Wednesday, 31 October 2012


Yesterday was my first appointment at Manchester Eye Hospital - just a vision test so in itself not scary. But I needed to find out about what was to happen next week, when I was expecting the dreaded probe. I contacted Patient Support and the woman from there helpfully smoothed the way for me to see the person who would be carrying out my tests next week. We had a long discussion and he said he would do the 'contact testing' immediately so that I would not have to worry for another week. Which was very nice of him but I explained it would be impossible for me to take the test without being sedated or strapped down. He began to understand - he had originally said that my doctor's words about acute anxiety were not unusual and did not bother him.

But he was a really really nice person and give up his morning to arrange for me to have a battery of tests using non-contact equipment. So it is possible. And the eureka moment came when he discovered that I have thick corneas and will always have high pressure readings The normal referral level is about 22 - mine is over 30!! I definitely do not have glaucoma or any particular risk of it and he cannot justify annual NHS checkups so I am back to 2-yearly checks at the opticians.

All that worry for nothing. Do they know what they are doing with these vague screening tests? I have lost several nights' sleep.

But it was a good hospital encounter - good people and a beautiful new building.

My nails are still on and my hair is still good but I haven't MA'd for about a week. I was ahead but I need to work hard next week.

Wedding picture

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Wedding haiku

White turquoise sparkle
Heritage and autumn moor;
Joyous earth journey 

Monday, 29 October 2012


Well, they are married and it all went well. Beautiful bride, handsome and charming groom, 12 hours of partying, happy guests and my gel nails survived. Oh, and TSH's speech (which I was not allowed to see or hear in advance) was brilliant! What more could we want?

I think my hat was just right but it felt very hot after five hours. And then I had the ceremony of taking it off and fluffing up the hair. And it worked!! Old Faithful played a blinder this time.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


Nails done - biogel in a mushroom shade. Hair to be done tomorrow - hope Old Faithful will do something simple that I can cope with myself. Haiku written - my sister says I'm the family Poet Laureate.

Have spent part of the afternoon listening to a lecture about historical pragmatics, which dealt with how meaning changes over time. Like 'in deed' which was originally two words meaning as opposed to 'in thought' and is now one word used for emphasis or sometimes just to mean 'yes'. One of the most interesting lectures since I started the MA!

Still dreading the whole eyes scenario.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Eye nightmare

I read in the paper (so it's true) that there is now an imaging device called Optos which can be used to map the eye and show any problems. It sounded like all my dreams had come true and I won't have to have anyone actually touch my eye. But then I found a hair-raising account of a journalist who tried out the imaging and they saw a potential problem. So she had to come back the next day and they used the probe (which I refused from my optician). And it is indeed a rod which is pushed hard against the eye. And then they did not find anything so she had all the anxiety for nothing. I feel physically sick.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Nails and Higgins

Did I mention I had gel nails for the holiday? A mushroomy colour, so quite subtle, not like me at all. They lasted flawlessly for ten days, which is less than they advertise but more than I've ever managed with normal varnish. So I'm having them done again for the wedding, in a different colour, but I could not spare time (or money) to have them in-filled every two or three weeks.

Its difficult to tune back in to the course, but I've listened to the audio lecture on morpho-syntactic change over hundreds of years. I was so impressed with my tutor. I sent in some phonetic representations of my own speech and my parents' and he said 'Perhaps you are from East Lancashire', which is true. Its like Higgins in 'My Fair Lady'

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Back from holiday

Yesterday we returned from a cruise Venice to Barcelona. Highlights included Venice itself, Gaudi's spectacular unfinished cathedral at Barcelona, the attractive port of Zadar in Croatia and the majestic Valetta in Malta. Low point of the trip was a visit to the archaeology of Barumini - I was really looking forward to it and it turned out a disaster.

There is no warning about how difficult it is to visit this site. Access to the middle is via a series of modern staircases which ascend the outside of the tower, followed by a couple of very narrow low tunnels with steep stone uneven steps leading into the interior. On the day I went, there were several cruise ships running excursions to the site. Many people were elderly, some with walking sticks. All were taken into these tunnels - I was behind a man who was having severe difficulty and edging forward a centimetre at a time. Other people were behind me so I was stuck in a small space for a long time. When we reached the centre of the structure, I was appalled to discover that we had to renegotiate the tunnels to get out. Meanwhile more and more people - a few hundred, I think - were pouring into the small space. To get out, I had to climb a wall of rock as tall as myself, with only a few foot and hand holds. Then back into the narrow tunnel.

Normally I am really interested in such sites - if I had stayed outside I would have enjoyed it more. This site is not suitable for large numbers of people and it is only a matter of time before someone is injured and there is no easy way of getting them out. If someone is stuck in the tunnel between two people with difficulties, there could be an awful situation.

I didn't even attempt any MA work, as I was ahead when we went and I will catch up this week. Meanwhile, there's the washing and the post.