Tuesday, March 06, 2012

6th March 2012

I’ve felt pretty good today, though I’m still being quite careful not to over-stretch myself. The weekly shop followed by a 40 minute car journey to visit my daughter in Loughborough and that’s about it. Oh yes, I did call in on Jane’s mum offering to transport her to the old folks meeting she enjoys, but she had to wait in for her doctor. She’s not doing at all well but I don’t see how I can help more than I am. Nearly forgot, I did a plumbing repair on my bathroom tap valve which needed replacing. I’ve repaired the headwork a number of times on my relatively new Ikea kitchen and also Wickes bathroom taps… they’re all rubbish and I’ll gradually replace the mechanism on them all when necessary. A simple and inexpensive little job which when fulfilled was quite satisfying. I like mending things. It’s got to be better than buying new taps and much better than calling in a plumber! But why don’t they make things to last anymore? I’ve known taps last decades without even replacing the washer and a couple of these barely lasted twelve months before malfunction. Everything seems designed to have us back in the shop at the earliest opportunity.

We live in a consumerist society, greedily purchasing way beyond basic needs and in denial of affordability. It’s not just individuals either as much of the western world is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Apparently my son and I ‘owe’ £32,000 as our share of the National Debt, which is far more than any loan I’ve ever taken out. Our country is living beyond it’s means, but with shameless profligacy the example set by those in the public eye and seductive marketing confronting our every step, who are we to reject the offer of easy money. Spend today, pay back sometime later, maybe. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of the next best thing becoming the next must have. I wonder how many will rush out to buy the latest iPad when it arrives leaving their fully functional iPad 2 to gather dust in some forgotten corner? All for the sake of image with the excuse of functionality that belies actual usage after the first day. Although Apple seem to have quite good build quality many domestic appliances are designed to last only until the 12 month warranty expires. I’m on my fifth vacuum cleaner in half a dozen years… most were warranty replacements and the guarantee kept being extended. Trust me though, vacuum cleaners are not as exciting as iPads, but it’s a close call I suppose. I’d rather pay a bit more and get stuff that lasts but it doesn’t seem to work like that so that’s why we seem to spend most of our spare time shopping.

I’m not really sure what I’m trying to say, other than that there has to be another way of living. But charting a path through the glitz and glamour of the latest technology or designer clothing or eco-friendly this that and the other is a bit like walking on ice. Despite the fiercest determination we all slip up sooner or later, and easily succumb to the irresistible marketing campaign, offering fulfilment of our every desire.

1 Peter 2:11 ‘Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.’ (NLT)

No comments: