Tuesday, 28 December 2010

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A Beginners Guide to Shopping in Derby.

Shopping in Derby is not conducted in the street but in special houses called shops. Some of these shops are very big, bigger even than the Mayor of Derby's house.

You can get a pie and chips in Derby for around two and sixpence but the nutritional quality may be questionable. Mushy peas are not as popular as urban legend would have you believe.

Derby people call each other "duck" or "ducky". Don't try this in Shepton Mallet as you will not be understood.

The Westfield Centre is full of well-dressed people buying new clothes. They are obviously all certifiable but as yet the authorities don't appear to be doing anything about it.

People who can't afford to shop in The Westfield Centre are known as "The Others". If you are very poor you can still be part of "The Others" but have to go to the car boot sale at the cattle market on Sunday mornings. The cattle market is located outside the inner ring road.

The inner ring road was completed in November 2009.

To be allowed in The Westfield Centre you need to have more money than sense/be shoplifting/be taking a short cut to the cattle market.

Traffic wardens in Derby are easy to spot as they are dressed the same and walk around in pairs. The same goes for security men. This doesn't mean they are twins; I know because I've asked.

Derby city centre has many CCTV cameras and security men. This makes shoplifting a challenge but don't let that put you off.

Derby is a multi-cultural sort of place so it helps if you can speak in tongues and wave your arms around a bit. This may also help when you are caught shoplifting.

Derby is very safe and does not have a police force.

There is a shop in Derby called The Merry Cobbler. This used to make me laugh but not any more. Cobbling is a serious business.

Don't try shopping in Derby on a Wednesday afternoon as most of it will be closed. On other days of the week Derby may appear to be closed but this is not the case. You just aren't looking hard enough.

On the other hand a lot of shops in Derby are empty. If you walk into a plate glass window in Derby it's probably because the council has cunningly disguised it as a real shop. You could try suing but I don't fancy your chances.

The main industries in Derby are shops, cobbling and nuclear weapons.

Thursday, 23 December 2010


A belated happy solstice to you all. Did anyone see the lunar eclipse? I missed it on account of it being too cloudy here in Derby. And too cold to get out of bed anyway.

I'm feeling the cold having just spent three weeks in sunny Tenerife, working (through HelpX) on a finca up in the hills above Puerto Santiago, a small permaculture holding with bananas, advocado and mango trees interplanted with cardoons, sweet potatoes and stuff. And vegetable crops like pumpkins and tomatoes. Mosly clearing areas for planting, pruning and mulching around the trees. Good time had by all and hopefully somewhere I'll get back to soon.

There's more photos of my trip here, here and here.