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Thursday 22nd January

Good afternoon.

I enjoy table games. Scrabble is one which tests lexicography and geometry. Trivial Pursuit is another - when we play at Christmas, distant relatives have been known to pay good money to have my frighteningly bright eldest son on their team. But my favourite is Monopoly - chance, greed and negotiating skills come to the fore but luck can give even the youngest success. We are firm in our view that if you miss someone landing on your property, that's tough. No second chances in the Rackmanesque Stewart household. So when a group of squatters moved into a couple of prime sites on Park Lane, we'd have been round there in a flash, demanding the rent. But, under an extraordinary quirk of British housing law, the squatters are within their rights to be there. Possession being nine tenths of the law is a cliché of merit in this scenario, too. The Duke of Westminster, who owns the freehold to both the "Blue" addresses in Monopoly (though one is an 'area' to be precise) is as nothing in his incandescence, I'd imagine, to the neighbours who like everything neat and tidy. They even tend to keep their fleets of costly cars in dust-covers in the underground car parks of that prime bit of London real estate. Marcus , to the strains of a popular Australian soap and a fine track by the Rolling Stones, explores if "all property is theft" or if squatting is a simple implementation of the Leninist edict "to each according to his needs, from each according to his abilities".

There's a square on the Monopoly board, too, called "Free Parking" - we put all the fines there and, first to land, scoops up the lot. When a band of travellers alighted upon a bit of "Free Parking" near Basildon some years ago, the burghers of that fine New Town, whose political fortunes used to determine the outcome of general elections, gave them a bit of leeway. But, as the encampment spread, they were not best pleased. It all came to a head in the courts and 60 families are now "travelling" again despite being "travellers" who had wanted to end their journeying in the fair fields of that bit if Essex. It isn't as confusing as it seems but it is a fiery as you are thinking. Harris latches a beautifully painted wagon to his flat-truck and investigates.

There was little of the "Community Chest" spirit abroad in Harrow when Molly, an 81 year old pensioner, was mugged for the content of her hand-bag. A sign of the times she had fallen upon are evidenced by the contents - a plastic bag , and that was about it. Her mugging cost her her life but the reaction of some Harrow residents has cost them their reputations. Even Margaret Thatcher said we should follow the Good Book and "not walk by on the other side" but there were scant few good Samaritans in Harrow that day. Ben, Bible in hand, asks why and sees thousands of leaflets being distributed in an effort to jog perhaps guilty memories.

The "Chance Card" came up trumps for a young girl on holiday in Greece but I am not going to say anymore than that, save to insist you stay with us to the very end of the show when Lucy will, from Greece, explain how fortune smiles on the brave.... and the talented.

I also have a European version of Monopoly in which we and the Danes are at the cheap end of the property market - brown for them, light blue for us - whilst the German occupy the dark blue of Park Lane and Mayfair. Humph! Anyway, the Pound's convincing impersonation the sky-diver's choice of currency is slowly moving us up the board as the rest of the world's first choice of holiday destination. How we are gritting our teeth, welcoming the French and taking Europe to the cleaners - all safe in the hands of the entirely unxenophobic Glen.

Finally, the owners of some dogs should get the "Go Directly To Jail. Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect £200" card for the attacks they are not stopping their canines from carrying out on swans. The Duke of Norfolk and the Queen are thought to be furious.

As is Robin who was due to attend a family lunch' but has graciously agreed to come and present his forecast following a slight slip-up in the roster department. We are thrilled and grateful until he actually starts talking rain, wind and coldness.

The Oz is watching me on Countdown and thinks I look nice. I am honoured and not a little thrilled. I used to watch her on Setanta Sport: didn't understand the content but became a huge fan. Maybe we could do a deal over Bond Street and Leicester Square? But I never let my Railway Stations go....

See you at 6. Bring your dice, racing car and boot.

Alastair and Alex