Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Friday, 17 September 2010

Cobblestones from the Czech Republic

LOST IMAGES The half-a-dozen photos I took in Prague with my mobile phone appear to be irretrievable (hence improvisation above). Damn technology. The only shot I miss occurred in a restaurant where I ordered Grandmother’s Leek and Potato Soup in a Bread Bowl. And that’s how it came – soup contained in a hollowed-out disc-shaped loaf. Was I supposed to eat the loaf as well? The waiter shrugged dismissively.

MEMORIALS? In Paris and London history caught up long ago; in Prague it’s still being written. At the city’s Museum of Communism a film prefaces the 1989 Velvet Revolution. Slightly older versions of the youths being cracked on the head by the security forces (“Don’t hit women,” one of them shouts) are to be seen on today’s streets, free if not gilded with life’s luxuries. On those same streets magnificent fin de siècle terraces are interspersed with dirigiste egg-boxes imposed by the then Soviet masters. Should they be torn down or left as mementoes of the country’s second imprisonment after the Nazis?

NOT IN THE ROOM Our hotel is called Design Hotel Elephant. And why not? But I’d like to rearrange the words.

TITANIA’S DRINK Sitting in a rapaciously priced Old Town bar waiting for the clock tower to reveal its wonders (disappointing – the homunculi don’t emerge) we order Rose Drink (0.1 l of rose (not rosé) wine, strawberries, mint, rose petals, water) because it costs a mere £0.75. “A nice summer drink,” says Mrs BB. She’s right.

A TOUR AVOIDED From the same bar I see a tourist office decorated externally with large gilt words apparently alluding to the events of 1989: DILIGENTIA – DIGNITATIS – MEMORES – OPTIMA INTENTI. The last two worry me. Aren’t they paving stones on the road to Hell?

4 comments:

Avus said...

"Grandmother’s Leek and Potato Soup in a Bread Bowl." I hope you ate the bread, BB. In mediaeval times it was accepted that meat and gravy were served onto slabs of bread - and surely, as a Yorkshireman, you remember those large, dish-like Yorkshire puddings with all meat and veg displayed within?

christopher said...

I have a recovering alcoholic friend who declares that he should have chiseled on his gravestone, "but he meant well"... this in reference to paving stones found poorly set near the curb of the road to Hell.

Lucy said...

A nice set of images nonetheless.

I have to tell you, remember the Nutch controversy? I just got an anonymous comment on that post from someone who remembered Nutch and was googling to try to find out about it, and who had a Nutch glass in the cupboard for many years. It seems largely to have slipped between the paving stones of food history, but you evidently didn't imagine it!

Barrett Bonden said...

Avus: Any moment now you'll be reminding about the starving children of Ethiopia. No I didn't eat the hollowed-out loaf; if I'd gone on like that I'd probably have broken the weight limit for easyJet. As to Yorkshire Pudding you haven't scanned my profile recently. I have renounced any association with the county of my birth but I can tell you this - we were never a YP family and therefore never engaged in those bitter yet futile arguments about its creation.

Christopher: It seemed like a joke. One of the depressing aspects about different nationalities is that if you flick to the back of a foreign language dictionary you find they often use the same clichés: Look Before You Leap, etc. No reason why the Czech Rep should be any different.

Lucy: Your comment comes like a cambric handkerchief soaked in No. 4719. The BBs had been under the impression they were all going collectively insane.