Happy third birthday to my blog!

Snowdrop flowering in Stromovka Park © Ricky Yates

Today my blog is exactly three years old. My first ever blogpost was published here on 4th February 2009. So today is both a time for a little celebration as well as an occasion for some reflection on what I’ve written in the past as well as what might appear here in the coming year.

For any of my readers who are statistically minded, this is post number 163. In my first year, I published 73 posts, in my second year it was 48. In the past twelve months, I’ve published a further 41 as I will deem this post to be the first of my fourth blogging year.

The reason for the disparity in numbers stems mainly from my prolific period of writing and posting in November and December 2009 when I wrote in detail about our long distance trip to Turkey. That apart, it has normally been just under one blogpost a week. In the coming year my goal is to publish at least 52 posts – an average of one a week.

The aim will still be that as outlined in ‘About me – including a photo’. That is, to reflect on ministering here in Prague, to English-speakers from a variety of backgrounds and countries, and living as an expat myself in this fascinating city, as well as the wider Czech Republic. However, I do probably need to update the photograph that currently appears on that page. My hair is now far greyer, there is slightly less of it, and the shirt has long since disintegrated!

I shall try to continue to keep a balance between writing about everyday experiences seen from an expat perspective, recording my travels around, and occasionally beyond, the Czech Republic, together with addressing theological and ecclesiological issues. I’m aware that sometimes there is an imbalance between these things which I hope, corrects itself over a longer period of time.

According to Google analytics, this blog receives on average, between 60 and 70 visitors a day. Yet I get increasingly frustrated that so few of those visitors ever bother to leave me a coherent and relevant comment. My thanks to the two most faithful ones who do – Perpetua and Karen.

This issue was so clearly illustrated to me when I was standing at the Church door and shaking hands with members of the congregation after our Midnight Eucharist last Christmas Eve. A former member of the regular congregation, who still has a flat in Prague but is now based in London, shook my hand and warmly thanked me for the service. But he then said, “Whatever you do Ricky, don’t stop writing your blog”. I was most grateful for his words of encouragement. But that was the first I ever knew that he read and enjoyed this blog as he has never left a single comment!

Therefore as my blog enters its fourth year, if you visit here and regularly to read my musings, please tell me! Leave a comment – tell me if you agree or disagree with what I’ve written. Tell me if you would like me to focus more on a particular area or concern. Likewise, comments on Facebook, when I post a link, are also welcome. But I really would like to also have them here too.

My glass of wine is alongside my computer. I’m raising it and saying, “Here’s to year four of Ricky Yates – An Anglican in Prague!”

20 comments to Happy third birthday to my blog!

  • Great to see this Ricky! My blog is coming up on a year, and it is truly a discipline in itself. You write some excellent posts and post some great photos and I really do hope you’re long spared to keep up the blogging and that it goes from strength to strength!

    P.S. How’s the weather over there?

    • Ricky

      Thank you Wandering Pilgrim. As you say, writing a blog is a discipline but it can also be quite therapeutic. In answer to your PS – extremely cold! No higher than -8°C during the day and down as low as -18°C at night.

  • Paul

    Congratulations, Ricky I always enjoy your blog and long may you continue to post. I don’t think you will be disturbed by the “mozzies” this year after all! Its almost as cold in the UK this week as it is in Prague! Raising a glass to your continued enjoyment and success in Prague!

    • Ricky

      Thank you Paul. Yes – my request for cold weather to kill the ‘mozzies’ has certainly been answered. However, we still have no lying snow – just sub-zero temperatures and very cold dry air.

  • Will a toast in hot chocolate suffice, Ricky? 🙂 Congratulations on your three years of blogging. It’s been fun following your blog. I’ve been blogging for less than a year,so am a relative newcomer, but knew soon after I started that I was going to love doing it. Long may your blog flourish!

    • Ricky

      A toast in hot chocolate will do fine Perpetua! Thank you, as I said in the blogpost, for being one of my most faithful commenters. Long may your blog flourish too!

  • Yes, Ricky, I do enjoy reading your “balance between writing about everyday experiences seen from an expat perspective, recording my travels around, and occasionally beyond, the Czech Republic, together with addressing theological and ecclesiological issues”.
    Good luck with your resolve for 52 posts per year; I wish I could come close to that in my writing.

    • Ricky

      Thank you Michael – I don’t think writing 52 posts a year is too big a challenge. It actually does give me the discipline of a framework to try & keep within which is something I probably need. There is the old but true saying that, “If you aim at nothing, you’re sure to hit it!”

      I do enjoy reading what you & Karin do write on your Prague blog & I for one, would love to read & see more.

  • Just be carefull you don’t spill that wine over your keyboard or your blogging career could be over in a shot!

    • Ricky

      Indeed PJ – I’ve come close to doing it before now, not only with wine but also with coffee & beer 🙂

  • Johanna

    I’m toasting with Pepsi Max to your blog. Mine turned just 1 year but it’s all in Finnish…

    • Ricky

      Pepsi Max will do fine Johanna. As you will see, I got an earlier toast with hot chocolate 🙂 Despite your own blog only being in Finnish, you should still have put a link in here!

  • Stephen

    Thank you so much for the blog, which I check at least once a week (if not more often). I appreciate your thoughts and musings on Ministry and Prague… I have been there nearly a dozen times (will be again this March) and it is one of my FAVORITE cities. I am also a former priest of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA, having grown out of the missionary work of the Moscow Patriarchate). Hope to cross paths sometime!

    • Ricky

      Hi Stephen – Many thanks for your regular visits & for leaving a comment this time around. It is very much appreciated. As per our previous email correspondence, I’d be very happy to meet up with you whenever you are next in Prague.

  • Fergus

    Ricky, I hope you don’t mind me having a look at your blog before a face to face meeting (hopefully in March). I’m greatly looking forward to coming to see St Clements and to meeting your good self as well as your Starokatolici colleagues. Your blog is fantastic in giving an insight into what expat life is like in the Czech Republic- something I myself look forward to finding out first hand very soon! Best, Fergus

    • Ricky

      Hi Fergus – you don’t have to apologise for looking at & reading my blog. It is why it’s posted on the internet in the first place 🙂 Thank you for your kind words. Giving an understanding of what expat life is like in the Czech Republic is one of the prime purposes of my writing. I look forward to both meeting you & welcoming you to St. Clement’s in March.

  • Hi, R.Y.! Happy belated blog birthday. I hope you have many more years of posting and many comments to go with them 🙂 Ironically, Febuary 4th is also my Dad’s birthday. Fancy that!

    So how did your shirt come to disintegrate? Was it just through time or a bad trip in the dryer? That’s what happened to one of my favorite yellow summer shirts. It just wasn’t made for the dryer, but in it went, never to return except in shreds! And that matched one of my favorite pink skirts too 🙁

    I’ll try to drop by more often!

    God Bless,
    Pearl of Tyburn

    • Ricky

      Thank you for the blog birthday greetings Pearl. The shirt, which was a favourite of mine, disintegrated purely due to time. Like most Europeans, I air-dry my clothes & don’t possess a dryer. Please do drop by & leave comments & I’ll seek to reciprocate.

  • How delightful it is to be thanked for flapping my gums, or rather, my fingers! I can’t say anyone has thanked me for blogging comments before. Thank you for the thank you! Ricky, it’s been a pleasure receiving your gift of ministry through church, but also as a friend, in person, and through your blog. I was encouraged to see your numbers followed the same pattern as mine: heaviest in the first year, decreasing in each subsequent year. I have this same pattern and like you, hope to change it in my next 12 months too. Keep blogging!

    • Ricky

      Karen – thank you as always, both for your visit & kind words. So glad to see you are back up & blogging again. I certainly will keep blogging & please – you do so too!