Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Under Siege

Day 22

Then: 15 stone 5 pounds (215 lbs)
Now: 14 stone 6 pounds (202 lbs)

There you go: a testimony to my new YuKan diet plan. 3 pounds lost in one day. Possibly not disconnected to the fact that a lot more salad in the diet helps the digestion get going. That’s my theory, anyway. One more pound and I'll have lost a stone - in just 3 weeks.

I drove to Manchester today and had an overwhelming desire to eat fish – not that there’s a connection between the two – so I invited myself to lunch with a BBC manager and had six deliciously barbecued prawns and nothing else. If I continue to lose weight tomorrow then I shall have to publish this new diet and go on Woman’s Hour and make a fortune. I know how it’s done: you write down whatever you’ve been eating and then make everyone else do the same. Add a bit of theory about why things are working, and, bingo, you become a diet guru. Here’s how the menu for Day 22 would go:

Lunch -- 6 medium-sized barbecued prawns sitting on a bed of salad, mango, papaya and melon with Thai sweet chili dressing on the side. Eat only the prawns. Leave everything else and feel virtuous.


One person near here is certainly losing as much weight as I am, and he’s not even using my new patent diet. He’s called Raoul Moat and he’s a murderer.

Five days ago he got out of prison, went to his former girlfriend’s house, shot her, then killed her new boyfriend, then went up to a police patrol car and shot the officer at point blank range. The officer survived, and Moat has gone into hiding.

Yesterday he was located in Rothbury – just a few miles from where I’m writing this. He’s up in the hills above the town, and I can see those hills from our house. That means Moat could probably see me if he had strong enough binoculars. He broke into a house this morning and stole only food. Poor chap must be starving.

We’ve all locked our doors and barricaded the shutters. It’s not something we normally do round here: we leave cars and windows open and wander into friends’ houses as if we were living in the 1950s. That’s what Northumberland is all about: friendly, opening, trusting and quiet. Now Rothbury, which only has about 2,000 residents, is swarming with hundreds of armed police, helicopters and speeding sirens, and a massed corps de press.

All the locals have been interviewed on the national news. Everyone says the same thing: there’s an eery feeling around the town. There’s an eery feeling around our house too. Last night I looked out across our fields for signs of felon and saw nothing but the buttercups and red clover waving in the meadow. He'd better not touch my vegetable garden.

They found Moat’s tent yesterday. He’d been hiding in a field to the South of the town, near the disused railway line that leads, scarily, to within half a mile of our house. If he comes here, I know exactly what I’ll do. I’ll invite him in and offer him a bowl of my steaming oatbran cardboard breakfast. That’ll get him on his way back to jail in no time - he’ll be desperate for prison food to take the taste away.

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