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.
This is this morning's photo - it won't be long before the flower is fully open.

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!


  1. A very poignant blog post from you today, Lizy - given that my daughter suffered a catastrophic retinal detachment at the beginning of Sept.2011.

    Now, 5 operations on (including the medical team picking up that there was also the beginning of RD in her 'good' eye, and they were able to treat it with lazers) she's had to give up her job as a medical librarian and we are in the process of selling her car, which she can no longer drive. All that, at the age of 27!

    There is more surgery on the horizon, as what little sight was preserved in her bad eye is hampered by virtue of the muscles causing a profound squint, plus there is a cataract forming.

    I used take my vision for granted - alas, supporting my daughter through this has taught me to make the most of things and to get regular eye test (one due imminently).

    I will head over and read your poem! :-)

  2. ...and indeed, the words of that poem resonated with things my daughter has said - esp. not always being able to see the facial reactions of people, and the part about the joke being made with an unseen glance.

  3. The Diamond Jubalee is wonderful. Today, the pagentry of the Queen's Guards, the horses done up with red braids in their manes, the coaches polished to perfection and the Queen herself, just made it to shelter before the rain became too heavy. A true democracy, demonstrated by the orderly 1 1/2 million people who turned out to show their support to the Queen. I guess you saw everything on your television screen, like I did.

    And yes, eyesight is tremendously important. We should appreciate each sight the new day brings.

  4. I couldn't have laser surgery either, lizy. Not because of worries about it not working (although I expect that would worry me)but because I just couldn't watch it being done.

  5. I have the same concerns about eyesight that you do, especially since my mother has macular degeneration. It would be tough to give up reading and writing.


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