Friday, January 26, 2007

Bolton Wanderers grab Slovak duo

FYI FC Senec is near Bratislava - nowhere near this ground, FK Poprad. However, it's a joy to watch a football match with the mighty Tatra mountains looming in the background.

Bolton have snapped up two ace Slovak footballers, Ľubomír Michalík and Zoltán Harsányi from FC Senec.
Centre-back Michalík, 23, is a Slovak international and has signed a three-and-a-half year deal.
This could pave the way for Bolton defender Tal Ben Haim to join the magnificent Chelsea back line.
Striker Harsányi, 19, joins the club on loan for the rest of the season.
Bolton boss Sam Allardyce, 'Ľubomír has great presence and looks the part.

Zoltán has great potential'.
Allardyce added, 'I have been impressed with Ľubomír. He is good in the air and has all the right attributes to be a success at this level.

He has also had experience at international level.
We have taken Zoltán on loan until the end of the season with a view to a permanent deal.
From what we have seen, he has all the natural ability to make it at this level.
He is one for the future and over the next few months we will get a good chance to assess him. His pace and movement is very good and he likes to take on the opposition.
Zoltán Harsányi's name indicates he is probably ethnic Hungarian, making him one of the few talented Magyar focistas to make it in the English premiership.

Only Zoltán Gera, moving as we speak, from West Bromwich Albion to Middlesbrough, is any good.
Goalkeeper Gábor Király (Crystal Palace/Aston Villa, for their sins) is one of the worst footballers ever to step on a pitch and only stops the occasional goal because his almighty mass of blubber, clothed in ridiculous jim-jams, gets in the way of the shot as he wobbles to the ground.

Good for comic value but little else.
Much like Magyar foci.
RIP Ferenc Puskás.

By the way, they've all missed the boat.

Chelsea already have the best Slovak footie talent in the reserves and about to make a first team appearance any day: 17-year-old Miroslav Stoch, a brilliant winger from Nitra.
You have been warned.
Check out Stoch's website to see how good he is at keepie-uppie!!!!

FC Senec plays in the Corgoň Liga, the top division of Slovak football.
There are 12 teams in the league.
At the end of the 2005/06 season three clubs were promoted from the Slovak Second Division when the top division expanded to 12 clubs for the 2006/07 season.
The Slovakian Corgoň Liga was created in 1994,
once the country became independent from the former state of Czechoslovakia.
MFK Ružomberok are the current Slovak Corgoň Liga champions.

Bloomin' Somerset

In the absence of sunlight, life-enhancing chemicals or any kind of urge to put gnarled finger to keyboard - after 15 years of editing newspapers, magazines, writing several tomes, guidebooks on Central Europe and generally wittering on, can you blame me? - FourBees takes this opportunity to present a tiny slice of FourBees mama's garden in deepest, darkest Somerset.
La Plus Grande Abeille has frighteningly green fingers, if only FourBeesAcres in Anderlecht could be as verdant and fertile.
Come the spring, who knows....?

Three ©FourBees garden-pix

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Brno family get their drawings back

The family of Brno lawyer, Dr Arthur Feldmann, will get back three drawings seized by the Gestapo in 1939 and now at London's Courtauld Institute.
The drawings, A Lion, attributed to Carl Ruthart (1630-1703), A Dog Lying Down, attributed to Frans van Mieris the Elder (1635-81), and An Architectural Capriccio, attributed to Giuseppe Bibiena (1696-1756), were bequeathed to the Courtauld in 1952.
The Nazis looted the drawings from Dr Arthur Feldmann's villa in Brno on the day Germany invaded Czechoslovakia in 1939.
Dr Feldmann and his wife were forced to leave with just a suitcase.
The prominent Jewish lawyer was later arrested and tortured.
He died in 1941.
Dr Feldmann's family have kept two of the drawings and presented the one attributed to Van Mieris to the Courtauld.

The three old master drawings were included in a lot sold at Sotheby's in 1946 and are now valued at between £8,700 and £12,000.
It is not known how they came to Britain.
According to Sotheby's they were consigned on behalf of an anonymous collector by a firm of solicitors in the Channel Islands which no longer exists.
The institute did not know they were stolen.

For more on Brno, check out NvB: Bored in Brno

A FourBees Brno update

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Beautiful Levoča

This is for NvB: Bored in Brno (although that's not physically or philosophically possible!).
Levoča is a Spiš town of the finest ilk.

A ©FourBees digital pic

Bringing you the gen on Spiš towns

There are 24 Spiš towns in eastern Slovakia.
The historic Spiš Region stretched from the Prešov region in the northeast of the country, even slipping into south Poland for a few kilometres, south almost towards the Hungarian border to Rožňava in the Košice region.

Pronounced ‘spish’, it is one of the most picturesque regions in the country.
For many hundreds of years, Spiš flourished with a semi-autonomous status within the Hungarian kingdom. Each county developed independently from the next.
Spiš county could be compared to a Swiss canton.

It has its own self-government and a peculiar culture.
It had its own dialect, folk-dress and verbal communication.
Spiš has always been a melting pot of cultures and religions in a positive way.
In the 12th century German settlers arrived, received royal privileges and traded successfully. Hungarians also appeared in the south of the Spiš region, where the Polish-speaking Gorals settled in the north.
Rusyn and Ukrainian settlers settled in the more mountainous parts in the 14th century, bringing not only culture but a distinct religion and style of sacral architecture.
There were also many Jews particularly around Huncovce and also Roma came in the 15th century adding to the vibrant, creative cosmopolitan mix.
The jewel in the Spiš crown is Levoča.

A ©FourBees digital pic

Friday, January 12, 2007

Brushing Spišská Sobota clean

Saturday morning in Spišská Sobota.
A ©FourBees digital pic.
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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Beating in Spišská Sobota

Four Bees, la Grande Abeille, has buzzed a little too enthusiastically over the past couple of months; what with finishing an epic book, compiling a travel guide on Bruxelles, moving house and entertaining her elderly but still overly-energetic mother from Dorset for two weeks.
The darling Internet was neglected but now I feel the urge to share and spread my honey once more (yerk).
Here is a picture of my role model, beating out all her Slovak angst on a fabulous piece of carpet one April Saturday morning in Spišská Sobota. I think we all could learn a lot from her technique.

Actually, if the truth be told, she isn't beating at all, but hosing (and making a right mess of the back streets of Spišská Sobota), but hosing doesn't fit the Four Bs themed title and the general attitude of necessary agression, needed for the job in hand.
Pani Hose-Wielder is wearing a spendid example, in delicate floral patterns, of what is known in Hungarian as an 'otthonka', which is a delightful cover-a-multitude-of-sins-and-pulcritude-in-one-tasteful-polyester-creation, also known
in Portugal as a bata.
If we were to bang on linguistically again, Baťa (pronounced 'batcher') is also the name of a long-running chain of Czech shoe shops....the links are eternal.
The carpet must also be mentioned for its subtle references to Joan Miró, the sea and reflecting acutely the angles of the garden gate, verandah and fence.
And check out the mini-me carpetette alongside just waiting for the hose-down.
The whole ensemble is a joy.

FYI: The gorgeous, medieval village of Spišská Sobota is classified as a suburb of Poprad in north-east Slovakia, which doesn't do justice to its architectural gems, including a fabulous, lost-in-time village square, church with separate belfry and carvings from the workshop of Master Pavol of Levoča plus a clutch of excellent restaurants and pensions.

You lucky demons can fly direct from Stansted to Poprad on SkyEurope airlines; cheap 'n' cheerful and packed with Slovak tottie. How can you say no??

A ©FourBees fashion snap.