Yes, ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ Blog readers, it has been a rather long half-decade since that Easter Bank Holiday Monday back in 2016 when I’d done and dusted the ‘The Story So Far’ part of the Blog of slightly redacted, copied and pasted emails, overwhelmingly to my older brother and put together the very first ‘proper’ post.
Since then there have been no fewer than three returns to the former Czechoslovakia after the brief visit to Slovakia – merely travelling through the Czech Republic on the way there and back – earlier that month: one in January 2017, first back to the Hotel Dominika, Petržalka, Bratislava, then to the Hostel Malá Praha, Žilina and finally to the Hostel Cathedral in Prague, one in October 2018 to the Hotel Garni in Brno and one in June 2019, first back to the Hotel Družba in Michalovce, then on to the Hotel Lux in Banská Bystrica, then back to the Hotel Dominika in Petržalka and finally to the Hotel Venec in Mladá Boleslav. So, it’s been quite an adventure and one that I hope to continue, should the restrictions on foreign travel finally be lifted, almost definitely not this year but probably next year, in these coronavirus-stricken times that would have been beyond the imaginations of all of us at the Easter of 2016.
It’s been an instructive exercise working out the gaps in months between those visits, which would have been ten between the first and second, twenty-one between the second and third and eight between the third and fourth, meaning that, as things stand, by the very proximal end of this month, I will have at least matched that gap between the second and third visit. This in turn means that I will have been the longest ‘former Czechoslovakia-less’ in this entire last five years!
Thinking of summer next year and thinking thoughts of Bank Holiday Mondays I note that August Bank Holiday Monday next year is 29th August. This will be half-a-century plus one day down the line from the recording of Valérie Čižmárová’s ‘Oči nelžou’ (‘Eyes Don’t Lie’) and ‘Říkáš pořád, jak ti na mně záleží’ (‘You Always Say How You Care About Me’) on what was our August Bank Holiday Monday of 1972, at Mozarteum, on Jungmannova, Prague. Those are, respectively, my first-ever YouTube uploading of a Valérie Čižmárová record and my current all-time No. 1 by her, so that would appear to be a good thing for which to aim and since I’d like to bring a few people with me I look forward to receiving requests from ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ Blog readers for a guided tour!
Here’s Jan Kotěra’s striking building where those two tracks were laid down, as can be listened to at the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of the (younger-by-a-year-or-so) ‘sister Blog’ to ‘Girls Of The Golden East’, ‘Bananas For Breakfast’.
Would that be a tempting proposition for ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ Blog readers to become ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ tourists?