Well, it’s finally happening, one of the critical signs of getting old. I can ignore all the grey hair. The expanding waistline is apparently too much food and not enough exercise. The creaking joints can even be explained away by being overweight, or too much standing on my feet at work. However, what couldn’t be ignored was my left eye struggling to focus on books when they’re close to my face.
Of course, the Kindle has managed to hide this for a while. Most of my leisure reading is on the Kindle or in magazines. My reading for work is usually relatively large print or sizeable handwriting. With the Kindle, just making the text a little bigger and the problem goes away. However, the tiny print in Harry Turtledove’s ‘Bomb’s Away’ really made it clear that I needed to get an eye test done.
To be fair, I’d been considering an eye test this summer holiday. I’ve been aware that getting old, specifically anyone over 40, can lead to presbyopia. It’s been a while since I had an eye test and I’ve been putting it off for a while. I’ve always been proud of my 20/20 vision, happy to tease the nearsighted by standing on the beach and spotting the ships travelling the English Channel on, and slightly beyond, the horizon. So I steeled myself for a visit to Specsavers, ready for evidence (more) that I’m getting old.
Fortunately, the consultant was much subtle than ‘you’re old now’. I pretty much said, going in, that I’d be needing reading glasses and that’s exactly what was prescribed. Nothing too strong, but enough to make the difference. However, this led to the new dilemma of working out what frames to order. Nearly an hour later, I’d settled on a couple of pairs having tried everything from bright ‘extraverted’ glasses to ones that made me look like I was in the Stazi in a dodgy 1970s spy movie.
A week later and I’d picked up the new glasses. What a difference. My eyes are now getting quicker at combining the two images – one eye is weaker than the other, but both have got old. The constant fingerprints are getting tedious though.
So, yes, I’m getting old. It’s official. I’m at the age when our eyes begin to fail us. I’m not actually writing this with glasses on right now as I’m touch typing while watching the Channel 4 news. I’ll be wearing them when I proof-read this blog. Perhaps I’ll spot, and correct, a few more mistakes than I’d usually pick up? I won’t be checking them until after I’ve planned some vegetables in my garden while wearing my comfy slippers, smoking an old pipe. Ah, I feel the need for a mug of Horlicks and an early night.
Horlicks to that! It’s just middle age. Getting old doesn’t happen until your 80’s these days.