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Published: September 10th 2009
Did the devil sit on this one?
22 August, (Saturday) Derby
Jerry has the next 2 weeks off. Today he drove us around the countryside. Kirsten had been staying with Jerry's cousin, Nessa, at their pub in Sheffield and we went to pick her up.
First we went to Chesterfield, Jerry was just going to drive past but I was keen for a photo (parking was a huge pain but eventually we managed it and I got a great photo of the Crooked Spire on St Mary's church apparently caused by the devil sitting on it!
Then we were off to Sheffield. Nessa is just lovely - so glad Kirsten has her as I think she really needs people like that in her life, Rob & Jerry so preoccupied with Mim. The pub very cute too. We had a cuppa there then loaded the car with Kirsten and her stuff & off we went.
Next stop was the Grouse Inn a lovely pub overlooking the Peak district. (I had wanted a typical English pub lunch & this certainly did the trick). In my pursuit to experience typical English things I had steak pie and chips for lunch & a beer - but hey -
Jerry's cousin's pub where we collected Kirsten, lovely pub and lovey lady.
the peas contributed to my 5+ per day. We sat outside, lovely views of the countryside all around and Ann just loved the bright blue umbrellas. It struck me as odd the way we would come across these pubs out in the middle of nowhere with nothing else except the countryside around.
Back into the car and on our way to Chatworth house. The size of it was amazing! Lots of visitors that day and we were directed in to a parking area in a paddock. After a visit to the loos (Robin came out and said to me "you must at least go in and look" - they were beautifully tiled absolutely gorgeous loos - took photos in there!) We elected to look around the gardens 1st and Ann & I got tickets for the house but the others decided to get a garden only ticket. KIrsten was doing some sort of art project for school and wanted photos of water for it. The cascade was an artificial stream of water travelling for around 100m down hill, 3-4m wide and very shallow, descending in steps. Lots of people paddling in it, I was too busy taking photos. The
Church by pub
Handy placement means the pub gets to cater for wedding receptions. beautiful church.
grounds were scattered with statues - lots of classical type ones - there was one of Pan near the bottom of the cascade. R, J & K decided to go through the maze, Ann & I decided there was too much to do & see to spend time getting lost in a maze and carried on towards another water feature. Came across an enormous bhudda-like statue that was covered in bright coloured mosaics - mainly yellow and blue. Next astonishing scultpure was this pair of naked very chubby dancers, from memory at least twice my height and carved of wood - they were anatomically correct too! another photo op.Then we were heading back in the direction of the house past an enormous long pool with a really high fountain in it. On past a butterfly tree - carved again and the "leaves" were enormous butterflies.
People walking past with icecreams so we bought some Chatsworth icecream - they make it on the estate mmmmm.......
We decided it was time to head into the house, there is currently a big restoration project going on so part of the front of the house was covered in scaffolding and a sort
1st British pub lunch
pies and chips and a beer please!
of white tarpaulin. Inside some of the usual rooms were closed and some of the private rooms open (apparently). There is pretty much a one way circuit, ropes to guide you where not to go etc. Entry into a sort of foyer, massive with an amazing painted ceiling, everything on such a grand scale and sooooo ornate. Huge paintings everywhere and lots of little ones too. Statues in little nooks. high high ceilings, beautifully tiled floors. grand staircase and lead us upstairs and through a series of rooms. There was an exhibition in one area about the various films and TV programmes that had been filmed there. Duchess, Pride & Prejudice and most recently The wolfman (a horror where they dressed this beautiful place down to look like his abandoned ancestral home!). They even had their own chapel - no excuse not to go to church here! After a while Ann & I both started to feel saturated you can only take in so much. We were aware that R&J had a time constraint, wanting to get home and away to visit M again by a certain time but that was not at all hard for us as we just
couldn't take any more in. The last place the tour leads you is into "the Orangery" the gift shop. picked up a little souvenir and it was time to be off. The others had been waiting out by the car for a bit and saw a wedding party go by - in a horse-drawn carriage drawn by 2 white horses. Ann & I managed to catch a glimpse too.
Next stop Bakewell, I had been told to get a Bakewell tart from there, what a pretty, charming little town, our stop was only too brief and then Jerry took us the long way home, winding our way through English countryside and quaint little English villages, lots of houses in this part of Derbyshire made of stone as were the "fences" around the paddocks. Apparently these dry stone walls can last a good century. It was just lovely. (Apart from me feeling a bit carsick towards the end).
There was this strange mixture of the familiar and the different. One minute you could think you were travelling through NZ countryside, then you'd see a stone wall around a paddock or a stone 2 storey house and realise ....
overlooks the peaks district
Rob & Jerry had only a brief stop home before they were off to see Mim again, we'd spent all day out and lots of driving then they face another 1 hr each way to visit Mim. Ann & I took Meg for a walk, went to the coop for some stuff for tea etc and then wandered a slightly circuitous route home. We took turns going in to the coop and 1 stayed out with Meg. When Ann went in I thought waiting in the carpark outside was too boring for Meg so crossed the road to the little green. Meg made it abundantly clear to me that it was time to play fetch with a stick - she is so delightful and intelligent!
I cooked for Kirsten & me, Ann not hungry at all. Later when R&J came home it was Bakewell tart for dessert - they really are delicious. Pip very impressed to find some here when she came home from her shift at the Pub and she had been trying to persuade her boyfriend to get her one & he wouldn't (I think they find Bakewell too touristy!)
Here endeth day 5.
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