Archive for March, 2010

HRH the Prince of Wales in Prague

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

HRH Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall have just completed a nine day official visit in Central Europe, spending three of the days in the Czech Republic. They visited Masaryk University in Brno where Prince Charles was presented with a special medal for his contribution to concerns about the environment (I wonder if the University did that as a deliberate snub to climate change and environment sceptic President Vaclav Klaus?).

They also went to worship on Sunday at St Clements Anglican congregation, where our friend, the Revd Ricky Yates, had to convince over-jealous Czech police to let his own congregation into the church (you can read more about on his blog.

On Monday evening leaders of the British expatriate community gathered in the Embassy to meet the Prince and Duchess. As on his previous visit some years ago, we were grouped into small numbers for more intimate meetings with the Prince. Some anxiety at first as the leaders of the Czech Salvation Army, British officers, appeared to have been placed with the Czech military hierarchy, but they soon got in the right group.

It was an informal and pleasant evening and it was good to meet the Prince again, who is Chancellor of the University of Wales, validators of IBTS degrees. As always he was interested in the activities of all of us and suitably supportive in his comments.

I am forced to smile by Czech formality though. Brits present were styled by a first name and family name on our badges. I couldn’t help noticing that several Czech academics present had insisted on their badges referring to their academic rank and highest degree – Professor PhD etc! The supposedly class-stratored society all equal on our badges and the supposedly republican classless society insisting on all rights and titles! Interesting….

– Keith

Colleges and libraries

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Well, our blog has gone a bit silent over the last few weeks – apologies to those who have been checking us out and eagerly awaiting new posts!

One of the reasons is that one of the moderators (that’s yours truly) is away on a study leave – so if the supervisors of my dissertation are reading this, ehmm, I’m blogging in the comfort of the evening having worked very hard all day in the library.

I’m enjoying the hospitality of our sister school, Regents Park College in Oxford. It’s amazing what a network of friends I’ve discovered here, mostly stemming from occasions when our ways crossed because of or at IBTS – either I knew these people already, or they’ve been at IBTS, or we discovered we had common friends. It actually makes quite a difference, compared to coming to a place where you really know no one. Several of them express “white envy” at me being able to enjoy the library without having to worry about daily duties – a feeling I know very well from meeting happy sabbaticants at IBTS having their fun in our library!

Talking about libraries, besides spending much of my time there reading and writing, I’ve also been able to add something to my collection of toilet signs. It took me nearly an emergency to figure out what this sign stood for.

– Lina

P.S. If you have something to share, do send comments & pictures or whatever else you may have! The co-moderator of the blog will happily deal with them. (And it’ll keep him practicing blog editting skills!)