Older Than Dinosaurs…

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The Election

In honour of the brave suffragettes who achieved emancipation for women, I’ve cast my vote in every general and local election since I was 21. This time I was so fed up with the major parties sniping at each other I was seriously considering giving it a miss.

I’ve had loads of bumf from the various party central offices but until yesterday I didn’t know who the local candidates were. I’d read that John Prescott’s son had stood as a prospective candidate but then heard he hadn’t won so I was pleased, yesterday, to get a leaflet from the winner, John Stockton, Labour candidate for Weaver Vale.

He listed a telephone number, a web site, e-mail address and amazingly he was on Twitter.

Great, I thought, someone who’s up with technology, I’ll be able to find out who he is and his ideas and plans for the local area. First I tried the website but Google couldn’t find it, then I put him on my Twitter list and sent him a message to this effect.

I received no response to my message so later in the day I went back and did another search on Google with the same result so I typed in the url and this time it worked, (btw Google still didn’t list his website this morning)

On a personal level, I found out he has been a local councillor, runs for charity and that’s about it! The rest of the information on the site was rehashed Labour policies and soundbites; nothing about who he really is what he wants to do locally for the constituency.

This morning I checked his Twitter feed and found he has tweeted three times (the first was March 28th) on the lines of ‘amazingly busy/long hard day visited etc etc  met lots of nice people etc etc’ What does this tell me about what he really thinks? Can I trust him to be honest and principled? Or, as it seems to me, he’ll be toeing the party line.

Candidates have access to the internet and social networking sites which gives them the opportunity to reach people on a personal level and put over their thoughts and ideas. Writing a bland website, (or rather having one written) and signing up to Twitter without any idea of how it should be used is just paying lip service to technology and personally doesn’t encourage me to vote for them.

That having been said, I’ve received nothing from the local Tory or Lib Dem candidates so my decision to vote or not is still up in the air!

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April 15, 2010 Posted by | oldpeople | , , | 1 Comment

New Glasses

I’ve had been aware for some time that I was finding it increasingly difficult to read the small font on food labels so five weeks ago I finally went to the opticians.

Having my eyes tested is second only to the dentist on my list of most hated activities, so I didn’t go for the appointment with any joy. I hate them blowing air into my eyes while telling me not to blink, then the flashing lights of the peripheral vision test is enough to put me into a panic; I’m always sure I’ve missed some! Then it’s the red and green lights and the optician asking ‘better or worse’ as she flips the lenses in front of your eyes and while I’m trying to decide she flips them back again.

Next I have to decide on which frames I’m going to wear for the next two years and not end up hating after two months; then I hold my breath as the optometrist adds up the final cost of lenses and frames. Finally the torture is over and I can escape.

Two weeks later I went back to pick up the new glasses. As I was driving home I was aware that they didn’t seem right and reverted to my old ones. I put the new ones on when I got home and as I knew that I’d had a big change in the prescription for both distance and near vision I persevered wearing them throughout the day.

The next morning, I put the new glasses on again and suddenly became aware of a black line moving across the vision in my right eye as I moved from near to distance vision; on went the old glasses but it was still there. Sometimes it was a sharp line, sometimes a grey blur. It stayed all day and was there again the next morning. Very scary!

After the weekend I went back to the shop and after making a fuss with the ‘jobsworth’ receptionist I was finally told I could be seen by the optician.

The optician was very thorough and understanding of my fears; apparently I’m not going blind but have PVD, (Posterior Vitreous Detachment) the colloquial name of which is ‘ floater’. She said I have a large floater and it was a coincidence that it appeared at the same time as I got my new glasses.

I understand that about 75% of people over 65 have PVD and can take up to 6 months to settle down if ever! So here I am with black lines moving across my eye willy-nilly as a constant reminder of the passing of the years.

April 1, 2010 Posted by | oldpeople | , , | Leave a comment