John O'Grady, the kidnapped Dentist away from his ordeal

Catching up on financial research and reading on a chilly and foggy day before a trip to St Neots for some shopping and chores. The family news from Mum and Dad and Freda is better but both Di and I are five pounds overweight after all that un-healthy American food. John O’Grady’s kidnappers appear amidst heavy security precautions in Dublin’s central criminal court and released ANC leader, Mr Mbeki, held his first press conference with restrained police action

Another night’s sleep that seemed to me to be sound, but Diana accused me of thrashing around in the night, such that she had to take refuge in the spare bedroom! In any event, I was woken by her alarm and got up in time to shower, shave and dress for breakfast. Not so the girls, who both slept in until midday, which is only 4.00am Californian time. When I weighed myself this morning, I was up to 13 stone 10lbs, an increase of a few pounds due to our holiday excesses. Di was up to 10 stone 4lbs and is thus also 5lbs overweight. With their large portion sizes of totally unhealthy food types, it is no wonder that the US population is grossly overweight.

This morning I settled down to reading today’s Financial Times and other items, before going out to feed the doves before lunch. They were pretty hungry in this chilly and foggy weather, but I can still count 11 birds, with only the one-legged white juvenile currently missing – which might be a mercy. I locked and alarmed the house so that we could all go off to the Happy Eater for lunch when Daniel arrived. I drove us down the A1 to the Sandy one, as I correctly deduced that the road conditions would lead to the Great North Road being quiet and so we got good service. On the way back, I dropped us into St Neots town centre to do some chores. I collected the JVC stereo from A&N Audio, the menders, and then helped Di get some urgently needed and forgotten groceries. Then, when we got back home, I took Della and Debbie to play with our Willow Close neighbours, Amy and Katherine Law, as the children had missed their playmates during our absence on holiday. Other than this, our homestead had fared quite well during our absence. The technique of giving Joan a key and knowledge of a temporary programmed alarm entry number had worked. The only problem was the demise of one of our new posts that was designed to protect our tarmac drive from turning vehicles by suspending a plastic chain. I suspect our local hooligan got to it first, with an aggrieved neighbour a close second, because it was actually and wrongly sited on his side of the boundary marker. Also the ducks hutch has become unusually smelly, due to the fast deterioration of the straw under the weight of unusually muddy ducks feet! This afternoon and evening, I read the last two week’s Investors Chronicle and concluded that the Bear Market is far from over. So many people will be selling into any recovery that it will be strangled at birth, with failed rights issues left with the underwriters and horror stories of defaulters, money is tight and there will be considerable distress selling of necessity. Two bits of news. I telephoned my parents this evening and all seems well. Dad is due his hospital appointment in 10 day’s time; he and Mum are faring well and Freda has lost 10lbs in the last two week’s diet. News today is of another fatal motorway crash as a southbound car on the M5 crashed head on into a car travelling in the opposite direction in a contra flow section. In Dublin’s central criminal court, three men are charged with the kidnapping and illegal imprisonment of hostage John O’Grady, amidst heavy security precautions. The released ANC leader, Mr Mbeki, held his first press conference, but avoided speculation on the fate of Nelson Mandela. Equally, police action was restrained during a memorial service thereafter. In California, previous English Olympic silver medallist runner and confessed drug taker, Jenkins, is awaiting sentence of up to 15 years imprisonment for selling steroid drugs to international athletes.