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London Tonight Tonight

Good afternoon.
I am back and the Oz has just slipped out for drinks. She offered coffee. I said I am a tea-man in the afternoons. Tubes of dangerously strong lager were not mentioned which I think is progress, given national traits.
I just bumped into ITN's sports maestro, Richard Pallot, on his way to interview Bob Crow of the RMT. I hope he is not in a hurry nor on edge. Bob will either be late - because he comes by Tube - or grumpy because his members' actions have forced him to come by car or bus. The roads are a bit chunky due to the industrial action his members are engaged in. But, given his strike is not as "one-out-all-out" as he had hoped, they are not quite as chunky as he had hoped and some of the tubes are running. Either way, a "grumpy" Crow seems a better than even bet. Solidarity is one of Bob's watch-words. Alas, the drivers of ASLEF - the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen - may be able to spell it but they don't stand by it. Their name includes "firemen" not because they are membership-carpet-baggers, signing up the people who put fires out, but because they were formed in a by-gone age when "firemen" shovelled coal on steam-trains. But their attitude to Bob's strike is a touch more C21st - not our fight, so we're going to work. The temperature is a as high as the fire-box on a Mallard. Harris is covered in coal-dust at Marylebone while Piers stands forlorn with his England scarf and muted rattle at Wembley to explain why rather a lot of footy fans won't be coming home tonight to the home of English soccer.
We'll have the Maltese connection with the foot in a wheelie bin murder; the hand-cuffs and executive jet saga; and a pop-star who has a little less jewelry to flaunt, poor soul.
Hopefully the Met won't be employing Abu Ghraid tactics in their interrogation of any suspects in this irritating heist. But some are accused of same following a drugs bust in Enfield. It is a very serious development and LVJ has been sinking his teeth, if not his head, into a bucket of watery allegations.
Then our spirits soar - Lucy is neither in the sky nor dripping with diamonds but on the chromatically challenged carpet in Leicester Square. Will it be red, will it be blue, will it have been wafted away to Bollywood? Hopefully not the latter as the delicious Heather Graham is scheduled to stroll along it, in our time, and talk to Lucy about her new movie, which sounds fun. A clash of blonde beauties! Enough to keep you tuned, I'd say. And should an elegant Englishman be your idea of eye-candy we have a giant of the genre. A dedicated follower of fashion who penned the only anthem to compete with Ralph McTell's "Streets of London", "Waterloo Sunset". He also crafted "Lola" - a darkside glance at 60s Soho which was ahead of its time and touched nerves few even admitted to in those days. Ergo, his band's name, The Kinks - he is the legendary Ray Davies and we are thrilled he'll be with us. Got you? It's really got me going, all day and all of the night. Max, our entertainments guru, and I have been joined in cerebral debate: Kinks vs The Stones, as poet-troubadours par-excellence: who best captured the 60's? We have agreed to differ though, secretly, our loyalties remain deeply engrained.
Robin, a fine example of the dedicated follower of fashion, sartorially, steps out in his unique way to risk a forecast for London - a Waterloo sunset or a lazy Sunday afternoon? I know that was the Small Faces but they were mates with the Kinks. Oh well, I can only try.
Papers will pillory Mr Crow and have Bozza "crowing" - pun entirely intentional - and that's your lot.
The Oz has got back with drinks and nuts. Maybe "tinnies" did lurk at the back of her mind, after all. She's also been interviewing Samuel L Jackson for another time. But I gather the bleeper has broken. Can't think why. He is a real star but his relationship with the English language is strictly Anglo-Saxon and in the extreme. Tie a knot to remind yourself to keep your eyes out for his appearance later in the week.
See you at six, unless she's laced my tea or unless you remain determined to travel to Wembley to see the trouncing of plucky little Andorra in a rather empty and windy stadium. I'd stick with us. It'll be 4 nil, Becks will be briefly brilliant and you won't recognise the other lot.

Alastair and Alex

Weather Blog

Good evening.

The trampoline arrived last week.

Well I say trampoline, but in fact what was dumped in the garden was a cardboard box the size & shape of a coffin. This was going to be a Matterhorn of a self assembly challenge & given that we had been driven to drink by a flat pack bicycle not long ago the signs weren't good. The delivery also coincided with our colleagues at GMTV issuing dire warnings about the dangers of trampolines & our children watched in awe struck silence as a menu of horrific injuries was discussed on the cheery breakfast sofa.

So you'll understand that confidence was low as we opened the box, but several hours & several shandies later we did it. Since then the weather has been anything but perfect for trampolining, but children pay no heed to the weather & will bounce in sun, wind & rain & it's worth remembering that we adults can also refuse to have our wings clipped by disappointing weather. So despite the insult of showers we should carry on regardless with childish enthusiasm & we may well find ourselves rewarded with warmer, sunnier conditions by the end of the week. I won't be able to enjoy the sun, however, as I'm booked to do a first aid course. Just in case....

See you later,

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