23 June 2012

BCSA Garden Party 2012

A mistake on my part meant that I missed the British Czech and Slovak Association (BCSA) Garden Party in 2011 (I had booked a trip to Glyndebourne for the same day) so I made doubly sure of being there this year as there is so much about the event that I like.

Mostly it is the people. I've been connected to the Czech/Slovak scene in the UK for some years and have got to know and like a lot of the people well.

These relationships go back all the way to 1992 when I first worked in Prague with Richard, who was at the party as was Ruzena who I met on the same project a year or so later.

I would have gone if it had been a simple English garden party and the Czech/Slovak made the attraction even greater.

First it is the venue.

The now divorced Czech and Slovak Republics have split the former Czechoslovak Embassy between them (they got a wing each) and they share the courtyard garden where the BCSA Garden Parties are held.

This year the Czechs were our hosts and the reception area of their Embassy was open for food, drink and shelter from the rain that never came.

That food and drink was Czech and I spent a pleasant afternoon drinking draught Pilsner Urquell and avoiding the temptation to eat Czech cakes. I weakened on the bread and cheese though.

The afternoon fizzed past as conversations strung together. By then we were in a party mood and with the Czechs playing football that evening we headed off to The Swan to watch it. Their fine win improved the mood further, though the drinks may also have played a part in this.

Final stop was The Champion for a final drink or two before some semblance of common sense prevailed around 11pm and I finally conceded that it was time to go home.

An excellent afternoon and evening with excellent friends. What more could you ask for?

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