• 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…

  • 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…

  • Daily Life,  Lifestyle,  Minimalism,  Summer

    Upgrade Season

    The end of summer is always upgrade season for us kids. It’s usually the time of the year that we come back from whatever summer adventures we’ve undertaken, walk in our house and say man, that table’s got to go or I can’t believe we still haven’t got that print framed. You see, we’ve lived in a furnished flat since the beginning of 2013. Most of our furniture is used and loved hand-me-downs (which I am so, so grateful to have been able to use!) or just whatever furniture that friends of ours don’t want anymore. Because we never knew how long we’d stay, I’ve always been reluctant to purchase…

  • Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  South Bohemia,  Spring,  Summer

    Late Spring / Early Summer

    Happy happy summer! I’ve been celebrating the arrival of this ever joyous season with cafe days, double scoops of ice cream, trip planning and rediscovering the joy of reading outdoors in the warm, sun-filled evenings (above) when we are lucky enough to have them! It comes in such a short window every year that I sort of forget about it until it happens. There’s been a literal stack of books I’ve been trying to get through as a part of two book club (“reading circles”) I’ve been participating in… reminding me how nice it would just be to pluck a book from the shelf and read what I felt like.…

  • Daily Life,  Spring,  Thoughts

    The Earth is Shifting

    Hello, friends. What a strange but impactful few weeks it has been. In the days leading up to last week of May, I had rare bout of anxiety about the world opening up again after the worst of Coronatimes had wound down here in the Czech Republic. When the director of your school e-mails you and starts into “good news! we can go back to school!”, it’s incredibly unsettling because for the previous two months, we had all been unlearning how to be and teach at school. How to do everything from home. How wonderful having no commutes were, let’s be honest. That first week back, I was a little…

  • Czech Republic,  Life Abroad,  Spring,  Thoughts

    Surviving March, Pt. II: Embracing #MaskLife

    Well, that escalated quickly. From the time I published the my last post on March 11th, the day after the first of our emergency measures (which was the school closure announcement), only ten days ago, the situation in the world has devolved rapidly (I predict ten days from now at the end of the month, we’ll be able to say that once more, sadly). No longer are people even speaking about traveling (and if they are, they shouldn’t be). I have since learned new Czech words necessary to understand for everyday life that I haven’t had to know before, like vláda (governance), nouzový stav (emergency measure), and omezení (restriction). Where…

  • czech culture,  Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  South Bohemia,  Teaching

    Czech School Curiosities

    What a month! In the middle of February, it was supposed to have been our half-term break week, but several months ago we agreed to teach most of the week at a primary school waaaay out in the countryside, about an hour from where we live. I mean, we didn’t really have any plans and we have an ambitious travel year ahead, so why not? The wind storm Sabine which ripped through Central Europe made it impossible to start teaching there on Monday as absolutely no trains or buses were leaving the city, but for most of this week we were up on the early train north. Although Alex isn’t…

  • Budějovice,  Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  Life Abroad,  Thoughts,  Winter

    Keep Smiling

    A conversation occurred this week (which I mentioned in this Instagram post) in which a certain secondary school-aged class of mine, when asked what they liked about České Budějovice could think of almost nothing, but then finally offered 1) The train station is near the bus station. (this is the case in almost every Czech city ever) 2) There are a lot of things and services here. (in comparison to a small village) And that was literally it. No single teenager in my class likes České Budějovice. This is something which I take with a couple grains of salt, of course because one, they’re teenagers and they don’t like anything,…