Got a wedding coming up? Want to spruce up your home? Need help in getting that "just-right" gift for someone special? A new company called 'pleaseandthankyou.co.uk' might be just the ticket. On the other hand, you may feel a little less enthusiastic when you learn that the 'daddy' of 'Wrapit' is involved.
'Wrapit' was the company that went bust, breaking many a bridal heart when the nicely crafted wedding gift lists, which inspired acts of real generosity on the part of the best buddies of many lovely couples, came to nothing.
We have just had an interesting debate - not quite Milton Friedman's monetarists VS Maynard Keynes public spenders, but valid, nevertheless: in America people who see their businesses go "bust" are encouraged, yes encouraged, to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and start all over again. It is the fuel of free enterprise, the high octane propellant of the free market. Here, we are a bit more "once bitten, twice shy" aren't we? KD and I were quite "north American" about it whilst Faye, (black patent leather "Pirates of the Caribbean" boots again: "they're comfy", she says, and elegant black cocktail dress), was slightly more "Brit" in her attitude.
Look up "caveat emptor" and I think you'll find KD and I may have the point.
Anyway, Glen, an abacus and Corn Laws man I think, will review the prospects and hear from the cautious as well as those who would throw that commodity to the wind. Then we will ask you what you think.
If only the popular Member for Harrow East had asked someone what they thought, before submitting his expenses, he might have avoided being in the eye of a parliamentary storm. Last week he was announcing the unemployment figures and, if things go any worse for Tony McNulty, he might be joining them. Like all of us, he loves his mum and dad and their home - he pops in regularly, especially when visiting them at the weekend. They live in his constituency and he occasionally "stays over" which is also a nice thing to do. But can he claim, therefore, that this is his second home? And does he really need a "second home" when, if he left Westminster, went to his own family home, then his parents - or HIS "second" - Harrow home, then back to Westminster - he'd have covered a shorter distance than from Whitehall to the coast?
It seems he didn't actually break the rules, but Tories and watchdogs alike are saying he might have, and he certainly should have thought a bit more. Harris is ranting, as I write: more about how difficult editing on your own can be, than what Mr McNulty may or may not have done. But I'll be tuned in on any account and I suggest you are too.
Harris is ranting but NOT swearing. Unlike a Londoner who went to Thailand and was stopped at Immigration where they promptly put the wrong passport number into the computer system and questioned him about his intentions. He is currently on bail facing trial and possibly jail... not for who he IS or even who he WASN'T, but for expressing, in quaint Anglo-Saxon terms, what he thought of them and their IT system. Oops! It could get nasty, "bleep" nasty...
What would be really nice, on the other hand, would be if we could help our good friends the De Gales find a donor for little Imogen, a six year old who is desperate for a bone marrow transplant but, for whom, a donor cannot be found. I am talking about Daniel's parents who, despite his sad death a few months ago, still work tirelessly to get black and other ethnic groups to pluck up courage and become donors. Time is running out for Imogen so we owe it to her and to the De Gales. Ronke will prod consciences, and have the details of how you can help.
Lucy spends time tonight with Richard Curtis, who's Notting Hill and Black Adder still make me laugh aloud, and Gemma Arterton, who I loved in Quantum of Solace and got all in a tizzy over in St. Trinians. They launch "The Boat That Rocked" tonight in Leicester Square which didn't even have a pond last time I was there so it could be fun! How embarrassing for Gemma to have her "form control" revealed to the world this week. Uncalled for, in my view. Whoever did it deserves a spank or even Spanx, come to that...
We will have Chrissie's weather and London's papers which, earlier today, were very cross about Mr McNulty. By tea-time, they may have moved on - find out with us, at 6.
We will also talk to some youngsters about Jade Goody to see what merit they think there may or may not have been in all the coverage of her illness and her death. My mind is open, as I am sure is yours. But talk about walking tightropes...
See you at 6, unless I fall off.
Alastair and Katie.