I am a relieved man. With five days until I go away on holiday, the call I have been waiting for arrived – my Russian, Mongolian and Chinese visas have been approved, and I’m all set. While I’m gone I’ll be leaving you in the extremely capable hands of Dave Roozendaal and Rich Pizor. You’ll have to be gentle with them when they start posting, and in the meantime it’ll be necessary to put up with a few more days of my inane wittering. Apologies.