The Joy of ageing with Milk bottle Lenses. (no walking stick)

ageing-misconceptions

The joy of ageing with Milk bottle Lenses. (No walking stick)

The eye test is scheduled for 30th of April at 10am sharp. The hearing test will be May the 13th, anytime after 2pm and in Sydney. In both cases bring your health benefit card!

The right eye is being threatened by a good bout of (old) age related Macular disease resulting in loss of vision. It is irreparable but a good diet is advised and there can be injections into the affected eye that may be of some help as well. There are lots of aids including magnifying glasses, super strong spectacles with milk bottle lenses, enlarged print in books and change the settings on computers to giant format with an added opportunity for those that as the loss of vision increases and a thick depression blankets in, you can share your loss with an experienced counselor who will ease you into accepting that life is short, and anyway,” it doesn’t last forever”. Have you chosen your casket yet? That’s just such great news. Keep up your pecker Gerard.

I know I should fear large brown bears or trucks on the footpaths, but loss of vital organs is in a class of their own. I mean, can’t read the small print on the gas bill anymore? What could possibly be worse? Can’t hear the ads on channel 10 or 7, those lovely jingles by Harvey Norman’s ‘Get it now” exhorting us to buy the latest nest of woven plastic tables and chairs for outdoor dining together with a gleaming turbo driven eight burner stainless steel kitchen cum barbeque life style enhancement.

Why then do we get so many ads relating to funeral cost protection lately? You get to see this happy family cavorting with kids on a sloping lawn with the wife beaming happily in the knowledge that her hubby has taken out a good solid funeral protection plan. He looks so proud! It all adds so much to lifestyle. What are they trying to tell us? Should we ask the funeral organizers to put the cremation retort on low or stand-by? Is that part of ‘life-style’ as well or is it more of a death-style? How’s your death- style going might well be the next catchy phrase?  Is it still thriving, getting warm?

If that is all what lays ahead it can’t be too bad? There is still lovely food and nice conversations with friends and family but I do resist the temptation of the old and weary to rabbit on about   ‘the good old days’ when petrol was 2shillings and six pence a gallon and Franquin the Great Magician was as hilarious an evening of entertainment it could ever get. I just put on the ‘for the hearing impaired’ ear phones and listen yet again to ‘le piano du pauvre.’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeD-B-KSwgs

Nothing could chase the grandkids back home to mum and dad quicker than when I put on that piece of music and ask H for yet another fox-trot. (Or talk about the benefits of a Jules Verne book)

I have learnt my lesson well and leave the kids to their IPod, Pad, Tablets and Apps and console myself that a similar fate will befall them as well. “You will all be lucky to get out of it alive, I tell them”. They look a bit bewildered when I say that. Oma puts them at rest and says “your Opa is just kidding you”; “he is always joking and making fun.” “Don’t take him seriously!” “He is going gaga.”

I can still put on my own socks and you walk rather briskly, so my lovely wife tells me.

This journey is still ongoing.

 

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25 Responses to “The Joy of ageing with Milk bottle Lenses. (no walking stick)”

  1. Lottie Nevin Says:

    I do so love your sense of humour Gerard – you might be losing your sight and hearing but you certainly haven’t lost your sense of fun.

    Milk Bottle glasses always remind me of the horrid old man who used to flash at me when I walked through the park after school! Sends shivers down my spine just thinking of him…….

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thanks Lottie ,loved your latest lotus flower photography.
      I am lucky it is just in one eye and even then I see reasonably well but can’t read normal print out of that eye. The rest is OK knees elbows etc, no worries. I’ll keep you updated.

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      • Lottie Nevin Says:

        I’m not quite that bad with the eyes yet but I really cannot read small print anymore and that’s frustrating enough. I’m lost without my reading specs even though I have to spend half my life looking for them
        Thrilled you liked the lotus flowers, thank you Gerard.

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  2. Elisabeth Says:

    Aging is such an odd experience, Gerard. this morning i have a bung knee. It just came on like that and now I can’t get it to shift. I put it down to the general decay. At least we can keep our minds going. My mother’s 93 and she’s having trouble even with that.

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  3. gerard oosterman Says:

    Elisabeth,
    I wonder why women generally outlive men? Perhaps men are more reckless and don’t look after themselves. My mother reached 94 and was still alert but also kept going back in the past a lot. I suppose that is reasonable when the future is dwindling rapidly.

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  4. Andrew Says:

    My grandmother outlived my grandfather by 50 years. She outlived my father and only just succumbed before her daughter. Her grandson (not me) died shortly afterwards. In our family the women definitely go on well beyond the men folk. I think the solution may be for the men to go into premature old age so they can get all the benefits of old age before they actually get there. I see no reason why I should not have a free bus pass, ride on the MTR for $2, get my fruit money (no state pension in HK) simply because I may peg out too soon. I don’t have milk bottle lenses yet but I do have vario-focals and they drive me mad. Clearly nobody considered the problems of using cameras and binoculars with them. I believe that is why I take so many blurred photographs. I am all in favour of selective hearing loss. If I can tune out the ugly torrent of discordant putonghua that now cloaks Hong Kong then I shall be happy. I am determined to shuffle off before the need for incontinence pants overwhelms me. Our 16 year old Pomeranian had such a need in her last few weeks. Although we were assured the ‘nappies’ we bought her were guaranteed to fit and be poo-tight they sadly were not. I have no intention of nipping down to our local hardware store (known affectionately as Harrods) with a telltale dribble revealing my whereabouts (amongst other things) better than an embedded GPS microchip.

    I have no funeral insurance policy. I am happy to go with a quick and dirty followed by a prompt scattering of the ashes somewhere with a decent view where nobody will come and trample on me. In any case, other than (hopefully) Mrs. Ha I suspect not many people will give a twopenny. I shall stipulate in my next will rewrite that an iFuneral is forbidden. Swipe fingers to cremate. There must be an App for it. But I’m not interested. For music at my exit parade I would like Kathleen Ferrier singing Blow the Wind Southerly. I don’t know why. Either that or I’m Walking Backwards For Christmas. If I can do all this before I get old that will be reward in itself.In the meantime I shall just carry on regardless. Blog on.

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, some worry but I don’t. I mean, once you’re gone it is not likely you would mourn the loss of Gloria Jeans cuppa or an LV bag. I suspect you would miss nothing.
      I just bought two lovely eye-fillets and some fish fillets, so, tonight will be fine, will be fine (Leonard Cohen).

      No insurance at all let alone for a funeral. I will probably fade away in the next twenty years or so. No pension in HK? That’s surprising, so do the children look after parents or each other or what? Perhaps ebevy ones saves like mad. I thought in one of your posts everyone is whooping it up big time in HK!

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      • Andrew Says:

        In traditional Chinese society the children do support their parents as they start to go out to work. My wife gave her mother money each month from the day she started work until the day her mother died – even after marriage. They do save a lot for the very reason that they can expect no help from the state. That is one of the challenges in getting domestic expenditure up in the PRC. People save because they fear what may happen in the future. They think the only two things of value are gold and food. When the gold price dropped sharply the other day gold bars and jewellery sold out all over the place in hours. People remember the bad old days. Paper money is useless in a crisis so they want hard assets – property and gold in particular. There is an extreme wealth gap in HK and increasingly in the PRC itself. There are the super wealthy and the super poor. People live in cages, rent 100 square feet for a family and pick up cardboard off the street to sell for a few dollars to supplement the meagre fruit money they get. Others live in obscene luxury. Those of us in the middle are getting squeezed. The sandwich class. This is not a great place to live these days.

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Andrew;
      Incontinence pads are big time here at Aldi’s. Helvi finds it hard to resist pointing them out to me when we are shopping and finds it an hilarious subject. Soon there will be wheelchair rage on the footpaths with walking sticks flying about. There are so many about now.
      Haven’t noticed any blurred photographs of yours Andrew. They are very good.

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      • Andrew Says:

        My godson is a rising star in Aldi. I shall ask him if he can do a BOGOF on iNcont-iPads.

        BTW, BOGOF = Buy One Get One Free for any readers who are not supermarket buffs.

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  5. frangipani Says:

    Don’t knock the iPad idea or the wonders of modern technology! My better half has macular degeneration – and he’s got himself an e-reader because it allows him to enlarge the font, so he doesn’t need the milk-bottle glasses.

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  6. gerard oosterman Says:

    That’s interesting frangi.
    I am curious because my eyes have always been pretty good, even did away with my glasses that I wore my entire life since I was about 6 a few years ago. Lately right eye vision is l blurred and there seems to be distortion in distances compared with the good eye.
    Ah well, perhaps I should get an e-reader .What does that do? I have enlarged the letters on the computer.
    I’ll let you know what the verdict is after the 30th of April from the expert.

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    • frangipani Says:

      An e-reader is just a gadget that you can download books to, and read in electronic rather than paper format. While neither I nor the better half would ever give up the “real” book for the virtual one entirely, the e-reader gives you 2 or 3 thousand books in the space of a paperback. You can adjust the print size to suit tired eyes, and it’s easier to read than a book on a computer screen because of the lighting system. Great for long flights – I used one when I went home to Canada last year – had 35 books stored on it (most of them free off the ‘net) and got through quite a number en route. It’s surprising what’s available free – many, many out of copyright books plus new writers often publish free to build up a following. Lot’s of good stuff out there, and it’s not filling up the already overflowing bookshelves!

      Anyway, just a thought…

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  7. gerard oosterman Says:

    That sounds great. Should I go to Dick Smith or Good guys? What is a good one? Thanks for that information because reading a book now I am forced to close the crook eye. I usually get tired after a couple of pages.
    I can’t think of a worse fate than not being able to read…

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    • Andrew Says:

      I am also an enthusiastic user of E readers. I have a rather old Kindle and the Kindle app on my iPad. I too have enlarged the font. Likewise I would ever give up the real thing. I love the ability to hear of a book and download it a minute or so later. Three years ago choice seemed poor, now most things are available in Kindle format. Highly recommended.

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    • frangipani Says:

      Well, the thing is, if you buy a Kindle, you’re into Amazon and they use a proprietary code for everything they sell. It doesn’t work on non-Kindles (and I’m not sure whether different codes work on the Kindle). We bought a Sony because it uses a more common format, including “e-pub” which is what a lot of the free stuff is in, and we were more interested in getting old, out of copyright classics than “Shades of Grey.” (That said, e-books tend to be cheaper than physical books).

      I think this link might be helpful:

      http://www.cnet.com.au/ask-us-where-to-get-ebooks-339313078.htm

      I use “Manybooks” and, to a lesser extent, “Feedbooks” for out-of-copyright stuff, and we’ve bought a few books from Kobo as well (they have some sort of link to Sony), but there’s a whole lot of stuff out there, and quite a few e-book sources. And a friend of ours has a Kindle and loves it.

      I think Dick Smith only sells Kindles. Not sure about that, though – maybe it’s just our store, in small-town Australia. I bought our e-reader on-line directly from Sony. It arrived in 3 days.

      Have a look around, and think about it.

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      • gerard oosterman Says:

        So, how much am I expected to pay for a reasonable E-reader.? I am not all that savvy with buying on line. Last time I did buy something on line from Micro-soft/Apple for my grandson’s Ipad/or (Ipod)
        I kept getting an annual bill. I had enormous trouble getting out of that annual bill and never understood what it actually was for. Something to download music. I couldn’t even find a phone number so I could talk and sort it all out. I had to go to the bank to get the charge reversed each year. It finally got sorted out but I nearly lost the will to keep going, so… I am keen on an E-reader and shall have to acquaint myself with downloading books and paying for them but at the same would like to avoid drama, complications and getting sucked into a whirlwind of choices with tools and ‘upgrades’.
        I am grateful for all your help.

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    • frangipani Says:

      @Gerard – look, I don’t want to lead you into something you might not use. If you live in a big city (which I don’t) go to one of the big chains and just try one out, or borrow one from a friend and see if it suits.

      Check out prices online on Dick Smith, Kobo, Sony, Amazon, maybe JB Hifi, etc to get an idea of what you’d pay (mine was about $150, but you can get cheaper and more expensive ones). And, as I say, you can download a lot of books perfectly legitimately for free. Plus I recently downloaded George Megalogenis’ most recent book for about $5. And the downloads take up surprisingly little e-space (if there is such a term). We added a 4 gig memory card to our e-reader and that’s good for a few thousand books in addition to what the reader already holds.

      We download the books to the computer, then to the e-reader. My friend with the kindle goes to the local library and downloads from their wi-fi for free.

      I’m not saying “do this.” I’m saying, check it out, and if it suits, go for it. It’s worth looking into, anyway.

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      • helvityni Says:

        Frangipani, I’m constantly surprised by the treasures I find in the local Vinnies charity shop, the prices vary from one dollar to three dollars…some are brand new, maybe a bookshop donates them…I have got Megalogenis (latest), David Marr’s Panic, J Coetzee’s novels in hardcover….
        My shop is unusually good, most of them just have plenty of romances and all the shades of grey🙂

        I have no room on my bookshelves, so I now try to donate some of the less loved back to charity shops or I give them to family and friends….

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      • frangipani Says:

        @Helvi – I’m at a stage where, if a book comes in, one has to go! So the e-reader is a bit of a godsend. I’ve donated a lot of books for which I now have electronic versions. Of course, getting the books out of the house to an op shop can be a challenge, as the better half has a tendency to intercept them as they go out the door!

        I’m now mulling over what to do with 700 LPs…

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      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Frangipani:
        You’ll be pleased to know I ordered the Sony PRS T2 vc e-reader for $ 99.00 (Mother’s day special) and… wait …I ordered it on line. So, all excited now and it should arrive by 4th of May. Many thanks for all your kindness and advice.

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      • frangipani Says:

        @gerard – good for you! I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoy ours.

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  8. He shall music wherever he goes……… | All downhill from here Says:

    […] there were plenty of good contributions from others to entertain me.  They included posts by Gerard Oosterman, Rough Seas in the Med, and the Empress herself, Lottie […]

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  9. ThePoliticalVagina Says:

    Another ripping yarn Gerard! Yes and nodding in empathy at the dwindling eyesight and hearing…and general bits and pieces heading south and stiffening and sore these days. One good thing about crook eyesight at this age is you can kid yourself you still look great, it’s all soft focus but whatever you do DON’T put your glasses on and look in the mirror! I’m still traumatised, there’s an old wrinkly sheila staring back at me now.
    So glad I don’t have a T.V. antenna and so I don’t have to witness those awful funeral ads anymore. You’re gonna die die die! (we know eh?) I think the insurance companies own the television stations now and get free air time. I don’t know how else to explain it.
    Love your blog, you never fail to get a giggle.

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  10. berlioz1935 Says:

    I’m new to your blog, Gerard and I must say I like your dry humour. I think I will visit your site more often.

    I’m probably in your age group and suffer similar disabilities as far as my eyesight and my hearing goes. There is always one or the other appointment. Ads on TV don’t disturb me as I’m not watching the commercial stations. I used to like SBS but since they follow in the footsteps of 7, 9 and 10 I watch it less and record the programs rather than watching them in real time (I fast-forward the ads).

    Hearing aids are no fun either. The never work when one wants them too. In theory they are good when you are in a group, cinema or theatre.

    I see you are getting an e-reader. Good luck with it and try to down load KINDLE. There are many book for free (in other languages too).

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