Another insight into Czech life and culture

The rocks and forests of the Czech countryside © Ricky Yates

Yesterday, I officiated at the burial of ashes of two people, a husband and wife, into the family grave. Whilst this is something I would quite regularly do when Rector of a group of North Oxfordshire villages, this was the first time of doing so in just over six years of ministry here in the Czech Republic. I have also only conducted four funerals during that time, a reflection of the predominantly young age of the English-speaking expatriate population resident here.

However, although I conducted yesterday’s graveside service in English, it was very much a Czech occasion and was an illustration of several aspects of Czech life and culture. And because I want to protect the privacy of the family, I hope readers will forgive me for not referring to people or exact . . . → Read More: Another insight into Czech life and culture

How to be Czech in 10 easy steps – revisited

Half a litre of Gambrinus Czech beer © Ricky Yates

Ten months ago, I published a blog post entitled ‘How to be Czech in 10 easy steps‘, based on my experience at that time, of having lived as a cizinec / foreigner in the Czech Republic for nearly four and a half years. To my utter amazement, this post almost immediately went viral. It resulted in the blog getting 2040 visits on 20th February 2013, the day after it was published, and 1034 visits the following day. It took another three weeks before the daily visitor numbers returned to the more normal figure of around fifty.

I found the main reason for this sudden upsurge of visitor numbers in the social media buttons at the end of the post. The number of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ on Facebook rapidly rose from zero, to nearly . . . → Read More: How to be Czech in 10 easy steps – revisited


Russell, in the garden of Bar-Restaurace Na Staré Fare © Ricky Yates

One of the things I really enjoy about this blog is when people respond to what I’ve written and leave a genuine comment. I say ‘genuine comment’ for, despite using a CAPTCHA Code, I still have to delete between twenty and fifty ‘spam comments’ each day, whilst approving and replying to the small number of genuine ones. I am also well aware that having to decipher and then enter the CAPTCHA Code, is what puts off many genuine people from ever leaving a comment in the first place.

Most of the small number of people who comment here regularly, are friends who are already known to me. But there are several others who I only know online. These are people who, in a variety of ways, have found my blog and are interested . . . → Read More: Russell

A small victory over Czech bureaucracy

With my new Czech Driving Licence outside the HQ of Prague City Council © Ricky Yates

Further to my earlier post, and the update in a later post marking the fourth birthday of my blog, today I became the proud owner of a Czech Driving Licence. I now have a driving licence, valid for the next five years, which inevitably also includes a far from flattering photograph of me 🙁

Compared to my two previous visits to Magistrát hl.m. Praha / the HQ of Prague City Council, today’s visit went remarkably quickly and smoothly. Following my second visit on Monday 4th February 2013, when I successfully proved that the Chaplaincy Flat where I live, is my family home, I was given a little slip of paper telling me to return today, with my passport and residency permit, to surrender both parts of . . . → Read More: A small victory over Czech bureaucracy

Happy Fourth Birthday to my blog and an update on previous posts

Lapel badge for supporters of Karel Schwarzenberg © Ricky Yates

Today my blog celebrates its fourth birthday. I wrote my first ever post four years ago today – this post today is post number 213.

Whilst today is a day for a little celebration, I still am somewhat disappointed with myself. A year ago when writing a blogpost to mark the third birthday of my blog, I promised to write at least fifty-two posts during the following year that ended yesterday. I fell short – I only managed fifty.

It is not that I lack things to write about as I have at least four topics noted down for future posts. It is the problem of finding the time to sit down and compile a coherent post when I also have a rather important day-job to do. Of course, it isn’t . . . → Read More: Happy Fourth Birthday to my blog and an update on previous posts