I am the editor/publisher of a small press print magazine for women writers called The Yellow Room (www.theyellowroom-magazine.co.uk). I publish short stories, articles and letters. I'm a writer, and have had several short stories and articles published. I have a house full of novels, most of which I haven't yet got round to reading. . .and I can't help buying more! I've almost finished writing a crime novel, but the fear of failing to get it published is sometimes overwhelming. From 1994-2006 I was the editor/publisher of Quality Women's Fiction Magazine, under my former name of Jo Good. I have a husband, teenage son (both talented musicians) and a daughter of 10, who is obsessed with animals.
I haven't done any writing today! I can't tell you how frustrating this feels.
I feel very much like the old barn on the right. A bit of a wreck. I'll explain why...
Today I went to the opticians for the first eye-test I've had in nearly 25 years. I've noticed I've become more and more short-sighted in recent years to the extent that I'm squinting at the TV and road signs. I struggle to recognise even family members at a distance. The other day I was peering at the TV text, trying to work out what the time was, when my son handed me his prescription glasses. I put them on and Bingo! The world suddenly became much clearer. I could see properly! I didn't realise I'd been going around looking at everything as if through a thin film. The trouble is, my son is severely short-sighted. So bad, in fact, that a few years ago, he could only see the large letter A at the top of the optician's sight-test board ('And even that's blurry,' he said).
It turns out that my eye sight isn't quite as bad as my son's, but not far off. I need glasses to be legal to drive, it seems. However, the worst piece of news was that I have a cataract in my right eye. The optician said I was one of the youngest people he'd seen with this condition. I am worried, I must admit! However, I have been reassured by several people now that should this get any worse and I do need an operation, it's all straightforward and those who've had it done can see perfectly well afterwards without wearing glasses.
Apparently, because I do so much reading, my close up vision is fine and my eyes have compensated. However, I have purchased some reading glasses to give my eyes a little bit of help. I will shortly be in possession of three pairs of prescription glasses: a pair to wear all the time (yikes!); a pair for reading; and a pair of prescription sunglasses to protect that right eye from UV rays to prevent the cataract getting any worse.
The only time I won't need to wear glasses is when I'm using the computer i.e. most of the time!!
I spent a long time choosing frames, particularly for the glasses I'll be wearing most of the time and, me being me, had to choose the most expensive pair in the shop! I chose a classy pair of rimless frames. Very delicate and pretty. The prescription tinted glasses are another matter! I will feel a little like Roy Orbison when I go out on sunny days! Although he didn't have a little sparkly bits on the arms of his, did he?
I felt a little wobbly when I got home. I didn't think I'd have to wear glasses all the time. The phrase: Boys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses! kept coming into my head, which is silly, because I'm a married woman and shouldn't have to worry about such things! The other strong feeling is of getting old! Body parts are obviously deteriorating (remember all the trouble I had with my teeth?). I just keep imagining myself as a little toothless old lady who's virtually blind and can't read books anymore. Remember those games we used to play when we were younger: Which faculty would you rather lose? Your sight or your hearing? Aargh!!! Neither!
I'll get over it! It's just another life change. A fairly small one in the scheme of things, but a bit of a landmark day.