There are men digging a trench outside our building. They are burying green tubes but claim they are "laying cables". I am suspicious because they have virtually completed this clandestine activity in a couple of days. Were it water or some other vital utility, it would have taken weeks; or they would have started and just walked away, mysteriously. What are the cables really for? What will be running through those green pipes? I only ask because I am a suspicious person, at heart. Were the pipes blue, it would be clearer - they would be proper conduits for the stream of expletives and venom which flowed from the mouths of Hiddink's babes after their brutal, questionable, dubious and badly refereed departure from the Champions League last night. If you are a Barca fan then welcome to our great city, and goodbye; but if you are Norwegian, then I'd get back to the land of the fjords asap if I were you and you might be advised to take the myopic whistle blower with you. Actually, he had to be smuggled out pdq - perhaps the pipes were laid in preparation for his "runner" - surely he planned to ensure ManU met a team other than another English one some moons since? I am told it felt that way. We're completely impartial observers here, of course. Glen, even more impartial in these matters perhaps, and, I suspect, not averse to Scandinavian culture, is down Stamford Bridge way to pick up the pieces.
There were not too many pieces of the Bismark left to pick up after Rodney and George V had done their duty to King and country. They were not the character from "Only Fools and Horses" and the Queen's grandfather but a pair of fine battleships of the line. But putting Bismark in a condition to be dispatched Davy Jones' way were the pilots and observers of a squadron of Swordfish aircraft, the pride of the Fleet Air Arm. That great organisation celebrates it's centenary on the Thames at Greenwich. Chocks away with Bomber Harris, on loan from the RAF, for the duration.
The duration of Samantha Orobator's stay in Laos may be a touch shorter than she had feared - at one stage it looked as if it might have been tragically permanent as she faced the prospect of "justice" by firing squad for having an obscene amount of heroin tucked between her night-dress and wash-bag when stopped at the departure gate. HM Government seem to have done a deal and a lawyer is being allowed to see her. Martin Geissler, one of ITV News' finest foreign correspondents, is there and has the latest as Liz wraps up the comings and going in the diplomatic world.
There was a time when a ransom might have been asked for and paid - but any such claims upon the Peoples Millions would, I fear, be judged inappropriate. Other better causes however are welcome to pitch for the pounds and the "how to do it" bit comes mid-way through the show.
Then the bit I am entirely schizophrenic about. I have always adored Michelle Pfeiffer (I thought of fjords as I typed that - the spelling rather than the view, I suppose). The Fabulous baker Boys would be on my Desert Island list or, failing the whole movie, the bit on top of the piano.... Anyway, she is in town to promote her latest offering. My interests are known and my interviewing skills, normally not in doubt. The Oz likes Hugh Jackman and got to interview him. I like Michelle but the Oz goes there too. I am down, as down as those wretched pipes, sinking beneath a surfeit of concrete and clay as I write. Anyway, the "Oz meets Michelle" is also on the show. I'll be the bloke on the left, looking the other way.
Phil, after the lions, should have known better. There's a story in the running order called Animal Man. It features a "man", plus leopards, lions, snakes, iguanas and sloths -- who may be "slow" but have awfully long claws. If he survives, he'll be with us. If not, look out for a black tie and a letter of apology to Mrs B. who is still getting over his dalliance with the Chelsea Pensionerettes, I am told.
Chrissie is worried about tomorrow but slightly more optimistic about the weekend; the papers are awash with tear jerking tales but share we must, and share we will.
I'm off to check on the progress of the pipe-men and expect the Pfeiffer bit to have been deleted by the beautiful but defensive Oz by my return. I will trust the New Boss and see if it is misplaced or rewarded.
See you at 6.
Alastair, who can't be trusted with American actresses, and the Oz, who can .... with all men and women of the silver screen.