Mix­ing it up – like it’s go­ing out of fash­ion

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

GAR­DEN gnomes have long been part of our na­tional ec­cen­tric­ity so I was sad to see sales have plum­meted as they are re­placed by pot­tery frogs, stat­ues of Daleks and minia­ture Stone­henges.

Chang­ing trends mean that things that have been in our lives for­ever are sud­denly seen as naff or out­dated – and dis­ap­pear, like Cash’s name tapes that were sewn into our school uni­forms.

They were part of my life as a child, and then fea­tured in a stick-on form in Fisher Ju­nior’s clothes. Even­tu­ally when my mother, who had se­vere Alzheimer’s, needed 24-hour care in a nurs­ing home, the tapes came in handy again.Al­ways a smart, at­trac­tive woman, I was de­ter­mined she wouldn’t ever be dressed in some­one else’s clothes, which can hap­pen with mass laun­der­ing.

Mum may not have known who we were, or what day it was, but the name tapes en­sured she kept her dig­nity – and still looked like her­self.

The firm had been mak­ing la­bels since 1870 and went into ad­min­is­tra­tion last year.

It has since been ac­quired by a Hong Kong firm, but ac­cord­ing to Net­mums the wa­ter­proof pen is to­day’s pre­ferred op­tion, so the name tape may still be head­ing for ex­tinc­tion.

Then there are the black­boards that we oldies grew up with, which have been re­placed in schools by high-tech white­boards.

Who can re­mem­ber be­ing ap­pointed black­board mon­i­tor and the joy of be­ing al­lowed to wipe away the teacher’s scrawl af­ter a talk and chalk ses­sion?

Mind you, I’m not sorry that no one need suf­fer the screech­ing sound made by fin­ger­nails run­ning down a black­board.

Re­searchers who asked peo­ple to list record­ings of sounds in or­der of dis­like found it topped the list, even beat­ing squeak­ing poly­styrene.

But there’s good news, chaps. Re­turn­ing from par­tial ex­tinc­tion af­ter iTunes was launched in the UK in 2004, the com­pi­la­tion al­bum is mak­ing a come­back.

We may be able to down­load thou­sands of tracks in a sec­ond but these de­lights – typ­i­cally a mix of hits cov­er­ing all gen­res of mu­sic – have not gone away.

Af­ter a decade of de­cline they now ac­count for 21 per cent of all al­bums sold – good news for my CD col­lec­tion. How­ever, I don’t think I’ll be buy­ing the Ed­die Sto­bart truck­ing songs any­time soon.

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