Friday, September 28, 2007

Life is pretty good right now except I loathe my newsagent

Work is crazy busy, but I am healthy, The Man is good, my family is well and, letss face it, compared to those in Burma or Sudan I don't have a thing to complain about. However that is not to say that aren't things that trouble my mind from time to time. I don't get to blog and read others as often as I want to, my computer keeps crashing, I haven't read a book in weeks, I've lost my driver's licence renewal form, I have baskets of washed clothes sitting around my spare room which I really must try to put away and my larder is mostly empty. What is really perturbing me at the moment though is that I may have to give up my long held addiction to newsprint.

It may not be obvious but ask yourself this, which of these three things does not belong with the others:

*I read newspapers in the old fashioned paper-turning way.
*I have a small, mostly dehydrated, front garden which is only barely alive during our water restrictions.
*I also have a great man with whom I spend part of my weekends ahem...kissing and sleeping in with.

Apparently it is impossible to have all three in my life at the same time.

I have stuck with print newspapers for many a year now, long after others moved entirely into the digital realm. I suffered through the Age's excessive newsprint stage which led to small smudgy black fingerprints all around my home. I survived the gradual diminution of the lifestyle, entertainment and food sections. All this time I have loyally subscribed to the Age, and I have the Australian and the Fin delivered on weekends. I love nothing more than to sit back on the couch on a Saturday with pages and pages of newspaper reading ahead of me.

In days gone past I had a lovely newsagent who would carefully place the papers just inside my front gate. After a while he was replaced by an aggressive young lad who each morning at 6:00 would launch the papers from his bike to my front door causing a loud bang. As annoying as this might sound it usually served as my alarm clock and ensured I could read the papers before heading off to work.

Now I have a newsagent who drives past in his Volvo (!) every morning at about 8, well after I have left for work. He seems to take particular perverse delight in throwing the weekday papers from his car window and he aims not at my front door or pathway, but at the any bit of greenery left in my small plot. So far he has decapitated geraniums, crushed my lavender bush, sliced a succulent or ten and "pruned" my roses for me. Is it too much to ask that I can read the Age and keep my garden intact? Apparently it is. I have visiting him and asked him nicely to help me out and try to avoid this. He looked down at me over his bulbous nose, with a smug look on his swarthy red face and smirked "sure." Since then the garden destruction has really taken off and it now looks like a small cyclone has visited upon my long suffering plants.

On weekends the problem is different. As I am often staying with The Man I arrive home later in the day to find all the papers nicely lined up on my pathway in clear sight advertising to all and sundry that (a)I have spent the night elsewhere and am not home or (b) I am a can't get out of bed. Don't get me wrong – I don't much care if my neighbours think I am a slovenly slut but I don't really want to let all the local burglars know I'm out.

Apparently I can't change to another newsagent as Mr Volvo is the only person who covers my area. I fear my days of newsprint are behind me. I apologise to those newspaper journalists who fear that the move to online newspapers will cost them jobs. You can't say I didn't try.