Prague

Back in February M and I went to Prague for a few nights. I have meant to post about it, but every time I went to I got distracted. Anyway, it was a present from a friend for my 50th Birthday. Part of me didn’t want to go as I just didn’t want to leave the dogs in the kennels. Not that there is any problem with the kennels as Barbara and Peter are really nice and good with the dogs, but Mazikeen can be a funny bugger when it comes to eating, and we tend to have to coax her into eating. Harper, on the other hand, will hoover any food about without a thought, as most dogs do.

Our flight out was at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic and flights were starting to be grounded. As we watched the departure boards more and more flights were grounded, Paris, Madrid, Milan, Hamburg, Brussels, Malaga, Lisbon, and on and on it went. More and more people looked disappointed and one by one left the terminal bar. In the end, our flight along with Amsterdam and a couple of other places were the only 4 left. Not that that was easy, as we were delayed for an hour and a half. As we had transport booked from the airport to our hotel I had to call them in Prague to explain what was going on. Once we boarded the captain said that he would try his best to make up for the lost time in the flight which he did, and we arrived only 45 minutes after the original landing time. However, once we retrieved our bags the taxi company called me to berate me for being late. WTF! I shouted back at him telling that I had called to say that the flights were delayed and his company said that they knew about it and would track the flights and it was not a problem. What an arse hole he was. We were introduced to our driver and whisked to the hotel which was another 40 minutes, and at no point did he talk apart from asking if we minded if he put music on. We didn’t mind and was completely amused at his choice. It was like a mixture of Klesma, rap and folk, quite a different sound. It must be what the youngsters there are listening to. But I am glad it was not all the factory-made crap that the western music industry spews out day in day out.

We stayed at the Grandior which was fabulous. Our room was enormous and I could have fit all three of our double bedrooms into it. There was a beer spar and a casino, but as I do not gamble the casino was of no interest, however, the beer spa was, but as we were only there for a few days I wanted to explore the sights and go out for nice meals than sit in a bath and drink beer, although Czech beer is really nice, then again so it Czech red wine.

We visited many places including the castle, Jewish quarter which included a lot of synagogues, and wandered about taking it all in. The hotel was a short walk from the old town square which depending which way we went took us through some really nice streets with old trams running through them.

We went to a lovely restaurant, Beefhouse Grill & Bar for my “birthday meal”. It was fantastic. I had for starter beefhouse tartare and my main was a 400g Veal T-bone steak with fries, grilled vegetables and champignons. Needless to say, it was quite a lot to eat and I was busting at the seams. We did not have dessert as I could not fit it in, especially after two huge beers.

Prague is a beautiful place, and I will definitely go back there. The weather was mostly nice. However on our first day it went from sunny to cold and rain, driving rain, violent winds and rain, then the sun was out and it was tee shirt weather again. The evenings were cool but not cold which was not their usual weather at the beginning of February, usually down to minus 6 and snow. We did have a little snow the night we left and the aircraft had to be defrosted as the wings were all frozen up, and at this point it was minus 2.

All in all, it was a lovely place to visit, the people were really nice, and the food and drink was excellent. The culture was all around and in all honesty I could have been there for a few weeks exploring the city, and I would have definitely done the beer spa.

Here are a few photos from the trip.

Panic on the street of London…

Now, I will preface this post that I understand that many people have died due to the coronavirus outbreak about the planet.  That aside, I have never seen so many bloody idiots about reacting to the news.  I have witnessed people stealing from other people’s trollies, people running about supermarkets like they are on supermarket sweep.  I went into the supermarket this morning to get bananas at 7 am, and the place was rammed full of people panic buying.  Most of the shelves were empty and one woman had a trolly full of toilet roll.  As she went past me I shook my head and muttered “idiot”, she saw me shaking my head and shouted at me, I am a mother, which my reply was “no, you’re an idiot stockpiling”.  I understand people want to have things in, but they forget there are other people about, and what about the elderly who have not been able to get supplies?  I also wanted just one bag of sugar and a carton of orange juice too.  Due to the stripping of the shelves, I was faced with a 5kg bag of sugar which I did not want and a four-pack of orange.  The orange was not a problem, but I was forced into getting this huge bag of sugar, all because of the dickheads acting like it’s the end of the world.

We have not gone mad, and we have enough food in the house for a few weeks, but that is usual, so no stockpiling.  One of the things I noticed was the lack of pet food as people have stripped the shelves of that too.  The big supermarket close to work has no meat, poultry, tinned food, rice, pasta, pet food, frozen chips/fries, cleaning products of any kind, long-life milk, sugar, tea coffee, water, and the list goes on.  My friend who works there said she has never seen so much greed in her life and that people are fighting over things.  However, the supermarket has a big responsibility to stop people doing this by limiting purchases to stop hoarding and madness, but so far nothing has been done and they are letting the raids carry on.

Our government seems to reflect that of the USA, and are doing very little about it all, and their so-called measures are just laughable.  I think our PM watches the great Cheeto and follows his lead, and we all know the Cheeto buries his head in the sand and patronises his nation with instruction to calm down as it’s all fine.

Our latest instructions are that those over the age of 70 and people that are in “risk” groups have to stay in for 12 weeks, and others should not go out, “even for food and essentials”, but, can leave the house “for exercise and, in that case, at a safe distance from others”.  So, they can keep fit, but cannot buy food, in essence, could be the healthiest corpses about.  The blind leading the blind in the UK.

One of the things which are becoming annoying is the lack of information.  We are not getting told any demographics about those that have died, those that are ill, and those that have it and are fine.  The news from the USA is that the average age is 80 and all had underlying health conditions, but we are in the dark here.  Although we live in the country, we have a city 24 miles north, 17 miles south and 40 miles east, the Irish sea to our immediate west (safe zone lol) and all cities have reports of people with the virus, so the circle is slowly closing in.

Where I work we are suppliers of building materials, so are in contact with people all the time.  It is a family business, so we are all involved with every aspect of the company and as such are all in contact with customers, who are in contact with their customers, who are in contact with many others, therefore, we cannot hide from it. The owner is off ill, and now her son seems to be coming down with the same thing, which she said is norovirus as she if vomiting and can’t get off the toilet.

Today more and more people were calling to see if we were open or we had closed due to this virus. A lot of customers visiting were asking the same thing, so I think it will be a short time from now till we have to close for isolation.

Now, on the positive side, I have just taken delivery of 20 balls (4000 meters) of aran yarn to start making The Great American Aran Afghan which will be quite exciting to do. Remember all you who do knit and crochet, this is the time we have been training for all our lives. Isolation and a massive stash of yarn. It’s going to be like the perfect holiday. Needles going, Netflix playing, feet up and tea to keep us going.

Stay safe.