“There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person’s lawful prey.”
That’s a quote often attributed to John Ruskin but, as with so many quotes, there is no evidence he ever said it. However, there is definitely no doubt that it describes my buying habits.
About twenty years ago I bought a cheap, low quality shredder. That wasn’t what I meant to buy, but it’s what you end up with when you buy the cheapest.
About nineteen years ago Julia bought a more expensive, better quality, shredder, because she was fed up of my running commentary on the uselessness of mine. It worked well for years, before with, a screech and a smell of hot plastic, it stopped, and never started again.
That is why I’ve just been muttering at the older machine, whilst prodding at it with a screwdriver and unravelling yards of creased paper from the cutters. I fear the blades are not as sharp as they used to be and, despite the supposed five sheet capacity, they are struggling to cut three.
This is not what you want to see when you have a pile of rugby club records to shred. Even after my efforts of the morning I still have a pile of paper three inches thick to get through. A lot of it is pink and yellow sheets from three-part registration forms and a lot of the rest contains personal details so can’t be re-used as scrap paper.
This is what happens when a conscientious man with access to his work’s printer keeps records. I’ve already disposed of various ten-year-old policies and grant applications.
It’s not as if they are really my responsibility – I was landed with a box of them by a man who is clearly smarter, and more cunning, than I am. After several years of trying to pass them on I have admitted defeat and started to shred. It is not going well, as you can probably tell from the reference to the screwdriver. There is, I can confirm, a small margin between a shredder and a device for screwing up paper in tight folds.
When I buy another I am going to buy an expensive one and hope the price reflects the quality.
The header picture is shredded paper – I took it myself. I did originally take the lazy option but the image search offered a single picture, which was actually a cheese grater. I’m beginning to think that my early enthusiasm for this feature may have been misplaced.
The lower pictures are sunset, taken from the back of the house.