Daily Archives: October 22, 2009

Bad news

I am reaching the stage where I am getting so used to those steamrollers of stress that I hardly bat an eye when something else goes wrong. Maybe the tears will come later. At the moment I just feel numb.

Bad news from the prison.

Good job I’m out to a Local Preachers’ meeting this evening or I have a feeling that the bottle of out-of-date Baileys in the fridge might have ended up ready for the recycling bin tomorrow, regardless of how “off” the cream was. As it is it’s probably just as well I’m numb – tears at my first Local Preachers’ meeting might be a little too awkward an introduction.


I wonder if he reads my blog

I had a different gym instructor yet again today. This one was best of the lot. But I did nearly get the giggles when he was introducing me to a new (and rather strenuous for an unfit and rather..er.. shall we say “rotund” old woman) exercise.

Him: I want you to do ten repetitions.
Me: (after the sixth)I’ve lost count. Was that six or seven?
Him: It was four. Only eight more to go 😀

Me: (exhausted at the end) I used to teach Maths – do you need some extra lessons in counting?
Him: Oh, I can count, but it got fourteen repetitions out of you when you baulked at the suggestion of ten 😀

This instructor has the measure of me. I think he’s been reading my blog.


I shouldn’t really be here, by the way. It’s only that I’m bored!

Eyes are not brilliant today. They were awful yesterday – all I wanted to do was lie down in a darkened room. The day before they were fantastic and I felt an absolute fraud. Though when I say fantastic, it’s qualified. When they’re good, it feels as though I can see perfectly well. But when I stop and think about my vision, I realise it’s not as sharp as it should be (even considering I’ve crossed the equator as regards my age) – a bit like watching a normal TV and the picture seeming fine until you go back to it after watching a flat-screen TV. It’s like looking at a child’s coloured drawing with no outlines. Even though life doesn’t have outlines, somehow pictures look clearer with them. At the moment, on my best day, there are no outlines.

I realise I’m a very visual person – all my hobbies involve my vision, all the jobs I would enjoy involve my vision, I always like to have something to look at, to focus my eyes on. When listening to a talking book or chatting on the telephone, I always like to be doing something too – I thought it was to keep my hands busy but I realise now that it was to occupy my eyes! My distance vision has always been good and people have been astounded in the past that I could read a roadsign before they’d even spotted the sign was there! I read by using the shape of the word rather than the phonetic buildup which makes me a good skim-reader too, or did until a month ago. When I was younger and had all the time in the world for reading, reading itself was as enjoyable as the content – I’d even read the back of detergent bottles (the print of which I can barely see at all at the moment) while sitting on the loo if I’d forgotten to take a book with me, and when people asked if there was a specific book I’d like for Christmas I’d say “Anything with words in it”. I think it’s the reason why, much as I ought to put the computer away until my eyes are sorted, I still find myself reaching for it for short spells, setting the zoom high and reading what I can keep my eyes focussed on.

The neurologist thinks the damage to my vision is permanent, although I am hoping that glasses can solve the problems it causes. The health implications could be major or could be minor, I will deal with that as it comes. But to lose my clarity and comfort of vision would necessitate quite a life change and that is a bit daunting.

New bike

I am the proud owner of a new bike.

No, I haven’t gone mad. It was a free gift when I took out membership at the gym. Amazingly generous, seeing as it was worth a full quarter of the cost of joining the gym (and that’s at its reduced price in Halfords, knocked down from a price that was around £400, which makes you start to wonder what’s wrong with it!)

It’s a lovely bike. Strange, under normal circumstances I’d have brought it home thinking “Oh blast it, now I’ll have no excuse for not going cycling with the Smudgelet”. I might have been inspired for a day or two, though I don’t really believe that would have lasted. But my old bike in the garden with rusted chain, flat tyres and cobwebby frame is a much better sign of a potential desire to cycle foiled by circumstance – along the lines of “if only my bike were in better condition we could go for a ride” while all the time secretly knowing that it would not take much to do it up and that I’d no intention of going for a ride at all. So a new bike would scupper that approach and I’d be feeling the need to hide it away from the Smudgelet and to wrestle with my conscience.

Slightly different today. It was a 45 minute walk home from Halfords, pushing the bike, and my feelings are not dread at having to ride it, but dread at the thought I may not be able to. I had to push it home because the doctor had made me promise I wouldn’t ride a bike (other than an exercise bike which, annoyingly, I got the go-ahead for!) and in my heart of hearts I know that I wouldn’t be safe on one anyway until my eyesight’s sorted. Will it be sorted? At this very moment I’d give anything to be able to hop on that bike and take it to Richmond Park for a couple of hours, regardless of how my thighs would ache.

As it is, I’m now trying to work out how to explain to the Smudgelet that yes, I have a new bike, but no, he’s not to get excited because I won’t be riding it yet awhile.

Still, at least it will come in handy when he has a friend round and they want to go cycling. The Smudgelet’s tall enough to ride my bike.