Logs © Ricky Yates

The main source of heating for my home in Stará Oleška is a wood-burning stove, located in the kitchen. The previous owners left a fair supply of split logs, stacked in one end of the woodshed, located on one side of the back garden. They also left a further supply of logs, mostly not split, sitting in a pile in the middle of the back garden, partially covered by various pieces of unsightly plastic that were doing very little to keep them dry.

Over a couple of days, very soon after moving here in mid-May 2017, Sybille and I, aided by two wheelbarrows, successfully moved all of that pile of logs, from the back garden, stacking them neatly with the other logs in the woodshed. The unsightly plastic was then deposited in the appropriate recycling bin in the centre of the village.

Where the logs once were © Ricky Yates

I regret not taking a photograph of the pile before we shifted it, but the photograph above shows the bare patch where it once stood, before I tackled the surrounding jungle. The photograph below was taken after the grass received its first hair cut of 2017.

Where the logs once were © Ricky Yates

Where the logs once were – October 2017 © Ricky Yates

Whilst this photograph, taken in early October 2017, shows that the bare patch had by then, begun to recover.

Because of all the logs left by the previous owners, heating the house for the first few months of this winter, has cost me absolutely nothing, beyond the effort expended in moving the pile from the garden and splitting all the unsplit logs.

Timber awaiting being sawn © Ricky Yates

Propped against the woodshed, were these longer tree branches, to which I added various pieces of scrap timber that I found in other corners of the garden. Early in October 2017, aided by an electric chainsaw, I reduced all of this timber to the correct length for the wood-burning stove.

Timber gone © Ricky Yates

Here is where the timber once stood.

The resultant stacked timber © Ricky Yates

And here it is, cut and stacked inside the woodshed. Because most of these pieces are relatively thin, they have been especially useful in getting a fire going, before adding heavier logs.

By late November, my supply of free logs was beginning to run low. Martin Tonder, the real estate agent who sold me the house, had previously told me that there would be no problem getting a further supply of logs as there were several people in the area, who were in the business of supplying them. So I tapped into his local knowledge once more.

Logs are being delivered © Ricky Yates

Martin recommenced a Mr Kopecký and kindly arranged for a truck load of logs to be delivered to my back garden, on Tuesday 5th December 2017. Here they are beginning to be delivered 🙂 If any reader would also like a log supply, Mr Kopecký’s phone number is 605 298 734 🙂

My new log supply, immediately after delivery © Ricky Yates

Here is the pile, immediately following delivery.

My new log supply, immediately after delivery © Ricky Yates

Whilst here is the view in the opposite direction, with the woodshed into which they needed to be transported and stacked.

Loaded wheelbarrow © Ricky Yates

Single-handedly shifting this lot, one wheelbarrow load at a time, took some serious effort.

The remaining pile © Ricky Yates

At the end of Wednesday 6th December, there was still all these to move. Eventually, when it started to rain, I covered up the remaining pile as best I could and waited until the elements were more favourable.

Remaining log pile and snow © Ricky Yates

I started again on the morning of Saturday 9th December, only for it to start snowing at lunchtime 😉

Further wintry weather has intervened, as illustrated in my previous post. Then I went to the UK for Christmas. However, since returning to the village to celebrate the arrival of the New Year, I’ve had two further sessions in the back garden. The second of these was yesterday on New Year’s Day when the final wheelbarrow load reached the shed. The results of my labours are difficult to photograph because the shed is so full. But the photograph below is the best I can manage.

Stacked logs in the woodshed © Ricky Yates

Finally completing moving all my new log supply and successfully getting it stacked in the woodshed, has made a very satisfying beginning to 2018. Št’astný Nový Rok! Happy New Year!

Winter has arrived

Stará Oleška 44 in the snow © Ricky Yates

This past weekend, winter has well and truly arrived in Stará Oleška. Whilst since the beginning of the month, snow fell on three or four occasions, it never amounted to much and rapidly melted. But the morning of Friday 15th December brought a more serious snowfall, and it has snowed again on several occasions since then and it is doing so once more, even as I write this blog post.

Stará Oleška 44 in the snow © Ricky Yates

However, on the morning of Monday 18th, the snow stopped for several hours and the sun came out, enabling me to take the photographs accompanying this post. And to take the photograph on the left, I did go out through . . . → Read More: Winter has arrived

I have been granted permanent residency in the Czech Republic

Certificate of Permanent Residence © Ricky Yates

As I wrote in my earlier blog post entitled, ‘Czech bureaucracy – yet again‘, on Monday 30th October 2017, I submitted my application for permanent residency in the Czech Republic at the offices of the Czech Ministry of the Interior (MOI) in Ústí nad Labem. I was informed then, that the authorities now had up to sixty days to consider my application before coming to a decision. Once a decision was made, I would receive a phone call, summoning me back to the MOI office.

Last Friday morning, exactly forty days after submitting my application, my phone rang. It was from a number unknown to my phone and the caller spoke in Czech. Fortunately, the one word I did understand in the caller’s first . . . → Read More: I have been granted permanent residency in the Czech Republic

Why did I decide to retire and move to live in North Bohemia?

My home in Stará Oleška as it looks today © Ricky Yates

This is a question, sometimes with slight variations, that I’ve been asked time and again this past year. So as this is my four hundredth blog post 🙂 🙂 🙂 , I thought I would put into written form, the answers I’ve been giving to all those who have enquired. I’ve broken the question down into two parts, with four reasons under each heading. If you have further questions, please leave them in a comment and I promise to respond.

Why did I decide to retire?

1. Because I could

On 26th February 2017, I celebrated my sixty-fifth birthday. Although, because of increasing longevity and consequent increased costs, both . . . → Read More: Why did I decide to retire and move to live in North Bohemia?

Czech bureaucracy – yet again!

Temporary Residence – forever!

A few months after arriving in the Czech Republic, Sybille and I, aided by an agency, successfully registered with the Czech Foreign Police. Our respective passports were stamped granting us ‘Temporary residence’ that was ‘neomezený‘ – ‘unlimited’ or ‘forever’. As I have pointed out many times since, temporary residence that is unlimited, is a contradiction in terms!

We were also issued with flimsy paper certificates of temporary residence, which most importantly, also showed our official registered address as being the Chaplaincy Flat in Prague 6. Shortly afterwards, we were also each issued with a ‘Rodné císlo‘, social security number. You can read about how we managed to achieve this in two early posts on this blog, here and here.

Fast . . . → Read More: Czech bureaucracy – yet again!