* I spent much of Friday night writing an article for the Mail on Sunday. All was well until yesterday afternoon. They liked it. And then the story broke about Gordon Brown's eyes. Article spiked. Hey ho.
* The reaction to the Gordon Brown story did not show the blogosphere in a very good light. Whatever one's view of Brown as a politician, no one can deny that he has shown courage in dealing with his disability. Several commentators interpreted the announcement of tears in his retina as start of a softening up process, which will end in his departure on health grounds. I'm not so sure.
* The death of Stephen Gateley of Boyzone in Majorca was a shock. To die at the age of 33 is a tragedy by any measure. Despite being a hugely successful singer, he had led a troubled life. The circumstances of his death remain unclear. As you might imagine with my musical tastes, I have many of his records. I think I'll listen to a couple today.
* Because of my schedule over the last three weeks I am about four episodes behind with X Factor. But I did catch the moment last night when Danni Minogue aluded to Danyle's bi-sexuality. It was a bottom clenching moment. Hmm. Perhaps that wasn't the best expression to use, but you know what I mean. For a woman who has suffered rumours about her own sexuality over the years, it was an odd thing to say at the very least.
* The older I get the less sleep I seem to need. I can survive on five hours a night usualy, but the last few days have really caught up with me. Over the conference I was getting 3 or 4 hours, and found myself on the last day chairing a breakfast fringe and my eyes nodding. Driving home from the BBC at 1am on Friday I came as near as I have ever come to really falling asleep at the wheel. As a consequence I cancelled doing the paper review with Yasmin A-B last night for fear that on the way home something awful could happen. Instead, Shane Greer did it, and by all accounts had a very heated debate with her. I didn't see it. I was asleep!
* Today, the Eastern Daily Press has revealed the names of the final six participants in the selection contest for South West Norfolk. I cannot understand why the local Conservative Association is so desperate to keep the names secret. Surely they should be proclaiming from the rooftops that they have six excellent people on the shortlist and allow the local population to examine who they are. We live in an age of transparency. Local Tory parties need to recognise that. FYI info the six are Claire Emmett, James Tumbridge, Clare Whelan, Therese Coffey, David Rutley and Elizabeth Truss.
* Yesterday morning I and eight friends stood in Charles Square inBracknell, stirring up apathy (copyright Willie Whitelaw) among the local shoppers. In two and a half hours we met hundreds of people. I was surprised at how many were already aware of the Open Primary and the number who were already registered to attend it. Quite a few others who we talked to promised that they would now attend too. Job done. I was struck at the number of people who mentioned immigration as their main concern - not in a racist way, but out of concern that our borders are porous and our infrastructure cannot cope. I was also impressed by the number of people who mentioned how sad they were that Andrew Mackay is standing down and what a good constituency MP he has been over the years. He will be a hard act to follow, whichever one of the seven of us is selected.