Cyclone 1, been and gone, cyclone 2 coming.

Thanks for emails, calls and texts

Cyclone Anthony went to Bowen and did not throw his weight around too much at all.


now Yasi is coming.

Look where it’s heading

right to Townsville.

I’m hoping Yasi is fickle, loses it’s way, and fizzles out.


I’m not worried for my family, I think our house is big and strong.


But people who live beside Townsville’s beaches are being told NOW, that they should think about evacuating their homes tomorrow.

Panoramic view of Townsville from Castle Hill

These are just some of the beachside areas here in Townsville.


I’m off to buy as much as I can in case we have to take in people who’s homes are evacuated.

Hope they don’t mind tinned food, pasta, rice and UHT milk.

That’s what this guy says we need.

Please cross all your fingers and toes (or “FINGERS AND TOES PEOPLE ” Faux Fuchsia 2010) for Yasi to go away.




Jetlag, 6 days and counting, instead of planes

Even though it’s sunny here at home,

We are getting ourselves ready for two

tropical cyclones

Northern Hemispherians may call them Hurricanes).

We’re supposed to be stocking up but not panic buying.

So I’ve been thinking about ways to travel


are jetlag free


are in places

where there are guarranteed to be




Train rides through the snow on a VERY fast train

so fast – outside looks blurry!

St Petersburg to Helsinki

Then there’s the FLAM

the steepest train trip in the world.

it’s in Norway

and everything about it is spectacularly beautiful

even in the Wintery palette of black and white

and it has great tunnels too

And here’s the station in Voss in Norway

at 10am – dark isn’t it?

And this gorgeous Hotel

is at the station.


you just roll your bag

20 metres along the platform

to the front door,

check right in.

close up of the sign in front of Georgie

How friendly is that?

You can go by bus too

From Rovaneimi to Inari in Finland there’s no other way
so you just settle in and enjoy it.
and look out the window
at the (I promise this is true)
sunrise and sunset
at noon.
Because now you are further north than even SIBERIA.
You could go by truck
But I don’t recommend that way.
Car trips are great
because you see things up close when you stop
Kirkenes – Top of Norway
and way down in the almost tropical south of Norway
you can see these on the side of the road
Outside Voss.
But my favourite transportation
is still this
I loved it
Well, I’m off to hit the supermaket, the hardware store, the petrol station
and NOT panic buy.

Blighty and inTownsville do London

Here’s Blighty

She was so nice,

She picked me up in her own double decker bus.

(and I found out that she’s been keeping her huge family a secret from us).

After all the kids were dropped off at school,

Blighty had a quick wardrobe change.

She was afraid I had snakes in my handbag.

Eventually I convinced her that I was in fact, snake free for the day,

so she took off her hunting gear and Britished it up.

Georgie was channelling Mai Tai in Hermes

Then, Mrs B and inTownsville hotfooted it to Liberty,

the wonder shop that the Glamourous Faux Fuchsia and lots of her fellow bloggers have blogged about.


Mrs B and iT

didn’t get to see much in  Liberty.

At 10am we had a quick coffee in Liberty’s teashop,

when all of a sudden, the 1pm lunch crowd aggressively eyed off our table.

How do three hours just disappear like that?

We found Georgie

who had wandered off and found an Hermes Scarf made specially for Liberty

But even though it was genuine Hermes,

and was reduced from 65 pounds

to 16 pounds

Georgie had to accept that

ORANGE is not her colour.

Mrs B and iT took a tube ride to South Kensington for lunch and a bit of shopping.

Lunch (which was just a sandwich each) took another two hours,

a pattern was beginning to emerge.

Perhaps Mr B and Mr iT were both correct in avoiding the occasion with their dire predictions of gabfests and two women politely trying to interrupt each other’s endless stream of conversation?

B and iT thought they’d better do something productive for the day,

so on to the shopping.

We thought a bit of vintage shopping in London would be just the thing.

Blighty fell in love with this silver, sequinned singlet/babygrow concoction.

Just as Mrs B reached out to try this on, I noticed the previous owner was M. Jagger.


Icky Boy Germs,

so then Blighty thought she’d try the Military Look.

this was my favourite

Although Blighty wavered and wondered if Mr B would prefer this

a couple of  Clementines (mandarins to us Aussies)  in the bodice

would be just the thing.

MRs B convinced inTownsville to buy this

Just the thing for Townsville.

Suddenly it was 5pm,

a scary time to be catching the London Underground.

Down into the bowels of the earth we ventured,

us, and 374,000,000 other Londoners.

Catching a tube is serious business in rush hour,

but luckily Mrs B and iT managed to snag 3 little cubs (boy and girl scouts)

a magnificent trio of 8 year olds who wrangled us through the scary peak hour commute.

The highlights for me?

Blighty is the nicest sweetest person you’ll ever meet.

She’s tiny, never believe any of her posts about “sucking in” and all that rubbish.

Blighty is really pretty and has gorgeous straight hair, I’m so envious.

Pre Boys 1 and 2,

Blighty was an INTERNATIONAL CORPORATE LAWYER, and she’s really SMART.

Blighty speaks MANY languages.  I heard her speak, French, Geordie, 9 yr old boy, Grandma Whacker, The Delightful B (Mr B’s cousin), 3 year old London toddler, Turkish London neighbour, Outer London bedroom suburb supermarket check-out operator, Russian Bank Teller – all with ease and skill.

All the best everyone?




Redecorating ideas from St Petersburg.

This is a decorating post for the lovely AM, who built a wonderful house.



If you are thinking of renovating or redecorating

And you are OVER the Minimalist look,

take a look at some of these tips from the Russian Tsarinas.






Solid Gates Keep out the riff raff.

Can you spot Georgie?






External paint choices


Should match your interior colours

If you live in an area where carpets get damp and musty

Or like me you have 4 dogs

Don’t use rugs,




Have your timber floors designed to replicate rug patterns


We all know that mirrors give the illusion of more space



See how well it works here?

But remember, your mirrors should always be gilded!




In the bedroom you can let your hair down

and have those fine china (and I mean Fine Porcelain)

columns you always wanted.

Along with girlie wallpaper and a girlie sofa




The Living Room walls are for displaying your creativity, and talent for


with silver thread

(that means real silver that tarnishes),

Or if you are thinking gold is better
Use gold thread which (of course) doesn’t tarnish
that’s it for me.
to get to this post done,
while Mr inTownsville is at the London Boat Show
not supervising my WILD internet spending spree.
And I must practice my Hermes Scarf tying skills to tizzy up my travel wardrobe
for the big BLIGHTY fest tomorrow.
Love to all

Georgie does Venice.

After 3 weeks in the land of no sun and no sky, Georgie was very excited to land in Venice.


We didn’t tell her that in Venice there’s no ground.

Just water.

She looked out the window of the B & B

and saw streets of water

We took her downtown and she saw, big streets of water.

To cheer her up, we thought we’d take her out for brekkie in Venice, even though it was still pretty dark.

More streets full of water,



Egads, in a watery city, all the food comes from the water.


And look at this.

And this.

And here’s a man preparing breakfast.

Fortunately some of the shops catered to Aussies and we found a fine selection of  nibbles.

Like these little cakes – no miniature cupcakes for the Venetians!


A chocolate fountain, I know, they are done to death, but this was in a little suburban cafe.

And so much chocolate that for inspiration they made Chocolate Salami.

They also take their marshmallow very seriously.

No white and pink pillows in Allens Packets,

in Venice you do ROPES of Marshmallow.

The Venetians also take their fashion very seriously.

Look at this young couple.

And this young pup.



Even the grannies look seriously stylish, even if they are just nipping out for bread.

And the grandpas are not left behind in the style stakes either.







How to Find the REAL Santa Claus. (Christmas is only 354 days away you know).

The hunt for Santa in Lapland.


First check that you are on the Arctic Circle (and get it confirmed in English too)



Find the enchanted forest in Lapland, the one where you get a flash of sunlight right on 11am.



Find the special trail where Santa’s elves have sprinkled seeds for the hungry forest birds who did not fly south for the winter.


(Although I hardly think Georgie cuts the mustard as a HUNGRY FOREST BIRD)

Meet Santa’s reindeer herder, and undergo special initiation ceremony.


Special Note here – turns out Santa does not use a GPS to navigate his way around the world.  In Lapland you can undergo a special initiation ceremony so that Santa will always be able to find you.

I’m sorry it’s a secret ceremony, so I am not allowed to tell you exactly what happens or to show you the Reindeer Herder’s face.


Then you drive your own Reindeer Sleigh further into the Enchanted Forest


After a long, cold journey you arrive at Santa’s Post Office where you have a bit of a sit down and a fireside chat with a plump reindeer.


Then you want to go through all the mail and see if you can find your letter from Australia

Lot of mail here to check through.

Jump up on to the top of the mail sorting shelves for a closer look

Here’s the Australian Mail!

I know you’re not supposed to read other people’s mail, but it can be very interesting to see what other people have asked Santa to bring them for Christmas.



Then you have to be very, very, very good for another whole year!

Here comes the sun, the sky and the INTERNET!

Yesterday we sailed straight into a clear blue sky and saw – THE SUN!

And here it is, hot off the press.

By my calculation it was 19 days since we had last seen either the sun or a blue sky.

There was major cause for rejoicing let me tell you!

People/Person travelling with me suggested my temperament was evidence of a  SEVERE deficiency of sunshine.  (Blighty, take note of that little gem).  Something to do with a non-existant sense of humour, a total unwillingness to smile or talk to people on the boat, the ease with which I was irritated by all and sundry.

Isn’t it wonderful to be able to blame all that on a lack of sunshine?


So, it turns out that Norway looks like this:



and this


Not just this:


and this:


And houses look like this:

and this

as well as this


In sunlight the trees are actually green, look at these babies

And these poor cousins without leaves or sunshine

Can you believe that even the boats in Norway look much better in Sunshine

Sad boat with sunshine deficiency syndrome.


You know, even shops like to show off in sunshine.

But  when you live right up North (where the sun don’t shine) you can gussy up the shops with pretty lights
We did see the Northern Lights
That’s a photo of a 3D postcard.
Here’s my genuine photo
I promise
a) they were there and we did see them
b) if you wiggle the computer around and look upside down you WILL see some green.
Stay tuned,
lots more posts coming.
And here’s a snippet of something wildly exciting.
Bronny and Bee have relatives in Northern Norway