Reward: new sunglasses

I’m quite excited.  Yesterday I bought what I think was my first ever pair of non-prescription sunglasses. Even given that I treated myself to Ray-Bans, they were a fraction of the cost of the last pair.

When we were children nobody wore sunglasses.  I don’t remember wearing them at university or even when I lived in Nigeria, where the light could be very intense.  One simply squinted ones eyes up. I seem to remember when the children were young I occasionally resorted to clip-on sun lenses over my ordinary glasses.  And I can remember passing on my mother’s (false) wisdom that sunglasses were not good for the children when Kate tried to wear cheap pink numbers as a fashion accessory.

Then, as I aged, I succumbed to sunglasses, but with prescription lenses.  My most recent pair , which I bought in Scotland about seven years ago, have served me well, but no longer match my magical new vision. (The optician said, dismissively, that they had anyhow reached the end of their life.) So I walked out of the shop with my new sunglasses, feeling as pleased as others might when buying a new dress.

All that was to celebrate the end of my cataract operations.  The second one, on my right eye, took place on Tuesday. It was more painful than the first for some reason, but already by yesterday I was beginning to see the new world.  I look out of my window and the landscape is a profusion of vivid greens.  This is partly because spring is well under way, but partly because I’m now seeing colours so much clearer.  White walls are no longer yellow, and the sky is a brilliant blue.

As exciting as the new colours is the improvement in vision.  The left eye has been left myopic – too short sighted to try and make it match the right, but I can now focus on the computer screen without developing a crick in my neck- and the right eye has been given much sharper long distance vision.  I will now join the army of people who drive with one eye and read with the other.

Once I get my new prescriptions I will probably buy different pairs for reading, computer/cello, and driving, but for the timebeing I can get away with my one pair of sunglasses.  Not only can I drive in them, but for the first time I shall be able to read outside in the sun (with my left eye, of course…).  And thanks to the progressive nature of the lenses (good work, salesman) the lower half of the lenses are less coated, so that is one less reason to trip over steps.


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