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?