Sunday, 2 September 2012

Alex's 1st Day & the Chatsworth Country Fair

Hello, Blog fans.  Short entry this week -- perhaps you are relieved it's not another marathon post!  Yesterday was our first full Saturday at home since the middle of July so we used it to run a bunch of errands (haircuts, groceries, Korean food run, other shopping, etc.).  However, we did manage to get it all done to allow for an outing on Sunday.

First though, Thursday was a big day for Alex.  We made the decision to switch him from his neighborhood public (state) school to a private one.  Thursday was his first day at Derby Grammar School (all boys).  The uniform is a bit more expansive and coat and tie are now (again) part of the package.

He was reluctant to leave his friends at first but he was pretty excited after the first two days.  New school, new stuff and new friends (and he can still keep the old ones!).  We think this is the right move -- let's hope so!  As with any change, it's a little challenging on all of us.  The logistics of the new school (timings, before/after care, etc.) and location (1 mile further out a traffic backlogged road than Nicole's school) are non ideal but I'm sure we will find away to make it work.

On  Sunday, we impulsively decided to try the Chatsworth Country Fair (an annual event).  Now, you may recall we've been to Chatsworth a few times now but never for the fair.  We walked past the house to get to the fair (as shown above).  Lots and lots of cars and people.

The fair was a mixture of events and stalls that were similar to a Home Show.  We focused on the events since we don't need any more "stuff".  Our first event was a terrier race.  They barreled down the "track" chasing a fuzzy lure.  What a hoot.

They also had various [bag] Pipe Band competitions which were also interesting (but, you got the experience after 1 or 2).

The official opening ceremony featured a jump by 3 members of the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment Parachute team (called the Tigers).  Just 3 little dots at this point.

Number one has his chute out as well as a Union Jack flag.

A little fuzzy, but #1 came flying in for an on-target landing.

Here's another.

The kids chose the trampoline rather than the rock climbing, primarily at Alex's insistence.

Nicole mid-flip

and another

The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery in passing

Can't have an event without a birds of prey exhibit.  I left this off-center picture in because it was a double bird (they tend to point with the middle finger here in the UK--takes getting used to).

And a shot from the rear.  We didn't stick around for the full demo as we were popping around a lot.

Alex likes the woodworking ones.  Like last week, they had someone on an old-fashion lathe.  He was pretty impressive, especially for a no-talent like me.

We dashed off to see the ferret event but it turned out just to be a club photo.

Nice greyhound (albeit camera shy) near the ferrets.  Quite a few sight-hounds (greyhounds, whippets, lurchers, etc.) and in fact, dogs in general on the grounds.

[For those that don't know, we had 3 greyhounds in the past and were involved in greyhound rescue for some time.]

Can't say I've seen a ferret getting his teeth brushed before.  I think he may have had something stuck based on how she was talking to him.

We walked over to the lurcher (purpose greyhound x terrier mix) area where they had a course setup to chase a fake critter around.  It was open season and they let any dog through.  Some folks quickly learned that their dogs were not sight hounds and it was high comedy.  This grey (or lurcher?) was on it.  So much so that I wasn't quite calibrated for the speed.

another strong performance by this whippet -- and a better timed photograph

We next tracked down the Highland Dancing event but were a little disappointed to see that it was young girls learning/practicing the trade.  No fault of theirs, but we were expecting something more professional.

The big events were scheduled later in the day (Pipe Band Finals, Red Arrows aerobatic airplanes, singers, hot air balloons, etc.) but we had not planned on making it a full day event.  In fact, I got "the look" from Kuk that it certainly wasn't going to take up her whole Sunday.

We enjoyed the day, particularly with the fine weather, but it wasn't a cheap one:  £40 total to get in for the adults, £20 total for lunch and £10 each for the kids to blow added up quickly.  It didn't quite seem worth it from a financial point of view-- perhaps we needed to stay for the finale to make it so.

Have a good week everyone.

1 comment:

  1. Alex is really smiling in the first photo, either he really likes school or you told an inappropriate joke.

    An impulsive activity day - that's about three in the last couple of months. Are you feeling well?