The Rascal - aka Young Faris - is a trifle disappointed that I don't look like a pirate.
His mother, the Middle of the Darling Daughters, had obviously warned him before
their visit that I would probably be wearing an eye patch so that my appearance would not cause unnecessary alarm. In the event, having dispensed with my patch some days ago, my appearance caused nothing but disappointment.
I never like disappointing anyone, but most particularly I hate to disappoint a grandchild. I mean, it's not what grandmothers do, now is it? I resolved to spend the rest of the afternoon making up for it - but the afternoon had Other Ideas.
The main reason for this my daughter's visit was to take me to Specsavers, to have one of the lenses from my specs removed, now that my sight in that eye is perfect. It's called "emmetropia" according to the letter from
my surgeon - I googled it and it means "ideal vision." What could be better? So excited was I to be emmetropic, even if only in one eye to start with, that I failed to check out the medical terms in the rest of Miss Nish's letter; had I done so, I might have
reflected on the expectation that I would be likely to experience something called "refractive surprise." I mean, it sounds quite pleasant, doesn't it? Let's face it, who doesn't like surprises?
Except - when
my specs - minus right lens - were returned to my nose, I found myself looking at two of everything. Believe me, I had quite an eye-full. Just think of the number of spectacles on display in Specsavers - or any other High Street opticians - and double it.
Men's, Women's, Children's, Designer, Sunglasses: two signs for every display of specs. I was in Double Trouble.
My daughter, catching sight of the look of refractive surprise on my face, grabbed my arm and
guided me outside where I took my specs off altogether. She was taking me straight home, she said determinedly. We walked - a trifle unsteadily in my case - along the road back to the car park, making good progress until The Rascal, who was holding my hand,
caught sight of an Enticing Diversion in the window of Hawkin's Bazaar.
Have you ever visited Hawkin's Bazaar? It's, well, bizarre. The Rascal's attention was originally caught by a large remote controlled
vehicle in the window and he was only dissuaded from pursuing it further when I pointed out the large figure 8 on the front, reminding him that he was only 4 and therefore had some years to go before he could lay claim to the Vehicle of his Dreams. The Rascal
accepted this with reasonable grace but nevertheless pulled me into the shop in the interests of Further Exploration, leaving the Middle of the Darling Daughters having a fit on the pavement outside the shop as she imagined what might become of me, hopelessly
lost in the Bizarre Bazaar at the mercy of The Rascal
Well, she rescued me - but it cost her £3.50 for a squashy dinosaur toy. For The Rascal, not for me, don't be silly. It was a long round journey
for her to come to see me for such a short time, with three small children in tow, bless her.
At home, our next door neighbour came out to check we were still okay for dinner and football on TV at theirs.
I told him about the refractive surprise and how with my specs on I would be seeing two of him. He seemed to think this would be a very Positive Experience.
That was two days ago and my eyes are gradually
starting to focus properly - but I can't trust myself behind the wheel of a car as yet. Enter the Eldest of the Darling Daughters arriving early in the morning to put herself and her chariot at our disposal. A hospital appointment for Mr B, a trip to the lighting
shop to order new LED lamps for our hall and landing, a visit to the garden centre to spend my £5 gift voucher which expires at the end of the month, not to mention picking up a double cheeseburger for Mr B's dinner - and, in between, lots of lovely
chat over cups of coffee.
My Foursome are the Very Best of Company - but, most of all, they always manage to be there when I need them most. But then to me, who knows them so well, that's hardly a surprise.
Refractive or otherwise.