Pandemic Ponderings #87

On Saturdays I buy a real newspaper. The rest of the week I am utterly shameless and read anything and everything newsworthy on the internet. I’m inclined to follow my own natural political, ethical and moral bias on the whole but often read some strange and intriguing things that I don’t always agree with but that make me think a bit harder. Pre Lockdown I read several newspapers on-line content that are published elsewhere in the world. Melbourne’s The Age and Los Angeles Daily Breeze are favourites along with The London Evening Standard. I don’t for a minute consider myself to be well read by doing this I just like reading the local news that sparks interest in other places.

Lockdown has , for some reason stopped that habit , but the Saturday ritual of a print copy of The Guardian has endured. Often by midnight on a Saturday it has not been opened which makes it an even bigger pleasure on Sunday.

Ritual is everything. The paper as purchased has to be stripped down. Supplements taken out of their potato starch bag and annoying loose advertising pamphlets discarded. The starch bag goes into the dog poo disposal pot in the garden . The dog poo disposal pot is in fact a rhubarb forcing jar, which somehow copes with the output of two dogs who only poop in the garden when their owners have not provided a correctly timed walk. This may be too much detail but the poo is picked up with loo paper and popped in the jar alongside the once a week potato starch bag. This cocktail of excrement, tissue and biodegradable packaging is nirvana to a whole host of wee beasties who like to chomp on such stuff.

Saturday night the newspaper, if I have managed to keep my hands off it, is carried upstairs at bedtime ready to be read as soon as I wake up on Sunday. Or overnight if insomnia bites. I prefer a day old paper to Sunday Editions for some reason.

It then accompanies me back downstairs to be read with coffee. Bits of the newspaper hang around all week being read and reread. Most of it is recycled and the cookery section filed . It is rare for us not to use one of the recipes during the week.

The newspaper ritual is undoubtedly irritating for those who share my life or bed on a Saturday or Sunday. Flackering of the newspaper whilst reading it is inevitable . By way of apology I always make cups of tea.

The ritual Saturday paper is a barometer of a weekend. I like to be too busy on a Saturday to read it and to have enough down time on a Sunday to read most of it.

This weekend is shaping up well so far, it’s nearly midnight and not a word has been read from the print edition. Just one or two articles on-line whilst waiting around.

Happy Saturday/Sunday

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