Belt and braces (and a length of bailer twine)

We bought a new laser printer recently.  The last one, which Ro was able to buy very cheaply from work a few years ago, is very old and was sticking badly.  I’d installed it on the Sage’s computer, but I’ve only just got around to putting it on mine too.  And I’m disconcerted to find the great sense of relief and satisfaction when I printed my first documents on it.  Never again will I find, in the middle of printing out a series of papers, that a random ink cartridge has run out and I have to faff about changing it, never again will it be a disaster if I run out of a particular colour, I can just move over to the other printer.  And there is still the old one, which does work if I feed in the paper sheet by sheet.

I’d love to think I’m happy-go-lucky, but my in-built caution keeps frustrating my efforts.  I’m very good at letting go of some things.  When driving off to fetch Ro back from university in Lancashire once, I took a friend who wanted to visit his father there and we were delayed by a major traffic jam.  The friend was driving at the time and he decided to set off cross-country (roads, dears, not fields) and follow his nose.  I was perfectly relaxed about it and he was surprised.  He said his wife would have been examining the map, worrying that they might get lost and fretting about the delay.  I wasn’t bothered at all – just because it isn’t the sort of thing that upsets me.  We were going in the right direction, there wasn’t a plane to catch, we had all day.  If people call in unexpectedly, I can always rustle up a meal and if not there’s the chippie or the pub.  I assume that things will work out and it doesn’t much matter if they don’t.  But on the other hand, when something is my responsibility, I always have a plan and a back-up if it’s at all possible.  But my semi-hidden need for a back-up for the back-up is slightly over the top.

Mind you, I put in the last cartridge of black ink the other day.  I won’t quite relax until I’ve ordered more supplies.

10 comments on “Belt and braces (and a length of bailer twine)

  1. 63mago

    In a way printers teached me humility I guess. Since the second half of the eighties I did printing jobs, first for work in projects, then for fellow students, later I worked for people more kind of professionally. First needle printers (NEC P5 and such), later ink, than lasers. I saw needle printers hammering all the stuff into one line and into the transporting roller – very nice when you left the room for a coffee and cigarette trusting that all is set and ready, deadline tomorrow of course, and come back to a hammering mess; ink wee-ers giving up on the last ten pages; wrong paper sizes … two years ago I searched in my archive for a paper I produced years ago, the file long lost (thank you Micro-Schuft!), I found it and the black stuff could be brushed off, leaving behind a nearly white virgin paper. The needlers were the last real printers, where something was pressed into the paper.

  2. 63mago

    The need for security you describe – maybe I am over-optimistic, but I think things fall in the right places. I like to have a map, but I have a look and then put it away and look out of the window.

  3. Z

    My Latin teacher took early retirement to become an antiquarian book seller. Once, he showed me a printed book that dated from 1485. It was still in perfect condition. I have always wished that book was mine.

    What I can’t control, I let go of and don’t fuss, but if I can, I rather want to.

  4. Sir Bruin

    The Smaller Bear is the planner, whereas I am the one who makes it up as he goes along. Between us, we have all the bases covered. I believe that she will be having, “What’s the worst that can happen?” engraved on my headstone, as that is my default response to any concerns.
    I share your view that it is only worth worrying about things that you can influence. Worrying about things that cannot be changed is a waste of effort.

  5. Mike and Ann

    Quite agree, Sir Bruin. I remember (although it’s a good many years ago now) the two of us being in a small cabin in the Felixstowe to Zeebrugge ferry with our five offspring, and myself trying to explain to Ann that the following morning when in the car rolling off the ferry would be quite soon enough to start looking at the map to drive to Detmold in Germany. She woke me the following morning (as we docked at Zeebrugge) with an elbow in the ribs and the remark “You know your trouble, don’t you? You don’t worry enough”.
    As we’ve got older, I’ve tried to amend that major character fault.

  6. sablonneuse

    Sorry I missed the chance to wish you well for the Wall party but am pleased it was a huge success. I wonder what you mean by ‘next time’. Are you planning another wall?

  7. Z

    I’ve got two each of the coloured cartridges, but have used the black. I’ll buy more in good time.

    I used to worry more but the Sage doesn’t, and he always gets away with it. I’ve become used to relying on his good luck when he has anything to do with it, but when I’m relying on myself, it’s back-up every time.

    We’ve got quite a few plans, Sandy. Not another wall – well, only a little one – but we’re going to move and renovate the summer house and then rebuild the boat house. I’m thinking of a tennis tea next year.

    Thank you for timely advice, Simon.


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