I feel this is the only way to express the sudden explosion from unpleasant winter chill into delightful sunny 22 degree C weather a few weeks ago.
A lot of people dash outdoors, into their gardens or cottages, or just take a trip somewhere. That was my case. I spent a weekend at my cottage in Slapy. After a long winter, I enjoyed looking at primroses, the first violets, and one pretty little daffodil. I raked some leaves, gathered pinecones that I threw into the stove and burned since the nights were still a little cool. After my return to Prague, I looked with wonder at the blooming forthysia bushes. All it took was a couple of days, since on Friday Prague was still wintry gray. Within a week the trees got green and began to bloom. Lilac bushes have been blooming for the past 3 weeks, and here around the cottage bloom burgundy colored bear’s foot, light blue periwinkle, grape hyacinths, yellow mahonia, and dandelions. The peonies are in bud and so are lilies-of-the-valley and rhododendrons. All animals have woken up as well and not only our shaggy dog Beda who runs happily around the meadow and plays with a ball, or chases squirrels, but also of course birds, whose philharmonic concert starts at four in the morning and goes on until dusk. Also bees, bumblebees, butterflies and here and there, hornets are flying around seeking sweet nectar in the blossoms. Yesterday I almost stepped on a snake, a blindworm and a while ago I caught on my kitchen table a pretty mouse. Please don’t panic ladies! I did not touch it, but caught it in a jar.
Before I finished writing this editorial, the blooms of spring were gone, but I got a chance to enjoy spring once more in Kyrkekvarn, (Mill) in Sweden, where our people living in Sweden and Norway get together every year in May. Besides friendly chatting, singing at the bonfire, roasting sausages, walks in the beautiful countryside, canoe trips on a nearby river there was also a meeting with representatives of Czech and Slovak Embassy, a poetry session, a visit of a cultural guest from Czech Rep., lectures, and other pleasant moments.
I was very glad to get out of the country at that time, from a politically terrible and distressing atmosphere. I don’t even know exactly what had been happening. I don’t have a TV set and the radio doesn’t tell you much except that people are throwing eggs at Mr. Paroubek, which drives him mad. I get more news from Mr. Jan Šinágl, who still has the perseverance to keep track of blatant cases of injustice, that are happening as if on a conveyor belt. The newspapers just babble on about nothing.
This year I took part in the meeting more substantially, since I gave a talk on the Czech Dialogue, and our people in Argentina. Moreover, our poetry organizer Pavel Mrázek talked me into being the official reciter. Besides that I really enjoyed the company of my many friends. I have been going there for the past 15 years. I got to know better other great people, who had been driven out of our country by the abominable communist regime. It’s a shame that they are THERE and not HERE. Nevertheless even so are many of them a great asset to us HERE. Erica Michalek is a good example. I rode with her from Prague and in one night and part of a day we passed through the Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark and part of Sweden and nobody even asked to see our passports. What a great way to travel! She is tough at driving as well as at work. She’s a successful entrepreneur who helps Czech firms in launching onto the Swedish market.
During the ride I also got more closely acquainted with prof. dr. ...Slavíčkova, who taught many years in Lund at the Slavic University. Before that, she had taught in Prague in Podoli in a basic school on Nedvědovo náměstí, where I used to go to school. That lady is a walking encyclopedia of literary, historical, and cultural information that I had eagerly received from her during our long trip. Soňa, the artist, was the fourth passenger in our car. She as well as Dr. Slavíčková subscribed to the Czech Dialogue for which I am very grateful.
The article dealing with that meeting was written by a young student Petra Pojerova who studies in Denmark and is interested in our people abroad. By the way, the visit of Ing. Zdeňek Lyčka, who used to be a very active cultural attaché in Stockholm and now is an Ambassador in Denmark, was also great.
However, my travels are not yet over. Actually, they have just begun. In about a week I’m flying to Dallas and from there I’ll be taken by the kind honorary consul Raymond Snokhous along with his dear Clarice to the SVU Conference in the town of College Station. There I shall give a speech about Czechs who had brought something positive to these regions. I shall also bring with me the first volume of my book I had so long promised. It was that conference and a feeling of shame that it had taken that long that made me take quick action.
Wishing you a wonderful summer,Eva Střížovská
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Reportáže z atraktivních míst San Franciska, Los Angeles, San Diega, Orange County a dalších střídají příběhy českých osobností. Najdeme tu jména novináře Jožky Pejskara, spisovatele Jana Beneše, skladatele, fotografa a dobrodruha Eduarda Ingriše, prof. Ivo Feierabenda a jeho otce, politika z první republiky Ladislava, který se zasloužil o zemědělské družstevnictví, profesorky, klavíristky a výrazné vlastenky Marie Dolanské, příběh rodiny Georginy Teyrovské, která se musela se svým manželem Eduardem v roce 1949 proplazit přes hranici, když jim komunisté zabavili nejznámější pražskou barvírnu a šlo jim o život.
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