Welcome to English Toboggan V. It was a pleasant start to the week for me as I had my English lesson with Danka and Jana at Danka’s flat on Monday morning. This was on account of Adélka being off school sick. Luckily, she wasn’t too ill to be able to take this photo. I was even served English tea with milk, which is the correct way, of course. Jirka and Lukáš had an early morning breakfast meeting in Bratislava on Tuesday with Mr Jaroslav Lexa, then two further two business meetings in Bratislava and then on to Pezinok. Jirka reports that all the meetings were great and the weather was nice and sunny. Meanwhile, Marina and Ljilja were embarking on an adventurous business trip to Croatia. The only navigation aid they had was Google Maps, which seemed very keen to keep them as far away from the main road as possible. Although they were happy to get to know Hungary better, they had actually planned to travel through Austria! Despite these tribulations, they arrived on time for all their meetings. After a day full of adventures with their new best navigational friend and some successful meetings, they felt they had to continue with the tradition of eating pancakes in Galapagos: photo. In the photograph you can also see the woods that their navigator thought was a must-see destination :) On Wednesday evening after work, Honza and Radek scaled Malá Prašivá (706m) to attend a talk at Chata Prašivá by a man who had scaled and then flown by paraglider from the top of K2 (8611m). Honza says that he and Radek had had a similar adventure on their journey from Kohutka, and maybe even worse, on the frozen trail, in the dark, on a sledge… photo, photo and photo. Also on Wednesday after work, Terka went with Igor and Juraj to a "winter" event being held at the Technical University dormitories. Terka says the tram ride was almost as long as it takes by train from Kolín to Prague so she was a bit afraid that at any minute the tram would end up in Prague. However, when the journey ended they were amazingly still in Ostrava. Terka feels sorry for Juraj that he has to make this trek twice every day. Anyway, they felt better after some ice-cold Jägermeister. She says that the event looked nice, and people were snowboarding and skiing, but since there was no snow it seemed more like grass skiing, so she was sorry that they hadn’t entered Igor, who said he preferred summer sports. Even so, they really enjoyed it in the end, and here is the proof: photo. Sometime during the week, I’m not exactly sure when, Igor had his yoga class. He says his instructor was very proud of him. I’m sure she was! I must say, it’s not like any yoga I’ve ever seen before: photo and photo. So, to the weekend… It was a busy weekend for Adélka and Danka. On Friday evening they were at Cooltour to see a children’s dance performance featuring a solo by the daughter of Jirka Zerzoň, and on Saturday Adélka and Nela went to Ostrava Planetarium to see the Astronomical Adventures of Little Red Riding Hood (Astronomické příhody Červené Karkulky): photo. On Saturday Andrea and her family went to Lego exhibition in Gliwice. Andrea says that the adults expected a little more, but Tobiaš was happy enough: photo and photo. Meanwhile, Marina and her husband were enjoying a small snack: photo. Jana spent the weekend snowboarding in Chopok in Slovakia, and says that although her “ass was burning so much that she couldn’t sit down” from constantly falling over, she was slowly getting better and better... photo. Finally, on Sunday morning Jirka and his family went to the Crown Jewels exhibition at Ostrava Museum (Korunovační klenoty v dějinách světa), which reminds me of a story… This exhibition opened last year in December, and it was being opened by the Dutch Ambassador to the Czech Republic. Somehow Erik, the nice old man who was on the door to NAR at eBF was involved in the organisation of the exhibition. Now Erik, who speaks very good English, was talking to me before the opening, and asked me if I wanted to attend. I asked him why. He told me that maybe I could talk to the Dutch Ambassador, because I’m English and the Dutch Ambassador probably doesn’t speak Czech. Yes, but what should I say to him, I asked. Well, Erik told me he had been speaking to Mr Kaplan, and knew that our Dutch colleague Jan Siderius had an issue with the Dutch government, and maybe I could ask the ambassador to intervene with the Dutch government on behalf of Mr Siderius. Unfortunately I was busy that evening. Have a nice week. Malcolm.