Drinking, smoking, swearing, fat-foods, fast-foods, betting and speeding. These are among the many things people consider giving up for Lent. Despite being raised as a Catholic, I do not go along with it - like New Year's resolutions, they are token gestures made in a fleeting moment of guilt. No, I like acts of resolve rather than assertions of resolution. So I will continue to smoke, eat fat- and fast-foods and bet .... from here, via Easter, even until eternity. I haven't drunk for ages and I really do do my very best not to speed apart from when I am trying to get to the last luxury before my family closes in on the goodie in question.
However, for London, I would like to propose an under-taking for Lent - can we all collectively give up violent crime and acts of inhumanity? And, if the next 40 days go well, stick to it? That way people wouldn't need to import vile and violent weapons like the "hand-spikes" we report on tonight: gloves with foot long blades attached - a cross between Freddy Kruger's foul finger nails and the bits that extended out of the Wolverine's hands in X-Men. They exist, are available on the internet, and attempts have been made to import them to an address in London. Customs intervened, thank goodness; but we ask why, in the first place? Tamsin, more of an elbow length, white glove girl, wonders what the world is coming to.
There is goodness out there, too, however: some kids found a newborn baby, wrapped in a plastic bag, in a stairwell. They did the right thing and the babe is making slow but steady progress. Hard to imagine what is going through a young mum's mind right now but the Boys in Blue don't want to chide her, they want to find her as they have fears for her well-being. Help Marcus help them at 6.
I've never liked the expression "they behaved like animals" because many animals behave much better than many humans. However, some are seriously unpleasant like the one who inflicted an injury on Roger the horse. But thankfully some of The Good Guys brigade came to his rescue and he is now doing his bit to put a little equestrian sunshine into the lives of some disabled and under-privileged children. Liz cries, Hi Ho Silver! and then re-phrases it Hi Ho Roger! as she dons her "jodhs" and boots and rides off into the sunset of a better place.
Tim O'Toole is taking the western extension of the District line to the starter point of Crossrail and heading for Heathrow and the USA. He's had enough of London and London Underground: in this, me thinks, he is not alone but, unlike him, the rest of us haven't been running it for 6 years. He is just a Yank who wants to go home, he says. But how come Bozza has let him slip through his fingers and why, if Tim just misses the prairies and amber skies, didn't Bozza set the blood-hounds of succession loose some months ago? Harris, tempted to utter a plea for "anarchy on the Underground", curbs his revolutionary zeal to seek a sensible answer.
The Oz has been to see Clive Owen, a handsome actor I remember from a gambling movie called, I think, Casino: he has a new movie and the Oz is quite taken though she also plays the part of matchmaker in her conversation. It gets close to the line but the Oz stays south of the latitude above which lies sin. That's a relief.
Papers will record the death of David Cameron's little boy - tastefully, I hope; Chrissie will predict with elegance and authority - it's what she does.
And I will attend.
Faye, incase you thought I had forgotten, is part pirate, part Dandino and part Black Shirt today. No thigh-slapping yo-ho-ho yet and not a Fascist cell in her lovely frame. So her wardrobe must be a tribute to the confusion impending motherhood can bring. Or she has given up for Lent...
See you at 6.
Alastair & Alex