Happily Married

Hello Everyone,

I feel as if I should send out an update, because it's been a while since the last one, but strangely, apart from the obvious, there's not really a lot to report.

Perhaps I'll tell you a little about the wedding and a little about the current reality show phenomenon that's hitting this country.

I'm sitting in front of TV as I write this watching a cooking show that for some reason is on during prime time. It's actually quite funny. All the recipes seem to involve taking pieces of meat, hitting them with a hammer for a while, adding lots of salt and then frying them in oil. A cardiologist's nightmare.


The Wedding


For those of you who were not there, our wedding went perfectly.


It took place in St Isidor's church which is a very pretty 17th century baroque church in the middle of nowhere. This church is normally closed and we had a it of difficulty getting it opened for us, But we did want the wedding there, partly because Markéta was christened there and her grandmother is buried in the cemetery outside, bit also because it is a very beautiful church in a beautiful sport.


The ceremony was half in Czech and half in English. This was made possible by booklets we made which had the entire text of the service in both English and Czech.


It took us a long time to translate the Czech catholic wedding service into English. It's hard to believe that it hasn't been done before, but if it has we couldn't find it anywhere. Interestingly the Czech version bears absolutely no resemblance to any existing English version of the service. Even more interestingly many of the words (at least in our version of the translation) are hauntingly beautiful.


After the service , we had a traditional Czech style family lunch which included traditional Czech things like feeding each other and sweeping up broken crockery.


After that, on to the garden of Markéta's cottage, where we had a big marquee and a roast pig on a spit.


It rained a bit – but never when it mattered, and everyone said it was the most romantic wedding they had ever been to. It's quite hard to compare your own wedding to others, and all I really now was that I had a wonderful day.




Reality Bites


Not long ago TV Nova, one of the TV stations here (they are quite famous for the nude weather girl show – but that's another story) announced that they would soon be launching a new show called “Big Brother”. This was going to be something completely new for the viewing audience here, who had not previously experienced the delights of reality show mania.


Of course I should have been suspicious. Superstar (the Czech version of Popstars/Pop Idol) was huge here. In the final few weeks even the serious newspapers here had a news section, a lifestyle section, some business news and a “Superstar section”.


But that was nothing compared with what was to come. A month or so before Big Brother launched, another TV station, Prima, launched a show called Vyvoleni, which translates roughly as “The chosen ones”. You guessed it. This show is more or less a copy of BB, but with different rules.


Of course there was then a court battle between the two stations, with the result that the rules were deemed sufficiently different and that Vyvoleni could go ahead. They then cheekily changed their byline to “the reality show that has no brother”


Interestingly the differences in rules are sufficient to make Vyvoleni a far more compelling and very highly addictive experience, Both shows are running concurrently and to Nova's dismay, almost nobody is watching BB while on a typical duel night, a million people will vote by SMS on Vyvoleni (yes, that's 10% of the population!). The viewing audience is much higher. This is despite the fact the Vv has much less sex then BB.


The newspapers are obsessed by the whole thing, and many now run the latest happenings in the Vila as front page news. George Bush, Iraq and bird flu are on page 2


Watch for a version of Vyvoleni to it your screens soon, It is different from BB – and at least based on what I'm seeing here, much much better.


We're back from the honeymoon, back at work (but not on Fridays :) and looking forward to the snow. This year I'm going to learn to snowboard.


Still alive, still having fun and not bored yet.


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