Today was an absolute washout, the abysmal weather meaning that we were pretty much consigned to the hostel for most of the day. This was obviously met with great delight by our friendly host, who viewed every minute that I spent on the Internet as an affront to his personal happiness. I never could quite figure out what he kept trying to do whilst he was at the computer, but it seemed to involve watching several Russian news outlets whilst making copious amounts of notes, and telling me that he would be finished in ten minutes, just ten minutes more (which never less than half an hour, and was always issued in French). In hindsight I have absolutely no doubt that he was filing in some kind of report, and that it did not reflect particularly favourably on either of us.
Due to the bad weather we were unable to use the BBQ, but seeing as we didn’t want to eat pot noodles (an ageing kettle being the only ‘cooking’ implement available to us), and that we had some food that needed using up, we were forced to get inventive. After the relative success of lunchtime, when we bpiled eggs by submerging them in boiling mugs of water, we branched out into the world of boiled potatoes and broiled meat. For the potatoes we crafted a mini-boiler out of coffee mugs, aluminimum foil, and a never ending supply of kettle water to boil the potatoes over a 90-minute period. The broiled beef consisted of sealing our remaining hamburgers in a clear plastic bag and then putting this inside the kettle whilst it boiled over and over and over again. The result, when combined with some butter and spices was basically minced meat and new potatoes, a Northern treat which warmed the soul, and no doubt infuriated Mr. Happy as he retreated to his room to selfishly use the hotplate and other assortment of kitchen paraphanelia that he had refused to share throughout our stay.