Not everyone will agree with my list, but I bet there are a few people who will say, ‘yeah I’ve noticed that too’.

Why do ketchup bottles leak? How many times have you used one that has that heavy top so you can store it upside down, ready to use - yes I get the idea, it’s so you don’t have to shake the bottle - but after a few uses of banging it on the table to close it, the flimsy hinge fails and the bottle looks closed but isn’t, then you either get a gooey mess around the top or a puddle in your fridge.

Why do spray bottle sprays triggers always swivel around too much, and make them hard to aim? The rest of the bottle is usually ergonomically designed for your hand, so why can't the spray bit lock into place?

Why aren’t all ATMs designed the same? They never seem to spit your dosh out from the same place. I have felt the odd pang of anxiety while waiting for my money, and wondering where it will appear, eyes scanning the machine for a likely slot, then find it had been sitting there for several nanoseconds while the bloke behind you gets a pretty good idea of how much you have withdrawn, and you fear he may mug you before you get it to the safety of your wallet.

Why does every internet purchase site have to have a login that is such a complicated process (must have at least one capital letter and two numbers, but not consecutives, blah, blah, blah) and are even more complex to reset? By the time you have reset the login and confirmed you are a real person, your order has probably disappeared or you have forgotten what it was you wanted to order.

Why are coffee mugs only for right-handed people if they have a design or logo on front?

I hate child-proof bottle tops on pill or medicine bottles, they are pretty much adult-proof too, especially those of us with arthritic fingers. You need a JCB to get into some of them, or at the very least, three hands!

Large bottles of water with handles - they are so uncomfortable, you can't possibly carry more than one in each hand without the plastic almost severing your fingers.

Why are can openers designed for right-handed people? You hold the device shut on the can top with your left, and wind the wing piece with your right. A ‘leftie’ ends up with it upside down and winding it awkwardly (and probably getting the contents falling out too).

Ring pulls that break – then you have to use the above can opener.

Why do superglue bottles seal themselves shut after one use?

Why don’t plastic containers have a universal sized lid? Wouldn’t it be nice to rummage in your plastic pots cupboard and pick a pot you know is the right size for your left-over spaghetti sauce and the next lid you pick up will definitely fit it?

Handbags have black linings and you can only find stuff by rummaging round till you recognise shape by touch. Why don’t they have lights inside – I have always said it would be a good idea to have a teeny light inside a deep handbag, powered by a solar button on the outside maybe?

Tissue boxes should have a coloured one interleafed say 10 before the end, so you know when you are getting close to the last one – nothing is worse than finding the last one gone because they are all used up.

And my pet hate - Supermarket plastic bags for fruit etc, where the bag won't open unless you lick your fingers first- and have to surreptitiously move your mask up and hope your pinkie doesn’t carry covid cos that’s the finger you don’t use much and you took the risk of licking it.


Marilyn writes regularly for The Portugal News, and has lived in the Algarve for some years. A dog-lover, she has lived in Ireland, UK, Bermuda and the Isle of Man. 

Marilyn Sheridan