Admittedly it’s not quite barbeque weather yet – a “fresh” 9°C currently , but when Dee found a local hardware store with coals in stock how could we argue? (The coal/rocks were not on display, of course: “We don’t really put them out because nobody is having barbecues just now.” “Perhaps not, but I’m Aussie.”)  So I’m sitting on the balcony near a raging fire, sipping a beer and watching an England vs. Scotland rugby match on the telly through the window. Occasionally the other spectators – a Scot and a kiwi – explode in cheers, while Dee looks on in studied confusion.

In the morning we headed to Angel Islington, to find the realrussia.co.uk offices. A bit weird — they do the VISA applications over here, but the rest of it seems to be run by the head office in Moscow, and as a result if you need to buy tickets the staff in London can’t really do much more than point you at the website. Fair enough, but weird nonetheless: after speaking to a woman there we decided to come back home and use our own broadband instead. Via an antiques market, of course — Dee loves her antique markets.

A delicious Turkish lunch on Upper Street, then back home for an afternoon of train timetables and spreadsheets. But we’re getting there!

We’ve spent much of the day figuring out our “long way home” trip, starting with the departure time that Natasha from realrussia.co.uk has given us and working backwards. It looks like we’ve got the dates and most of the trains sorted out now, thanks to Dee; for my part I’ve updated this website to be a bit more travel-friendly, with a new WordPress installation and various plugins for Flickr, Youtube and Maps. Our dining table is littered with maps, guidebooks and papers as we bounce ideas and research off each other.