Press: shock waves went through the industry yesterday when Bauer (a large German publishing conglomerate) announced it was closing a number of prominent UK magazines. The magazines were previously owned by EMAP, which was broken up some weeks ago and sold off in chunks to various buyers. The Bauer casualties were First and New Woman, the former a title I was in last autumn (not as a writer but as a case study for colleague) and the latter on my monthly mag buy-list, for no other reason than I like the fashion coverage. Now we're all wondering what'll close next next. There's no doubt freelances are facing a tough year ahead, which will be exacerbated by further titles being axed.
Blogs: has everyone stopped blogging? Things are awfully quiet in the blogsphere this week. Few of my favourite reads have been updated and I've not stumbled across any new and interesting blogs either. Let's hope things pick up again soon.
TV/radio: thank heavens for BBC iPlayer! On Tuesday, I did something unheard of - I thought EastEnders was starting at 8pm, when we all know the Tuesday episode starts at 7.30. I was gutted when I wandered through just before 8pm to see the closing scene before the duh-duh-duh... Never mind, I'd catch it on the 10pm repeat on BBC3. And so it was that just before 10pm, I strolled back into the Wordsmith Towers living room, where I'd conveniently left the telly on, on BBC1, to discover I'd also managed to forget to watch Mistresses! I watched the 'Stenders repeat then dashed back to my PC, installed iPlayer and caught up with the missed episode. I was impressed by iPlayer - with a decent-sized flat screen (which I have), the quality is pretty good, the buffering was smooth (although I may have just been lucky) and although it had a digitised look, it was almost as good as watching the telly. I can see me catching up on lots of things now.
Books: my time in the company of Rupert Everett is almost at an end, with just a few pages to go. Back when I was at university on a career break, I would read a minimum of 5 books a week. Not just course books, but fiction and other things for the pleasure of it. Where does the time go. These days, it takes me a fortnight to read one autobiography. What's next? I don't know, but I could do with a suitably gory serial killer whodunnit.