Sunday, 19 May 2013

Where has the week gone?

Living in two countries has both good and bad points.   The good are fairly obvious - exposure to two different cultures, the joy and blessing of good friends in both, the delight of learning another language - "possessing a second soul" as the German saying has it. In fact the feeling of being privileged to live two lives within the boundary of one span of years (in my case 71 of them, and sometimes I really feel it, though mostly not I'm pleased to say).

But on the minus side, the shift from one country to the other can be very confusing, particularly if it happens at speed.   That's why I prefer to drive to and fro so that there is space between the two lives.   And I am very fortunate in having the benefit of an "airlock" in the form of the home of one of my very closest and oldest friends who serendiptiously  lives pretty well half way between the Czech Republic and England. She and her husband are amazingly willing to repeatedly allow me (and mine) into the airlock to take a deep breath and move into the other mode.  She has my deep and grateful thanks.

All this is leading up to explaining why I have not yet got round to reporting back on the very first opening of Small Worlds to the public, for which so many of you sent good wishes a couple of weeks ago.   The very evening of the day we opened Butterfly and I headed back towards the UK, spent two nights in our airlock, and arrived back in England last Tuesday night.   Since then I have been trying to fit in many things like doctors' appointments, buying stuff for Small Worlds, preparing for a singing workshop to be led by Andrea (known to readers as a frequent and imaginative comment-leaver on this blog-she's mainly responsible for the mouse saga), and getting my head round the idea that the next time I return, at the beginning of September, it will be to finally pack up our house of forty years and move on.   To as yet pastures unknown.....

So the Open Day faded into the background, though Butterfly and I talked quite a lot about it on the journey.   Because we quite simply had a ball!   

Things start early in the Czech Republic so we were in Small Worlds by a quarter to eight, closely followed by our stalwart friend Jana who has been a tower of strength throughout this entire process.

By about half past eight the first swathe of people had been through, coming across from the Farmers' Market opposite.   One thing we discovered is that we will need an umbrella stand.......

People did strangely seem to come in swathes.   One moment the room would be completely empty and then, quite suddenly, full to bursting.

Particularly pleasing was the fact that some people came, disappeared, and reappeared with other members of their families.

Foolishly, we didn't keep any sort of accurate count but a full room was around 15-20 people and the room certainly filled and emptied at least six times during the four hours we were open, and probably more.

Some came just to see what new thing had appeared in Bavorov but we were delighted at the real level of interest and pleasure that people showed.   Lots of questions, photos taken, and interest in the idea that we would be offering workshops next year......

The big Walmer dolls house, which has pride of place by itself at one end of the room, was a great hit, with people having to take turns to view it properly.

But the undoubted star, for adults and children alike, was the mouse house, which now sits proudly on a smart wooden turntable.   Despite the notices around the room asking people not to touch anything, the mouse house is labelled "You may carefully turn this".   Maximilian and his troupe of amazing performing mice are, of course, much enjoying the attention....

I suspect there will be more Maximilian adventures to come.....

We unveiled our new window display the night before the opening but sadly forgot to take any photos of it.   We finally remembered just as we were leaving for England on the Saturday evening and by then the light was by no means ideal.   Although I should love to post photos of it they are simply not good enough - mostly what you see is Butterfly with the camera, reflected in the window, and a another reflection of our car parked outside ready for the journey.  I promise to take better ones when I return to Small Worlds in just over a week's time and post them then.

In the meantime thank you for continuing to follow me on this particular journey and I do look forward to your comments.   It's so lovely to hear that people are enjoying the blog.


  1. So interesting the difference in ages, heights and favorites of the viewers! But everyone seem enchanted. CM

  2. Lovely. Very pleased to see the full mouse house.

    How about a tiny museum, filled with people looking at tinier dolls' houses?

    A x

    1. Now stop it! Breathe....inhibit......:-)

      (Laura fell on the idea with enthusiasm, I fully expect to be presented with one in due course)

  3. Am so sad I won't be there for the Grand Opening - but this was certainly a brilliant taster of what I'm sure will be a huge success! I've no doubt we've already created a few converts and obsessives-to-be...

    1. If anyone deserves to be there, you certainly do. Every time I review what you managed to do in the time I am overcome with wonder!

  4. Really looking forward to seeing it all next month!

  5. I always was a lover of tiny things, so this has been a fantastic journey watching all the house come together, all the adventures with the Maximilian and his troupe. I'm so glad I found Butterfly and her wonderful talented Mother, It has opened my world and has inspired me to heights, I never dreamed of achieving. Thank you for all of that, the pleasure has been all mine. Hope you have a restful wonderful day...See you soon, I can't wait:O)....

  6. I always forget to take pictures too! It looked like such a successful turn out. I'm glad your travels were safe.

  7. Oh, that's brilliant and lovely and quite what all we readers expected, actually! Many congratulations to everyone involved (and I do know just how much work goes into it).

    Love Andrea's idea of a miniature museum, but wondered if the visitors there might be mice looking at houses with human inhabitants...

    Noreen X

    1. OH! Noreen - I love that idea. The watched becoming the watchers...
      Andrea :-)

    2. Oh great Scott! Are there two of you at it now? I have made one teeny tiny dolls house, with furniture, will post in next blogpost perhaps, and that was MORE than enough!

  8. Well, but you know I'm a mad old museum bird (and yes, at the beginning was a mad young museum bird). It does strange things to the brain...and I didn't say it had to be now. You know that somewhere along the line it'll probably happen!

  9. Congratulations on your opening...I love that people could carefully turn the mouse house!!!