The inspriation for designers is having to deal with things which just don't do what they are supposed to, or if they do, do it so badly that you wish you had never tried.
You would think I had learned my lesson when I bought 10 kilos of 'universal potting compost' from the Pound Shop last Spring, wouldn't you? All Rachel Carson's predictions came true in the microcosm of our kitchen window box, just because I believed the Eastern Europeans who dug up a load of rubbish from a contaminated building site, then spent more on the packaging than they did on the contents.
An LED headset torch from the same shop at the same price. It never worked, and I couldn't be bothered to walk the 500 yards and go through the complicated procedure to get back my £1. Ditto the computer screen wet-wipes which I tried to clean this iMac with yesterday. They are wet enough to be unpleasant, but they don't remove the grime. They just smear it around from one place to the other. It's hard being a skinflint.
I began with post with the intention of not mentioning the 'C' word, but I've just come from Sarah's blog in which that word has never been mentioned at all as far as I can remember, but that is an easy feat if you live in Australia and not chilly, Christmas-obssessed Great Britain. Christmas isn't even a big deal in France, where the weather in the North is very similar to ours, if not identical. The big difference is that we had Charles Dickens and they had the Tale of Two Cities.
My car mechanic is on his way to Australia to visit his two sons who emigrated there recently, and he told me of his fears about eating a barbeque on the beach rather than a sweltered roast for Christmas. He has only gone on the strict condition that he is allowed to cook a turkey (or the closest animal he can find to one) for lunch, and his sons leapt at the opportunity to not cook on the day.
I was in Lidl two days ago, and found kangaroo steaks in their freezer cabinets. I toyed with the idea of buying some and serving them to the kids on the 24th, but I think they would never have forgiven me. I still get a lot of stick from Green-Eyes for forgetting the gravy for the sausage and mash one bonfire night about 10 years ago. 'You ARE kidding, aren't you?!'
In the first few paragrahs of Sarah's post, having met an old friend from years gone by, she comes up with the throw-away line, 'Her partner, wearing rubber thongs and weilding a rake, set fire to the bracken around the hut while we talked,' then carries on with the story without further comment about what seems to me to require a swift phone-call to two or three different emergency services.
I have always suspected that you have to be tough to live in rural Australia, but I mean, really.
For Sarah's sake, this is what a 'rubber thong' is to the rest of the world. I wondered why he was wearing two.