More and more Czechs are taking up slacklining. A woman is in big trouble after attempting to smuggle three banana plants to Australia in her undies! And, a spooky dinner – why are those chicken bones shining in the dark?! Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarová.
Czech anglers are green with envy. This autumn’s record catch has gone to a woman – 38-year-old Anna Balounová - who last week pulled a prize huchen from the Otava river in southern Bohemia. This species of freshwater fish is the biggest in the salmon family and although it was once plentiful in Central Europe it is rarely seen nowadays. Anglers catch two to three specimen a year. Certainly no one in the country can boast a catch of this size – the huchen was 1 meter 22 centimeters long and weighed 15 kilos. Although Anna first started fishing with her father at the age of two she says she has never come across a huchen in her life and was shaking at the knees when after a half hours struggle she finally managed to reel it to the river bank.
A Czech family who dined on roast chicken this week was somewhat shocked to discover that the chicken bones which they took out to the dog late that evening shone a luminous green in the darkness. The spooky bones have been turned over to the hygiene office which is conducting tests, but the family was assured that the meat they had consumed was not in any way a health hazard. When the news was aired on commercial TV Nova this week several people working at poultry farms said they were not unaware of the problem and claimed it was the result of antibiotics which chickens were fed in order to get them to put on weight faster. Well, luminous chicken bones may be great for Halloween, but I think I’ll start buying bio chickens as of now.
A two-year-old beagle called Jack has just proved that not only cats have nine lives. Jack likes to wonder about and occasionally gives his owners the slip. Last week he decided to leave the flat through the bedroom window – located in the second storey of a block of flats. Mercifully he landed on all fours and a visit to the vet confirmed that there wasn’t a scratch on him. The vet said he could thank the fact that he was in great shape, but he has advised Jack’s owners to keep their windows closed in the future.
Ten years ago nobody knew what it was – now slacklining has a growing number of fans in the Czech Republic. The sport emerged in the 1970s in the United States and its name accurately describes the activity involved – basically it is like tightrope walking on a slack line, a line that it dynamic instead of being taunt, shifting and bouncing under one’s feet and making it extremely difficult to keep one’s balance. The two ends of the nylon webbing are stretched between two anchor points and the line’s tension can be adjusted to enable a variety of feats. The sport was first brought to Europe by the Austrian mountaineer Heinz Zak and it was his book Between the Earth and the Sky that sparked an interest in slacklining in the Czech Republic. Today there are some two hundred people practicing the sport, up from 50 last year and its popularity is spreading fast. The majority are lowliners, only about thirty of the best – usually professional mountaineers –engage in highlining, stretching their lines high above ground anchored to tall trees or mountain ridges. Forty year old Jiří Janoušek – who pioneered slacklining in the Czech Republic- says walking out on the line is a battle against one’s self-preservation instinct. He says that what attracts him to the sport most is that it is novel and nobody knows just yet where its boundaries end. At forty he may not be up there for very much longer but already kids are lowlining in gardens – ready to test those boundaries when the time comes.