Think of this as a Fashion Blog, with a bit of a TravelBlogue thrown in.

So you’ve gathered it’s cold here, St Petersburg was very cold, Helsinki (oops where’s the blog for Helsinki – coming I promise) had the most snow in more than 100 yeas, so it was even colder, but Lapland – we’re on another level of cold up here.

One must dress appropriately for the cold.

Plan your wardrobe carefully,

Think Layers,


Here’s the strategy for a sightseeing wardrobe:-

Layers for your body


It’s all in the detail

Layers for your feet


Layers for your hands



Layers for your head



Then you can go meet these guys,

(Note – no way I was taking off gloves and digging out glasses to take photos  –  sorry they are a big blurry)

Have a good look at their faces



The rest of the photos are rear views only



While you’re here, how amazing are the trees?


They run so fast it started to get even colder


Someone’s regretting not wearing all those layers


Just as fingers and toes lost all feeling

Lunch was served inside a log hut, in the forest,

with authentic heating.

Note the people in the background demonstrating how warm the fire was NOT.

But too many coffees required a Comfort Stop after lunch,
Which of course had to be taken back outside
Naturally one had to rug up again to go outside and pee
Georgie ignored the rule that boys pee on trees and girls go to the loo
She chose the tree option
(PS  You have no idea how much I wished I owned a willie at pee time at -22C)
And she got so cocky she tried to cadge a lift home on a snowmobile instead of the dogsled
But in the end, it was dog’s bums all the way home for our Georgie.
I have to say the Dog Sledding adventure was amazing.
The dogs really do love to run and pull.
No RSPCA intervention needed for the Siberian Huskies we visited and sledded with.
They live to 13 at least,
They each have a private kennel
They have hot meals 3 times a day
They have enforced days off
They have full hospital facilities
The only injuries they suffer are from rough play with each other, and guess which dogs get injured that way?
Yep – the young males!
They are very clever, the girls of course are the smartest ones.
I’m just rushing off to Santa’s village now.

Waiting for Internet, it’s coming, apparently ….

Sorry everyone, I’m internetless, can’t blog, can’t load photos.

Can’t work or email either, that’s not so hard to bear though.

I think I should be on top of the by Christmas Eve ,in time to send Santa Photos.



PS – this was possible due to a teensy window of opportunity.


St Petersburg, yes it’s cold!

When I work out how to remove the date stamp in the camera I will. No-one needs to tell me the dates for these photos are out of synch!
So, I could tell it was going to be cold when we landed in St Petersburg.

You have to run from the car into the hotel.
Only Georgie braved (0r is fat enough to brave) the cold for a photo op.
But even she had to thaw out here.
Before the sightseeing could commence
The footpaths had to be cleared.

And remembering dire warnings about Death by Falling Icicle
(as opposed to Death by Falling Coconut in Townsville)
Some local guys dealt with those hazards as well.
Finally outside we looked for the Hermitage (aka The Winter Palace).
It’s situated right on the banks of the St Petersburg River
(which of course I forgot the name of – so I’ll duck over to Wiki and report back)
and it’s the Neva River.
But where is the Neva River?
Someone eventually pointed out the Neva River is there – just ………..
Frozen, just like us.
Time for soup.
Which they do well in St Pete’s,
they fill it up with lots of good stuff
(probably meat and vegies – I wasn’t asking)
And some non-Australian Prawns which, never-the-less were
Still too cold to go back outside so
Georgie had a quick chat with Santa
Then they both played Cafe Society and watched St Petersburg walk by.
Churches were next on the agenda.
Particularly pretty pastel blue ones.
Inside had to be warmer than outside, you know how Churches warm up your heart, and nether regions
BUT be CAREFUL,  you have to be wary when lingering around Church doorways in Russia,
you don’t want to end up downtrodden.
After the dangers of Church, a sleigh ride was a cinch.
A local wanting a photo op with Georgie

Everything and more about the Qantas A380.

I’ve had computer problems everyone, sorry about the delay in posting.  Hope I’ve solved it.  Here’s the flight to St Petersburg.

Sorry it’s a long post and probably full of typos, it’s after midnight, I’ve battled with the Apple and Internet demons and am V. Sleepy.

To everyone who wanted lots of photos of the A380, here they are, to everyone else, sorry to be a bore.



Checked in at Sydney Airport

As she had a passport, Georgie got the red carpet check in treatment.

Found this garden on the way to the lounge, Georgie forgot she was a passenger and acted like a bird!

Another Check in counter upstairs - Ooooh this is flash!

Checking in again, and yes you guessed it - people wanting a photo op with Georgie.

The team at Qantas First in Sydney were wonderful, they looked after me as well as Georgie.  Thanks Susanne, Roger and especially Michael.

What? Georgie? Another check-in counter?

Ahhhhh, this explains it.

? In bed Georgie?

Nope, not exactly, just resting before the flight. Facial and massage here I come.

Aaaahhhh, the tranquillity. (Non-Australians should Google "The Castle".

Our A380

Georgie looked hard at each engine, all ok.

I must say, I had a good look for any singe marks too.

It was ok to board.

Boarding A380 - look stairs.

Cool seats on A380s

Georgie carefully watched the safety demonstration.

And the take off.

She had a drink.

Had a sticky beak in the galley

And a cuppa.

Went to bed

And slept like a baby

Got off in Singers, and then back on, thought she’d check out the Cock Pit, but chickened out!
Took off again, too tired to watch it on tv again.

Freshened up in the Loo.

Checked out the lift in the galley. Plenty big enough.

Organised a few things in the Flight Manager's Office

Found another staircase, a curvy one.

Look a snack bar.

That filled in an hour and a half.  Only 11 hours to go.  Sleeping and reading was done. Maybe some talking to the flight crew and anyone else I  find awake during the night.  Well of course  I talked, and talked and talked – I’m me!

10 hours later, brekkie.

Nearly there, time to start looking out for Blighty’s house.

Blighty, I'm looking for you, flash your front verandah light.

Can't see you in the London fog Blighty.

Can I see your house from Terminal 5 Blighty?


Horses. Horses? In an airport?

Another bloody plane.

Where's my TV and Pyjamas, and drink, and peanuts?

Bye Blighty, I looked everywhere for you.

Hello St Petersburg, you look cold!

We’re on our way to the North Pole.


None of the birds or dogs at our place had a passport so travelling to foreign lands was not an option for them.


Georgina the Townsville Galah, sister of George B was allowed to travel so she’s doing the big trip to see Santa with us.

Getting away was tricky for Georgie though. Dodgy Brother 1 fell in love with her the night before our departure and the two of them disappeared into the garden for an hour or so.

Georgie reappeared looking slightly the worse for wear (thanks Arnie B), but it was nothing a quick shower and a blow dry couldn’t repair.


Georgie's version of the magnificent Parlux Hairdrier (strongly recommended by Faux Fuchsia)

I think she’ll be able to handle cold places, like me she’s well padded in all the right places!

I did learn that being pink and fluffy opens a lot of locked doors for a girl!

Soft,fluffy pink girls get taken to all the good places.

And unlike me, people just fall all over themselves to get a photo op with Georgie.


Faux Fuchsia takes such tempting food photos I thought I’d give it a shot too.

A Galah has to keep up her strength, even if she’s not flying herself to Sydney.

A few years ago, we found out the hard way that Sydney taxi drivers do NOT like short fares to the nearby airport hotels.  (On that occasion I think we were fortunate we did not speak the foreign language used to voice the cabbie’s disgust with us).

How to get to the airport Hotel?

Older and wiser, this time we used the airport hotel Shuttle Service. They have 2 way radios.  (????? in North Qld we use mobile phones, but whatever.)

Georgie called up a couple of charmers.

Thanks Sydney Shuttle Services. 

Another couple of guys chasing Georgie for a photo op.

Sunday morning, the really big trip is about to commence.

Checking flying conditions for the A380 to St Petersburg.

So, I’ll talk to your from Russia, soon!


TEsting, testing, TEsTinG? Is this thing working yet?

It’s getting very sultry up here in Townsville,

Some of us are starting to break out the Champers and remove our clothing,

While others are dreaming of a white Christmas

Some are not just dreaming about it, they are going to do it, in a place where they’ll have to wear a bit more than the standard Aussie ski gear

But it will be worth getting all rugged up, because we are going to meet this old bloke

At his house in Lapland, on Christmas Eve, before he packs the sleigh and heads off to Australia.  We’ll be popping in for a cuppa.

Meanwhile back at home, we do have some sulkers 

Who do not co-operate and wear Christmas decorations at Christmas parties and run away and sulk upstairs when the guests arrive

But this older and wiser boy, 15 and three quarters, knows how to get a cuddle and plenty of food at a party.

It’s all about dressing appropriately, (he’s been reading Faux Fuchsia obviously)

If you are reading this, and I sincerely hope you are not, because it’s my first go at blogging and I have (sigh) no-one to help me with this, and it’s much harder than reading other people’s blogs,