A spectacle affair

specs pic
courtesy wikimedia commons

As readers of this blog will know this year has been my big six ohhh! Along with this age come a few bonuses, and one of these is not paying for a few things… no, I’ve not taken to pinching stuff… suddenly I do not pay for prescriptions … and, as a letter from a high-street opticians reminded me, nor for an eye test.

Well I have been thinking that perhaps I ought to get them checked, after all I’ve been using those ‘1.0’ basic glasses (you know, £3 and fold up nicely into a slim tube) for a quite a long time now, for reading at odd times, like when in poor light, or small writing, like that on packaging. Oh, all right then… and for ease of reading speedily … without having to squint! Oh, ok… so what if I do have a set in every room and in both handbags? Just means I do not have to go round looking for them! Anyway, the ‘1.0’ were sometimes not quite doing the trick lately (mainly on product ingredients on food packaging etc) so I thought an eye test a good idea at least.

It’s not as if I haven’t had to wear prescription glasses before. Way back… just after I had my first baby I suddenly noticed that I could no longer read the road signs at a distance easily. Now, prior to giving birth, I had excellent eyesight at all distances. When I went for an eye test the optician told me that the hormonal changes could, in some cases, set the lenses. This mean that my eyes now had a mid range only, and I needed prescription glasses for long distance, and to do fine or very close work (like threading small-eye needles) at least a ‘point-one’ basic pair of glasses.

Strangely, my eyesight kept changing .. back .. perhaps the lenses softened again – I really do not know but after about thirty-five each eye test meant a weaker pair of lenses, until, at about fifty, I no longer required glasses for long distance at all. My long distance is excellent at the moment, however, my close vision became steadily worse, so that the spectacles used for only close work were needed for not-so-close work.. then for reading in poor light … or for reading small writing.

I was glad not to need the long distance glasses any more – didn’t have to keep finding them before driving (or buying a second pair with darkened lenses for bright day driving – and finding them when it was bright!) and didn’t have to fork out the huge prices for the frames. Note, not the lenses. I have no problem with the cost of technical, precision-made, personalised items such as the lenses… I do have a difficulty with frames that cost so much when the £3   frames on the ‘1.0’ have been doing their job quite satisfactorily for many years.

So it was with great delight (not to say surprise) that I received the ‘prescription’ from the optician… my eyes were not as good as they were, true, but a ‘2.0’ cheap pair would be fine!

Luckily both my eyes are almost identical in their requirements. She asked what I had been using so far … and when I admitted to using the off the shelf ‘1.0’, she said that the ‘2.0’ should be fine – with a ‘2.5’ for working on a computer (as in when writing the novels!) . WOW

Now as I was waiting for my optician’s appointment I had been looking at some of the frames available.  As it happened the weekend before my friend had just been showing me some snazzy ‘1.0’ – under a £5 each – that she had just bought. These were at least as nice as some up on the racks costing sixty pounds or more. So with my new ‘prescription’ I ordered a few pairs at ‘2.0’ and one at ‘2.5’. They arrived and are comfortable and attractive. Which begs the question … why do the ones available from the optician have to cost so much? (even before the lenses are added)

Any opticians out there would care to enlighten me?

Any one else want to share an optician story?

You know I love to hear from you!


Music While You Work….?

One of the things I hate about vacuuming is the noise it makes. Too much noise to hear music playing, which otherwise might make it bearable. (Yes, I’m sitting here blogging when I ought to be vacuuming the swathes of grass-cuttings that have been brought in and spread all over the carpet by our hairy-footed dog)

Who me? Ha Ha Ha!

And I know some of you are saying ‘just plug the music into your ears!’ – well,  it may be the shape of my ears – but I have yet to find earphones that are comfortable enough!

Whenever I am working on manual stuff I like to either have a Radio 4 programme on (Talk-radio for my US readers – and usually interesting stuff) or music from CDs, so it’s under my control and not disturbed by aimless, inane chatter (ooops is my age showing 😉 )

So if you walked into my kitchen you’d find radio 4 on, or if you came up to my slate workshop, you’d find it on there too most of the time.

But when I am writing my novels I MUST have music playing – but always the same CD.

I suspect it acts in two ways, one, as comfort blanket – I always know what’s coming up on the tracks, two, a block to ‘interesting’ outside noises that might distract me.. oh OK then, it works in THREE ways, three, it has such a range of tempos and styles that keep me awake, toe-tapping or swaying and seems to build a natural rhythm into my writing.

What is this marvellous album that works for me ?

Fleetwood Mac - TUSK

Click on picture to listen – it takes you to YouTube as for some reason it doesn’t want to embed into the blogpost this time.  If you don’t already know this album I hope you enjoy it – but don’t forget to come back to the blog and tell me!

What is your favourite Album? What kind of music works for you?  Why do you like it and when do you play it? Do share – I love to hear from you all.

For my FWT cheerleaders – down half a pound this week! Full details on the FWT dropdown!

Finally – today, the very last call for Deborah.Kennedy2@…..   please contact me back before 10/9/12 after which I must deem that you have refused the prize offered and make a re-draw.



Growing old disgracefully?

So I’ve been trying to write this blog for the past fortnight and feeling guilty that I haven’t seemed to have time to put down all the thoughts I’ve been having about it. There have been a combination of things getting in my way (as it were) To start with there was the small matter of the smallholding duties of getting 29 chickens in the freezer. Christine (a friend I first met at the Callington market who, incidentally, makes the best lip-balm I have ever come across, http://www.cornishcreams.com from all natural stuff including Cornish beeswax as well as lots of other lovely skincare goodies without the nasty chemicals ) says I must not go into details about the demise of the chickens in my blog

However, I am still going to post this photo as I find it so interesting to see the wide variety in livers when all these birds were raised together, free-ranging with poultry corn ad-lib. Needless to say this is the sort of job that is not done in five minutes and comes on top of the usual slate work and general household chores.

Then there was the fact that I had set myself a deadline for completing the first major edit of my new novel ‘The Angel Bug’ as I had promised to send it to Tim Smit of the Eden Project, Cornwall to read and to get his ok for me to use him as a character (as the only real person in the whole novel) So all the time I could access to sit before the computer was devoted to that.

So, back to writing this blog. You see, we had a talk at WI, entitled ‘Growing Old Disgracefully’ and it was amusing as intended, but as I got to think about it I felt it had rather strayed from the aim, turning more into a ‘grumpy old woman’ diatribe (like the TV programmes of the same name) And talking of growing old and of the WI – you hear people say weird things like ‘Oh I might join the WI when I retire’ or ‘Oh I’m not old enough for the WI’. I actually joined when I was 15 and apart from the time I was at college and then lived in a city for five years (no WIs were allowed in the cities then) have been a member ever since. (there, that’s that grump out of my system)

Anyway I got to thinking what I would call ‘growing old disgracefully’… or perhaps not disgracefully but certainly not growing old as expected. Along with many others I love the list of ‘disgraceful’ things Jenny Joseph says she will do in her poem Warning – ‘When I am old I shall wear Purple, With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.’ If you don’t know this poem it is worth looking up, however, some of the things she warns that she might do seem old-fashioned for today.

A good friend of mine went to her first belly dance lesson at the age of sixty … as I already do that I started wondering what I can take up when I get to that age. One of the most enjoyable afternoons I had recently was when sons 2 and 4 took me rock climbing. This is only the second time I have done this (first time in my forties with the WI!) but I got a real buzz from it.

This train of thought led onto the ‘bucket list’ that has become popular, a wish list of things to do or see before you die (or reach a certain age). So I’ve started compiling mine, not necessarily ‘disgraceful’ things, more adventurous, exciting or unusual things to try, see, experience. What would be on your list?


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