Sunday Mirror makeover and my new blog

Click on the pic above if you fancy reading the fab makeover piece about my eco-friendly loft conversion in today's Sunday Mirror Homes & Holidays. Note: If you ever visit, please do not expect our loft office to look this tidy!

You can also read more about the loft and all the green technology that's gone into it - everything from high-end solar panels and energy-saving heat pump to recycled wetroom tiles and water-saving bathroom gear) - at my new E17 Eco blog.

New Delta Sky magazine column

Haha! There's no escaping me, across the pond, even in the air... My latest gig is a monthly column in Delta Sky magazine, a fab in-flight and newsstand magazine with an estimated 5.3 million readers a month.

Here's my first piece for them, about the high-end Arcam rCube dock for iPhone and iPods. (As ever, click on the picture to read it or download it.)

Mail on Sunday top 100 gadgets

Do read part one and part two of the monster gadgets roundup in yesterday's Mail on Sunday Live magazine.

Sadly no byline for little old me or my freelance colleagues Simon Munk and Chris Haslam who I teamed up with to write the piece. But we have honest faces, so you can take our word for the fact that it's our wordsmithery and not penned by the celebs who get name-dropped!

No prizes for guessing what I'm testing...


Upcoming test for the Sunday Mirror. This picture reminds me of my Evening Standard editor, who - bless her - thought we could move into our new loft office and then photograph it for the paper (no need to style it with fancy stuff because of course our office would look lovely, darling!)

Our office typically looks like a Best Buy store after it's been ramraided...

Loppers and doorbells

I'm hacked off with all those really long, thin scans so here's yesterday's garden loppers test and last week's doorbells test, both from the Sunday Mirror, together for your reading convenience. (Click on the pics to read.) So get yourself a nice wireless doorbell and then you'll be able to hear when it rings even if you're in the back garden pruning the hedge with your new loppers!

Natty netbooks

Tested by me in yesterday's Sunday Mirror (click on the clip to read it). Crikey, some of these sub £300 netbooks have higher specs than my ancient desktop PC! Time for an upgrade I guess, I just can't bear to ditch it till it croaks...

Pocket paparazzi cameras

Zoom digicams tested by me in Mail on Sunday - scroll down to the cameras. Enjoy it while you can because, bizarrely, they currently publish tests online for one week only!

This is going out to all my hoses...

A timely garden hoses test by me in yesterday's Mail on Sunday. Gardena and Karcher steal the show. Click on the pic above to read the full reviews. Hmm, just looking at the spread makes me feel a bit cooler on this hot, sticky day...

The best energy-saving light bulbs

My test in yesterday's Sunday Mirror Homes & Holidays...
Best bulb: Philips Tornado
Best looking: Megaman Ingenium
Best bargain: Poundland (six for £1!)
Best long life: Nigel's Eco Store (25 years!)
Best dimmable: Osram Halogen
Click on the picture to read/download the whole test

World Cup TVs lowdown

In this week's Sunday Mirror - my lowdown on 3D, HD ready and Full HD TVs for the World Cup (click on the pic to read it).
And yes, I do realise that no-one's announced any plans to broadcast World Cup matches in 3D into our living rooms. I do mention that briefly in my piece... but never let the facts get in the way of a good story about flash tellies!

Test Bench: Cordless home phones

Read this test by me in yesterday's Sunday Times - five Dect phones tested, plus a handy repeater for boosting the range of your home phone. This bargain BT phone was the winner...

Pressure washer madness!

In this week's Mail on Sunday: pressure washers tested by yours truly (click on the pic above to read it). And I did get a bit carried away with them - the patio's ridiculously clean. I even found myself wondering if you could use them on your teeth like those fancy scale and polish machines.
The Makita HW130 came top, with a full set of car-cleaning tools as well as the usual lances. Shop around online and you'll get change from £200.
Now, I'm not looking forward to my next metered water bill...

My two loves: gadgets and porridge!

In this week's Sunday Mirror I had a group test of healthy cookers. The winner by far was this 4-in-1 gadget, not for its rice cooking, steaming or slow cooking abilities (all of which were good) but for the fact that it makes excellent porridge!
"Why not just use a saucepan or microwave?" you ask. Because this doesn't need stirring, doesn't explode everywhere, cooks the porridge perfectly and then keeps it warm afterwards. If you love porridge - which I do - then it's honestly work the money. If you love rice too then it's a flipping bargain!

Introducing: Magic Number Creative

Want wordsmithery? Need no-nonsense media training? I've teamed up with two other award-winning consumer journalists (Chris Haslam and Simon Munk) to set up a new copywriting agency: Magic Number Creative.

In short, we think PRs don't always communicate brilliantly with the mainstream media. And we're here to help you change that. Between the three of us, we've got 40 years of experience writing for mainstream press - from The Sunday Times to T3, FHM to Cosmopolitan, The Guardian to MSN. We're used to talking to consumers in language they understand. And we can bring the same clarity, simplicity and wit to your communications: brochures and newsletters, websites and blogs, instruction manuals and press releases etc. We also provide media training (we're used to asking awkward questions, we can help you answer them), product evaluation and other consultancy services.

So if your new year's resolution is to do get more coverage in the consumer press, communicate better with consumers, and build stronger relationships with journalists then get in touch! Check out