In extreme old age one has often learned to bear the bigger burdens; it’s the little things which cause paroxysms. A fragment of shell when you’re eating a boiled egg. An overused sliver of soap slips from your hands. Someone you loathe appears briefly on telly.
If your mind is still working (no guarantees of course) you acknowledge such mini-problems may be solved: a closer inspection of the boiled egg, discard the soap sliver for a new bar of Palmolive, mute the telly. But rage may delay such solutions.
Newspapers are on the way out, I won’t go into the reasons. To save money most UK newspapers took on the smaller – tabloid – format. Newspaper-lovers could bear this, but The Guardian went further. They did away with staples that hold the pages of the main section together. VR gets to read this section first (my treat) and through no fault of hers I inherit it in a crumpled and separated state. A small matter but infuriating.
It took me at least eighteen months (mostly lockdown) to realise I needed a stapler. I’m a tidy person – mostly – and I have had one throughout my adult life. But this needed to be different, a long-arm stapler capable of arching over a whole newspaper page to reach the centre of a two-page spread.
Deploying the long-arm stapler takes care. Misalign the staples and the pages don’t turn properly. A large unimpeded work surface is essential. The whole process takes about a minute and I’m occasionally self-conscious. Am I being too anal?
Sometimes I’m distracted and forget. VR never grumbles. It’s a solution but not exactly a comfort. The stapler cost £12. Plus a ridiculously excessive £4.50 p&p. Which… irritates me.