An interesting encounter and conversation at the end of a Christmas party

Our Christmas Party invitation

On the evening of Wednesday 10th December, Sybille and I attended the British Ambassador’s Christmas Party held at the Embassy in Mala Strana, one the nice little perks of being the Anglican Chaplain in Prague. Just as we were leaving the main reception room to go downstairs to collect our coats and head home, Sybille stopped to say ‘Hello’ and stroke Maya, one of the Ambassador’s two adopted Czech cats. Maya was occupying a vintage chair by the door, which had a rope stretched across between the two arms, to prevent humans sitting in it. But clearly such regulations do not apply to cats!

Standing nearby were two couples, with one of the couples speaking to each other in German. The German-speaking lady turned to watch Sybille speaking with the cat so I asked her whether she was German, (rather than . . . → Read More: An interesting encounter and conversation at the end of a Christmas party

A visit to Coventry Cathedral

The foundation stone of Coventry Cathedral © Ricky Yates

My apologies for not publishing anything new here for just over three weeks. There are two main reasons for this.

The first is that I’ve been continuing my promised ‘Summer clean’, now ‘Autumn clean’, of the Chaplaincy Flat – see my answer to question three in this earlier post. The latest place to receive my attention has been the kitchen. Every cupboard has been emptied, shelves and door-fronts cleaned, crockery and glassware which hasn’t been used for a long time, has been put through the dishwasher, and numerous foodstuffs well past their ‘use-by dates’, have been quietly disposed of. And then there was the cooker hood, the oven……

The second reason is that I spent the week from Tuesday 28th October – Monday 3rd November, in the UK, visiting my . . . → Read More: A visit to Coventry Cathedral

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

Celebrating brave Czechoslovak Airmen and the Official Birthday of Her Majesty the Queen

The ‘Winged Lion’ monument © Ricky Yates

As I mentioned at the beginning of my previous post, I had a most interesting week in advance of my laptop computer lock-out problems. The highlight was attending two interrelated events on the afternoon and early evening of Tuesday 17th June.

The first event was the official unveiling of this monument, entitled ‘The Winged Lion’, by Sir Nicholas Soames MP, grandson of Sir Winston Churchill. It commemorates the nearly two and a half thousand Czechs and Slovaks who escaped from Czechoslovakia after the country was occupied by the Nazis in 1939, and served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.

As this BBC news article explains, the idea for the memorial came . . . → Read More: Celebrating brave Czechoslovak Airmen and the Official Birthday of Her Majesty the Queen

A Memorial to Czechoslovak heroes of the Second World War

Fountain memorial commemorating the Czechoslovak airmen who assassinated Reinhard Heydrich © Ricky Yates

During my recent visit to the UK, I met up with my nephew Tim in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, so we could have lunch together. Before our lunch, Tim took me on a short walking tour through Jephson Gardens, an attractive park in the town centre, in order to show me this memorial fountain commemorating the seven Czechoslovak airmen responsible for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, one of the most senior figures in the Nazi Third Reich.

In January 1942, Heydrich chaired the infamous Wannsee Conference, which set out plans for the enslavement and murder of 8 million European Jews. The Slavs, according to Heydrich’s plans, would have been next. At the time of his assassination, Heydrich was . . . → Read More: A Memorial to Czechoslovak heroes of the Second World War