Nothing lasts, except maybe old fountain pens. This year I’ve had to replace a camera, a bread maker (nothing to do with fountain pens but woman cannot live by pens alone!) and now a universal charger. I bought the last one from Tesco not very long ago and I hadn’t used it very often. When I last went to use it one of the springs that hold the batteries in place had failed. Damn you, Tesco, and your shoddy merchandise! Between cameras, flashlights and various other doodads we use a lot of batteries so a dead charger is an emergency that needs prompt action.
The replacement is sold under the Duracell name so one would imagine it’s in their interest to ensure that it’s good. I hope so anyway. It came in the post today, and it was encased in that horrible, hard plastic that cuts you as you try to cut it. After much hacking and wrenching I got the charger out of the Packaging From Heck but not before it lifted a sizeable flap of skin on my knuckles. This pernicious stuff is of no benefit to the buyer. In fact it’s a menace. The only benefit is for the retailer. It’s like those annoying bubble-encased tablets that save the chemist having to count, but make the lives of the elderly and arthritic a total misery. Even those tiny metal batteries to power your watch come in an utterly impenetrable film of plastic.
Still, at least I can charge up my batteries and get the main camera going again. You’ll notice I said “main camera”. This is because when my old camera finally died I ended up buying two replacements. First I bought a Fujifilm X10 which is in most respects a wonderful camera – just not for what I need it to do. It has focusing problems when taking macro photos. I tried everything but couldn’t really successfully work around them. In the end, I went looking for another camera and settled on the aging but excellent Pentax X5. It’s perfect for pen photography. In fact it’s perfect for any photography but it’s quite big, so it’s the X10 that goes in my pocket when I go out.
I would really, really like the rest of my stuff to just go on working, please. All this purchasing is getting a little tiring, not to mention bank-account-emptying.