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Latvia is a country in the Baltic region of northern Europe. Established as an independent state in 1918, it was for most of the Twentieth Century occupied by the USSR. It became free in a series of peaceful demonstrations and referendums between 1987 and 1991 and joined the European Union in 2004. With a population approaching two million, it has one of the fastest-growing economies in the EU.

In May 2014, Beth Tinker flew to the country for a breast-enhancement operation funded by a reward she had earned for saving an old lady, Maureen Rothwell, from being mugged. On her return she was characteristically quiet and eventually confessed that she had been unable to go ahead with the procedure.

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