Thomas has come up with some really cool words, and I'm sorry if this is just another one of those things only the parents love, but I really have to document these in some way, since he's already invented and abandoned several that I've forgotten.
Motorbikal, you know a motor+bike=motorcycle
Dinie-horses, we told him that tyrannosaurus rex was related to chickens and his once perfectly clear "dinosaurs," turned into diny-farm animals.
With the threat of snow and complete exhausting nausea gone (knock on wood or fake wood or something, anything, please don't make me live through either of those again), we had a lovely time over the holiday weekend. Rain visited often and cancelled our fairy tale hike, and shortened our puppet show on Friday. Luckily it lifted before we left and a jazz band played & Thomas danced & ate lots of ice cream & met new friends from London. We had lunch with a friend on Thursday (a friend with very nice children & lots of toys). She explained that May Day was mostly just another day off for people, an opportunity to spend time with family & friends that marks the beginning of the warmer weather, so that explains the barbecues. She said the kissing & Love day stuff was related to May Day, but not real popular, and she knew nothing of the pagan rituals. I did receive a text message from another friend wishing me a happy Beltane, and wishes that all of the faeries would be free. AND for some odd reason my search just now for information regarding ‘Čarodějnice’ – an annual witch-burning festival, turned up a wealth of information describing exactly what I had been looking for last week. It described the dying tradition of a big town bonfire where everyone roasted sausage & downed lots of beer while children played, some dressed as witches. I don't know what was wrong with Google last week...Anyway back to our wonderful lunch on May Day. Lunch is the main meal in the Czech Republic. It is almost unheard of not to eat soup before the main lunch course, and salad is usually not included. However many dishes are served with a small garnish of cabbage (and yes Czech people know cabbage, the sauerkraut here tastes nothing like what I don't eat in the states), tomato, and cucumber. Literally translated, this is referred to as the plate painting, do not call it salad! Our friend really spoiled us. Thomas loves soup, and she served a cream of potato & mushroom soup. Then she served baked rice, tempeh & radish goulash, and broccoli, and we had barley coffee (it was good, really) and a homemade pudding topped cake. It was a wonderful array of vegetarian foods that tasted good. Nothing was fried or dipped or topped with mayonnaise or tarter sauce. We went home stuffed & exhausted from playing.
Then a good friend, Chad's mentor from the states, Charlie Parriott, came to visit. The holiday weekend offset his business plans, and it was wonderful of him to come play with Thomas & us. We know him from our first days in Seattle, & we miss him & his family a lot. Saturday, the guys helped mow grass & build fire at Peter Rath's atelier. Peter Rath is retiring from his glass atelier and handing it over to a new generation. To commemorate the retirement he has prepared a wheelbarrow (with GPS) full of glass that he is at this moment walking to Vienna. From Senov. He's wearing sneakers. He's over 65, at least. His foot path with the wheelbarrow of glass follows the historical route taken to transport glass from the center of glass making, Kamenicky Senov, to the money-I mean where the companies sold it, Vienna. The best way to transport it with minimal breakage, was by wheelbarrow. Guess foam peanuts weren't en vogue during the horse and carriage days. Today was his send-off. At 10AM we watched him bounce his wheelbarrow jauntily up the hill behind the school, and I swear he clicked his heals. Peter has been very gracious to Chad, Thomas, and I. It was difficult to see him go, especially after having such a wonderful weekend and saying goodbye to Charlie yesterday. The sun was out in full force and we enjoyed a 10+ kilometer walk DOWN the side road of our mountain filled with prairies, farms, and gorgeous views, to a town called Polevsko, for lunch, and then to Novy Bor for his send off, our groceries, and a bus back UP the mountain.
Oh, and I have to balance out all of my complaints with this compliment to Czech cuisine. Czech people know their strawberries. Every strawberry thing I've tried here (including frozen strawberries) has been filled with ripe and real strawberries. There is a bottled juice sold in every public establishment here that is as thick as a full on strawberry smoothie, no bananas. It's sweet, but it has that distinct strawberry flavor, nothing like hot pink kool aide & often I'm afraid that I will choke on a chunk of strawberry when drinking it because it is so authentic.