wow" sights.
The dining room, nice but not stunning like Hardwick, Kedleston or Chatsworth.
A 1920's range, in the middle is a 1925 model pressure cooker. This house was similar to the last couple of houses we toured that showed a blend of 17th to 20th century living. Kind of interesting seeing the technological advances in the houses as they passed from generation to generation.
A Mrs. Marshall ice cream maker - I've never heard of it, the lady said there are only three in existance in England. You can read about Mrs. Marshall here. In the outer bowl you would place chopped ice. In the inner hole you would add the cream, sugar and other ingredients then a servent would turn the handle until the ice cream was gelled to satisfaction.
Karl's favourite part of the tour was the Billiards Room. Him and the other player are being told the rules on English Billiards (don't ask me) before they played their game. According to the signage it was common in the late 1800's to have leisure rooms like this billiard room for the men to relax in the evenings. I guess the womenfolk were busy bossing around the servents in the evenings.
Ceiling in the Billiard Room.
The Long Gallery - this was the indoor exercise room and art collection room combined.
View of the Garden from the Long Gallery.
The second library in the house, it had some fancy name I forget.
A grove - I included this to rectify an error on my Israel post. I called the date palm tree grove a forest on the blog knowing it was the wrong word but couldn't think of the proper word which was grove. A grove is trees without underbrush, a forest is trees with underbrush. Mea culpa.
View of the back of the hall from the Garden. Beautiful day to be outside.
The Kevin Coleman pic - the original Budweiser. Summarising the Wiki page, the Czech brewery started in 1785 and started exporting "Budweiser" beer to the US in 1871. Anheiser-Busch started their brewery in 1786 and registered "Budweiser" in 1788. A second Czech brewery started exporting "Budweiser" beer to the US in 1895 which led to a trademark dispute amongst the three companies that resulted in Anheiser-Busch being the sole "Budweiser" beer in North America in 1938. Tastes okay but I prefer the A-B Bud myself.
Why is it called Budweiser you ask? From Wiki - Budweiser is a German adjective describing something or someone from the city of České Budějovice (German: Budweis) in Southern Bohemia, Czech Republic. The Wiki page also says [b]eer brewing in České Budějovice (or Budweis) dates back to the 13th century.
The pouty Skunk Stripe making its final apperance. No birthday cake = pouty face.
I'm not sure there will be a post next week, Karl is going to Alton Towers (link) with a school group next Saturday so poor Kal is stuck with me. Alton Towers is a huge resort with a theme park, water park, hotel, spa, etc. close to here. I plan on visiting it a few times with the kids this summer to fill our thrill ride fixes.
Thanks for listening,