Monday, 28 November 2011
One reason for this warmth is the wonder that is my wood-burning stove, of which I have blogged in the past. But another reason is Czech windows. In a Czech winter you need serious windows with serious double-glazing. The traditional windows in an old house like mine are made up of effectively two windows, each with its own handles, about four inches apart.
This arrangement has various advantages apart from keeping out the cold. One is that you can open the outer windows should you wish and leave the inner closed (or vice versa) which is useful for getting rid of condensation and cooling the place down a bit without having a breeze. Another is that you can put flowers in there - useful for deterring flies. And the last is that the space makes a brilliant fridge, allowing you to avoid having to go downstairs for the milk (see photograph above).
Thursday, 24 November 2011
Friday, 18 November 2011
What I love about the calendar is that it features both customs that still are alive and some traditions which have died out.
As for the artist: Cyril Bouda was one of the best Czech twentieth-century draftsmen and illustrators. A student of Kysela and Švabinský, he was famous for his illustrations (such as The Autobiography by Benvenuto Cellini or Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift) but he was also known for his tapestry designs. His motto was “Not a single day without a line”, attributed to Apelles, an ancient Greek painter and he kept to it, by the time he died in 1984 he had produced thousands of works of art. This means you can collect examples of his work relatively easily - why you could start with some of the 30+ stamps he designed!