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Friday 29th August

Friday 29th August
Good afternoon.
You can a lot about a person from their taste in refreshments. Never trust a woman who sips Gripe Water in the afternoon, nor a man who disregards the dose instructions on a bottle of Benelyn. They are troubled addicts pretending that "mother's little-helper" will quell their nerves and that a really clear throat is an excuse for gulping sweet linctus as if there were no tomorrow. There may not be a tomorrow at that rate.
I raise this cautionary note simply because, whilst the Big Boss and I are currently enjoying a cup of "builder's-tea", Salma has ordered "an Assam" from the charming man who brings us our afternoon drinks-trolley. Assam? If she smoked, I'll bet it would be Sobranie Black Russians or their oddly coloured Cocktail selection.
Talking of odd colouring, our favourite story of the day involves a pair of fine creatures whose ancestors hailed from eastern Canada and whose breed evolved into a fine example of hunting dogs. They are also lovely to have around the house, which I can personally attest to, and most of them are blondes. Mine was 'chocolate' and named, by the children Charlie Brown. My children are accurate if not a little predictable. Unlike the two "labbies" who grace our programme tonight with their unpredictable skill. Hints, I think, are appropriate: The Beach Boys, 'hanging-five', 'wipe-out' and woodies would all be familiar to them were they human. They are not. They are "labbies", which makes their achievement all the more amazing. You will be glued to your TVs as you see Branston and Pickle do their "thing"... Lucy cries "heel" and we all obey, willingly. 'Spect you will, too.
Blowing up and catching fire were not supposed to be a Bendy-bus "thing" but it is looking that way again. That niggling little problem was supposed to have been sorted which might explain why the powers that be were so keen that the construction workers on an incendiary bendy-bus, up Hackney way, were asked to put their cameras and video-phones away. The run-of-the-mill among them did but one brave lad didn't and we have the fruits of his David Bailey moment. Watch it before clambering aboard that Number 235 tomorrow...
Not that you could have done today if it were one of the 80 routes operated by "First", the bus company. There's a rail company of that name, too, but they don't operate buses, directly - only when their trains are cancelled and we all have to pile on a blooming bus to complete our journeys. Anyway, todays disruption and the threat of more to come all in the elegant hands of LVJ.
In the equally elegant hands of Richard Blackwood are the chances of The South seeing off The North in your metropolitan affections. I thought Les Dennis's case for the North,last night, was slightly weakened by his being a Scouser and by his praising Hampstead for being close to the MI and his escape route north. Richard, who insists on calling it "saafff" London, has no such problems - he is the man and you can hear his plea at 6.
Still being all geographical or cartographical, there's a great North West footy clash this weekend as Spurs take on Chelsea. Arsenal face the delights of Kevin Keegan, his hair, Michael Owen and all that is Newcastle United FC. Fascinating even if you are not interested, if you see what I mean.
You'll be left in no doubt as to what James means when he reviews our movies -"STEPBROTHERS" and "THE STRANGERS". Salma, now finished with her "Assam" and sending out for a moist, linen cloth to wipe her fingers, says "The Strangers" is 'reeeeaaaalllly' frightening: that is how she said it.
What I find really frightening, is that anyone would have put the money up to make Stepbrothers, a film I would avoid like a re-run of whatever the worst ever made film was before this one was finished in the cutting room. But, hey, that's me: James is better informed and more balanced. (Bet he hates it, too.)
I am fond of all three of London's papers but find "Lite" the hardest to get hold of. My man at Waterloo loves the fact I still buy the ES , though my accountant doesn't. Those two and the purple-ish one at 6. Robin, like the forecasting fiddler that he is, is on the roof. (It is a Topol joke. Oh, never mind.) 
Your weekend weather will round this all off but keep your weekend plans open because, once you've seen Branston and Pickle, I think you may be heading for the coast - unless your daddy has taken the T-Bird away...
See you at 6
Alastair "I never wanted to do What Not To Miss" Stewart and Salma "Hollow victory but nice tea" Siraj.