Celebrating our birthdays

Our birthday dessert © Sybille Yates

Our birthday dessert © Sybille Yates

As many of our friends know, Sybille and I have birthdays that are just two days, but several years :-) , apart. 24th February for Sybille – 26th February for me. Our usual plan is to have a joint celebration on the intervening day, which is what we successfully managed to do last Wednesday. However, sometimes the liturgical calendar conspires against us. The last time our birthdays respectively fell on a Tuesday and a Thursday, as they did this year, was in 2009. Then the intervening day was Ash Wednesday :-(

Whilst attending the Christmas Party at the British Embassy last December, we met Paul and Michaela, a British/Czech couple who have a business with the interesting name of ‘The Happy Monkey s.r.o.’ Their company run a butchers shop, another butchers shop combined with a bar – Maso a kobliha / Meat and doughnuts, together with an upmarket dégustation restaurant entitled Sansho. As a special treat to mark our birthdays, we booked a table at Sansho for the evening of Wednesday 25th February.

Sybille's cocktail © Ricky Yates

Sybille’s cocktail © Ricky Yates

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we arrived at 18.30, surprisingly we were the only customers. However, that soon changed as more people arrived. Apparently most evenings, if you want a table at Sansho, you need to book in advance.

Knowing it was our joint birthdays, Paul kindly presented us with aperitifs – this interesting green cocktail for Sybille and a glass of Prosecco for me. The courses that followed are better illustrated by Sybille’s photographs rather than by my wordy descriptions.

 

 

 

 

 

First course © Sybille Yates

First course © Sybille Yates

Second course © Sybille Yates

Second course © Sybille Yates

Third course © Sybille Yates

Third course © Sybille Yates

Fourth course - we did have one each :-) © Sybille Yates

Fourth course – we did have one each :-) © Sybille Yates

Fifth course © Sybille Yates

Fifth course © Sybille Yates

Main course © Sybille Yates

Main course © Sybille Yates

We washed all of this down with a very quaffable rosé wine.

Our dessert, as can be seen in the photograph at the beginning of this post, came complete with two candles. We did blow them out before consuming!

The total cost was around five times what we would normally pay in one of our local bar-restaurants for an evening meal with wine. But the quality of the food, the ambience of the location, and the high standard of service, more than justified the expense.

Suitably dressed © Ricky Yates

Suitably dressed © Ricky Yates

 

 

For this special occasion, Sybille honoured her promise to me when we made our booking, and wore a dress. In return, I wore my suit with a shirt and tie. But I’m afraid I don’t have a photograph to post as Sybille always wants to be behind the camera, rather than in front of it. So instead, here is a photograph from nearly three years ago with Sybille in the same dress and me wearing the same suit and tie, though with a different shirt.

 

A round trip to Prague Zoo

As Monday 16th February dawned cold, but fine and sunny, Sybille suggested that we should take advantage of the weather on my day-off, and pay our first visit of 2015 to Prague Zoo. Here is an illustrated account of our most enjoyable day out.

The ferry boat waiting at Pobabe © Ricky Yates

Prague Zoo lies directly opposite from where we live in Podbaba, on the other side of the Vltava River. As there is no immediate bridge, the only way to get there is by ferry. So we walked down to the Podbaba bus stop and took the bus, two stops to Podbabe from where the ferry departs.

Approaching Podhorí © Ricky Yates

Here we are, approaching the arrival and departure point of the ferry at Podhorí, on the other side of the river. I love the sticker that . . . → Read More: A round trip to Prague Zoo

Anglican worship in Brno

The rear of Kostel Nanebevzetí Panny Marie with the entrance to ‘The Upper Room’ on the bottom right © Ricky Yates

On 18th December 2011, aided by several members of the Prague Anglican congregation, we held the first ever English-language Anglican service in Brno – a Service of Lessons and Carols for Christmas. Since the beginning of 2012, I have conducted a regular monthly service in Brno, usually on the second Sunday evening of each month, along with an additional service each year, on the evening of Easter Day.

As I explained in my post entitled ‘Holy Week and Easter Day 2014 in Prague and Brno‘, in March 2014, we suddenly lost the use of our previous Brno worship venue. Fortunately, the Roman Catholic Jesuits came to our rescue, offering us the use of the most appropriately named ‘Upper Room’. . . . → Read More: Anglican worship in Brno

Czechs don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, Halloween or Valentine’s Day

A Prague tram with two flags, celebrating a Czech public holiday © Ricky Yates

This is a post that I’ve been compiling in my mind for quite some time. So with Valentine’s Day being less than two weeks away, the time has come to commit it to writing and the public domain.

The genesis of this post was seeing more than one comment on social media in late November, of American friends of Americans newly arrived here in Prague, actually asking, ‘Do Czechs celebrate Thanksgiving?’ Another, asking an American teacher in an international school here, whether he had the day off for Thanksgiving.

I do appreciate that these comments and questions, came from some of the approximately 60% of Americans who do not hold a passport and have therefore never set foot outside their own country. I did enjoy the response of . . . → Read More: Czechs don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, Halloween or Valentine’s Day

On the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul

St. Clement’s Church, Prague on a winter’s evening © Ricky Yates

Today, 25th January, is kept in the Christian calendar as the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. This year, 25th January is a Sunday, and Church practice is that the readings set for a Feast Day, normally take precedence over those set for the Sunday – in this case, those set for the Third Sunday of Epiphany. So it was that this morning, we celebrated the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, with the account of his conversion recorded in the Acts of the Apostles chapter 9, being our first reading. And if you want to listen to my sermon from today, you can do here.

This is the second time during my time in Prague, that the the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul has fallen on a . . . → Read More: On the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul