A blind date by Trevor Plumbly

By the book?

Tuesday was to be a busy day: coffee and world correction with the gang, then on to Book Club which is much like any other, except we listen rather than read.

We start off in an orderly round robin critique, but the fun starts with the open discussion; thanks to the stamina of Chairperson Janice, this falls short of verbal warfare but lacks nothing in the way of diversity. After dissecting this month’s offering (boring to brilliant), we moved effortlessly on to parrot ownership (honestly!). Never having owned one, I felt a little limited in my conversational contribution, but what the heck, it made a healthy change from politics. Barely pausing for breath, we segued into the blindies’ default discussion mode, ‘coping with technology’, advertising our shortcomings and frustrations like town criers of old, before leaving for the next challenge.

The only way to go?

As we set out for the low vision clinic, I was reminded that novelty in a permanently grey world, whilst welcome, requires a degree of caution. Camille and Susan don’t subscribe to this; they respond rather than reflect, boarding the bus with the casual entitlement of seasoned commuters whilst I hover with trepidation before actually getting on the damn thing. Most bus drivers scare me, I dislike relinquishing total control of my movements to anyone who offers little outside monosyllabic grunts whilst superglued to the control seat. Bugger novelty, there’s just something essentially reassuring about taxis.

Lamp with magnifier

The lady with the lamps

Naomi Meltzer’s ‘room’ seemed far too small to accommodate we three, the lady herself, her energy and countless vision aids. I’ve found that most health people have what old stagers used to call ‘shtick’, a standard line of patter that gets them through the flat bits. I’ve already mentioned my aversion to the muttered medical ‘hmm’; it leaves me waiting for the other shoe to drop. Others fall between sympathetic murmuring to a sort of blokey ‘we’re in this together’ approach, neither of which appeals to me personally. The real gems simply tell it like it is, and Naomi Meltzer does just that, stating from the start that she doesn’t have the magic wand, just the tools to make sight loss easier to cope with. In conclusion, I’m too old for super-tech but not, I discovered, for good advice and up-to-date devices, so I’m headed back for more of both this week – by taxi of course!

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