Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Seven Days Without Specs

Yesterday I was gifted with long distance sight, courtesy of my returned glasses with updated prescription. Wow! Everything is so shiny and clear and in focus. Seven days without them were horrendous but I guess it made me realise how much I need them, how much they help me and how freakin' blind I am without them. (And my prescription isn't even that bad.)

Here's just a few of the happenings of my week without spectacles:

I wore them to teach my class in the morning, then went for the optician's appointment. I reluctantly handed them over and then couldn't read any of the bus numbers until they were inches away. It's sort of disorientating, to the extent that someone is actually stealing things from your vision, deliberately erasing them, distorting the images and messing with your head. Then I had to babysit in the evening and I thought, this won't be too bad, until they announced we were watching the first Harry Potter film. Great. Movie night when the sofas are so far from the TV I really can't see anything.

Not too bad as I spent most of the day in the flat. Computer screens and books are fine so it was only when I had to go out and teach that the blur stole over me again, and distance distorted. It's the simple things like loss of facial features for the people approaching you. Feels like a bad horror movie. I'm half expecting everyone to turn monster or demon on me. But I managed to get back home unscathed. No monsters on the 46. Some cranks, but no demons.

I'd been roped into some impromptu babysitting for the boy I do private music lessons for. We were off to The British Museum for the Vikings exhibit and some Viking creative activities for children. How not fun are museums without glasses/sight? I couldn't see any of the signs. We had to get really close up first and somehow being around lots of people in a large space like that, makes it worse. They get in the way of my already limited vision, obscuring it. But he's a good boy and never left my side and we had a good few hours of museuming.

In the evening I was off to visit a friend in Richmond, an easy trip on the overground. Except.......All the trains were cancelled, after fifteen minutes of waiting for a delayed train and there were signal failures and defective trains and we all had to be refunded to our Oyster cards and sent to find alternative travel arrangements. Okay. So, I'm in heels and slightly blind but let's do this. So I walk to the Underground station. I change twice to get to Earls Court and the district line and then lo and behold, there are no trains going to Richmond. I'd already been travelling around for an hour and twenty minutes, slowly getting nowhere. In the end we agreed to meet in Waterloo for a much needed bottle of wine and a pizza.

I couldn't see my friend until she was right on top of me. Then I couldn't see the sign for the toilets. But I could see my menu, wine glass and pizza. Then I saw the dessert menu and every spoonful of panna cotta. Mmmmmm. At least it was just one tube home.

Again, not too bad today as I was mainly in the flat, except for my doomed outing for baking ingredients. Of all the places to shop in Kentish Town, no one had black treacle. Or if they did, I certainly couldn't see it. And somehow the lack of black treacle was a by product of my inability to see. Pretty much everything that went wrong that week was attributed to my missing specs. Well, you have to blame some thing.

In the evening we had friends over for dinner, which wasn't too bad vision wise, just a blurry face experience, though in my tiny flat no one can ever be that far away. The company and food were lovely, though by the end of the night I had lost my voice.

Ah, a day in writing progress reports for one of my schools. Again, writing, reading and computers are all in focus because they're close up. But then a night in watching blurry TV was pretty distressing, nothing in focus and heaven forbid there should be any writing on screen. Eesck.

The sore throat from the last couple of days had escalated, resulting in a lovely cough and fever and general ickiness, so no Parkrun for me this week. Then we arranged with a friend of ours to use our birthday vouchers for The View from The Shard. What an amazing time to not have glasses, when you have to see really far. Luckily I do have prescription sunglasses, though of course you look like a dick if you wear them inside. But half the viewing stuff is inside and half is out, so it was a pretty good compromise. I found where our flat was and I could see Wembley where Wigan were taking on Arsenal in the FA Cup Semi Final. Watching the trains coming in and out was weirdly satisfying. They were like wriggling, snaking, caterpillars or worms or something. And there are so many of them, only half a minute apart and constantly in and out. Rather fascinating in an oh-shit-I've-turned-into-my-dad kinda way.

A relaxing morning watching the London Marathon on the TV, reminiscing when I did mine four years ago. Then an art gallery in the afternoon. Again, lack of sight, kind of an issue, especially when the main exhibit was all 3D screens and videos. I was doomed. I bet next week when I have the glasses, I do barely anything that would require them. Typical. Anyhoo, in the evening we watched the epic, historical film: Lincoln and I managed to fall asleep in the last thirty minutes. Oops. I blame the glasses-less-ness.

Well, we've gone full circle. I taught my class, this time without glasses and much of a voice. I came home, wrote some progress reports and then finally got the call. So I jaunted out and picked them up, whilst the lady marvelled at how cool my frames are. I'm like, I know, that's why I kept them and didn't change them for one of yours. And then it was glass, literal glass in front of my eyes, but glass with my exact prescription. I could see, even further and clearer than before and all the way back on the bus I just looked and read signs that I previously wouldn't have been able to and had my own little chufty badge, which no one else had a clue about. I can see. La la la la la la. Though I do get jealous of people with 20:20 vision, who never have to go through this bull crap.

And so, that was my week without glasses. I fear at some point, I will have to get a spare pair, so this doesn't happen again, ever. But then it did give me something to rant about.

Thanks for reading


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