Wednesday, July 27, 2011

birthdays and buds

Yesterday was my birthday. Fairly soon I'll be returning to the US for my longest visit to date. I wanted to gather all of my friends and just be around them for a bit. Not a birthday party - no cake, no presents - just time to be with my friends. I sent out a facebook invitation to a number of people and contacted a great new outdoor restaurant, Bohe(my)a (more on that later - if you're around you should check it out). In the end I had to increase the reservation to 35... I was a bit concerned as people always cancel and I tried to take that in to consideration when finalizing the number, even so I was worried that 35 people wouldn't show up and I would have overbooked and taken away business. Fortunately I was wrong.

In the end more than 35 arrived but everyone was comfortable. We stayed nearly an hour past closing and everything was lovely. It was exactly what I'd hoped for - lots of tables and couches where people could sit and mingle or talk more intimately, blankets for those who were cold, excellent food and incredible service - it was perfect. There was only one unexpected happening.... the number of flowers that arrived .

The restaurant gave us a large ice bucket which is usually more than enough - last night it was far from adequate. We had to run in to the housewares shop and buy two very large vases to fit all the flowers that needed to be in a vase (there were a few potted plants two).

To put it in context you can see a champagne bottle in there - it's not a small personal size but a full bottle - those two outer vases are huge.

It was overwhelming. In the elevator on the way out a colleague looked at me, struggling with a giant vase, two potted plants and large shopping bag (birthday gifts for the kidlet tomorrow and a rather challenging game from some friends) and I dropped my purse. He laughed "A lot of people really like you."

I had wanted to bring together people I care about. I succeeded. And their presence is a wonderful confirmation that it's truly mutual affection. That was the best birthday gift I could have asked for.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

best video i've seen in a while :)

It's to a song by Michael Buble - he's seen it, loved it and hopes to be able to visit and sing with them. I hope he does. This was a continuous shot and they did 8 takes - not easy for anyone, especially not for more senior senior citizens. They must have had a blast creating it - and what a great place to be :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Monster thunderstorm effects

There was a gigantic thunder and lightening storm on Wednesday. I have never seen anything like it before - and our little kitten was stuck in between the windows in the kitchen and the windows in the living room, hit tiny ears tucked back, crouched down, his head flipping back and forth like he was watching a tennis match but it was which side of the house was going to light up brighter. We had lavender skies. It was beautiful, loud, brilliant - over 60,000 strikes - and destructive.

I watched the news reports on Thursday - cars and houses destroyed all over the country, trees blocking roads and in rivers, creating some flooding, massive limbs down in a number of cities. Today, I found another news report - in Sumava, a Czech national forest (the Czech portion of the park) over 20,000 trees were destroyed, more than half on the outskirts of one town.

Nature is amazing. I think of earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes as being devastating but is the first time I've heard of massive destruction by lightening, not flooding, lightening.