• Czech Republic,  Life Abroad,  Pandemic,  South Bohemia,  Spring,  Thoughts

    My Up and Down (Will it? Won’t it?) Vaccination Week

    I have mentioned in what feels like every recent posts that the vaccination roll-out in Europe is sloooooow. In the Czech Republic up until now, it really felt like it could not be worse. Not even did it take until March before I actually heard of people I know getting vaccinated (then, just doctors or the elderly), there were reports left and right about how difficult it was for foreigners to get vaccinated. Whether it was that their foreign-sounding name didn’t fit into the system, or their private health insurance (not the public state insurance that Czechs use) was not an option when registering. I spent March and April in…

  • Daily Life,  Pandemic,  Spring,  Thoughts

    How I Come Alive Again

    Hello friends, happy May wishes. Although writing here hasn’t been a priority here lately, you know I’ll always be coming back ’round to this space. We last talked a month ago right after Easter. All month long I was calling April “Second March” or “The Marchiest April Ever” which is nooooot a compliment. March is typically my least favorite month and now I probably will always think about it as “Corona month” – the month when it all started. This end of winter and spring period was really, really tough, especially most of March and April. I had not been in a poorer condition than in the past ten years,…

  • Daily Life,  Lifestyle,  Thoughts

    Why We’re Reading (Or Not) During the Pandemic

    Have your reading habits changed over the past year? I’ve heard that many people have been reading less than ever before, as this interesting Refinery 29 article states. Some people seem to find it hard to concentrate. As this isn’t my case, I wondered why that would be, and the article mentions that since last March, people’s thoughts seem to drift towards our current situation and what’s in the news or the lack of social contact we’ve been having. This leads to checking the news, doom-scrolling Twitter or checking up on friends online instead of picking up our books, perhaps. I know a big reader who has been playing Animal…

  • Czech Republic,  Thoughts,  Winter

    Living Through the Pandemic, One Year Out

    It was nearly a year ago that the very first Coronavirus case showed up here in the Czech Republic. About ten days later, our lives would suddenly be disrupted when it was announced, after an emergency Tuesday morning parliamentary session that schools would close, effective the next day. Those early times — from the end of winter last year through the spring, all of our lives changed. Everyone was scared and uncertain, and despite what we would consider now to be very low case levels, I did not meet with another soul for almost two months. Absolutely nothing in-person took place. As spring gave way to summer, we saw cases…

  • Christmas,  Daily Life,  South Bohemia,  Winter

    A Time of Simple Holidays

    Well, it’s hard to write anything without a computer, isn’t it? Fortunately I feel like I have an office again, a little home again, and my brain can sort of organize itself properly. (Note: Try to avoid ever having to purchase a new computer in mid-December. It is not the time.) Here we are in December, finally at the tail end of 2020. Funny about this year. As I’ve now been quite settled in České Budějovice for nearly eight years and counting, there isn’t a lot of expat stuff or cultural differences that I feel compelled to write about. Most of it is no longer so novel. Add to that…

  • Christmas,  Daily Life,  Thoughts,  Winter

    Grieving/Healing

    Perhaps it’s yesterday’s full moon bringing all of these ripe feelings to the surface, but the turn towards Advent time hasn’t been an easy one this year – an odd, uncomfortable feeling towards something that has always felt warm, comforting and joyful. I am still grieving and feeling so many heavy things, mostly a bit different of what I choose to show on the outside, but today, the first of December, I can feel the healing begin. I woke up and tiptoed to the kitchen where I saw a marvelous pink and purple sunrise, welcoming in this new month. As I went out with the dog, the sky was doing…

  • Autumn,  Budějovice,  czech culture,  Czech Republic,  Herbalism,  South Bohemia

    Autumn Lockdown Feels Like

    Do you think optimistic, positive people ever just… lose it after awhile? I consider myself one of those and was wondering when that breaking point would come. After holding it together so well since lockdown started in March, I’ve had more work than ever before (none of this Corona free time) and I guess last Sunday, in mid-late November it all sort of came to a head. It came to me today that of course our Christmas trip abroad would be cancelled this year – it would be folly to go through with it. I thought of all the sadness and destruction that 2020 has wrought. I wondered when I…

  • Autumn,  Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  Thoughts

    October, Lately

    This October – different from all other Octobers. The last of the warm early autumn weather has faded away and it definitely feels like fall now. I caught a bit of a nostalgia wave this week, as I am wont to do in the autumn. Eleven years ago I was visiting one of my best friends in Berlin for two weeks, having the time of my life. Ten years ago was another one of the best Octobers on record with epic festivals, parties, being one of maybe twenty-five people to see one of my favorite bands play Sunset Tavern in Ballard, Seattle. Eight years ago, living the Scottish life as…

  • Summer,  Thoughts,  Yearly Recap

    At Summer’s End

    Someone recently asked me “What did you do this summer?” and when I told them, they proceeded to sort of frown over my answer. Better put into a metaphor: This summer was like having a best friend come to visit for three months, but finding that you don’t get along as well as you always have, and when they leave, it’s sort of on a weird note and you don’t quite know how you feel about it, compared to their previous visits. Our holiday in Croatia in early-mid August was really the only concrete thing or the easiest to mention, but this summer was more full of small moments of…

  • Summer,  Travel,  TravelTips

    Croatia in a Pandemic Summer

    Hi, friends. How have you been enjoying the summer? It’s funny that the biggest hindrance to writing new posts these days involves the photo part — uploading them from my finicky phone (or rather, from my new phone to my finicky old computer), editing them, rounding other random snaps from Google Photo. It’s 2020 – you’ve got to think there’s a better way? (or likely there is, and I’m far too stubborn) But regardless, here we are! We spent much of August in Croatia this year. Like many who were able to travel this summer, I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to post about it on social media. In…