Happy Fifth Birthday to my blog

A rare sight – Charles Bridge with hardly any tourists! © Ricky Yates

Tomorrow, Tuesday 4th February 2014, this blog will be five years old. My first ever blog post, entitled ‘Episcopal Taxi Service‘, was published here on 4th February 2009. Five years later, this is post number two hundred & fifty eight.

In some respects, I’m a little disappointed with myself. Two years ago, I set myself the target of publishing fifty-two blog posts in the year – an average of one a week. As I explained twelve months later, I eventually only managed fifty. This year, having set myself the same target, I have again fallen short as, with this post, I have only managed to publish forty-six.

On the positive side as I look back over the past five years, I am quite pleased with what I have achieved. . . . → Read More: Happy Fifth Birthday to my blog

2014 – The year ahead

Prague Castle from Charles Bridge © Ricky Yates

On the first day of 2014, it seems good to think and write about the year ahead and what it might have in store for Sybille and I, for the Anglican congregations in Prague and Brno that I lead, and for the wider Czech Republic. What follows is what I’m currently contemplating, but as always, God might have other ideas 🙂

New leadership of State and Church

It does appear that, more than two months after elections at the end of October, the Czech Republic will once again, shortly have a properly functioning government which is able to command a majority in the lower house of parliament. It will be a three-party coalition, with Bohuslav Sobotka, the leader of the Social Democratic Party (CSSD), as Prime Minister.

However, one can never be sure, especially as all ministerial appointments . . . → Read More: 2014 – The year ahead

Golden Wedding celebration

My sister June & brother-in-law Garry on their wedding day 31st March 1962

I am the youngest of three children. My eldest sister June, is nearly nine years my senior. On Saturday 31st March 1962, at the tender age of eighteen, June married my brother-in-law Garry, the wedding taking place at Warwick Road Congregational (now United Reformed) Church in Coventry. The picture on the left is of the happy couple outside the Church following their marriage and the boyish face behind Garry’s shoulder is none other than Yours Truly, aged ten!

Exactly fifty years later, on Saturday 31st March 2012, June and Garry celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary. They marked the occasion by holding a most enjoyable buffet lunch in the Branksome Dene Community Rooms, Poole which overlook the beach near their home for the past twenty years in Westbourne, Bournemouth. The Prague Church Council . . . → Read More: Golden Wedding celebration

Stanice technické kontroly – STK

The ‘Carly’ at Nepomuk having a new crankshaft sensor fitted © Ricky Yates

In order to legally keep a car on the road in the United Kingdom, it has to have an MOT certificate. This shows that it has passed its MOT test, proving that it is mechanically sound and its exhaust emissions are within the accepted limits. The abbreviation MOT comes from ‘Ministry of Transport’, the then government department which first introduced the test in 1960.

In the Czech Republic, the equivalent of an MOT test is also known by a set of initials – STK. These stand for Stanice technické kontroly / Technical Inspection Station. Whilst in the UK, once a car is three years old, it has to pass an MOT test annually, in the Czech Republic the STK test only has to be undertaken once every two years.

As I wrote in my . . . → Read More: Stanice technické kontroly – STK

Driving on the ‘right’ side of the road – some photographic history

Instruction in both Czech & German to drive on the right!

I started this blog more than two years ago, mainly to keep my friends and family back in the UK and elsewhere, up-to-date about my life, work and activities in the Czech Republic since moving here in September 2008 when I took up my new appointment as Chaplain of the English-speaking Anglican congregation in Prague.

I wrote about the original motivation behind my blog in a February 2010 piece entitled ‘Happy first birthday to my blog’. There I explained that I now know that many of my Prague congregation also read this blog and how I always have to be careful about whom or what I write! But what I never really expected is how much more widely this blog would be read. But using the tools provided by Google analytics, I’ve discovered that in . . . → Read More: Driving on the ‘right’ side of the road – some photographic history