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Weds 4th Feb

Good afternoon.

Most mornings, I buy eight newspapers. In the evening, going home, I buy the Standard, bag "thelondonpaper" from the stand at Waterloo and then hunt for a discarded copy of "Lite" on the vacant seats on my train. It costs me a fortune but I do it to keep up to date.

I am confused by the economics of what has happened at Associated Newspapers. They own the Evening Standard and Aleksandr Lebedev, who is certainly considerably richer than I am or will ever be, has just bought the paper for a pound. I gather , for his pound, he gets the entire output of the presses until such times as he sells. He now "owns" the paper. Apart from being an oligarch - a member of a tightly knit group of like minded, wealthy influential individuals, wielding collective power for a common purpose - he is also a former KGB spy. Now say what you like about Rupert Murdoch (well, within reason: he has fine lawyers) and think what you will about the Barclay brothers (the "think" bit is good advise as they have even better lawyers) but, to the best of my knowledge, Rup' never spied for Australia and the Barclay Twins never spied for the Channel Island of Sark ... which they own. What is happening to this great industry? Robert Moore, ITN's European Correspondent and Phil Bayles, our "getting into work" correspondent, have joined forces to solve this riddle, wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

Which takes me neatly to a wheel-clamping saga of similar ilk - the riddle is why a man parked at a gas station whilst going to get a sandwich; the mystery is why the clampers sprung at his car, clamped it and charged £465, rising at £80 a half hour, until he paid up and move, despite the objections of the gas station owners; the enigma is why the man refused to budge. Liz makes sense of it, a titanic achievement in its own right, and we ask you to solve the e=mc2 of London parking with your thoughts in e-mail form... or e=mc2 form.

Less complex is the Rail operating companies explanation for fare rises hugely above the rate of inflation - it is because they need the money and it is because they can. MPs are taking a different and rather dim view. Harris, a democrat, commuter and passingly good mathematician, has been giving ear and will share. Methinks his analysis will be clearer and crisper than the Rail companies complex fare structure that make the full proof of e=mc2 look like the two times table.

Give them a bit of snow, however, and all becomes clear - they shut down. So when a splendid radiographer from Kent headed to do his wonderful, lead-apron clad work at Guys, he couldn't. He had less chance of getting to work than an alpha, gamma or even X ray has of getting through his apron. An inspiration to us all, he did the Good King Wenceslas bit and, without even a page coming hither and standing by him, trode off through the deep and crisp and even stuff. I'll say no more than to urge you to follow Lewis' explanation of one man's achievements over the brute force of nature and Network Rail. It is inspiring. His achievement. Not Network Rail's.

Robin is on the roof. Serves him right, and at least he won't get stuck at home... though I suppose he might get stuck up there. Oh, well: he'll know and share.

Marcus goes to a restaurant where you pay what you want for the food you eat. Think about it. You'll be begging for more by the time he finishes.

And Lucy has found another group of musically gifted Londoners raising our collective blues so well that they have called themselves KING Blues.

I think that is it apart from a complex linguistic row between N Power and Westminster City Council that involves electric cars, brand names and the product of crushing fruit. Only Glen, dear readers, only Glen... and he does.

The Oz is quiet. Have I offended her with my reference to Rup' ? Are they related? Is my future made or damned?

Find out at 6.

Alastair and Alex.