This week’s pre-occupations.

1. Once again, K and I have become Big Brother‘s bitches. Once again, Grace Dent provides the sharpest commentary. Also on the telly tip, I was able to identify the precise moment when the hitherto flawless Shameless jumped the shark: namely, when an unconscious Frank Gallagher was dragged from his burning kitchen by his pet dog. I mean, really.

2. As the Hellen Affair rumbles on, Zinnia Cyclamen provides a neat rebuttal of his rebuttal.

3. Much to my surprise, since I’m not exactly Mister Gadget Man, I have been completely sucked into the Apple iPhone hype, and now find myself pining for ownership. Engadget has the most thorough explanation. Unfortunately, K’s plans to surprise me with a Blackberry on my birthday now lie exposed and in tatters. If only he was going to Florida in June…

4. …rather than today, six months short of the device hitting the shops. In preparation for this, my valeting services have been in great demand this week. We had a lovely time picking out fresh shirt-and-tie combinations for him a couple of evenings ago (does pink scream “Spring 2006”, or can we get away with it for a while longer?), and I have never been far from an ironing board. Oh, I do have my practical uses.

5. Alarmingly, K will still be out of the country when the kitchen fitters arrive next week, thus leaving me as de facto Site Manager. But what if they ask me technical questions about, I don’t know, angle brackets or something? I shall be all at sea. Thankfully, K’s business partner’s wife E – who is something of an expert in this field – has volunteered her services as Relief Manager. She knows her way round kitchens, does E. I don’t usually stretch much further than the fridge, the kettle and the microwave.

6. Facing the prospect of being home alone with no working kitchen for a few nights, I intend to be Out and About as much as possible next week. Owt good at t’flicks?

7. My intensive pre-interview research into the Life and Times of Will Oldham/Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy is yielding rich dividends. In particular, his most recent album The Letting Go is a quiet revelation. I don’t have many alt-country moments these days, but this is one of them.

8. With the Amsterdam weekend imminent, blogging might be light, but Twittering will hopefully be moderate-to-heavy – so keep your eye on the newly expanded “we twitter” box on the sidebar. (I am SO PROUD at having hacked the code around for this, although it has rather buggered up my archived unordered lists.) In the meantime, why not refresh your memories with details of my previous visits in 1991 (in which I found myself the unwitting star of a Benny Hill sketch at a *cough* “men-only event”) and 2002 (in which cracks appear in my carefully constructed professional facade)? Ah, for those heady devil-may-care early days, when Troubled Diva was still a byword for Too Much Information…

9. Preparations for Which Decade Is Tops For Pops and Post of the Week have taken up most of the rest of my spare time – and at the time of writing, there is still one more vacancy for another member of the Post of the Week editorial team. More details below.

10. If spin the list out to a nice round ten, I’ll make myself late and miss my plane. Have a good weekend!

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