I wasn't feeling jolly this morning when I made the mistake of phoning up the company to which I paid lots of money in AVCs (additional voluntary contributions) to supplement my meagre pension. I was just wanting to be sent some information but the lady kept me on the phone for half an hour, asking difficult questions. Some of these I understood. With the others - there's a limit to the number of times one can say, "Sorry, I don't quite follow that." I did gather that as long as I live to about 150 I might get a reasonable amount of the money back. I was a bit surprised to be told, by the way, that the average life expectancy of a woman who gets to 65 is 89. (Not 65 + 89, you understand. Just 89.) I really don't know if I can be bothered living that long. Not unless I can figure out how to work our new television.
It's annoying (I find) how I've become de-skilled over the years. When I was young, I was perfectly capable of switching on the telly. Now the thing requires the erudition of a systems analyst and I have to get Mr Life to do it for me. Which is why I watch hardly any telly now. No doubt this has happened because lots of smart young men wanted to make the whole thing more technically perfect, while people like me were quite happy just to walk over to the device and press a button to make a good-enough picture appear on any one of three channels. Who needs digital pictures and millions of garbage-carrying channels? Not me, especially since I can't access any of them without the old chap. I tell you, he'll have to live to 152 so as to keep me amused with moving pictures in my old age.
And cars - why can't they make them all the same? Well, ok, they could do them in a range of sizes (big, medium and small) and of course a good choice of colours. But I think that they should all be standard in other ways: all the controls in exactly the same places, for ever, and all with the same symbols so that I always know how to turn the windscreen wipers on. Why do they have to keep redesigning them?