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Friday 13th(!) Feb

Good afternoon.

To a scout, it's the "woggle"; to a sailor, "bell-bottoms"; for medics, "stethoscope and white coat"; and with city types, it used to be "a bowler and brolly". Sartorial branding is important: you wouldn't want to ask a scout to do brain surgery nor a consultant to do a sheep-shank, would you? Ergo, the identifying "kit" to help you ask the right thing of the right person. The "brolly", or umbrella, I imagine was a nod to our consistently inclement weather. But the logic of the bowler in this unique combination is beyond me. A curiously British version of the American "derby" hat, as worn by Paul Newman in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", it replaced top hats among gentlemen riding to the hut who had got fed up losing their toppers to long-hanging branches - not as fed-up, perhaps, as the foxes who lost a lot more to low hanging hounds. But why in the city? Anyway, my personal experience of the bowler is that my dad (he gets around - he was flying Gloucester Javelins in yesterday's blog) wore one when, as a serving officer in the RAF, he "flew" a desk for three years at the Ministry of Defence. I think he was a spy with "stock-broker" as his under-cover "legend" but that is probably a fantasy of mine. Why Robin will be wearing one at the end of the programme will become as clear as a winter's night but you'll just have to wait. It will be worth it.

Whether the NHS's mighty, pan-England, number-crunching, file-collating, patient-organising computer is worth the £12 Billion it has cost will be less clear when Glen, an aficionado of the abacus and quite anti even the pocket calculator, hears from the London hospital boss who says it is a costly nightmare. 40 extra IT-problem solving staff and fewer patient appointments were not, I am sure, what the NHS managers had in mind and they are not being seen at The Royal Free as an unexpected bonus. The name Royal FREE has a certain irony, I think you'll agree, when you hear our witness explain how much it is costing him to deal with a computer which is about as welcome as food poisoning at Christmas.

It is to be hoped that Zorro the Zebra shark from Belgian will be a little more welcome by the "lady-sharks" of London's exquisite aquarium. He is a bit of a Casanova among sharks - the Dirty Den of the deep - and has been putting the fear of God into the "lady-sharks" of Bruges, or Brussels, or wherever he was swimming before. (Did you know sharks have to keep moving, all the time, or they sink and drown?) Anyway, given it is Valentine's Day I hope Zorro has brought some of those lovely chocolates his mother-country is renowned for else his ardour may be seriously cooled. Lewis, the matinee idol of Mumbles, is our Mayor of Amityville.

We've quite a bit of football that seems to involve a dutchman who is a big Gouda in Russian and about to hold sway over The Bridge; Al Fayed's lot crossing the Severn Bridge, assuming it has re-opened; and bubbles being blown on Teeside. If you are a fan, you'll understand that lot and if you are not, you won't, in your bemusement, care.

The family of Jean Charles De Menezes do care deeply that, yet again, but probably for the last time, they have been told no-one will face charges over the killing of their son. Move on? You couldn't, could you? Marcus brings closure to our coverage if not to the family's grief.

No grief in our film review which involves a hamster called Rhino who is a stalker-esque fan of a dog on tele. I've seen it and love it but Robbie may demur - if he does, there'll be a fight. The Oz and I are both total softies for animals and text each other about the best funny animal pictures in the papers. I've just realised how sad that sounds but it keeps us happy and Orange in profit. And the other film is Hotel for Dogs - about which I know nothing but sense it is all in the title.

The Oz will also do a What Not To Miss, which is, in itself, not to be missed. Robin, I've mentioned. The papers, I haven't - so I will: we'll have the front pages of all three unless there's a strike, a paper shortage or the Russian's gone missing.

And we'll have the latest from the compelling trial of Foxy Knoxy and her Italian lover, charged with killing poor Meredith Kercher. The trial only happens on Fridays because one of the lawyers is an MP in Rome and is tied up, Monday to Thursday, passing laws no one pays any attention to, given what I know of Italy and Italians. And we think we've got trouble with our lot!

That should set you up for a wonderful weekend.

See you at 6 - I hope!

Alastair and Alex