It was when I held the Radio Times at a long distance from my eyes so I could read the chosen guests for this week's Gardeners' Questions that I realised it was all over for me. I might as well stop trying and up the dosage of calcium supplements.
The last time I was given such brutal insight into the passage of time was when I was caught confiding my deepest thoughts to a very still ginger kitten that, at closer inspection, turned out to be a mud brick. I was 13 at the time, and wearing glasses had almost the same status symbol as turning up at school with your leg in a plaster cast. It attracted the right sort of attention.
With Mr Schmethical being a walking catalogue of eye complaints, we now live in a large print household.
Luckily, we live in England, have jobs and about 200 insurance plans. My main concern at the moment is how to dispose of my old spectacles in a green manner.
For far too many, less fortunate people, having a simple condition such as myopia (short sightedness) can become a huge problem.
According to Vision Aid Overseas , "670 million people - 10% of the world's population - are disadvantaged by poor vision and a lack of glasses".
And guess what? Along with a few other organizations, VAO will recycle your unwanted spectacles and match them to patients of their eyecare clinics set up in developing countries.
I particularly like the neat, resource-optimising way in which they get those spectacles ready to use.
VAO works with prisions around the UK, where inmates are trained to clean, grade and pack the glasses, before they get dispatched into VAO centres around the world.
VAO has a long history of providing eyecare in some of the poorest countries in the world. Their work includes the training of healthcare professionals, setting up local clinics and provision of free eye care. You can donate your unwanted glasses directly to VAO, or through your local Lions Club, Rotary Club or any branch of Vision Express.
In the US, similar schemes are available through New Eyes For the Needy and One Sight.
I’m now rummaging through drawers in search of old spectacles I’ve discarded over the years.
Once that’s done, I shall go shopping for a good pair of elasticated trousers for a comfortable game of bowls.
|picture borrowed from petanque.org|