Prague Visit

With medieval streets, Art Nouveau masterpieces and Baroque squares, Prague is a city to behold. The absolute joy of walking around corner after corner and being faced by yet more architectural beauty is amazing. In no other city that I’ve visited has this happened.

From the Old Town Square to the Gothic Charles Bridge, to Jewish Prague and Prague Castle, to Wenceslas Square to St Vitus’s Cathedral, you just marvel at the history and splendour of a city that is becoming more and more popular.

Prague’s distinct areas include, Staré Mêsto, Josefov and Northern Staré Mêsto and Prague Castle & Hradêany, Malá Strana and Nové Mêsto. There are more, but we just visited those.

In Staré Mêsto (The Old Town), you’ll find such delights as the Astronomical Clock. Dating back to the 15thCentury, the clock not only tells the time, it displays the movement of the sun and moon through the signs of the zodiac and the planets around the earth. Get there on the hour and you’ll be accompanied by many others watching the distinctive way it marks the event.

The Municipal House is a prominent Art Nouveau building decorated with figures on all sides. It is an impressive sight. And close by is the Powder Gate, an entrance to the city that dates back to 1475

In the Josefov and Northern Staré Mêsto area, Jewish history is very prominent with its synagogues and museums. It’s quite a sobering experience to visit the synagogues and to be faced with the brutality inflicted on the population by the Nazis. To see the names of the people written on walls of remembrance and to read of their suffering is a reminder that we cannot and must not forget what has happened to the Jewish community through time. The small cemetery is a place for quiet contemplation with grave stones struggling to stand upright, with the horrors to which the city has witnessed, clearly on their shoulders.

If you wish to visit the synagogues and museums (which include the Jewish Museum, Pinkas Synagogue and Spanish Synagogue, to mention just a few) in the area, you can purchase reasonably priced tickets to get in all of them.

Spanish Synagogue

If you cross the river using the impressive Gothic Charles Bridge, you’ll reach Malá Strana. Here you will find the beautiful Baroque Church of St. Nicholas and the Palace Gardens. For John Lennon/Beatles fans there is the graffiti-covered wall that people regularly paint over. The Kafka Museum is a must for fans of literature. It tells the story of the city and one of its most famous sons.

On the same side of the river is Prague Castle, which dates back to the 9thCentury, and is quite extraordinary. It covers a substantial area. The Gothic St. Vitus’s Cathedral, which can be seen for miles around, is the centre piece. If you’re fit and able, a climb up the tower, which gives breath-taking views, is a must. A castle visit also includes museums and places to eat and drink, so you can have a rest during your visit – which we did, partaking in Hot Mulled Wine and Apple Strudel.

Going back over the river to Nové Mêsto (New Town) you’ll find the National Museum at the top of Wenceslas Square, an impressive area with shops and restaurants. 

The Baroque Cathedral of St. Cyril and St. Methodius is of historical significance because the parachutists who assassinated the Nazi governor, Reinhard Heydrich, hid in the crypt. You’ll find a memorial to them in the crypt itself as well as their story. Their valour in the face of Nazi occupation cannot be underestimated.

Traditional Czech food includes Roasted Pork and Goulash. I can attest to both being excellent. Also, Apple Strudel on the Dessert Menu is popular, and it was with us.

Czech beer never fails. Don’t be put off by the Dark Beer which, despite its appearance, isn’t like British Stout. It’s much lighter. Other traditional lighter Czech beers are excellent too.

In general, English is widely spoken, so ordering food and drink isn’t a problem. But with narrow streets and cobbled, uneven paving, getting around could be difficult for the disabled.

We visited in late March, for four nights. The weather wasn’t great. It was cool with mostly grey skies. We were lucky, no rain fell while we were there.

We stayed at the Mamaison Hotel, Riverside, Prague. Our transport and accommodation were arranged by Heather Reynolds of Travel Counsellors.

I suppose the success of a City Break rests on whether you would visit again. I can say without a doubt, we’d definitely visit Prague again.

Welcome to APGrozdanovic

First of all, can I thank you for visiting my blog. We all have busy schedules and demands on our time. So, your visit is appreciated.
Let me tell you a little about the blog.
Quite simply, I will be writing about the many things that interest me, and hopefully you. But maybe, thankfully, not too often. So, you can dip in and out at your leisure.
There will also be an opportunity for visitors to read short extracts from my Amazon Kindle books. They are all available on Kindle or Kindle app, and links are included for readers who wish to purchase the stories.
A new story, An Invitation to Kill, will be available in the coming months.
Some posts have already been uploaded. A couple from a previous blog (Superwhit) have been added, as some others maybe in the near future.
There is a facility to comment and follow. To follow, just click on the icon and you will receive occasional updates.


Happy reading,
A.P. Grozdanovic

This post was originally written and uploaded: 3 February 2019

Labour Defections


The news yesterday that seven Labour MP’s have resigned from the party was no surprise. It had been coming. You only had to listen to Owen Smith, the MP for Pontypridd recently. 

Bold statements by the seven included:

The party is, in Luciana Berger’s opinion, ‘institutionally anti-Semitic.’ 

That any criticism of the leadership, according to Ann Coffey, is met with, ‘abuse and accusations of treachery.’

And that in Mike Gapes view, Jeremy Corbyn ‘would threaten our national security.’

The MP’s statements cannot be swept under the carpet. These are serious allegations that cannot be explained away as just another day in politics. They weren’t made by Westminster hacks or opposing MP’s punching below the belt, they were made by former colleagues of Jeremy Corbyn. People who until yesterday were inside the Labour tent.

The Labour Party now has some big decisions to make. Does it listen, find solutions and act to allay the fears of potential voters? Or does it entrench and attack the leavers?  Both ideas are already on the burner. 

Tom Watson, the Deputy Leader, has felt the need to call for the seven not to be referred to as Traitors. While John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, has said that Labour has to listen more. The horse it would appear has already bolted on both accounts.

Corbyn has been playing fast and loose with members and voters for some time. The reports about bullying and anti-Semitism are not new. And his handling of Brexit is akin to a Card-Shark but with all the cards on show.

We can only surmise that Jeremy Corbyn is letting his members down with all these reports. 

How it got to this stage is anyone’s guess. But if Corbyn wants to be taken seriously as a future Prime Minister, he has to step up to the plate and lead. 

We need concrete action by Corbyn that is posted for all to see, that ensures Labour is tackling racism within the party, that it is listening and that it is acting.

Before, we can take Corbyn and the Party as a viable option for government it has to get its own house in order. Until that day passes, Labour will be in opposition for a generation again.

Corbyn, the Brexit Enabler

People who believe that Jeremy Corbyn is the sticking point in a Brexit deal miss the point completely. Corbyn is a brexiteer who just happens to go round wearing a woolly hat. He seems to believe that we can have all the benefits of being a member of the EU but without having to carry a membership card. We only have to go back to the referendum when he refused to join the official remain camp to understand his real position.

Today’s letter to Theresa May, from Corbyn, has finally put to bed any notion that he wants Britain to stay in the EU. Afterall, he has said on many occasions that he respects the result of the referendum of 2016. The fact that his party carries the option of a People’s Vote when all else has failed means nothing to Corbyn. He will do his utmost to stop Labour supporting a new referendum.

If May wants his support, though, she must acquiesce to his demands in various areas. He and the rest of the Labour leadership know that to follow his demands, May would be risking the break-up of her own party. (And as we all know, Brexit has always been about keeping the Tory party together.) Close alignment with the customs union and rights and protections are not in the hard-brexiteer handbook, though, so she’d be backing it at her peril. Even though the EU has received the suggestions favourably.

But as mischievous as Corbyn can be in posting his suggestions to May, the real fight is in the Tory party. With the support of her own party and the DUP, May can push her Brexit plan through. If she can convince them of the merits of her deal then there is no need for Corbyn’s support. His place in the Brexit history books would be as a mere footnote.

The problem that May deals with daily is keeping her Tory party together. Now, we find, Corbyn is risking the break-up of his party with his constant enablement of the Brexit cause. Regardless of the form Brexit comes in, and whether you like it or not, he is supporting it with every bone in his body and proves it with his support for the outcome of the referendum and todays demands.

Owen Smith, the Labour MP for Pontypridd, has said he is considering his position in the party following Corbyn’s exercise in oiling the Brexit wheels. More are certain to follow his lead and think carefully whether they want to sit on the same benches as him in Parliament.

Brexit is a political chasm that can’t be closed. And we have the two weakest leaders this country has probably ever had facing each other at the Dispatch Box. With the severity of the issues at hand, both parties and this country deserve better.

Whether you believe in Brexit or not, don’t for one minute think that Jeremy Corbyn will stop it. He is an enabler, despite what his party wants or the press tell you.

Remainers shouldn’t look to Corbyn for help. His back was turned the moment the referendum was called. If you want a People’s Vote look elsewhere. If you want Brexit, he can’t do much worse than May.

Who Killed the Ship’s Captain?

A Murderplay by Chris Martin & A. P. Grozdanovic

All aboard and batten down the hatches for a murder-mystery of titanic proportions! The luxury cruise liner ‘the Celebration’ is the pride of the ‘Blue Triangle Shipping Line’, yet she’s sailing on choppy waters… and there’s an iceberg-sized scandal looming over the horizon!

‘Who Killed the Ship’s Captain?’ is set in the passenger lounge of the (fictional) ship ‘the Celebration’. It’s 1912, just 3 months after the sinking of the Titanic, and there’s more trouble brewing out to sea. Edward Pearson, the ship’s captain, is becoming increasingly unpopular. Ever since the disastrous voyage of the company’s rival, he’s had a sinking feeling of his own. Pearson’s become distracted, irritable and argumentative. Something’s clearly on his mind, but what? And more importantly, who would want to kill him? Could it be…?

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Elizabeth, his frustrated wife?

Cheerful cabin boy, Jack Bailey?

William Earnshaw, Pearson’s ruthless second-in-command?

Catherine Earnshaw, William’s pushy wife?

Ian Jackson, the ship’s doctor with a ‘complicated’ past. Or…

Pamela Davies, the captain’s (overly) personal secretary.

When the ship docks at Southampton, Inspector Peach from Scotland Yard is called in to sift through the flotsam and jetsam of a disastrous voyage. Life on the ocean wave has never been so turbulent… or as deadly!!

‘Who Killed the Ship’s Captain?’ is a one hour ten minute play for 8 actors- 3 male, 3 female, and 2 of either. Although still a comedy, the piece is murderplays’ most reserved, least frivolous, play, making it a popular choice for more ‘senior’ groups or those simply relishing the opportunity to ‘glam-up for a life on the ocean wave’!

Please CONTACT US to request a FREE copy of Act 1 of this play by clicking the link below:

Walking Football

So, what is Walking football? Put simply, it’s a slower version of the game, but just as beautiful.
Developed in Chesterfield in 2011 the game has taken on a whole new life of its own.
Designed to be played indoors and outdoors, the walking variant has been developed with the over 50’s in mind. Teams over 50, 60 and even 70 are competing throughout the country on a regular basis.
Helping to promote cardiovascular fitness, it prohibits both running, sliding tackles and general contact. This helps older participants, both male & female, to continue or restart physical activity in a responsible and safe way.
The game is inclusive, fun, energising and social.
In the couple of years I have been playing, I have met a great bunch of people from all walks of life. All with differing sporting abilities. But crucially, wanting to maintain or regain a level of fitness through a game loved universally.
In Bolton, where I live, there are at least three opportunities to play walking football.
At Burnden Park, the original home of Bolton Wanderers Football Club, the games are organised by Third Space Café, a charity led by Guy Hampson which helps people get fit and lead a healthier lifestyle. Bolton Wanderers Community Trust run a session at Bolton Arena.
While Bolton Arena put on sessions of their own on various days of the week.
As previously noted, all sessions are friendly and inclusive. And all give opportunities to go one step further by competing in various competitions.
(Below is a picture of the Bolton Arena side after their triumph in the 2018 Lancashire Cup held in Fleetwood.)

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The game is so popular now that there are county and international games organised. Leagues are popping up all the time. Many teams are making trips abroad to participate in tournaments in other countries, meaning the shackles are off when it comes to the growth of the game.
The clear message has to be that you’re never too old to participate in healthy activities that make you happy and feel good.
May the game continue to grow.

Thirdspace Walking Football Club

Going Home

The following is an extract from Going Home, a short story by A.P. Grozdanovic, that is available on Amazon Kindle…

The message had been straight-forward, ‘Zdravo. Prošlo je dugo vremena.’ – Hello. It’s been a long time. That’s how easy it is to connect these days. Someone you haven’t spoken to for decades can come straight into your home and metaphorically shake you by the hand.

Pero Saric had only joined the social network revolution to promote his business. He had been reluctant to take part in the continuing craze for social media. More fearful of the unknown than excited by the possible. But he had been convinced by the staff, who had said it was too easy an opportunity to raise the profile of the elderly care home he owned. He had relented and signed up. If it made the staff of Easy Living Care Home happy, it was okay by him.

Families, friends and God-knows who, had liked or followed the Profile Page within days. The staff, overseeing the pages for him, were pleased with the response. They had advertised the annual fête the Home was hosting and within hours lots of people had committed to attend and contribute items for sale. The pages had cost nothing to set up and they were paying dividends almost immediately.

Up to the day of the fete the staff had been working long hours to get the place ready. Pero had recognised this, filled in where necessary, and let them finish early where possible. He’d try to make it up to the staff at bonus time. But his attention had been taken away from their efforts and the fête itself on that very morning. Having picked his morning coffee and toast up from the kitchen he settled at his desk to plan for the day ahead. He always started with the days physical correspondence, then incoming email. He had now added the social media aspect of the work to this morning routine and as he was going through his online content, he had noticed the message from Selma Sokolovic. He had neither seen nor heard from Selma, the only girlfriend he’d ever really known, in over twenty-five years. She still lived in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia Herzegovina, formerly part of the Yugoslav Republic – Pero’s birthplace.

Pero had tried to suppress his feelings for his homeland since the Balkan War of the early nineties. The death and destruction, especially the siege of Sarajevo which lasted from 1992 to 1996, bit into Pero’s heart deeply. He’d watched on the news daily how his countrymen had killed neighbours and seized land. His former country had now split into six independent republics. Never had Europe witnessed so much barbarity since the Second World War.

At first, he didn’t know whether to answer or simply ignore the communication. What on earth could Selma want after all these years? He clicked on her profile. Nothing was hidden. Her photos and friends’ list, some of whom he vaguely recognised, were all visible. His staff had told him that it was important for personal social media sites to maintain a sensible security level. The business page didn’t need the same level of filter as they desired visibility. Selma, it appeared, was a little cavalier with her online activities status. Anyone could open her page and see where she had been and who were her friends.

The weeks passed, and then out of the blue, Pero received another message. Again, it was a simple opening line, but this time in English: 

‘How are you?’

Pero still didn’t know whether to respond or not. Over lunch he had mentioned this second message to the staff. To a person, they sat bolt upright.

‘Of course you should respond,’ said Gail.

‘What have you got to lose,’ demanded Jane, crunching through a slice of toast.

He had no response to their enthusiasm. What could he lose? He concluded, absolutely nothing.

To read more of Going Home visit: