Friday, 17 April 2009

St Petersburg Itinerary

Here's the plan for next week..
Olga, Lara and I fly out on Sunday morning, and should be in our hotel by teatime local time, sensibly it's the same hotel that Olga's mum booked us in for the rest of the week, so it'll make a nice change to go on a foreign holiday and not have to keep moving around!
Luda's train arrives early on Monday morning, then we have the morning to ourselves, then an afternoon trip to the Peter & Paul Fortress.

Tuesday is a free day (and forecast to be sunny).
Wednesday afternoon we're off to the Russian Museum.

Thursday is an all-day trip to Peterhof, the "Russian Versailles".

Friday is an afternoon trip to the Hermitage and Palace Square.

Saturday we have an all day trip to the "Tsar's Village".

On Sunday we have a morning visit to the Cathedrals of St Petersburg, then it's off to the airport for an afternoon flight back to London.

St Petersburg Update

Our holiday is rushing up on us, nothing is packed yet, the currency hasn't been ordered, and I've not posted up our itinerary yet. I have checked the weather though, which makes interesting reading! I'll be leaving out the flip-flops and suncream, and packing scarf and gloves..

This is only the three-day forecast, on the BBC site you can get the five-day forecast, and it's suggesting Monday will be "light snow showers" and Tuesday will be "Sunny". Actually, those conditions would be perfect, much better than if it was predicting just grey skies and rain. Snow makes anything look prettier, and sunshine onto snow will make for some spectacular photographs (I'm servicing my cameras today, I'm being very prepared and taking four, which will mean leaving clothes out of my suitcase to make room... how we suffer for our art!).
I'm getting used to Russian weather - it did snow in June in Petrokamensk, after all, and that was at a lower latitude than St Petersburg.

Mishka's not going to be abandoned, Lucy is having a week's holiday from Reading and coming to house- and dog-sit for us.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Ticking off those jobs...

So back to work today - for a rest!
The weather finally relented yesterday, and it was lovely from 10am onwards, which was all the better as we went to see some friends in the afternoon who were back visiting the UK after they emigrated to Oz a few years ago (hi Karen & Steve!). It did mean that we had the morning to get some last jobs done in the garden, like trimming the conifers and painting bits of the summerhouse that never got painted last year. I thought I wasn't too bad with heights, and this photos makes it look like I'm not very high up, but it's higher than it looks!!
The weather on Saturday and Sunday was very disappointing, just like Friday - wet! At least it was warm though. I had no choice but to get jobs done, as I'd hired the auger, ladders and scaffolding board until Tuesday. Saturday's job was to erect a fence to keep Mishka off Olga's veg patch. I decided to try and do it properly, by cementing the posts in. Well, it rained all day, I listened to three whole football matches on the radio while digging 6 post holes. That was a fun job in our very clayey, stony soil, and it was only after I'd popped to the DIY store after hole #3 (for more cement!) that I found the tool that made all the difference - a long, heavy pole with a sharp point on one end and a chisel-like blade on the other end. This halved the time it took to dig a 30-45cm hole, and meant that I pretty much finished the whole fence by 7pm, including hanging the gate. Then it was straight to the pub for a well-earned drink with Chris & Cara and back to ours with a Thai takeaway. Here's how the garden looked before and after (one photo taken this morning, with lovely sunshine, typical!!):

Sunday was another wet day, but after a late night on Saturday, and with some friends from Planet Airedale visiting us in the morning, we didn't achieve too much in the afternoon, other than some trimming of hedges, conifers and the apple tree. I did bottle out of trimming as much of the apple tree as we'd like as it got seriously high and I was using a rickety wooden ladder - I'd like to live long enough to see Lara grow up!! Oh, and I fitted the piece de resitance to the new gate - a spring so it closes on it's own, and I improvised a way of locking the gate shut after it turns out some git had nicked the important bolt out of the packet for the gate lock that I'd bought. Some people!!!! Is it sad when fixing a spring and lock are a highlight of Easter Sunday??!