Gentleman, an update....
...After the initial dipstick reading of 'dry' I added 2.5 litres of oil, I drove the car home 5 miles and checked again. This didn't move the reading as per my original question. I then went and purchased 2 more litres as discussed (not in the car!) I came back ready to add the oil needed to get it up to the 4.4 level, before doing this I checked dipstick WHICH IS NOW SHOWING 5mm OVER MAX!!!!
1) 2 litres of oil shows NO reading on the dipstick!!!! None of you commented on that being the way...
2) Adding oil does not show up immediately on the dipstick
3) I've been lucky that driving the car at that low level of oil has done no damage (as far as I can tell, which as already discussed, is slightly suspect...)
4) At least I now have 2 litres of oil backup in the boot!
5) Anyone know a man near Seaford (BN25) that could do a cambelt change, and with a lot of creaking going on, check/change my front wishbone bushes all at a fair price?
The abuse you all gave me (and my bruvver)