The End of the PA

The village public address system has fallen silent. There used to be twice-weekly announcements over the PA telling of shop opening times,

Build and Billed

The man who was making our new garden door phoned. He would deliver it tomorrow, mid-morning. He duly turned up at 6.30.

Wolves in the Snow

The wolves appeared last summer. It’s the first pack in Bélý for as long as anyone can remember.

Of Mice and Zen

With snow piling up in the attic, a frozen loo, holes in the wall wide enough to admit a decent sized bear, it was a proper winter.

Out in the Cold

Born with a plastic spoon rather than a silver one, I’d not had the opportunity before to see how easy it is to spend a huge amount of money

Back to School

With no internet in our damp, crumbling ruin-cum-home, I had to look for an office. The end result was a large room in Jan and Theo’s school

How to Destroy a House

When the roofers finally moved in, the moody, wet summer had turned into an even moodier, positively flooded autumn.

Burning the Witches

As you know, April 30th is the day when the winter goddess surrenders to the advancing year and allows the summer goddess to take over...

Signature of Alien

There were six doors leading off the forbidding corridor in the annex, a concrete bunker that acted as a grey communist foil to the Austro-H


It’s shocking how bad sheep are at making good sheep noises. The ones waking me up at 5am on the morning after our arrival in Czechia were t

Adventures with a bad back

I spent the first half of the morning at a physiotherapist’s surgery. At least, I think I did. Even now, just a few hours later, it seems li

First impressions

Magda’s uncle George told us that if the lights by a rail crossing are white, the line is all clear. If two red lights are showing, it means

4.14 am, 23 June 2016

We’d toyed with the idea of relocating to the Czech Republic for years. Ever since we sold our seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time holiday h