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The list of so-called First World problems compiled in a recent survey made for amusing summer reading.

Earphone cords getting in a tangle in bags, wallets too full of cash to shut properly, and – woe! – a bowl being too small for Weetabix (that one can only have been a British complaint).

Quite apart from the straightforward way round any of these problems, which is to reflect on how much worse your day would be if you had to walk five miles from your makeshift shack to fetch your tapeworm-infested drinking water, they can actually be turned to life-enhancing advantage if you use them as little reminders to maintain a positive mindset.

If a problem is simply something that happens, and it’s outside your control (for instance, you are given a Pimms that’s not cold enough – another very British ‘problem’), then accept the situation as just one of those things the universe throws at us, and concentrate on changing those areas of life that you do have control over.

You would be surprised just how many scenarios you do actually have a measure of control over. It’s down to you to get into action mode (perhaps by trying to educate people in the proper way to serve party drinks).

Those Pimms-drinking, fat-walleted survey respondees might be reassured by another snippet of information I heard this week. It seems a deli in Stockholm has opened a kennels or cattery-style ‘hotel’, charging nearly £30 a week, to look after yeasts belonging to its breadmaking clientele.

Yes, you definitely are comfortably middle class if you need someone to look after your sourdough starter while you’re on holiday.

glasses of Pimms

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