1. My discovery of the week ... streaming music via Spotify. I can now listen to pretty much any music I like, for as long as I like, for the princely sum of £5 per month (which is about what I was spending on iTunes). There is a free option that allows you to listen for 20 hours in a month (with ads), or a premium option (£10 per month) that allows you to listen offline via an iPad, iPhone or mobile phone app. It is currently only available in certain northern European countries, but I'm sure there must be some equivalent on the other side of the Atlantic. I have been having a ball setting up playlists, and rediscovering old favourites.
2. Lowering the tone of my blog somewhat by switching to the topic of toilet tissue ... does anyone else remember Izal medicated toilet roll? The hard stuff? Staple of the 1960s primary school toilet block? (An outside toilet block in the case of my first school - not pleasant in sub-zero temperatures!). As this article in The Times Online (believe it or not, a review of an entire 30 minute radio show dedicated to this mundane item) put it:
For those too young and fortunate not to have experienced it, the Izal loo roll was a sort of shiny white thing with the consistency of lino (it was best to scrunch it up before use, make it a bit more malleable) and smelling of coal tar. It didn’t do its job properly, tending to — how to put this delicately — spread the work rather than clean it up. Put another way, it … OK, maybe better not put it another way. Ask an older person if you’re that interested.There was a shot of an Izal roll in museum piece 1940s house this morning, and the whole experience came flooding back. Bizarrely, I can remember elderly relatives who actually preferred this stuff. Presumably the soft version was considered to be for softies! (Curious question: was there an American equivalent?)
3. Oh my! I just found a Facebook page dedicated to the Izal medicated toilet roll, though with a mere twenty members it has some way to go in the popularity stakes. I can't believe I even looked.
4. I am taking Angel and Star to see Twilight Eclipse this evening. I haven't read the books, and thought the first two movies were sort of OK, but I absolutely hated Kristen Stewart's portrayal of Bella. To me she is just annoyingly wimpish. Surely the Bella of the books must have more personality. Angel is the only one who has read them, and as she saw the first movie before she read the first book, she can't disentangle the image of the movie Bella enough from her picture of the book Bella to tell me whether I am right.
5. I ordered myself a new trombone mouthpiece yesterday as I want to try out a larger size (deeper tone, stronger lower notes, best not to think about the high notes!). Another brass instrument discovery I've made is that you can get mouthpieces in very cool colours. I'm getting the fairly subtle glitter gold - just a hint of shine - though I was seriously tempted by crystal purple to go along with my current sartorial purple patch. A bit too much of a statement, though - and not so good when I move on to a different colour craze.
6. One of my favourite TV series, the genealogy programme Who Do You Think You Are, starts again next week. As a taster, the BBC has shown selected episodes from the American version. Watching people discovering their own personal histories fascinates me. (The fact that they are celebrities is incidental.)
7. Judging by this conversation Cherub is confused by Tevye working from home a couple of days a week:
Cherub: What are you doing today today, Daddy?
Cherub: But are you staying at home or going to your real work?