Mariánské Lázne

The larger colonnade in Mariánské Lázne © Ricky Yates

Mariánské Lázne is a spa town in West Bohemia, located not far from the German border. Better known by its German name of Marienbad, in the nineteenth century, it developed as one of the top European spas, popular with notable figures and rulers who often returned there on numerous occasions.

To meet the needs of these international visitors, a whole series of hotels, colonnades and other buildings were constructed. These included Churches of different denominations, all located in relatively close proximity to each other.

Kostel Svatého Vladimíra © Ricky Yates

This is Kostel Svatého Vladimíra, the Russian Orthodox Church. It is still in use, though the number of Russian visitors has dropped considerably in recent times, because of the serious fall in value of . . . → Read More: Mariánské Lázne

More about the wedding of Phillip and Lisa

My postcard. Photo © Ricky Yates

One of the delightful features of Phillip and Lisa’s wedding were the individual touches they created that made every guest feel welcome. One of these was a named envelope, marking the place where each person was to sit at the reception, which contained an illustrated postcard with a personal message on the back.

Apparently, during her childhood, Lisa spent numerous holidays in Skegness, a traditional British seaside resort on the Lincolnshire coast. Phillip recreated his own version of a famous 1908 poster by the illustrator John Hassall (1868-1948), produced for the Great Northern Railway, declaring that ‘Skegness is SO bracing’.

Here is mine, declaring that Coventry, the city of my birth and the first eighteen years of my life is, ‘SO bracing’ 🙂 Whilst the artwork is a fairly . . . → Read More: More about the wedding of Phillip and Lisa

The wedding of Phillip and Lisa

Welcome poster featuring Phillip’s artwork. Photo © Ricky Yates

On Saturday 30th July 2016, I had the privilege of officiating at the marriage of my son Phillip, to my new daughter-in-law, Lisa. The wedding took place at the Parish Church of St. Jude, Mapperley, Nottingham and was followed by a reception in the neighbouring Church Hall.

Phillip and Lisa announced their engagement in December last year, whilst on a short trip to Lisbon, Portugal. In early January 2016, Phillip wrote to me saying that they planned to be married in July this year and would like me to officiate, if I would be willing to do so. My response was that if that was what both of them wanted, then I would be more than happy to officiate and would regard doing so as a great privilege.

. . . → Read More: The wedding of Phillip and Lisa

Happy seventh birthday to my blog

Sgraffito decoration in Prague © Ricky Yates

During the coming week, on Thursday 4th February, this blog celebrates its seventh birthday. I published my first ever blog post here, on 4th February 2009, four-and-a-half months after we arrived in Prague on 19th September 2008.

With this one, there are now 342 posts on the blog. But I do have to confess that the past twelve months have been the least productive year of the blog’s existence, with only 37 new posts being added. The previous lowest total was 41 in 2011-12. However, if you go down the right-hand sidebar to ‘Archives’, and then click on ‘Select Month’, you will discover that I have published at least one blog post in every one of the eighty four months since February 2009 – no mean achievement!

I don’t normally go around blowing . . . → Read More: Happy seventh birthday to my blog

All those things in the second half of 2015 that got missed

Before 2015 comes to an end, I want to try and write, at least briefly, about all those things that happened in the second half of this year, but which never got the blog post they deserved – a combination of my own ill health and the excessive heat we experienced during the summer months. It will take two posts, so here is the first. And the second has now been written and published.

July

Newly renovated statue of Jan Hus in Staromestské námestí/Old Town Square, Prague © Ricky Yates

Monday 6th July marked the 600th anniversary of Jan Hus, the early Czech Church reformer, being burnt at the stake in Konstanz on 6th July 1415. As I have previously explained, during the past two hundred years, Czech people have tended to celebrate Hus as a political . . . → Read More: All those things in the second half of 2015 that got missed