Friday, April 10, 2015

Life is difficult

It gets you down!

paper_plain_5reams.jpgI have discovered that reams of paper are the new CDs.  And by that I mean, in terms of packaging.
            I know that CDs are rapidly becoming the things of the past, bought only by poor sods like me who reasons that buying all the expensive recordings that I couldn’t afford when in University at bargain prices on reissued CDs is, well, a bargain.
            And yes, more than one person has looked at me with condescending pity as I relay my excitement at owning Archiv recordings at a fraction of the price of the original LPs, by saying, “You only buy them because you do not know where to look on the Web to get them for nothing!”
            Perhaps, but I am still the sort of person who wants the physical evidence that I own something and I cannot be doing with music in the cloud.  Though, of course, I do have most of my music somewhere there.  Don’t blame me for being paradoxical, it comes with the personality!
            Anyway.  Packaging.  Anyone who remembers CDs (look them up on Google) will also remember the physical impossibility of removing the cellophane covering of the discs.  An especially cruel feature of the packaging was some sort of numinous ghostly line around the outside which was allegedly an ‘easy opening’ feature.  I spurn such inhumanity and remember my tears of frustration as I broke nails trying to gain access.
            Eventually, of course, one took to the knife or the scissors and then gouged chunks of the plastic cover in increasingly frenzied attempts to get the blood plastic off.
            What, I remember, was especially galling was getting a ‘bit’ of the plastic to give.  This ‘bit’ gave you a completely false expectation that the rest would peel away like thick rind from a juicy orange.  Not a bit of it!  All you would have is a finger scratching area of the inside case to feel and the rest of the plastic covering would preserve its doughty integrity.  Until the knife.  And it was always the knife in the end.  Apart from really cheap discs which had no covering.
            Ah, happy days!  And now those memories have returned with a vengeance at you attempt to gain access to 500 sheets of paper.
            One of our local supermarkets has the packaging of paper down to a fine art of infuriating, teeth chattering futility.
            Ironically, the paper is wrapped in plastic.  This plastic is snugly wrapped and the seams of the packaging are, I assume heat-sealed.  This means that you can feel the edge of the packaging, but no nail is thin enough or sharp enough to gain entry.
            The knife!  I hear you cry.  The knife indeed comes into play.  But, if you only cut a bit, it only gives a bit – and certainly not enough to allow you to remove any paper.
            I would have thought that only Zen Buddhists would be able to open (or indeed ‘not open’) reams of paper and still have the equanimity to smile at humanity afterwards.
            Whatever happened to the ‘sensible packaging for humans’ campaign, and why has it been suspended for paper?

Poetic dispersion
I have sent off a few copies of Clocks of Dust to a very few selected readers with an injunction to comment.  If they look at the postage on the outside of the envelope then they should feel duty bound to repay the postage with at least a few well-chosen words!
            So far, three people have given me feedback of varying complexity and length.  I am not proud, I will take comments from where I can get them and I truly welcome any and all responses.  Please, visit and, more importantly, leave a message/comments on what you read there.  I promise to reply to each and every one!

To my leisure centre for the €10.90 lunch.  Excellent!  We were tempted to go there by one of the starters which was the Catalan take on bubble and squeak.  In this version it is served with black pudding and laced (if you are sensible) with olive oil.
            I never thought that the day would come where I would have defeated my childhood detestation of cooked cabbage (I ate raw cabbage with relish) and actually go out of my way to choose a starter like the above!
            As far as I can tell, it is only callos (tripe) which still defeats my omnivorous appetite.  The Spanish version of this odious dish (which is also the signature dish of Madrid, say no more!) is no better than the truly disgusting version cooked with milky water that my mother enjoyed.  Neither my father nor I joined her in this uncharacteristic faux pas of taste!

Although you can kid yourself that summer is really here during the day, the sunless evening and night soon dispels this idea – then it is cool to cold.  But we are counting the days.
            Already the minions of the powers that be are busily painting the different coloured parking lines ready for the summer season when the colour of lines between which you are parked will determine the amount you have to pay to stay there.  We residents of the beach side of Castelldefels have special passes which allow us to park free of charge between green lines, but even we have to pay if we go one street nearer to the sea and find ourselves between blue lines!
            Parking will soon assume its official summer status of “nightmare” and we will be increasingly grateful that, if we bother to open the gates we do actually have a couple of parking spaces in front of the house!


The OU essay is now becoming something of a Dark Cloud as I am writing more poetry than thinking about body art.  Although I do not technically have to complete this essay, I would be stupid indeed to allow the rest of the work I have done to go for nothing.  So, this weekend is the Big Push to get the rest of the reading done and the start of the cobbling together of half understood artistic pronouncements to get the academic ball rolling!

The robot hoover has given up the ghost.  It first developed a sort of limp and then it descended into a state of melancholy madness by pirouetting on the spot and going nowhere.
            The brush on one side has disintegrated, the ‘bumper’ on the front has cracked; the treat has come off one wheel and the wiring is beginning to spill out form the insides.  It is knackered.  And I want my (not a lot of) money back.  This was, supposedly, a bargain and I was delighted at how it was working but it is yet another example of paying for what you get.

            I have not given up on the concept.  I will however go for a more sophisticated example of the genre the next time I throw money in a cleaning direction.
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