Friday, July 9, 2010
The Third Hurdle
Days 24 & 25
Then: 15 stone 5 pounds (215 lbs)
Now: 14 stone 4 pounds (200 lbs)
The third milestone reached: 200 pounds. That's lighter than I was in 2003.
The poussin were magnificent. Simply roasted for 45 minutes with paprika, they made their own delicious gravy. Jo and I ate them as we sat glued to the television. The murderer Raoul Moat was still at large. He’d broken into several houses, including one just a mile from where our friends Mark and Emma live. Apparently the owners called the police as Moat was still inside, helping himself to spare clothes and provisions: the police took 15 minutes to arrive, and when they did, wouldn’t go inside because they weren’t armed. It took another 15 minutes for armed officers to show up, by which time the fugitive had fled.
The entire region is fixated by Moat – there are suspected sightings all over the Rothbury area. It’s all very strange: most unlike a normal manhunt, where the quarry goes to ground. It’s as if he wants to be found.
Today I’m packing up our office – we’re moving to another building in the same complex. So, apart from the usual breakfast of cardboard, it’s just plain Tesco packet chicken for lunch. Enormous slabs of breast – must have been a huge, non-free range bird, I fear. The yoghurt tastes – yoghurty.
By the time I get home I’m starving, and Jo is going out with the girls for a pre-birthday celebration (she’s 40 on Tuesday, so I’m resigned to a diet lapse over the next few days). So I grill four fresh prawns, a sirloin steak (with garlic granules, olive oil, and a tiny amount of Worcestershire sauce – my father-in-law’s favourite barbecue recipe), freshly picked courgettes cooked, as before, with mint, garlic and lemon) and also I deep fry (I know – totally forbidden) the courgette flowers. Then, with a glass of Rhone wine, I sit down to watch the news – and the whole Moat saga unfolds in front of my eyes.
He was found at around 7.30pm in Rothbury , where apparently he’d been hiding all the time, in a culvert under the main street which led to the river. He held a gun to his head as the police surrounded him. Officers tried to calm him down and disarm him. The media waited – it started to rain. They brought him food and water. I ate another yoghurt.
The standoff lasted till 1.15pm. At which point we all heard a shot and Moat was dead. He’d killed himself – a desperate, deranged, sad man.