A sleeping carriage on the train to St Petersburg
In 2008 Ed embarked on a train journey from Portugal to Vietnam. This journey went via St Petersburg, where he'd been four years earlier on his (long) way back from Khao Sok National Park in Thailand. Back in 2004 he'd been invited to be the first foreign visitor to an underground rock club (Basically just a basement) called Symbiosis by some people he'd met on the metro. At the end of the night they left a map in the back of his Lonely Planet guide that he'd forgotten all about until he was leafing through it four years later.
Mischa rehearsing with his band
He tried to find the club again but it was now a second hand shop. However he did meet Mischa, who was the guitarist in a Russian punk band called Port 812. His other band, Mallory, was rehearsing next door, so Ed went to watch. Afterwards, Mischa and his girlfriend Valya invited Ed to stay with them and their kitten, Lordi (Named after the Finnish Eurovision Winners).
Natasha and Ed's first date was to Purga - a New Year/Wedding themed nightclub
On the 7th March, Mischa was in need of an emergency International Women's Day present after an argument with Valya over a mislaid condom. Ed helped him get something suitable, as well as a gift for Lordi, wrap them and give them. It was 2am, everyone was happy, so Ed naively assumed that it was time for bed.
Instead they all (Except Lordi) headed out to Mod Club, described by TripAdvisor as a Very cheap punk bar, here you will find all the people that could not get into other places. Many young people with local bands and small dance floor.
Ed's train out of St Petersburg
Natasha was one of the people who hadn't got into Achtung Baby, the club next door, so up on the balcony fate and coincidence brought them together. They spent some time together in St Petersburg and then when Ed had to continue his journey, Natasha came to meet him in Moscow.
Natasha and Ed on one of his visits while they were dating long distance
They stayed in touch while Ed made his way to Vietnam and then on to Brett's wedding in Thailand. The trip was written up in the Lonely Planet Trans-Siberian Guide. When he headed back to the UK he stopped off in Russia on the way. They had a long distance relationship, helped in a large part by Skype, before in August 2009 Natasha got a scholarship to do a Masters at London Metropolitan University. She and Ed moved to Brixton, with the Jacks (Howson and Cole) and there they stayed until on April 14th last year Ed invited Natasha to a short film festival at the Ritzy Cinema...