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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in fretherne's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, January 7th, 2018
5:32 pm
Hvezda with Petra

Woodland walks with the Rock Chick


Mushroomy smells and sawn up logs


Trees bounded  by swamps and bogs


Home of toads and home of frogs


Under foot the mud that clogs


The jiggling girl that runs and jogs


In  designer lable running togs


But the sounds of barking dogs


Disturbs our walking dialogues


JW 2018

Monday, January 1st, 2018
10:01 pm
New Years Morning

A new year's morning with  Isabela    


Bela captures pictures of our  world


Even  sometimes though  the view  offends


A moment of time,  frozen, uncurled


Captured forever  by her lens.


What’s here today  may be gone tomorrow.


“Plus ça change, plus c'est la même  chose.”




From what is gone we cannot borrow


Who’ll remember when the old view goes


Today Bela's pixels and my  rhyme 


Flies trapped in  amber, set  in time.


Though these pictures will surely  matter


She looks at views. I like to look at her.


JW Jan 1 2018

Saturday, December 16th, 2017
7:13 pm
John Wilson shared Sparmarkt Schwoich's post.

December 9 at 4:27pm · 


I think I've mentioned before how rude some checkout staff are in Czech supermarkets. It's probably a hangover from conmunist times when the customer was always wrong.










Pause-1:22Additional Visual SettingsEnter Watch And ScrollClick to enlargeUnmute416,326 ViewsSparmarkt SchwoichDecember 5 at 12:03pm · Heute hatten wir im Spar Walchsee Besuch von den Miasberg-Toifi 










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😜 die sofort Ihre Arbeit Aufnahmen 










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👍See Translation

Thursday, December 7th, 2017
10:15 pm
Omm OMMM Ommygawd

Wednesday was my second date with Ira. Again I managed not to find her email about when and where to meet. I emailed her suggesting we meet at 17:30 at Motol but then for the only the second time the phone on my desk started to ring. Last time this happened I ended up doing three extra lectures and invigilating an exam so I was a bit wary about answering it. It was just as well I did though because it was Ira saying we were meeting at Karluva at 17:35 for the om chanting. I knew I wouldn't be able to get there for 17:35 but went straight off down the muddy shortcut through the trees from my office. It had been raining so it was muddy and slippery. I did get a metro straightaway and I knew I had to get off at the old town square (Starymest) and Karluva would be one of the dozen streets joining it. I made a guess and started walking in one direction but it was already 17:40. I spotted a street sign for Karluvy but it looked like a huge long street. I started off down it and then saw Ira texting on her phone. We were late but at least we were at the right place. She asked me if I'd read her email but I hadn't seen it . Later I found it was on my computer. 


We climbed endless flights of stairs in the two hundred year old house to reach a fairly large room. There were about thirty people and we all took our shoes off. Luckily I had on my socks without the holes. Inside in the parquet floored room were cushions arranged in two concentric circles.


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10:11 pm
Christmas shopping

The department christmas party is next week  on Monday.  That's the day Isabela gets back but I am not sure if my name is on the Monday slot of her timetable at all.  Just as well because the party is not for partners.  One thing we all have to bring a wrapped gift and everyone receives one.  I had to go and buy one.  I thought easy I'll get a bottle of bekorovka that will be easy but Eva said no it has to be unusual.  The giudee price was 200KC.  She said try and get something English.  I went to Tescos.  I thought of getting some Baileys Irish Cream but it came with large glasses and I didn't want anything fragile.  In the end I bought a large jig saw puzzle with a sort of base to hold it on.  At least it will look big and impressive when wrapped.  I need to get some wrapping paper too.  It seemed sensible to attach the receipt after establishing that it could be changed.


The hop assistant was young , pretty, friendly and helpful although she didn't speak English.  This is a bit unusual most czech shop assistants are a bit surly.  So I tried máte krásné oči.  She was so pleased she must have understood my pronunciation.

8:40 pm
John Wilson

10 hrs · Prague · 


It's ten to three in the morning and I don't really feel I should be posting. I've just reviewed this sentence and it seems to be free from typos so I think I am sober enough to post. Anyway I can delete it in the morning.


I went to the jidelna for lunch today and was served what looked like four large snowballs. They were dumplings with grated cheese over them. I was wondering what might be inside the dumpling and found they were stuffed with apricots. OK and very filling. So filling I put two into a plastic lunch box to eat later. No need when I got back to Hveda Illya had cooked pork with bacon and cheese over it so I filled up on that and passed the dumplings on to him. We had an interesting chat. It seems if he can stay a student until the age of 28 he won't get called up for military service back in Belarus.


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Saturday, December 2nd, 2017
12:35 pm

I slept until ten and felt fine when I woke up so after a spot of lunch I thought I'd finish this posting.  It's years since I have been to a students' party well five years at least.  Most of the conversation between students was in English.  We have done a brilliant job of colonising the world.  The Americans have given them coca cola and we have given them a language.


Whenever Trinny meets someone new she has this opening conversational gambit of usually asking them "What is the word for cock in your language?"  She gets various responses  such as:


"You mean a chicken?"


"No, I mean a dick"


She is so funny and a delight to be with.  She also claims now to know the name for the male dangly bits in two dozen languages.


As usual Ruzhinka was dancing on the table in a mini skirt and black tights.  She does this everytime she has had a few drinks.  Usually she then falls asleep in a chair and takes no part in the rest of the night.  Hence Ruzhinka.  Ruzhinka is the Czech name for the fairy tale sleeping beauty. It's a fair description of her she does look like a princess. Or at least what a princess should look like.  


 Lots and lots to eat and drink but no joints being passed around.  That seems to be reserved for the speakeasy.  As the night wore on I realised I had made a mistake about Trinny's sister.  She is very pretty and just as outrageous as Trinny.


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12:12 pm



10 hrs · Prague · 


It's ten to three in the morning and I don't really feel I should be posting. I've just reviewed this sentence and it seems to be free from typos so I think I am sober enough to post. Anyway I can delete it in the morning.


I went to the jidelna for lunch today and was served what looked like four large snowballs. They were dumplings with grated cheese over them. I was wondering what might be inside the dumpling and found they were stuffed with apricots. OK and very filling. So filling I put two into a plastic lunch box to eat later. No need when I got back to Hveda, Illya had cooked pork with bacon and cheese over it so I filled up on that and passed the dumplings on to him. We had an interesting chat. It seems if he can stay a student until the age of 28 he won't get called up for military service back in Belarus.


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12:08 pm
Dealing diamonds stealing hearts



Yesterday at 10:19am · 


I met Isabela on the steps of Sv Lioudmilla in Namesti Miru. I've got to stop this hanging around waiting in churches or I'll never get accepted into the hell's angels chapter. Actually it was a good choice to meet because it was easy to find. There was a busy Christmas Fair in full swing with crowds of people swarming around the little temporary stalls selling hot grog, mead, beer of course, gingerbread hearts, grilled sausages of course and trdnik. These are a sort of sweet bread dough rolled to make a cylinder almost like a coiled spring and then baked over a grill.


We looked around the stalls then went for a walk through a little park to find a cafe to drink coffee and hot chocolate. Ira wouldn't eat.


Today was an important bridge tournament for her and she said eating would slow her brain down. She was in it to win it. She had brought me a box of sweet cookies she had baked herself and a litre of her cherries soaked in rum. Those must count as one of the five a day although they also push the units of alcohol per week up to. the cafe was dog friendly with about five dogs rushing around and of course one put his muddy paws on her jeans.


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Wednesday, November 29th, 2017
8:38 pm

I dwell in chaos




I dwell in chaos like a cloud


An aimless drift across life’s sky.


Trust me, of this, I am not proud.


How long more can I still fly?




And then I meet a girl like you


Who fills each minute of her day


With purpose, listing things to do


Wrings value from her work and play.




But to plan each  hour with no soft edge?


You smiled; threw a coin onto a ledge.


You shared a secret  so I would know.


What I saw at first isn't always so.

8:22 pm
Even Heisenberg wasn't certain

Now we know we live in a strange world. According to JBS Haldane not only is the universe stranger than we think it is stranger than we can think. Just how very strange this universe actually is was demonstrated to me this morning, 28th of November at around 08:45. generally we live our life in accordance with Newtonian Physics. It's a good approximation of the real world and is by now part of the 'commonsense' we all use in real life. it only gets awkward at very high velocities approaching the speed light for larger lumps of reality like Starship Enterprise when Einstein's relativity takes over from Newton or at the smallest scale of size with sub-atomic particles when Max Planck's strange world of quantum effects comes into play.


.At these points commonsense breaks down. Now I have never been cursed with an overabundance of commonsense so I just accept that these intrude occasionally into my everyday life, sometimes for good, sometimes for bad.


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Saturday, November 25th, 2017
11:55 pm

Outside the grogshop I was greeted by several concerned students most of them I didn't recognise.  Apparantly the word had been spread by the hall porter that 'the professor'  had lost his case.  All of them were eager to help me look for it.  Strange as it seems 'the professor' is a minor celebrity there.  Probably passed on by word of mouth when they ask who is that white haired old git and what is he doing here. 


I explain that I have got the case back and tell them to stop calling me professor (although secretly I love it.)  I get my beer and sit down with Trinny the wonderful Croatian PH D student.   She is a little older than most of the students there, has an amazing capacity for beer, insists on paying for her round and is outrageously funny.  This evening she has swopped her contacts for glasses and looks intellectual as well as gorgeous.We adjourn to the speakeasy to meet our Moravian pal and some of the other guys from the other night.  Beer keeps flowing Trinny aided and abetted by an Egyptian girl gets more and more outrageous.   She tells me I am quite attractive and a lot of girls in the dorm have a father complex.  I  ask her to get the numbers of any that have a grandfather complex.  This sparks a load of Croatian incest jokes.   So my one drink has stretched to six and back to my room (alone)  for one o' clock.

3:09 pm
Outdoing Jane Austen



Well today stated out by me actually finding my suitcase. I had left it behind in the speakeasy by the grog shop and it had found its way into the building contractor's store Unfortunately the same has not happened with my other case. The sort of brief case that contained my electronic reading gadget. I tried to find the lost property office and got shunted around various offices without finding it,


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Sunday, November 19th, 2017
7:46 pm
Bertrand Russell, Philosophy and Maths and cooking

I had a lie in and then took the metro into Malostranska; I remembered that the nearest tram stop to the Petrin tower is Uzed and it still is. The Petrin tower is a land mark all over Prague. It looks like the Eiffel Tower and many Czechs will proudly tell you that it is taller. That is true, but only if you count in the hill it is built on. This steep hill has a funicular railway called the lanaka, a sort of cable car that goes straight up the hill through the woods to the top. There was a huge queue for this, mostly loud Americans so I walked but not to the top. It is a beautiful public park and worth the long uphill climb. I’ve seen it often enough. I settled down on a bench with my ereader. I’ve been rereading Betram Russell’s philosophy on religion. I can remember him when I was a child he must have been nearly ninety on the tv brainstrust. Sunday afternoons in Britain were always boring when it was wet. Brains trust was what passed for tv entertainment in those days. Later he was a founder member of the campaign for nuclear disarmament. He even took part in some of the Aldermaston marches.  It’s strange how such a brilliant mind with a jewelled watch movement as he ranges completely logically through a subject can still get things so wrong. Perhaps an object lesson on mathematicians – they are only good at doing maths no use for anything else and especially not philosophy although a lot of what he wrote seems to make sense. After a time my stomach warned me it was lunch time.


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3:36 pm
Shishkebabs, crinkle cut chips and cucumber salad

jwilso5584@aol.com


John Wilson

November 17 at 6:53pm · Prague · 


Today is 'Struggle for Freedom and Democracy day in the Czech Republic. It was a day off but since I have no lectures on a Friday anyway not of much advantage. I did go into Prague to watch some of the celebrations. One quick look at the history of Czechoslovakia shows why this is a big deal. In the Old town Square a noisy band all dressed as ducks were parading around the Jan Huis memorial statue. Impressive but I am not sure why over 60 people were dressed as ducks today.


One of the advantages of working at the university medical faculty is we share a canteen (a jidelna) with the teaching hospital. It is staffed by some of the loveliest nurses I have ever seen. They wear a short blue sort of smock and light white surgical trousers underneath or sometimes just the smock presumably with something else underneath. Anyway I went in for lunch (shishkebabs, crinckle cut chips and cucumber salad) and did get to meet one. Are you reading this James Cragg? Get yourself over here. And this is what a proper rhyming poem sounds like


In the hub bub of the jidelna
For shishkebabs and crinkly chips
Pretty pert breasted nurse with
Tight white pants over sinuous hips


A formica topped fawn table
A plastic rotating chair
I could read her ID lable
Though I'm trying not to stare


I try a hopeful half smile
Showing interest, but hiding lust
These games we play every day
Why? I suppose because we must


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Thursday, November 16th, 2017
7:55 pm
dumped again
John Wilson

21 hrs · Prague · 


I share an office at the university with Eva.  She is great to work with and has a good sense of humour even when I broke my stapler and stole hers. Eva had a birthday this week but it was on her day off but she still brought in potato salad, gherkin and ham on rolls to share the next day.  Now the auction for the cottage in Moravia I wanted to buy has fallen through we have a running joke about her coming down to Galitia for me to buy a place in Italy.  Like all the best jokes it may not be a joke at all although I am rather older than her. It really isn't a good idea to get involved with someone you work closely with even if she would.  There again it could fill up that boring two hour gap between my  two Tuesday lectures.  No it won't happen. 


I think M has officially dumped me. She has been my first and best friend in Prague for over ten years. But during the last five weeks she has dumped me now three times face to face, twice by email and once by text. That does sound fairly official to me. The snag is she does change her mind a day or so  afterwards but I take it that this time she does mean it so I could meet Ira with a clear conscience at the Slavia Kaverna later today.


This is possibly the most famous cafe in Prague. It has views out through the windows of the National Theatre (Narodni Divadlo) and the river Vlatava. It was where all the dissidents used to hang out including Vaclav Hamel before the velvet revolution when he became president. It is very smart and looks like one of those elegant Viennese coffee shops very fin de siècle . I needn't have put the meeting time back since I got a flying start after my last lecture from the university and there was a metro already waiting  at the platform for me at Motol so it was straight on and off again at Malostranska. All of the trams from there seemed to be stopping outside the Narodni Divadlo so I was there by six. 




.I went in and managed to get a window table gazing out at the ornate  bulk of the National Theatre.  I ordered a capuccino and amused myself by seeing how much brown sugar the froth would hold before allowing it to sink under its own weight into the coffee. While I was involved in this adult and important experiment there was a knock on the window beside me and Ira waved through it and made her way to the entrance. She looked tall, slim and elegent. She came to my table did the continental double cheek kiss then said "No, we are not sitting here. I've reserved a better table for us looking out over the Vlatava."


We just sat and talked for hours. She hadn't realised I was now  living in Petriny so we walked through the old town to catch a metro together at Starymesta. It was as if we had known each other for years. At Petriny we found that the Billa supermarket was still open so she needed to buy a bottle of rum for some egg liquer she is making for her friends. She introduced me to 'sunkovy kolono - literally knee of pig and told me it was delicious and healthy. I got milk and bread which means I don't need to shop for a few days.


Outside the shop we chatted for a while, reluctant to say goodnight well at least I was.


I then hiked the kilometre back to my room. I had that walking on air feeling, that everything was right with the world and the tectonic plates of my life might just be shifting and everything was possible.


Back at Colej Hveda where I stay the students were having a noisy but well organised arm wrestling contest fuelled by cambrinus beer. Buoyed up by my feeling of elation I challenged the roughest, toughest student there to an arm wrestling bout.  To my surprise I was beaten in about 25 seconds.  Who would have thought such a little girl would have that much upper arm strength. 


I didn't go in to see Igor since I already had a high and didn't need anything else. Ira was right the ham was delicious succulent in its own  jelly.
















































































































































































































































































































ast five weeks three times face to face, twice by email and once by text. That does sound fairly official to me. The snag is she does change her mind again afterwards but I take it that this time she does mean it so I could meet Ira with a clear conscience at the Slavia Kaverna.


This is possibly the most famous cafe in Prague. It has views out through the windows of the National Theatre (Narodni Divadlo) and the river Vlatava. It was where all the dissidents used to hang out including Vaclav Hamel before he became president after the velvet revolution. It is very smart and looks like one of those elegant Viennese coffee shops. I needn't have put the time back since I got a flying start after my last lecture from the university and there was a metro already at the platform for me at Motol so it was straight on and off again at Malostranska. All of the trams seemed to be stopping outside the Narodni Divadlo so I was there by six. I went in and managed to get a window table gazing out over the bulk of the National Theatre and ordered a capuccino and amused myself by seeing how much brown sugar the froth would hold before allowing it to sink under its own weight into the coffee. While I was involved in this adult and important experiment there was a huge bang on the window beside me and Ira waved through it and made her way to the entrance. She looked stunning. She came to my table did the continental double cheek kiss then said we are not sitting here I've reserved a better table for us looking out over the Vlatava.
We just sat and talked for hours. She hadn't realised I was living in Petriny so we walked through the old town to catch a metro together at Starymesta. It was as if we had known each other for years. At Petriny we found that the Billa supermarket was still open so she needed to buy a bottle of rum for some egg liquer she is making for her friends. She introduced me to 'sunkovy kolono - literally knee of pig and told me it was delicious and healthy. I got milk and bread which means I don't need to shop for a few days.


Outside the shop we chatted for a while, reluctant to say goodnight well at least I was.


I then hiked the kilometre back to my room. I had that walking on air feeling, that everything was right with the world and the tectonic plates of my life might just be shifting and everything was possible.


Back at Colej Hveda where I stay the students were having a noisy but well organised arm wrestling contest fuelled by cambrinus beer. I didn't go in to see Igor since I already had a high and didn't need anything else. She was right the ham was delicious with skin still on it and jelly.








































































































































































































































































































latava. It was where all the dissidents used to hang out including Vaclav Hamel before the velvet revolution when he became president after the velvet revolution. It is very smart and looks like one of those elegant Viennese coffee shops. I needn't have put the time back since I got a flying start after my last lecture from the university and there was a metro already at the platform for me at Motol so it was straight on and off again at Malostranska. All of the trams running from there  seemed to be stopping outside the Narodni Divadlo so I was there by six. I went in and managed to get a window table gazing out at the ornate bulk of the National Theatre.  I ordered a capuccino and amused myself by seeing how much brown sugar the froth would hold before allowing it to sink under its own weight into the coffee. While I was involved in this adult and important experiment there was a bang on the window beside me and Ira waved through it and made her way to the entrance. She looked stunning. She came to my table did the continental double cheek kiss then said "We are not sitting here I've reserved a better table for us looking out over the Vlatava."


We just sat and talked for hours. She hadn't realised I was living in Petriny so we walked through the old town to catch a metro together at Starymesta. It was as if we had known each other for years. At Petriny we found that the Billa supermarket was still open so she needed to buy a bottle of rum for some egg liquer she is making for her friends. She introduced me to 'sunkovy kolono - literally knee of pig and told me it was delicious and healthy. I got milk and bread which means I don't need to shop for a few days.


Outside the shop we chatted for a while, reluctant to say goodnight well at least I was.


I then hiked the kilometre back to my room. I had that walking on air feeling, that everything was right with the world and the tectonic plates of my life might just be shifting and everything was possible.


Back at Colej Hveda where I stay the students were having a noisy but well organised arm wrestling contest fuelled by cambrinus beer.  I couldn't resist challenging one of the toughest of them  but lost absolutely.  Who would have thought such a little girl would be so strong.


I didn't go in to see Igor since I already had a high and didn't need anything else. 


Ira was right the ham was delicious, succulent in its own jelly. 

7:46 pm
First time in a car for over a month

Yesterday at 9:55am · 


I was early at U Jirihof and the band was still going through the lengthy guitar tuning, strumming and setting up the loudspeakers. One guy was playing what I can only call an electric ukelele and playing it very well. The rockchick turned up with Martin and his bass guitar. I was introduced to Nadia. It never occurred to me she would be able to speak English and we only found out halfway through the evening so there was someone to chat to. I was going to leave at 11:30 to make sure of catching the last bus to Petriny but rockchick said we had a lift from Jiri. So I stayed a little longer and then we got driven home. I don't have a lecture until 13:30 so I tried to have a sleep in but at 0800 the builders started work and the whole building block started shaking. I do finish at 17:30 tonight but I have to get to Kaverna Slavia, the old Czech dissident hangout. It's by the Vlatava opposite the national theatre for 1800 to meet Ira. I texted and asked for it to be put back to 18:15. I am almost getting competent at using a mobile phone now. I just wish my czech was as good.

7:42 pm
On the level








John Wilson

November 13 at 8:13pm · 


One thing that always strikes me as a little bit odd. To catch the metro at Petrinny you ride one of the longest escalators I have ever been on and you feel you are descending down into the bowels of the 'Earth. Oddly enough after a three minute ride to Nemonicke Motol you leave the metro on another downward escalator because you are way above ground. Just some odd effect of the metro underground tunnels running fairly level into the hills around the city centre. The other really odd thing about the Prague metro escalators is that as you rise or fall at an angle of 45 degrees all of the decorations, meet the elevator at an angle of 90 degrees. The effect is that everyone travelling on the escalator appears to be leaning forward at an impossible angle. This optical illusion has kept me entertained for nearly thirty years since I first visited Prague but to the locals The Pragan? Praguans? they have become attuned to it and do not see this illusion

7:39 pm
Gottefunken


November 12 at 11:36pm · 


A nice easy evening only one beer and an early night. I lay in bed and live streamed Beethoven's choral symphony from the internet and at the same time read 'A Painted House' and thoroughly enjoyed it. Another thing we're going to lose by Brexit that superb anthem Freude, schöner Götterfunken. Words by Schiller and music by Beethoven could it get any better? Well yes Lennon and McCartney certainly run them fairly close.

7:37 pm


November 12 at 12:47am · (English gmt)


Well it's 01:30 here and I have just got back from the goose dinner at Skirisk.  You know you are getting old when the music seems too loud.  Martin was plucking away on his base guitar but rockchick was doing the hostess bit and doing it very well.  She organised me to sit by Ira.  She told me she had  replied to my emails twice.  I realised  that when I am deleting emails 20 at a time first thing  at uni I should actually at least see who they were from.  The dinner — roast goose and red cabbage and , of course, dumplings was terrific.  It was a little too noisy to chat but we agreed to meet at Kaverna Slavia on Wednesday.  

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