I'm very pleased by the way so many people have kindly contributed Twirl information to this blog. I have no idea why they have done so, but they have, and I'm pleased.
Whilst I don't pretend to be any kind of absolute authority on the subject of Twirl Spotting (and I'm not even sure if "Twirl Spotting" is the right name for this activity), I do have a certain amount of experience in this field, and so I thought other budding Twirl Spotters might find the lessons I have learned helpful.
Again, I wish to stress, the following is based purely on my own personal experience. Other people may have devised their own systems and methods which work for them, and I encourage you to develop your own style as a Twirl Spotter. Do what works is what I suggest. If it works for you, do it. This is what works for me.
Firstly, I wanted to include some information on the equipment I use while Twirl Spotting:
In order to illustrate each report, I like to include a picture of the shop I happen to be writing about. I normally just use the camera on my phone, as although the quality isn't great, it's good enough for web. Also I always carry it with me anyway, so it's quite convenient.
If you're only visiting one shop, you can probably store all of the details in your brain until you come to writing up your report. However, if you are visiting a dozen or so shops in one afternoon, you'll probably need to write the details down. I use a Silvine Memo Book (ref: 016) as it fits neatly in my back pocket. You can buy these in most stationery shops – I haven't yet mapped the availability of these and don't intend to. I paid 60p for mine.
You will need this to write in the notebook. I use a Bic Cristal Clic. This is an ideal pen as it combines the reliability of the Bic Cristal with the convenience of a retractable nib. No fiddling around with a lid, just a simple click action. I haven't had any problems with this pen so far.
When I first started the project, I set myself a rule that I would only write about shops where I had actually bought Twirls. I immediately broke this rule. It was unworkable. However, I do still quite frequently buy Twirls whilst Twirl Spotting and for this, I use money. The money I use is pound sterling (£) and so far it has been accepted in every shop I've been to. It is very reliable.
Later, I will post some notes on METHOD.