Monday, November 24, 2008

Contemplating Christmas

The Beattie family (that’s us) may have taken leave of their senses.

The best holiday we ever had was in China a year after we moved to Thailand. I might blog about it at some point. I wrote two exercise books full and haven’t looked at it since. I rather thought it might be the kind of holiday that you enjoyed after the event. However, it was fabulous at the time. It made me realise what wonderful, adaptable children we’d brought up, who’d learned that they could ‘speak’ an international sign language, and they weren’t afraid to use it. I shall never forget watching Son (who learned ‘Hello’ and ‘thank you’ in Chinese) asking a Chinese waitress, who spoke no English, for a toothpick.

So we’ve been contemplating Christmas… we’re not going home, what shall we do? We toyed with a few things and nothing got me going; until now.

We are exploring the possibility of flying to Moscow, taking Trans-Siberian Railway for five days to Mongolia and then having five days there, before flying home.

Today I emailed the company to see if there is availability. I discovered on the website that it’s -40 degrees at this time of year. Hmmm. I emailed Husband, and this was his response:

-40, that's minus forty degrees centigrade (or Fahrenheit).

You do realise that is level 4 on the Beaufort Beattie Shiver Scale?

Scale shown below:

0 (+5 to 0 degrees) - cold, need jumper and coat,
1 (0 to -10) - bloody cold, need to wear skiing gear. water freezes
2 (-10 to -20) -f**king cold, colder than it gets in the UK, need to wear two sets of skiing gear, rivers and small animals freeze
3 (-20 to -30) - cold isn't the word for it, need to wear arctic explorer gear, icebergs and glaciers form, people and large animals freeze.
4 (-30 to -40) - nowhere this cold on earth, no data, similar to outer space. entire planets freeze.

I should point out, that the Powers That Be decided half way through our childhoods to change the scale, from Fahrenheit to Centigrade, thereby ensuring we never understand either. We were lucky really to understand the new money.


Zinnia Cyclamen said...

I can see why you might want to take that trip; I think it would be absolutely fascinating. But why on earth would you even contemplate doing it in the winter? What's wrong with summer? According to the Interweb, the average summer temperature in Mongolia is 20 degrees C, which on the BBSS is 'warm, t-shirts and shorts'.

Carol and Chris said...

LOL at Husbands response!!

It does sound fab but I have to say that I'm with Zinnia on this one....why would you want to do a trip like that in winter???

C x

BEAST said...


Why are we contemplating doing this in the winter?


JJ said...

Zinnia, I think it might be to do with the constant heat here... but the more I think about it... the more worried I'm getting.

Carol, yes... okay, I don't know.


I think Mongolia was your idea, no?


JJ said...

Husband, you realise now that everyone knows my husband's name is 'Beast'?

Yeah, thanks for that. I thought that was one sordid secret we could've kept off the blog!

Flowerpot said...

I agree with Zinnia - why go when it's cold? Does sound a great idea but not when it's that cold!

Lane said...

Bbbrrrrr. Shivering just thinking about it!:-)

HelenMH said...

Sounds like a great trip. Take lots of duvets and hot water bottles! I'm the same with the metric/imperial thing. Miles, kilometers, ounces, yards - they're all the same to me.

Debs said...

It sounds lovely in theory, but I'm hating the cold that we've got today, and going by R's home weather station thingy, it's 13 degrees (I too do not understand Centigrade or Fareinheit??). That, plus the windchill factor, is, I'm sure, about -40!! To me, at least. Shiver

SpiralSkies said...

Ooh, no, going when it's absolutely properly mind0numbingly icy will be sooo Christmassy.

Can I come?

KAREN said...

And I thought it was cold here today :o)