Sunday, 11 July 2010

Out of Sight..again.

The thing about being visually impaired is that you can’t see very well. I mean not see very well in the ‘usual’ sense. Most visually impaired and blind people I have met are often a lot more insightful, focused and aware then others with their full 180 degrees of vision. They have to be. With a visual impairment it becomes more important to be able to suss voice, intent, energy and potential action of people around you to avoid ..well ...potential death lets say, as i don’t want to be too dramatic. (i.e. if you can hear someone screaming and a noise behind them that sounds like a trumpeting insane runaway elephant it pays to have that heightened awareness and a glimmering idea of where to run for safety. ) image from internet

For me there are two annoying side effects of having no peripheral vision.
1. I have to stare intensely using my 10 degrees of central vision. Staring intently is not most people’s idea of blindness. I also seek and lock eye contact. This can be disturbing to people especially when I stomp over to them at railway stations, peering hard directly at them and then proclaim fearsomely ‘I need help. I can’t see the Signs.’.

Photo (c) T. Bush 2010

2. Things disappear. Usually my bloody magnifiers and magnification specs. Which is ironic. Also cell phones, black marker pens, keys, glasses of gin and tonic, £10 notes and sense of humour. Strangely I can always put my hand on the biros that don’t work that I was sure I flung out last time. Always. I must have a breeding colony of defective biros.

Anyway – I am in Radstock. Here for the week to try and wring out some more words of this bottom heavy thriller. It’s going slowly but at least it’s going. A lovely catch up with a couple of MA friends yesterday assured me that I am not as off kilter as I had thought cartoon from internet

On Skype, Dad now has a fuzz of white hair and is looking a little less translucent. ‘I’m sure it’s grown since yesterday,’ I say reassuringly peering into the screen. His blood counts need to grow faster too though. Those are harder to see from here.

In the evening I wander woozily into my sister’s veggie patches with the watering cans. I stub my toe, drop the can, soak my dress, refill and do it all over again. She has a good load of salad courgettes, tomatoes, herbs and sweet peas, rhubarb, roses, maize and at least one triffid that keeps whacking me from behind the poly tunnel. I am rigorous and steadfast and although have to pluck several bits of twig from my hair and wash off the ants stuck to my cocoa buttered legs I am proud that I have saved the garden from a parched withering.

That night it rains.
image from internet

Sunday, 4 July 2010


I have twice been on a horse bolting from a snake. The horse bolting that is,, not me. This month felt strangely familiar; the puff adder being Dad’s illness and some of the dreadful things arising around it. The horse I suppose being the future, unknown and out of control. My desperate grip and my balance a mixture of experience and optimism and the reins and bridle that will eventually bring the horse into a calm and more controllable state being my Buddhist practice of chanting meditation and the support of friends and family.

Today Dad is allowed to move out of the ICU at the hospital and into the little bed and breakfast adjacent again. His blood and platelet counts still need to increase and of course he is still frail, awfully pale and in need of doubling his body weight. But he is out the far side of the treatment and we can all breathe out a little, release the white knuckle grip on the horse’s flying mane.

Grace too finally had her results and is clear of any heart trouble. To celebrate my beautiful buddy A, who came from Canada for a flying visit, took us for punting and followed up on the Friday with cream teas at the Orchard followed by a glorious, hot stroll along Grantchester meadows and all the way through Cambridge.

Amrita in Granchester.

The weather has been stunning and conducive to mellow mooching, mediation and fruit cocktails. Ok England dribbled out of the World Cup , money is short and my fridge just died and is now defrosting all over the kitchen and beginning to smell like the monkey cage at London Zoo but hey... I have tan marks from my sandals, a small stash of birthday/solstice gin left and a very happy hound.

I think that bolting horse is calming and I am still hanging on.

How are you all doing?