This week I upgraded my web email to BT internet's new shiny version. It's the same as the old shiny version but it comes with extra ads. Annoying ads. Video ads. Ads that distract from the fun and business of email. Ads that are fully targetted to my age group and gender.
This now means I'm being force-fed adverts for menopause treatments (not yet, dearies, not yet), available hunks in my area (my area? have you seen the blokes round here?) and worse of all, adverts from isme.com. Isme.com, for those who don't know, is an online women's clothes supplier for women of a certain age. Women suffering from menopause symptoms and in need of the services of a hunk in their local area. I am none of those things. And I most certainly not in in need of new clothes from isme.com being advertised by isme.com poster girl Lynda Bellingham. So, isme.com, this isn't me:
No, no, no. As I head towards my 50th birthday (in, er, a few years time) this is how I see myself going. Thisisme.com
This baby monkey, er, thing, was advertised in a magazine I bought today. I don't know what the most disturbing aspect about it is. Is it:
1. That the magazine clearly thinks women my age are the target audience to go gaga over a piece of monkey-shaped plastic dressed up like a baby.
2. That someone, somewhere, sits and makes these things.
3. That someone, somewhere, buys them.
To the flicks to see The Artist. It's a brand new, black and white silent movie and it's fantastic. I can't recommend it highly enough and I'd love to see it again.
Watching it silent and in black and white makes you aware, much more than in a regular film, of the music, the lighting, the shapes, the textures, the cinematography and of course the acting. It really is a brilliant film and if you're wondering whether to go and see it or not - do. It's just what's needed to clear the January blues, a real 'feel good' movie and worthy of all the awards it's now won.
These are bread buns which have just come out of the oven today. I've got another batch baking in there as I type. The recipe came from Dan Lepard in The Guardian. I like Dan Lepard's recipes and regular readers will also know I like Nigel Slater's recipes too. However, I'm not fond of Nigella or that Lorraine one on telly.
If it's true that you are what you eat then you are what you make and you are, probably, whose recipes you follow too.
If you've been a regular reader of Flaming Nora, you'll know that I write Coronation Street weekly updates. I've been doing so since 1995 and you can find out why here. What you don't know is that I scribble notes to myself as I watch Corrie every week to remind me of what's happened when I'm writing up the updates.
Something else you don't know is that the notes I take have to be written in a very special notebook, not just any will do. I bought a new notebook today, it's flexible yet firm and has cartoon owls on the front.
It's a plain paper notebook. I dislike lined notepaper for this most fun of all tasks because my Corrie notes are a scribble and I'd go over lines on the page. I write the notes while I watch telly and my eyes often don't leave the screen for the page.
But it's not just plain paper that's needed. The weekly update notebook needs to have a feel and a touch that's just right. It can't be too heavy, it can't be too light. It has to feel good to write in, to hold in my hand, with quality paper inside. And if it has a page-marker ribbon - this new one is blue - so much the better. The notebook is more important than the pen.
I can't recall how many notebooks I've gone through in the 16 years I've been writing Corrie updates for fan websites all over the world, but it must have been more than 10. The notebooks are sacred and are never used for anything other than Corrie notes, never.
And, well, this is the first time I've ever shared the notebook, gone public with it, if you will. How long this one'll last is difficult to say. It's a thick, heavy book so there could be a year's worth of updates in it. I promise I'll post a picture of the next one too. And the one after that, but only if you want.
Here's my list of 12 things I'd like to see happen in 2012.
Niece to be given the all clear
Win the lottery
Cure for cancer
Cure for everything else
Be offered a job where I'm paid to write and be creative
Get a walk-on part as an extra in Coronation Street
See my Irish cousin and her little boy before he turns 57
Be able to fly. Not with an aeroplane or anything, just flying to the shops and back, that sort of thing.
Bunions to disappear
And acne scars
For my Coronation Street Blog to be given due credit by all the hacks and journos who use it as a source for stories they get paid to write.