Friday, August 30, 2013

Not Cricket

Saturday evening found us parked again at Darley Abbey in Derby. The car park adjoins a cricket field where a game was underway. I decided to watch and take some pix and see if I could figure out what was going on. The game is quite similar to American baseball in that 99% of the time the players just stand around, looking intense, and scratching their private parts. There the similarities end, however. In cricket, they all wear the same white uniforms, which is confusing. They do not chew. Detailed statistics are kept, I understand, though in a form unintelligible to baseball fans. An inning is called an innings. Innings are called innings, too. The batter is called a batsman. The pitcher is called the bowler, and he has his own 22 yard-long runway for winding up and delivering the...bowl. The runway is called the pitch. The ball is about the size of a mature plum. There are no bases, as such. Batsmen are dismissed rather than put out. There are also wickets, stumps, and creases and other matters very different from baseball. However, each side has 11 players, making cricket more similar to American football than baseball; in that respect.

They were still playing as darkness fell. It was all very edifying, but I don't care if I never go back.
The is the view from behind home plate; I saw no umpire;
perhaps he is also wearing white

Still behind home plate; everyone is poised...something is
about to happen...

This is the cricket clubhouse

These are the fans, not including me; no one was selling nor
consuming peanuts nor crackerjack, nor hot dogs, nor beer,
nor anything else 

This is the view from 1st base; well, where 1st base would

View from right center field; look just right of dead center
and you will see the bowler winding up to deliver his bowl;
whoa! a 93 mph fast-ball bouncing off the turf in front of the
batsperson! Swing and a miss!

View from 3rd base...apparently a break in the "action"; or
perhaps the 7th innings stretch; at which point, thus edified,
and ready to set down my impressions of this great
Commonwealth sport, I returned to the car park

Curzon of India

A bonus at Kedleston is an impressive collection of riches acquired by Lord Curzon when he was Viceroy of India at the turn of the 20th century. It is comparable in some respects to the collection at Powys of Clive of India, but Clive was of a different age, when the Brits were conquering India, not merely ruling it.
Lord Curzon; in an ivory-carved frame;
dozens of such large carved pieces...

Local weaponry

Silver sedan chair; sitting room furnishings

The Peacock Dress, worn by Lady Mary
Curzon, Vicereine of India, at the 1903 Delhi
Durbar, celebrating the coronation of
Edward VII 

Up close; the material is a shining cloth of
gold with an overlapping pattern of peacock
feathers in silk and gold thread on a silk
chiffon background; the eye of each peacock
feather is the iridescent wing of a beetle;
the cloth was made in India, the dress then
assembled by House of Worth in Paris
(paraphrasing the exhibit description)

Model of the Taj

Nice silver work

Thank-you note from then Prince of Wales for showing us
around Delhi...

In-laid table with Curzon motto inscribed: "Let Curzon 
Holde What Curzon Helde" (obviously the Inheritance Tax
people did not buy this)

Kedleston Hall 2

Can't top that

And now for something completely different
department: a really nice oil portrait, very
prominently placed, of one of the 18th
century head housekeepers of Kedleston

Now in one of the two curved galleries, this
one the picture gallery

Detail; note that the floor planks curve perfectly with the

And now in the other curved gallery, this one stuffed with
curios and specimens

Including this siege mortar found on the estate in the 1750s;
left behind by the retreating Jacobites

View of the frontal grounds and Culpability Brown lakes
with bridge, etc.

Back porch view of grounds

The beautiful little 13th century parish church is nestled
among the buildings at Kedleston; it was the only part of
the medieval village that wasn't cleared away to make room
for the great house (villages are such eyesores)

Inside it are some marvels of family an
Elizabethan tomb

The tomb of the Viceroy and Vicereine

And this the tomb of Richard Curzon, 5th Lord of Kedleston,
and wife, died 1275

Interior view

Kedleston Hall 1

Kedleston was the abode of the famous Curzon family, from at least the 1200s, but the house dates only from the mid-18th century. It is one of the great neo-classicals, designed largely by Robert Adam, who had done a Grand Tour and came back with lots of new ideas of interest to people wishing to promote the notion of Empire. It is first and foremost a show-house of majestic proportions, flanked by a family wing and a service/servants wing, both adjoined by beautifully curving galleries. The house also contains the collection of a later Lord Curzon who was Viceroy of India at the turn of the (20th) century. I'll do an additional post on that.
Vicki presents...Kedleston Hall

Curb appeal view

Back forty view, from the ha-ha, showing the main hall and the
flanking side halls adjoined by the curving galleries

Music room

Withdrawing room

Study/library with beautiful old partner desk

And a Gentleman's Reading Chair; so-called
because a lady could not sit in it and read,
when attired


Dining Room

"Hey, careful man, there's a beverage here!"

The major show-piece: the Grand Hall, marble everywhere,
classical scenes everywhere; Hadrian would have been envious


The other show-piece, the saloon, modeled
on the Pantheon (yes, I need a much larger

Southwell Minster

We spent a couple of nights in Southwell, a Thursday and a Monday, and I did several walks around the old town, looking mainly at its Minster (cathedral).
Southwell Minster from the west; a pretty standard British
cathedral in overall structure and history, though begun a
bit later than some of the others

View from nave; well, near the front of the nave...there was
very impressive photo exhibition going on in the back half

Screen, looking into chancel

Elevation: heavy-duty-sized piers, Romanesque
arches, gallery, tiny clerestory with circular
window configuration; wood ceiling

Choir practice in the choir; other side of the great screen, and
the organ

In the chapter house

There are some fine carvings of plants in the
chapter house; this is absolutely the only
human figure not defaced by Cromwell's folk

What kind of sick and twisted mind would
deface a bunny? Maybe they thought it was
the Easter Bunny and therefore a religious

On display elsewhere...a 1582 map of Paris

Gifts to the Minster duly noted

Thus; a set of chimes plus, importantly,
funding in perpetuity (at 1693 rates,
presumably) for operations and maintenance