Thursday, July 20, 2006

Shades of youth, sheep and people, let gravity take the strain

Watching people of my own generation milling about outside the opera house, I see in their aged faces, shadows of their former youth.

On the main lawn at Glyndebourne are groups of people with picnics. Beyond them, separated by a ha-ha, is a field of sheep, and beyond that, woods and downland. England on a warm summer evening. Something to be sentimental about? Perhaps. But certainly a pleasure to be there.

There seems to be a new development in design. First, it was toothpaste tubes, which once you had to roll up at the bottom to extract the last squeeze of paste .(Does that age me?) Now you have plastic containers withbroad-based caps, which can be stood on end so that the last remnants of the paste flow into and reside in the nozzle. Mayonnaise and salad-cream manufacturers seem to have copied the idea. The bottles, though more or less of the traditional shape, now have wide tops, and the label invites you to stand them on their heads, and so avoid the frantic shaking necessary when you get to the end of a container, which has been standing on its base. To this end, even the labels on the containers have have been reversed, so that at first they appear to be upside down.

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