I was intrigued by the news that nation-wide, anti-government demos had taken place across Russia. It wasn't just the size of them - pretty titchy given the total population of Russia - but that they had happened at all! Plus, the fact that they had not been confined just to Moscow and one or two other major cities but were spread across the entire country. Roland Oliphant in The Telegraph provides some of the background including a brief mention of the 'agitator-in-chief', a certain Mr. Alexei Navalny. I have just attempted to read his Wiki entry but it is almost as long as "War and Peace" and after my heroic efforts yesterday in the salt-mines Cribbs Causeway shopping mall (see below) I am knackered today so I didn't read it in detail. Even so, anyone who is prepared to stand up to that gangster in the Kremlin deserves considerable admiration. Alas, my ace Russian reporter, Richard, is no longer living in Russia, he had the very good sense to return to 'God's little acre', but if he reads this perhaps he can give us some background.
Of course, in the main, the Russian people are all too familiar with hardship but let me tell you that what I suffered yesterday was as bad as anything they have ever had to put up with. Mile after weary mile I trudged in the wake of the 'Memsahib' as we hoovered our way through shop after shop after shop. The only good thing was that one of them was Waterstones bookshop and I picked up a couple of good books - so not all bad then!