Pass the pliers please

No I am not trying a bit of DIY, although when push comes to shove I am capable of doing the odd little jobs around the house.

No, I am trying to cook supper. Firstly I have to open a new bottle of vegetable oil. That has a natty little plastic pulling strip which always seems to snap half the way round. No matter I can just pull open what remains of the bottle top. Alright it’s not perfect at least it works!

On to the Worcestershire sauce. Can I unscrew the lid? No it is impossible – it is so difficult that I need my handy pliers which are in the tool box in the garden shed. Off I trudge down the garden to find them. I return, grip the top of the bottle and turn – hurray it works.

Now it is time to make my dessert which needs some Apricot Jam which of course, is absolutely vital for the cake. so once again I have to go to the shop and return with the jam.

First I have to take off the see-through plastic bit that covers the top of the jar ( for which I have to find my spectacles ) and then I have to open the lid. Simples!

However I have to resort to alternative methods. I try submerging the jar in hot water – no result there, so I go on to plan B. This entails piercing the lid using a hammer and screwdriver. Back to the hut again for the necessary tools. Armed with these I try to pierce the lid without stabbing myself. Yes you have guessed that didn’t work either. So no jam on the pudding!

Honestly my failure to open things is not good for my blood pressure. The array of tools needed for opening the variety of tubs and bottles means that I have to have a sharp knife, pliers, plus two pairs of scissors. Of to the DIY shop where I found a really nice man to help me. I gave him my list of tools so off we trotted up and down the aisles. By the time we got to the till I was quite exhausted. I wonder how many miles each member of staff walks or indeed runs during the average day?

Next I am off to the bathroom to freshen up before my guests arrive. To my horror I find that the toothpaste has run out which means I have to open a new one. Firstly you have to open a very small foil cover only to find there is another smaller tab underneath which is impossible to pull off. Having opened the toothpaste I decided to celebrate and use the new toothbrush. The opening of the packs of toothbrushes almost make me lose the will to live.

Trying to tear the paper bit at the back of the packet is almost impossible, so out comes my favourite knife which does the trick beautifully.

Then I remember that it is time to take my pills. The jar says it is child proof- I think it should state OAPs as well. Squeezing the lid at the same time as pulling it off is nigh on impossible. And have you tried to open the new style pill packets which have a double foil? My efforts end up with pills flying all over the kitchen, many of which end up in the dogs bowl!

I am not alone for when discussing the pill problem with my friends and indeed family it is reassuring to find that there are millions of people who have the same particular problem.

Finally I decided to have a cup of tea, can I pull off the covering on the milk bottle? The answer is a resounding No, so I am left with another plastic tab in my hand. After I have found the sharp scissors necessary for the job I remember that I had a slab of chocolate in the fridge. I decide to have one or two pieces to cheer myself up and was really peeved to find that when I turned it over there was a helpful bit that said “peel me” and another sticker which states that it is an easy re-closable package. I could neither peel or-close the thing.

You would be amazed how far a chocolate bar goes when thrown across a room!

I am not alone with the daily battle and wonder if you have any pet peeves with packaging?


Written by: Jane Buckle

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Jane Buckle

My Grandfather was called Bertie Buckle. He was a journalist in Fleet Street then went to live in India and founded the Bombay Gazette. I am not certain this was true but that was what my father told me! I always wanted to be a journalist but ended up doing Public Relations and Advertising, both of which meant that I was writing Press Releases, brochures and articles about clients. I formed my own little business specialising in P.R and Advertising. Unfortunately my clients drifted away one by one. They thought young and enthusiastic girls were preferable to an old lady of 55! I then moved to France where I lived for six blissful years. I renovated and sold houses and finally I realised my dream and wrote for three magazines there. I even had my own column in one of them. On my return to England I pitched for freelance work with all sorts of magazines and papers. I did write some pieces but I was over the moon when Silversurfers accepted an article. I like to think Bertie would be proud of his granddaughter.

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