Press: as I was travelling yesterday and unable to surf the news, I broke my regular habit and bought the Guardian and the Sun in hard copy to read on the train. I also bought a copy of Grazia for the first time in ages earlier in the week. At £1.90, it's too pricey to buy every week, but it's a nice occasional treat. As women's mags go, there's plenty to read and I like the fact that it has a strong current affairs focus, but I do get outraged at the price of the fashion it features - almost every garment has a designer label and a tag of £200-plus. Totally unrealistic for most women, for whom £200 might be a month or more's clothing budget.
Blogs: curses to the Girl With a One Track Mind. I love her blog, not just for the saucy bits but because she writes so lucidly on sex itself -the politics, the differences between men and women, the emotions. This week she posted a link to a Lego Indiana Jones game, which has single-handedly increased my level of procrastination as I try to outrun the boulder. Yes, that boulder. I also enjoyed Wordwise's post on writing emails. Some food for thought in there.
TV/radio: what a relief to see Torchwood (almost) returning to form on Wednesday. I've seen very little else, but have managed to keep up to speed with the Archers - I'm loving the new feud between Roy Tucker and his sister Brenda. Coupled with the ongoing feud over Brian's will, TA is pretty juicy right now.
Books: I'm still only a third of the way through last week's Water Like a Stone. It's far too slow for a murder thriller. The author seems hell bent on dragging out every chapter with minor characters and unnecessary background details. Just cut to the chase - I want bodies, dynamism and edge-of-the-seat, page-turning tension, all of which are lacking so far.
And - a one-off - an extra section this week.
Multimedia: this week I learned not only how to use my mobile phone to take photos, but also how to email the results to myself. After my monitor unexpectedly expired yesterday, I spent this morning researching replacements online on one of the other computers in Wordsmith Towers. I decided to go for a 22" widescreen TFT and, having selected the model I wanted, did a quick price comparison. PC World, which I loathe, had what I wanted at the best price so I headed off there to pick it up. Three hours and £150 quid later, I'm seriously considering returning it. Despite endless tinkering with the settings, I can't get the brightness at a low enough level to avoid being dazzled and the focus won't shift much either, which means everything looks slightly blurred. My eyes hurt, I have a splitting headache and I'm certain I'll find it impossible to work on this monitor. I think I'm going to need to spend more and choose a bigger brand - HP or Samsung perhaps. I'm loving the widescreen, though - everything looks better across the extra width and I get the benefit of longer system trays and toolbars, which means I can add more shortcuts.
I don't know what it is about PC World but I wish they'd get decent staff. We were bombarded by them when we were just browsing, but when we actually needed assistance there were none to be seen. Not even standing in the middle of the store and yelling "are there any staff still on duty or shall I spend lots of money elsewhere?" produced any. The 18-year-old that eventually served me was dimmer than the Black Hole of Calcutta and looked as if he'd spent an hour blowdrying his carefully styled barnet. Pity he couldn't devote the same level of attention to the customers that justify his wages. I rounded off my visit by blowing a tenner on Tabloid Tycoon - I may write for the press but I'll never be rich enough to own my own paper. Except I can now. Hee.