slightly past the use-by date

Just changed the batteries in my Mini Maglite. Check the battery date:

duracell install by jan 99I bought the batteries (and the torch) in an outdoor store in Truro, Cornwall in July 1993. I needed it to stop and start wind turbines at Carland Cross at night. The batteries still worked, if a little weakly. There are people driving younger than these batteries.

One of the batteries was, like Mr Belpit’s legs, a bit swollen with age. After several fruitless attempts involving rare-earth magnets and superglue, I took off the lens, bulb (well, LEDs)  and tail cap, and smacked it sharply against the floor. I could then lever the battery out with a sweetcorn skewer.