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!

Language and visitors

Stará Oleška from the hills above Huntírov © Ricky Yates

There are two questions I am regularly asked in comments on this blog, by email, or on Facebook. One is, ‘Are there many English-speakers where you’re now living?’ The other is, ‘Does the area get many visitors?’ This post is my attempt to answer both these questions.

Stará Oleška has had many visitors over the five months I’ve now lived here. This is because the village is home to three camping & caravan sites – Autokempink Ceská Brána, Autokemp Aljaška and Camp Pod lesem; and two pensions – Pension Vyhlídka and Penzion Rosalka. Many of those who come are Czech, from right across the country. But there are also many foreign . . . → Read More: Language and visitors

Kostel sv Martina/St Martin’s Church, Markvartice

Kostel sv Martina/St Martin’s Church, Markvartice © Ricky Yates

Today saw the reconsecration of Kostel sv Martina/St Martin’s Church in the nearby village of Markvartice. For the somewhat irreligious Czech Republic, renovating an abandoned Church building and bringing it back into liturgical use, is quite an event.

Whilst there has been a Church on the current site since the thirteenth century, the building in its present baroque appearance, dates from a rebuilding between 1701-04. It started falling into disrepair following the end of the Second World War, a result of the expulsion of the majority Sudetendeutsche population in 1945-6 and the communist takeover of power in Czechoslovakia, shortly afterwards.

The Church was last used for liturgical worship in 1966. By the late 1980s, all that was left standing were the . . . → Read More: Kostel sv Martina/St Martin’s Church, Markvartice

Making progress

Yesterday, I made major progress in bringing order to the garden and outbuildings of my new home. In less than an hour, Jan with his van, assisted by a friend, removed a whole load of items left behind by the previous elderly owners, all of which were of no use to me. I hope the ‘before and after’ photographs which follow, will illustrate the progress that has been made.

Circular saw with ‘rain cover’ © Ricky Yates

Just under two weeks after moving to my new home in Stará Oleška, I wrote a post entitled, ‘Plenty to keep me occupied‘. In that post, I pointed out this ancient electrically driven circular saw for cutting logs, sitting in the middle of the back garden and wondered how on earth I would get it removed. . . . → Read More: Making progress