Blog update

Wisteria flowering at the back of my house © Ricky Yates

I am very aware that it is now two and a half months since I last published a blog post. I am also aware that, either in the text of previous posts or in answering comments, I have promised to provide further updates on things I’ve written about. So this post is my attempt to kill two birds with one stone.

Back in late April I complained that ‘Someone keeps trying to kidnap Spring‘. Well Spring did eventually arrive as I hope is illustrated by this photograph of wisteria flowering at the back of my house, taken at the end of May. But it has been noticeable how much later plants and trees have been producing leaves or flowering, in comparison to previous years. The time lag has been in the region of two to three weeks.

I am pleased to report that after complaining that ‘It’s beginning to be a bit expensive…..‘, and that ‘There is a very big hole in my bank account‘, I have not incurred any further unexpected major expenses. I have however, had one that I anticipated.

I pay for my electricity by a monthly direct debit with my meter being read once a year in June. At that point, an invoice or refund is issued, depending on whether I’ve paid too little or too much over the previous eleven months. In June 2020, I received a small refund of CZK 750/GBP25.00. In June 2021, I received an invoice for CZK 6,985/GBP232.80 🙁

As I’ve said, I did anticipate that I would be asked to pay a little extra, though probably not as much as nearly CZK 7000. I was very aware that, because of the severe weather last winter, I’d made considerable use of the electrical heater in my study bedroom, whilst waiting each day for the wood-burning stove to fully warm the house.

But the other reason is the COVID-19 pandemic. In any normal year, I would spend at least three weeks away from my home. During that time, the only things using electricity would be my fridge and freezer. Everything else would be turned off. But after returning home from the UK on the evening of 27th December 2019, I haven’t spent one night anywhere else but in Stará Oleška 44.

No direct debits were made in either June or July. But because of my increased usage of electricity, my monthly direct debit in August until June next year, will be CZK 600/GBP20.00 more than it has been in the past two years 🙁

No caption required!

I sadly have to report that I have had no reply to my ‘letter to Victoria Prentis MP‘, other than an automated email acknowledging receipt, despite sending it two and a half months ago. If there are any benefits from Brexit, then Ms Prentis has had more than enough time to compile a list and send it to me. Of course, there aren’t any benefits. But even if she knows that, she dare not say it because it would cost her job as a junior minister at the Department of Farming, Fisheries and Food. To remain in post and to remain as a Conservative MP, you have to be a sycophant to Bungling Boris 🙁

I do however, have one piece of very good news to report. On Friday 11th June, I was vaccinated at my GP practice in Prague and received my EU Digital COVID Certificate. And because I received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, I have only had to have a needle stuck in me once 🙂

The final post about which I promised update was regarding the house now being connected to mains water. The new mains water supply has been completely problem-free. But getting piles of earth shifted and disturbed areas of ground made good has been a long saga which deserves a post in its own right. So I’m going to finish this post now and promise to publish a further one in the next few days.

4 comments to Blog update

  • Titus

    Well written and exciting to read… Greetings from Sweden, Titus

  • Sean McCann

    Hi Ricky,

    Welcome back and thanks for the update, both birds cleanly killed.?.

    Here in Ireland the year is also running later than usual due to a late cold snap in spring and a hot dry spell in the second Half of July; however we need to be thankful for small mercies when we consider the recent torrential rain and flooding in Germany and Belgium and the death toll they caused.

    I hope your vaccination went well with no unpleasant side effects. It’s a comfort to have the protection of the vaccine even if it doesn’t fully defeat newer variants of the virus.

    I’m deeply shocked to hear you have not received a reply from Ms. Prentis; this must surely be an oversight or a case of the post office losing the letter.

    I look forward to hearing the continuing saga of the water goblins and sympathize with your electricity bill experience.

    Take care of yourself and keep safe,
    God bless


    • Ricky

      Hi Sean,

      Thank you for the ‘welcome back’ & thank you for commenting here once again.

      Regarding the weather, we do indeed need to be thankful for small mercies. On Saturday 17th July, we did get the the back end of the low pressure complex which caused the devastating floods in NW Germany & Belgium. The Olešnicka, the stream that runs through Stará Oleška, nearly overflowed in the late afternoon that day after many hours of heavy rain. A couple of houses near the stream had sandbags out to try & protect their homes. Fortunately, my house is in a higher part of the village.

      A slightly sore left arm for a couple of days was the only side effect of my vaccination. My GP did say that there is a distinct possibility of a booster vaccination in the Autumn.

      I like your sarcasm regarding Victoria Prentis MP. Neither the Czech or British postal services can be blamed as I sent the letter by email. I did get an automated response acknowledging receipt but no reply to the letter content 🙁

      An update on the ‘water goblins’ will published shortly I promise. And thank you for your sympathy regarding my electricity costs.