Having been away last week when the new mini Guardian was launched I’ve only just had a chance to try it out on the train. It’s certainly an improvement on the old one in that you no longer have to take over your neighbour’s airspace in order to turn the pages and preliminary consumer tests indicate that it doesn’t have the same tendency to cover your hands, face (I’m really not very good at folding newspapers) and fellow passengers with a dusting of black ink. And I promised I wouldn’t whinge when they changed the format so I won’t. I’m sure I’ll get used to the way it looks like one of those free advertising supplements extolling the joys of the Saudi Arabian Tourist industry or Estonia’s banking sector. And I’m sure their picture desk will calm down after the novelty wears off and stop introducing a little colour picture (look! colour on every page!) to illustrate every single article whether relevant or not. But if you will permit me one small murmur of discontent – what is the point of shrinking the paper and making a big song and dance about how it would be easier to read in a crowded train and then producing a full cross-page centre spread in the middle so you have to open it right out over your neighbour’s lap to get the full effect? Joined up thinking, please. And out of habit I keep picking it up and folding it in half the way I am used to doing and then finding I’m walking down the street with a ridiculously tiny folded up newspaper square under my arm. But these are minor quibbles. The real test will be combining the new look Grud, a white top and a rainy day. If I don’t end up with a detailed mirror-print analysis of the Liberal Democrat’s latest health initiative smeared across my shirt, I will be happy. For a bit, anyway.
I’d hoped to be doing this via broadband again by now but alas it wasn’t to be. There’s a whole blog entry right there … watch this space