Sunday, 19 June 2011

A Wonderful Father's Day

I couldn't have asked for a better day.  I got some nice cards in the morning from all 3 saying what they appreciate about me (cooking and traveling where the main themes though Nicole also appreciated the fact that I picked her up on time -- not like Mom).  Alex was overwhelmed with short term memories and thanked me for buying him streaky (American) bacon the previous weekend. :-)

The weather looked a little iffy (i.e. normal) but we decided to power on with Plan A.  Though we didn't see the sun, we didn't get wet either.  I'll take it.  It's still weird to be wearing jackets in the middle of June though.

Side note:  we are pretty far north.  Sunrise is at 4:40 (!) and sunset is 9:35.  Almost 17 hours.  I think we get like 6 hours in December though.

The plan for the day was to take Derbyshire Walks with Children #1 which started in the very quaint town of Bakewell in the Peak District.  We then walked over to the next town (Ashford in the Water) and then a big loop back around via the Monsal Trail (a converted rail bed).  Almost 6 miles this time (that's a lot of rounds of 20 questions and the latest "game" of multiplication (e.g. 29 x 29) -- Alex's idea, not mine!!).  We really enjoyed the two towns and the walk in between, but did not care for the Monsal Trail as much.  It was more crowded and had lots of cyclists so it was a bit dangerous.

On to the pics . . .

 River Wye from the car park (parking lot) into Bakewell

 An old mill (Lumford) on the other side of Bakewell, heading to Ashford

Now, we are getting used to walking with the sheep, but llamas??  (cool)

up close with sheep #  ??

We timed it so we would be in Ashford for lunch.  We tried the Bulls Head pub (from my new book of 5000 best pubs in the UK -- got a few more to go).  This was our best pub experience so far.  We've had better food, but the atmosphere and friendliness were outstanding.  This is what British pubs are all about.

Know how some restrooms are a little ambiguous?  Not these!

and the girls' . . .

I'd like to say it was good planning, but we actually stumbled onto a wonderful random event.  Ashford was having their Well Dressing while we were there.  This is an old custom unique to Derbyshire (I think).  See a brief explanation below (from

The true origins of Well Dressing are lost in the mists of time. According to many sources, it developed from a pagan custom of making sacrifice to the gods of wells and springs to ensure a continued supply of fresh water. Like many folk traditions, it was later adopted by the Christian Church as a way of giving thanks to God for His gift to us of water. Tradition has it that it took on a special significance in 17th century Derbyshire as various villages, notably Tissington, gave thanks for their deliverance from the Plague which had decimated nearby Eyam. In truth they had been spared by the altruism of the inhabitants of Eyam, who quarantined themselves while the disease, accidentally introduced in a package of clothing from London, ran its deadly course. Of course, this does not mean that the other villages has any less cause to express their grateful thanks.

These were beautifully and thoughtfully done.  A real treat and bonus.

 a moving memorial

one for the Peak District

 a sad tribute to a daughter that passed too soon

 a quirky one for the Beatles (I couldn't quite make out who was who)


back on the trail with ominous clouds and a nicely silhouetted horse

I really enjoy walking the hills with the sheep and scenery.  Cool clouds with this one.

another scenery shot (the white dots are sheep)

Toll Bar House (no cookies--sits along A6020 and used to collect tolls I think)

Bakewell is famous for its desserts (generically called "puddings").  It's actually more famous for the Bakewell Tart but I think the locals get a little miffed about that (stick with pudding).

Of course, we had to try one.  The kids got one with ice cream . . . 

and you'll have to take my word for it that there's one under the custard.  Glad we tried it, but no one was a real big fan.

Really ominous clouds near the car park, but we made it (and it really never rained).  This was across the street where they were having a dog show (of sorts).

Side story:  I didn't actually request Korean for Father's Day but Kuk made her first pilgrimage to a Korean store in Birmingham (1 hr away) on Saturday.  She must have spent 3 hours there looking everything over and seeing how much non perishable stuff she could haul back.  So, Korean it was.  I have missed it, but not as much as Kuk and her very Korean son.  They were moaning with delight all through dinner.

Bakewell had an outdoor store (Cotswolds) and Kuk finally decided to buy some walking/hiking shoes.  It's taken her all these years to figure out that a kid's shoe actually fits better.  That does tend to limit her selection though.  Here are her new size 3's (US kids) next to my existing 9.5's (I actually have small feet for my height).

Alex loved this pig that they also had at the store.  It shoots foam balls out of its mouth.  Endless entertainment (especially when aimed at Nicole).

It was a great day.  I am very fortunate to have the family that I do.


  1. Have you seen other ethnic food stores in the area? Croatian or Finnish in particular.

  2. No, but to be honest, I can't say I've looked. I know there are some ethnic areas in Derby but perhaps not those. Ask Wendy on your pre-assignment visit -- she might know.

  3. So the Bakewell tart isn't worth it? I still haven't tried a proper one, but not really sure I want to...