Monday 19 April 2021

The eyes have it all

Life returns to Manchester

Yesterday, marked the first full week of the easing of lockdown measures with the opening of non-essential goods shops. Returning from church, the town centre was busy, tables and chairs outside for alfresco dining, crowds milling around as if the memories of a pandemic had long been forgotten.

Our penchant for queuing had opened up to a new order, with specific entrance and exit door, walking routes laid out in the shopping centre to help with social distancing, even though some just ignored the signs.

I first visited the public conveniences before going to the opticians. I last had an eye test 3 years ago and the right arm of my lens frame was beginning to disintegrate. The composite 3 layers were coming apart and when I tried to glue the bits together, I had more bonding of my fingertips than the object of repairs.

Fast-tracked on choice

They offered a 4:00 PM appointment which did not sound convenient if I had to return to the city centre to attend, so, I chose an early morning slot for Saturday. Then, I decided to look at the frames display, in the hope that something might catch my eye. Now, literally, all eyeglass frames are made by manufacturers in Italy, we are mostly paying exorbitant rates for brand names, the design aesthetic hardly having much diversity.

I found an O’Neill frame and asked a member of staff about setting it aside for my Saturday appointment, but before I knew it, I was fast-tracked into a consulting room where a whole battery of tests began, reading charts, blurred and clear dots, air blasted at my eyeballs, lights shone into the recesses of my eyes with pictures of blood vessels vivid to be scary, peripheral and field vision, my eyes were so tired after then workout short of popping the eye out and giving it a cold rinse before tossing it in a frying pan of hot oil and sticking it back in the socket.

Seeing everything anew

By the time we were done a good 90 minutes later, I had ordered two pairs of glasses with lenses exhibiting every quality of sight improvement except X-ray vision. The second cheaper pair offered at half-price and to be delivered to my home in about a fortnight. The eye test came free because there is a history of glaucoma somewhere in the family, which requires I return for eye tests annually rather than leave it until when my glasses or frames are falling apart.

I hope I made the right choice, in more convenient settings, I would have sought the advice of Brian before my selection. In the end, he might like them after taunting me about needed two pairs of glasses because there was a time, I forgot I had a pair on and donned another pair, I have never lived that down. Obviously, my comeback is just as embarrassing for him.

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