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

It’s taken a long time but, my Lean-to is finally complete

Lean-to in May 2017 © Ricky Yates

At the end of a post I wrote more than four years ago entitled, ‘Making progress‘, I featured two photographs of the incomplete lean-to on one side of my house. This one on the left, taken in May 2017, just a couple of weeks after I moved to Stará Oleška, and the one below, taken after ‘Jan with his van’ had taken away a whole load of unwanted items left by the previous owners.

In that September 2017 post, I wrote, ‘Once I’ve removed some remaining loose timber into the wood shed, then I plan to lay a proper concrete floor. After that, I hope to be able to hang the door that is already sitting there, propped up on one side, and create . . . → Read More: It’s taken a long time but, my Lean-to is finally complete

A danger of driving in the Czech Republic

Damaged car © Ricky Yates

According to a news report I read some time ago, the three most common causes of road traffic accidents in the Czech Republic are: First – driving too fast. Second – driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Third – hitting a wild animal, either a deer or a wild boar. Unfortunately, late on the night of Monday 27th September, I joined those statistics 🙁

I was giving a lift to my friend Kát’a, from a rather late evening appointment in Ceská Lípa, to her home in Decín. Driving through the forested area between Kamenický Šenov and Ceská Kamenice, I had a major altercation with a large deer. It suddenly appeared out of the forest on my left. I only saw it for a nano-second before it . . . → Read More: A danger of driving in the Czech Republic

A climb to Mariina skála

The new gazebo on the summit of Mariina skála © Ricky Yates

Mariina skála is a prominent rock outcrop, 428 metres above sea level, located north of the village of Jetrichovice, which is in turn, around 12km north of Stará Oleška, the village where I live. Perched on top of the rock is a gazebo forming a viewing platform, with spectacular views across the surrounding area.

Back in late March 2016, I did climb up to Mariina skála as I describe and illustrate in the latter part of this post. But more recently, I have wanted to return for two reasons. Firstly, the weather on that previous visit was somewhat misty, which restricted the views. Secondly, I had seen in local news reports, that a brand new gazebo had been erected . . . → Read More: A climb to Mariina skála