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 . . . → Read More: Happy third birthday to my blog!

Prague – minus the tourists

The west front of St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague © Ricky Yates

Last Monday evening, Sybille and I took the tram from Podbaba to Vozovna Strešovice and from there, walked through the back lanes to Hradcanské namestí, the large square lying immediately to the west of Prague Castle. As we did so, the only other people we saw were a young couple who were walking the same way as we were and whom we thought were probably Russian. Whilst we can tell when people aren’t speaking Czech, we have yet to be able to clearly distinguish between other Slavic languages!

In front of the west gates of the castle, there was a small group of Spaniards with a native Spanish speaker as their guide. But as we entered the first two quadrangles of the Prague Castle complex, we were surrounded by the amazing array of architecturally beautiful . . . → Read More: Prague – minus the tourists

Christmas Eve 2011 in Prague

Tribute to former President Václav Havel in a lady’s fashion shop window © Ricky Yates

I’m writing this on Christmas Eve, just a few hours before setting out from the Chaplaincy Flat to St Clement’s Anglican Episcopal Church in the centre of Prague, in order to celebrate our Christmas Midnight Eucharist which begins at 23.30 this evening. It is now dark and therefore in terms of the liturgical Church year, the season of Advent has ended and we have entered the Christmas season.

As I mentioned in my earlier blogpost entitled ‘Advent Sunday‘, this year, because of Christmas Day being on a Sunday, the preceding season of Advent has been a full four weeks long. Depending on which day of the week Christmas Day falls, in some years the fourth ‘week’ of Advent is only one or two days long. However, further to . . . → Read More: Christmas Eve 2011 in Prague

Lessons and Carols in Brno

The Prague crew, together with Katka, gathered around the organ. From l to r, David Hellam, Karen Moritz, Katka Bánová, Larry Leifeste, Celieta Leifeste, Gordon Truefit, Ricky Yates © Celieta Leifeste

As I wrote in my previous post, last Sunday evening, 18th December 2011, the Prague Anglican congregation created a little bit of history by holding the first ever English-language Anglican service in Brno. In the appropriately named Betlémský Kostel / Bethlehem Chapel, we held a Service of Lessons and Carols for Christmas.

Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic with a population of about 400,000 people. It is home to a number of high tech companies together with numerous university and research institutions therefore meaning that there are quite a large number of English-speakers living there. But unlike Prague (population 1.3 million), where St. Clement’s Anglican Episcopal Church is one . . . → Read More: Lessons and Carols in Brno

Silvestr – New Year’s Eve

In the bleak mid-winter….. © Ricky Yates

Today is 31st December – New Year’s Eve. In Czech it is known as Silvestr as we discovered last year when the car park attendant at our local Billa supermarket wished us ‘hezky Silvestr’ as we gave him our ticket at the barrier. Sybille immediately knew what he meant as today is Silvester in German. And the reason for the name? In the Roman Catholic Church, today is the feast day of St. Sylvester/Pope Sylvester I who died on 31st December 335.

This post is really just a quick update on the things I’ve written about in my three previous December blog posts.


Not only did winter, with considerable snowfall, come early to Prague this year – it hasn’t gone away! We had a white Christmas with snow already on the ground and more fine powdery snow falling as . . . → Read More: Silvestr – New Year’s Eve