Just every once in a while, if I've got money in my bank account and the whim takes me, I get into a mood where I buy things on impulse. I did that today, out in Nottingham - I was passing HMV and thought to myself 'I like browsing through the DVDs in HMV, but I never buy anything there. If I really want a particular DVD/video/whatever, I buy it on the internet or tape it off the telly, whichever is more convenient. And yet, if everybody did this, HMV would close down and I wouldn't be able to browse their DVDs any more. I'd better buy something. It'll be good for the economy.'
So I bought some of their cut-price DVDs - The Mitchell and Webb Look series one, Catterick, The Day Today, The Inbetweeners and the Doctor Who Lost In Time collection. The last of these wasn't reduced price, it was £15, but I've been meaning to get it for ages. And then in the Works bookshop I saw a book on playing the ukulele for absolute beginners. And then shortly afterwards I was passing the music shop and noticed that they had a cheap ukulele for sale. A little red one. So basically, I now own a ukulele. And I've spent the afternoon playing it. It's great - I can now play the ukulele part of 'Five Years Time' by Noah And The Whale (which is really, really, really easy to play, and I suspect their ukulele player also only had an afternoon of practice before they recorded it) and I'm starting to work on fingerpicking.
It's murder on the fingers, though - alternative titles I considered for this blog entry included "Played it till my fingers bled", "I've got blisters on my fingers!" and "Maybe get a blister on your thumb". The thumb-blister is the only one of those that has actually happened so far, but the fingers on my left hand are also rather sore.
The important question, though, is 'will calluses on my fingers impede my card-memorising technique?' Andi Bell learnt to play the guitar a few years ago and he's never won the world championship since. Perhaps it really isn't possible to be a Rock n Roll World Memory Champion!