A friend of mine cares enough about me to plan his visits to South East Asia so as to coincide with when I am short of natty looking sunglasses. His latest couple of gifts: stare hard discerning critic you will never know the difference - include a pair of - I don't like to say fake, it cheapens the experience I feel - replica Oakleys. Blue, chic, the last word, le dernier cri in fashionable eye-wear. Tiny lenses, the hint, no, a mere suggestion of a facial contour sweep back and straight holding arms of the: 'Well, we've reached the ears, I guess we'll just keep on going," school of sunglasses design. None of that curling round the ears for the sake of practicality - an insult to the ears I've always thought - "Don't just sit there, make yourselves useful, get a-hold of these!" No, the head shape takes responsibility and permits a satisfying, rubbery grip. And the ears get look natural: i.e. not made to stick out anymore than God's little jokes allow. I knew a boy once at school whose nick-names alternated between "wing-nut" and "monkey boy." A day never went by without the poor lad whimpering somewhere on the margins of the playground trying to push his ears in with his flattened palms.
I don't have an ear appearance problem, but I'm as blind as a blind worm; one of his metaphors and I'm nicking it, I don't want to make reference to the black flying mammal with jaggy wings and a love of flitting: cliche avoidance and all that. Was that mentioned in "How to Write a Better Weblog?" Can't remember, read it once. Load of.... I can't see why you can't, what's wrong with, why should you have to...? I digress. My eyesight is not great. I need prescription spectacles. When opticians such as Specsavers and Vision Express offer "designer style" sunglasses with vision corrective lenses at greatly reduced prices when you buy specs, they're always awful. You invariable end up walking out of the opticians looking like Lenny Peters from the twosome Peters and Lee of 1970s near fame. "Welcome Home, We - e - el come, come on in, and c-l-o-s-e the door." And on arriving: "What the hell do you have on your face?"
Apologies for those too young to remember. I can be a bit of a cheesy git. I could so easily now fall into a cheese-fest of 1970s references. Not a bad singer Lenny, the bird was mere ornamentation and if memory serves, flew off with the couple's earnings which were supposed to be for Lenny's operation to correct his blindness. But back to matters "me" and eyesight - if I decide to wear a pair of my ever growing collection of sunshades as summer beckons, there has to be a decision, a trade-off has to be made. Do I go out looking good without actually being able to look - or looking like Lenny and inducing hysterical laughter wherever I go, but at least knowing what's going on?