The journey begins...

The day commencing at an unspeakable 5:45, Lorraine and I woke up full of cold and we dragged our cases off to the happily very close National Coach stop. Our coach was 40 minutes late as we found out later the driver could not start it, which was a miserable anxious time waiting in the dark and rain trying to find out if the coach would arrive and hatching plan Bs.

However it arrived and we reached Heathrow quickly and easily despite feeling grim and having streaming colds.  A spot of shopping and some porridge in Heathrow, and then boarded the Virgin plane. We had booked premium economy seats to Japan, paying extra worth every penny when you are confronted with the reality of 12 hours on a plane. We had loads of legroom and I felt less claustrophobic than usual.

Quite a bumpy start to the flight and was slightly juddery. But as I had already taken a precautionary tranquilliser I managed this fairly well. Although for much of the flight felt fairly neurotic, managed to doze off once or twice but then woke with the thought, "shit! I'm on a plane."

Heading east, we quickly flew into the onrushing night. Somewhere in the sky over Northern Russia our truncated day ended and Saturday became Sunday.