1. Benjamin Markovits can really write. Imposture is quite good, though a bit uneasy in tone. But Either Side of Winter is strikingly well-written.
2. Chris Morris's role as modern prophet or, if you will, Cassandra, continues. The RSPCA have a somewhat ill-judged advert aimed at the Young People, based on X-Factor style phone-ins. It's compellingly reminiscent of BrassEye's Animals episode (which you can currently download for free on 4OD); for example, it has Simon Cowell saying about some dog being dumped in a ditch "It's one of the worst things I've ever heard" before admitting at the end "These aren't real cases". Also, doesn't the channel 4 retrospective on More 4 remind you of The Day Today's Attitudes Night?
3. Charlie Brooker says Mykola Pawluk is a man. I used to imagine the interesting life of Mykola Pawluk when I was a teenager, and think maybe I could do something like that, and the fact that he's a man shouldn't make a difference but somehow does. Bad me.
4. I read Anne Somerset's Unnatural Murder, about the Overbury poisoning case at the court of James I. It goes into a bit too much detail about the actual events of Overbury's death, which seem pretty unrecoverable at this distance, but there's some very interesting stuff about the court of James I. I hadn't realised that Cotton, antiquarian hero, was so compromised by it all, helping Carr to alter the dates on letters, and using his fantastic library to draft a historically-correct pardon for Carr to try to charm the king into signing. Also the fact that the queen and the archbishop of Canterbury were involved in dangling young beautiful Villiers before the king's eyes in the hope that he would displace the obnoxious Carr as favourite is a bit disconcerting. They got more than they bargained for, obviously.
5. More4's Selling Houses is watchable in a grim sort of way. It's about houses which haven't sold though they've been on the market for a while. It involves a pretty unpleasant man sneering at people's decorating taste -- there's some odd decorating taste on display -- and then getting them together with their estate agent and demanding why he or she hadn't pointed out how vile their house looks. Then they paint it all magnolia and sell it for fifty grand less than the asking price.
6. The Living With Teenagers column in the Family section of the Guardian is getting to the stage where one want to do or say something to the mother. The last episode was about her younger son (who is still 16 or 17, not a child) getting in late on a Saturday evening, drunk. Now admittedly he is a bit young to be getting sick-drunk, but she puts him to bed, stays up late worrying about him, and finishes the column with a triumphant bit about how looking after teenagers is like looking after toddlers. Now I never got really drunk, more than just tipsy, until I had left home and come to university (and in the past week many similarly nicely brought-up timid rule-abiding kids have had the same experience here). But I am still certain that the correct way for parents to deal with this sort of thing is a) at the time total British denial. If any comment has to be made it should be along the lines of "I'm sorry you're unwell, would you like an aspirin?". Then if it has been blatant b) the next day a scorching telling off of the have-some-respect-for-your-parents'-house type. They're not toddlers. They deserve some space and respect, and their obnoxiousness should be acknowledged where necessary. Toddlers can't help throwing up and it would be terrible to tell them off for it; teenagers are proto-adults and to act as if they're not responsible for their own actions is to do them an awful disservice which must make them want to smash things and behave even more badly. (There was a girl like that at my church, a few years younger than me, whose parents were the wettest people you can imagine and kept forgiving her as if nothing she did mattered; she got angrier and angrier and eventually pregnant at fifteen.) This boy made a total fool of himself, and his mother acts as if that's no problem and she takes it for granted that he's a fool, and then she doesn't get why he swears at her. Still it's easy for me to say this; I have no teenagers and never will.
7. I'm still loving OneNote and am now using it for all my random notes, which is bad for my RSI and means I can't access them on any computer other than my laptop. Heigh ho.