A lovely woman is selling chocolate muffins in our office for the charity Women for Women which is not some militant, latter-day Pankhurstian group of men-haters, but a really great gang supporting Professor Winston and his fertility work. So I bought one and then treated the Oz to one. She is, as I speak, making tea to go with the aforementioned confections.
Meantime, in 1361, in St Albans, the medieval monastic equivalent of Marco Pierre White, contrived a wonderful bun, laced with cardamom, with two lines, intersecting at 90 degrees, cut into the pre-baked mixture. He didn't call it a Hot Cross Bun but an Alban Bun. Alban was an early English martyr who died, not as a result of eating too many buns, but for his faith in 304 AD at the hands of the Romans. They, I am told by Faye, (beautifully enormous now as a result of her impending motherhood rather than an excess of buns), took the original Hot Cross Buns to Greece where they flourished... so much better than a kebab late at night after too much cheap liquor, I suppose.
Anyway, tonight Ben heads for Verulamium, as was, and samples the modern day equivalent of the bun, as was. The Oz and I have asked for some, too, but we are yet to learn of our luck, so will keep the chocolate muffins under wraps incase The Big Boss decrees we have stuffed our faces, to excess, already. Gorgeous Dan is also worried: he thinks it will make a mess of "his" studio... I do, however, have a dustpan and brush and a passion for a bun. Watch this space.
Talking of "excess": 2 Jumbo Jets, a fleet of helicopters, a battalion of Ray-Ban wearing, cuff communicating crew-cut cadres, a mobile hospital, a private blood bank, a unique Cadillac which has more in common with a tank than a limo', and your own chef might be a reasonable example of that word. When Obama travels, the White House travels with him. So apart from the actual slave-built, architectural edifice on Pennsylvania Avenue, it seems we are getting the lot for the two and half days your man is here. He is a superstar with much of the world's affection and hopes resting on his elegant shoulders, but we will be hard-pressed to see him. Apart from on TV. I think it is a shame and so does Harris; so, on your behalf, he is scouting the City and the East End for possible vantage points. I've suggested a very short haircut, flash sunglasses and Bermuda shorts to help him blend in, but he gave me a very old-fashioned look. By the way, I don't think Obama likes the Cadillac, known as The Beast, as he has just made the resignation of the Chief Exec' of General Motors a condition for more Government aid! Teach him to get the interior and hub caps wrong, won't it?
Marcus is not scouting the East End of the City for vantage points but is on the heels of the Boys in Blue who are scouring Hertfordshire for body parts. Two bits have already turned up and if they can find the rest, they'll know who it is, and start the grim process of discovering why someone decided to do such a dreadful thing. It is a gruesome yet fascinating tale.
What could also be fascinating and gruesome is the new alliance of protesters over Heathrow's expansion. On the one hand, the persistent yet polite people of Sipson; on the other, son of Swampy and the types who will scale the fence and run in front of the 3.20 flight to Tenerife at the drop of a banner. Ronke goes underground and behind the lace curtains, to get the full and balanced story.
Jon is feeling crowded in his flat and so has produced a piece on "extensions". I think this is an attempt to garner favour with the planning committee, or persuade his lender of the merits of a bigger mortgage: I can do "dubious" just as well as "convinced", you see, and on this one it's a "D". Seriously, he is not alone, and Kirstie will tell us if "I'm putting in an attic conversion" is the new "I'm moving up the property ladder".
My favourite story of the day involves silent black and white films of the First World War, a lip-reader and a very busy "beeper". In my view, those young men, and some were obscenely young, were entitled to say whatever they wanted as loudly as they wanted; but, at 6pm, we have seen the better part of valour, and it is caution. It's a bit like the Heathrow alliance - there are some young soldiers, probably called Bertie, who wish their "mamas" all the best; and a few, probably called "Tommy", who tell the cameraman where he can put his lens in rather graphic and amusing detail. In Phil's hands, it will be moving, enlightening and funny.
Our Search for The Stars found some, and we will share. Wacky Rimmel is Faye's hot tip. I think it might be a cartoon car race between items of make-up but Faye's saying nothing. Again, our programme at 6 will resolve all.
Please be there or you will miss all of the above, plus Chrissie and the papers.
(Please e-mail The Big Boss in support of the bun consumption aspiration!)
That's me sacked again.
Alastair and/or, if I am sacked, Alex