Saturday, March 22, 2014


The new specs have arrived & so here's a photo so my Mum can see what they're like. (& no, I've not suddenly embraced the 'selfie'). 

The first impressions were good: as if miraculously the world had acquired a new-found clarity & precision. Car number plates! Individual blades of grass! A new tint of blue to the sky! Then, ten minutes later, sitting trying to read a poem by Devin Johnston over a coffee I found I couldn't focus on the words. The penny dropped that this was the famous polyfocal effect - where before I would tip my head & look through my grubby old lenses at a distance from my nose, now I am supposed to keep my head straight & look down through the lower third. Panic! - I simply don't & can't read that way, I need the whole page

I return to the optician. He's most understanding & tells me it's perfectly normal & that my eyes & brain will start to adjust. I explain that I feel as though my existence has suddenly shrunk to about 5 per cent. It'll be like living in a corridor. No, he explains, the gradient will become more tolerable, just give it a few days. 

In the most literal sense, I'll have to see. Typing this I'm lifting & dropping my head to experiment with focus. Already I've discovered that I can read books at arm's length which is perhaps a good way to start acclimatising if a little comical. 

As for the 'new look' the irony is that they're pretty much the same frames I had back in the 70s. The thin metal styles are - I'm told - 'out' & these are terribly "tendance". It seems they also make me look younger than the owl-eyes circular style (cf Huxley & Walter Benjamin) I'd picked out initially. Then again, who am I to judge? K & the girls have given them the thumbs up which, I suppose, is all that matters. 

& I've been given strict instructions to clean the lenses only with water & a little soap. The wipes I've been buying damage the coatings. So that's a saving of sorts. 

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