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London Tonight Tonight Monday 16th February 2009

Good afternoon.

I have broken my glasses and am fearful of making a range of schoolboy errors. Bear with me.
In the Olympics, men do not do synchronized swimming and women do not do boxing. I therefore assumed that the lack of spectacles had led me to understand that the Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell wanted to change that. After all, those sports have little enough money for those who have traditionally, in gender terms, given their all in pursuit of precious metal in those disciplines; and the roads of London, come 2012, will be quite busy enough without extra buses full of manic supporters of groups of men who can twiddle their toes whilst floating, upside down, in five meters of water... let alone, a dose of double deckers, groaning under the weight of lasses who like nothing better than seeing members of their own fair sex bringing paralysis to the solar plexis of another fair maid. But, No. Focus has not alluded me - it is what she wants and we will ask her why, having first heard from Harris, who wants close formation aerobatics introduced, asap.

Again, I rubbed my tired eyes in disbelief when I thought I saw a suggestion that London property prices were recovering. It nestled, neatly in my paper, alongside reports from the CBI that this recession would last forever, having left us all, our children and our grandchildren, each owing a cool trillion in taxes. But, no, it is true according to RightMove.com. To make sure, we have asked Kirstie to pop along and give us the definitive view.

My third example of possible ocular deficiency was my understanding that we were doing a piece on the film of a book about addiction to shopping - "Shopaholic" it seemed to be called. Now, call me out of touch or old fashioned but have we not been reporting upon the demise of the high street, the collapse of Woolworths, the bankruptcy of the Icelandic firm Bauger that owns what was left of our shopping centres? Who, in their right mind, would publish and even make a film of such a book in the current climate? Dear reader, you read a-right: like St Peter, I hear the cock' crow a third time as my denials of a truth are exposed. The book has indeed been published and has now been made into a movie just as we all hit Depression Road, via Recession Row. I wish them well. It is a good book and we will meet it's authoress, Sophie Kinsella. And, according to Lucy, it is a good film - she has seen it. The Oz says she went to see it this afternoon... odd, I was working.
Me thinks the Oz was indulging in a little retail therapy herself under cover of "research". She certainly blushed as she walked past me on the way back into the newsroom as I took coffee with a chum. He wondered who she was, and I wondered where she'd been. And then we returned to the hi-art of West Ham, the micro-tactics of Crystal Palace and the post-Cold War prospects of Chelsea FC... The life I lead.

Two final temptations for you - our Search for Stars continues. I have been excused a role due to the lack of specs - I might confuse an air-raid siren with a basso profundo, or the popping of aerated plastic wrapping with a tap dancer. I am not to be trusted until ocular clarity returns tomorrow.

And then there's Robin - he has a sore throat. I think it is God's punishment for his having inflicted so much cold and dampness upon us all these last few weeks. He must pay the price and, in good time for spring, his dulcets will return.

Faye, (grey top, grey cardy, black trousers - at least that is what I think I see though I suppose it could be akin to Joseph's "coat of many colours" as I may have lost colour perception as well as focus) - is very excited about the programme, as is the Big Boss. I just hope I have been reading the same notes as them. I am excited, too, I just hope it's about the right things.

Only 6 will tell.

Join me and the Oz, unless she is off to give the economy another final touch on the tiller before tea...

Alastair & Alex