On cold showers.

The hot water came back on today*.

Russian flats have communal heating and hot water systems and every year in the summer the boilers are turned off for maintenance for anything from two weeks to a month. Guess who timed their visit to coincide with this? Only a person who hadn’t been in Moscow over the summer for a long time could have thought that July was a good month to visit.

Still, if you must survive without hot water for a month you would prefer it to be in the middle of a heatwave rather than, as happens with your communal heating and hot water system back in Britain, in the middle of winter, which is when the largely unserviced boiler invariably packs up.

Of course, in these sweltering temperatures cold showers actually start to sound like a good idea.

They do require a certain technique though. You recommend starting by washing your hair. Upside down so the full shock of the cold water doesn’t hit straight away but you start to cool down. You tend to start to feel giddy about half way through as your body temperature plummets, but there is a blissful five minutes or so after you have finished when you are, for the first time since the last shower, actually not uncomfortably hot.

It is, however, quite distressing how warm the floor, your clothes and, in fact everything you then touch feels.

*Or not. See What I did on my holidays part 1.