Decín

Decín on the Labe river with the Zámek/Château on the right © Ricky Yates

Decín is a town that lies either side of the Labe (Czech), Elbe (German), river. It is situated at the beginning of a deep gorge where the Labe cuts through the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, Labské pískovce (Czech), Elbsandsteingebirge (German), on its way to Dresden in Germany and eventually flowing into the North Sea beyond Hamburg. The area to the east of the Labe is known as Bohemian Switzerland, Ceské Švýcarsko (Czech), Böhmische Schweiz (German), about which I’ve written previously here on my blog.

Decín is 130km north-west of Prague and takes around one-and-a-half hours to reach by either road or rail. But its closeness to the German border means that it only takes forty-five minutes by train to get to Dresden. Therefore . . . → Read More: Decín

Why adding the letter ‘y’ is so funny

Hot dogy anyone? 🙂 © Ricky Yates

Right from the beginning of my time spent living and working in the Czech Republic, one of the things that has constantly amused me, is seeing an English word on a shop, an advertising hoarding, or in a menu, with the letter ‘y’ added to the end of the word. For example – a sports shop advertising that it sells ‘Snowboardy’ and ‘Skateboardy’.

There is a simple explanation as to why this occurs – adding the letter ‘y’ to the end of a noun, is the most common way in Czech, to make a word plural. It is the virtual equivalent of adding the letter ‘s’ in English, so that ‘snowboard’, becomes ‘snowboards’.

However, very few of even the most fluent English-speaking Czechs, understand why ‘snowboardy’ and ‘skateboardy’ . . . → Read More: Why adding the letter ‘y’ is so funny

Advent 2016

Advent ring with the first candle lit © Ricky Yates

This year, the season of Advent has been as long as it possibly can be – a full four weeks. In 2017, quite the reverse happens with the Fourth and final Sunday of Advent, also being Christmas Eve!

I have very much appreciated the length of the Advent season this year, for a number of reasons. One slightly selfish reason is the cause of Advent lasting fully four weeks – the result of Christmas Day falling on a Sunday, which is every clergyperson’s delight! No need for services on three successive days, or on three out of four days. Instead, a full week beforehand, to prepare for services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and then an uninterrupted week afterwards, to take as a post-Christmas break 🙂

. . . → Read More: Advent 2016

A problem with the appointment process in the Church of England

A view across Prague © Ricky Yates

‘How did you end up in Prague?’, is a question I have quite frequently been asked over the past eight years. My simple answer is always, ‘Because I applied for the job’. I chose to come here – I wasn’t sent.

For the past twenty years or more, nearly every vacant position in the Church of England has been advertised in the Church press. If you wish to apply, you complete a now fairly standard application form and submit it by the closing date. In due course, a short list of candidates is drawn up and those selected are invited for interview. An appointment is then made.

Putting it in simple terms, the Church of England has adopted the normal secular method of filling a vacancy. A . . . → Read More: A problem with the appointment process in the Church of England