Posted by: Helena Smalman-Smith | January 7, 2012

Day 34: It’s Christmas (somewhere)

For those of you who have already expressed concerns over our mental health, it’s OK, we haven’t lost it completely. Today is the day that Christmas is celebrated in the Russian Orthodox church. Hold that fact.

You may recall that we didn’t get a visit from Santa on 25 Dec – we put this down to the fact that H had lost her socks (yes, Tonbridge, only 1 pair – one travels light on an ocean rowing boat, and anyway, I expected I wouldn’t use them much and haven’t missed them) and thus had none to hang up (as hanging up R’s socks would be certain to drive the poor man away).

The Beeches also pointed out that we didn’t have a sleigh landing pad, so all in all, it’s hardly surprising that he didn’t drop by.

However, after H found the socks a few days later, we realised that we could grasp the 2nd chance with Grandfather Frost, the white fur trimmed, red coat-wearing bringer of gifts in Russia (assisted by his, er, young lady “friend” the Ice Maiden). And sure enough it worked! The pic below shows our filled stocking, next to the marked sleigh landing pad. Of course, it says T not S, because Grandfather Frost calls his transport a “troika”.

By the way – inside were chocolate chip reindeer shortbread. Slightly dismembered, we have to admit, but delicious all the same.

Today’s been a great day for hearing from unexpected people – and also for puzzles.

Ansgar – wow! I was completely amazed to get your text this morning! Isn’t the internet amazing. You’d LOVE this race… By the way, we don’t have any streamlining devices on our rudder, but we do have a Thermos/vacuum flask (not an “isolating chamber 😉 It’s such a hassle to boil water that we have a big session of it in the morning and then fill the Thermos so we can rehydrate meals more easily during the day.

Nicky & Co – we knew you’d been following, but thanks for your lovely words!

And also a huge thank you to Helen’s godmother Helen Brown for her most generous donation to H’s JustGiving page for the Huntington’s Disease Association (info passed on by wonderful Land Team Lisa).

And thanks for both your lively texts, Martin. I feel that the rise and fall of The Atlantic Ocean plc’s dealings may continue to hit this blog’s headlines over the coming weeks…

OK, now on to the puzzles.

First of all, I asked you all for help yesterday with a question in the Hancock’s “LSD – old money” quiz, which was “Part of a Gorilla’s leg” – with the answer being expressed in LSD. I got it during a hot session this afternoon – it’s 0.5d i.e. halfpenny.

I also had an insight into the answer for “Sun, Moon, and star” – 0.75d or 3 farthings!

However, I’m still stuck on the final one which is a “leatherworker”. If I’ve got all of the other clues right, the answer is sixpence farthing. Was there a sum called a “tanner”?

Also excellent new tube station puzzles from the Charleses:

Is Penny Lane= Bank?
And is Othello’s Entrance = Stratford?

We got the others (in the end!)

And Baz, good to have you back with a new set of cheese puzzles. I have to confess I can’t get either “What Cheese was used to coax a bear out?” or “What cheese was used to hide a little horse?” If the latter was “look after a little horse” it could have been Caerphilly…

And finally, R says good luck to all of the J15s with their ergo tests next week. He wants to know the top scores!


  1. Valerie’s reply for Roger Grubb – who is fast asleep on Saturday night. YES a sixpence piece was called a tanner!

    You’re doing so well! So inspiring to us old uns1

  2. Keep up the amazing work, and spirits! I love reading your blog and inspired to ‘Dream it, Do it’ and take action for my goals!

    By the way … am curious … what flag are you flying in that picture?

  3. There was a big article about Row2Recovery in the Sunday Times today. You got a mention too. Tom

  4. Sixpence used to be known as a tanner! So there’s your final answer from a land-locked cousin Sheila. Glad the Troika called!

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