I’m getting a new pair of spectacles today. I used to be long-sighted, but over the past couple of years I’ve been rapidly getting short-sighted. The only things that are in focus these days are things that are within a decreasingly few feet of my eyes. And that’s meant that for the past few months I’ve been having to crane forward to read the computer screen, or else increase the font size, or both.
I’m wondering whether I’m going to find in a few months time that I can only see things that are a few inches in front of my eyes, and everything else will be a blur. But my optometrist seems to think that these new glasses will keep working, and I won’t be coming back for a new pair.
Apparently it’s quite normal to get short-sighted. And it’s a prelude to developing cataracts. He says that there are already faint traces of cataracts in my eyes.
If I really want to understand, I’ll have to refresh my knowledge of optics, which I used to understand 50 years ago. I think that most reading glasses have convex lenses, which are fat in the middle, thin at the edges. And the ones I’ll be getting today will have concave lenses, thin in the middle, fat at the edges.
And the other thing I’m doing today is meeting up with Rose, at 2 pm or so at the Gloucester service station on the southbound M5.
She sent me a photo of herself yesterday. She doesn’t look a bit like I imagined her. She’s got an immense mane of grey hair, for a start.
I bought a memory card for my new mobile phone a few days ago, so I’m hoping to get a few pictures of her that I can, with her permission, publish on my blog. That is, if I can figure out how to take photos with my new phone.
But she said that her hair will be tied back today, and if I am to recognise her, it will be by the dragonfly earrings she’ll be wearing. Or was it butterfly earrings? Or damselfly earrings? I can imagine myself wandering around a crowded service station peering at people’s ears. And because I’m so short-sighted, I’ll have to get very close to their ears to detect whether they’re wearing earrings, and what kind of earrings they are. So I won’t be too surprised if, after examining 30 or 40 women’s ears, I’ll get thrown out by the manager for causing a nuisance by blowing smoke in women’s ears.
Rose said she was very camera-shy, and froze the moment anyone tried to snap a photo of her. She said that photographers could only take photos of her secretly. And I can well imagine that, with that great mane of hair, lots of photographers must have wanted photos of her. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are pictures of her in Vogue.
She also once shared the same surname as mine. And though she now lives in the north of England, she grew up in the south. So we might be related.
I’m going to try to get her to visit the Smoky Drinky Bar. But that might prove difficult, because she’s seemingly computer-shy as well as camera-shy. I said that she’d sent me a photo of herself, but actually she didn’t: her husband did. Rose never emails anyone. She either writes comments in blogs, or she phones people.
And Rose is one of the “chemical” commenters on my blog. She has a fund of knowledge about the chemistry of tobacco smoke, and of tobacco plants. And I’m no chemist. I think about everything in “physical” terms. I only ever begun to understand chemistry when I heard it described in physical terms, as physical chemistry