A couple of years after this photo was taken I was wearing glasses and have worn them ever since. I spent my teenage years bemoaning the fact that I had to spoil any outfit with my National Health glasses - my parents couldn't afford private ones. Each time I had new glasses I had to choose frames without being able to see them, and each new pair reduced me to tears when I realized once again that they hadn't transformed me into a beauty! After an unsuccessful flirtation with lenses it is only now, in my later years, that I have learned to accept them.
Eyesight is something most of us take for granted, but if, like me, you had to take early retirement due to eyestrain, you tend to be a tad paranoid. Every new floater might be Retinal Detachment and each blurred moment Macular Degeneration. Other people enthuse about laser surgery – me, I’m terrified I’d be one of the failures. How could I write or read if I couldn’t see? I couldn't admire the photo of my grandsons playing with the neighbours' dogs in an English meadow, or see the growth of a cactus flower.
The flame trees in our complex are just bursting into leaf, though they still have last year's seed pods. In a few weeks they will be aflame with orange blossom - what a shame not to be able to see that.
The reason for all this introspection is the book I am reading - Nicholas Evans' The Smoke Jumper - in which a young man is blinded by an accident, and I wondered how I would cope.
Some years ago I worked for the RNIB and wrote a poem about being blind. I shall put it on My Writing page if you want to read it.
Oh yes - and Happy Diamond Jubilee to you all, Congratulations to Her Majesty, and I wish I was in England to join in the festivities, rain and all!