The death of HM Queen Elizabeth II as seen from the Czech Republic

With the new King on Sunday 22nd March 2010. Photo ‘stolen’ from the Daily Telegraph

As I have mentioned previously, HM Queen Elizabeth II had reigned, until her death on Thursday 8th September 2022, for twenty days longer than I have been alive. She came to the throne on 6th February 1952 following the death of her father King George VI, and I was born on 26th February 1952. Along with over 90% of the current British population, the late Queen is the only head of state that I have ever known.

Therefore, the current wall to wall coverage by the British media and the outpouring of public grief and appreciation of her reign in the UK, is perfectly understandable. But as I have remarked previously at the time of both the . . . → Read More: The death of HM Queen Elizabeth II as seen from the Czech Republic

Brexit, Barclays & HSBC Banks

Earlier this year, I received a letter telling me of another wonderful ‘benefit’ of Brexit. The letter came from the headquarters of Barclays Bank, with whom I have banked for over forty-seven years, and told me that in a few months time, I needed to close my account or otherwise, they would do it for me at the end of August 2022.

The actual explanation was that, ‘We’re applying limitations to the banking services we provide to customers with an address in the European Economic Area (EEA). We’re sorry to say this means we need you to close your account’. This was Barclays polite way of saying that, now the UK was no longer a member of the EU, they were not prepared to go to the expense and trouble of setting up a legal entity in . . . → Read More: Brexit, Barclays & HSBC Banks

Reconnected to the Internet

My new ASUS ZenBook 13 laptop with its predecessor behind © Ricky Yates

Over five years ago, just a few weeks before I retired, I bought myself a new laptop computer. You can read all about me doing so in a blog post from that time entitled, ‘A Tale of Two Laptops’.

However, in February this year, that laptop completely froze and I was thankful that JCR, Decín were eventually able to carry out repairs to the hard drive and get it functioning again. One corner of the casing was also cracked and it fell apart when being dismantled and had to be internally taped back together. I was therefore advised at the time that my laptop was now getting a bit old 😉

. . . → Read More: Reconnected to the Internet

Coffee & Books and English Small Talk

The entrance to Coffee & Books, Decín © Ricky Yates

In June 2017, just a few weeks after I moved to my new home in Stará Oleška, a new café opened in nearby Decín called ‘Coffee & Books’. It is located almost next door to Vesta Reality, the real estate business who were responsible for selling me my house. During the house purchase process, I often saw the sign on the neighbouring door declaring, ‘Coffee & Books, opening soon’, and regretted that it wasn’t already open 😉

The café was set up by Honza and his wife Jana. Honza had been made redundant from his previous employment and Jana had previously organised cultural events in Ústí nad Labem. Their vision was to have a café offering good coffee . . . → Read More: Coffee & Books and English Small Talk

New roofs

My house on 13th March 2022 © Ricky Yates

Yes – I know! It has been four months since I last wrote and posted a blog post. A couple of people have recently been in touch, complaining about the silence 🙁

It’s not that I have forgotten about the blog. On New Year’s Day 2022, I started writing a post but never completed it. I then thought of writing a post for 4th February which would mark the date this blog became a teenager, thirteen years on from when I wrote and posted here for the first time. But again, thoughts and ideas never materialised into a published post. And for a long time, I’ve been thinking of writing a post about migrants, an issue now brought sharply into focus following Putin’s invasion . . . → Read More: New roofs