29 December 2007


Some new tasting notes here and some new pics here.

28 December 2007


My left eye is my stronger eye, according to my optometrist and the prescription he gives me. It's been thus for quite a few years now, possibly since I first needed glasses. It's not stronger by much, a mere .25. .25 of what, I don't know, but I don't think that matters very much.

It was Hammersmith station, and I tried reading the Piccadilly and District Line Eastbound maps to work out how many stops we had before we got to Knightsbridge. I assume we were going to Knightsbridge - I was with my mother and she took me to Harrods quite a bit. I needed to squint to work out the station names. I was only 10 or 15 feet away from the maps. My mother sighed and told me we'd need to book an eye appointment. 

That was 18 years ago. My eyesight's about 3-4 times worse than it was for that first prescription. I don't mind being short-sighted, at least not literally. I like my glasses and I don't have any issue with contacts. Every couple of years or so I need to get a new 'script, usually just a fraction stronger. I keep an emergency pair of glasses in the glove box of my car. 

My old optician used to, in between aggrandising tales of his hugely successful sons, recommend laser correction. In the interest of full disclosure he confessed he'd make quite a bit of money if I took him up on it. Sometimes he struck me as more of a salesman than an optician - most of the time, actually. I declined. As I said, I like glasses, have no issues with contacts. 

And the thought of shooting a laser into my eye kind of freaked me out. It still does.

Last week my optician found something, or thought she did. Some sort of discolouring of my optic nerve, or lack of colour - it was too pale. She recommended a second opinion and I took her recommendation. Her colleague dilated my pupils to the size of planets - disconcerting though compelling mirror viewing - and looked at my eyes for a very long time. 

Retinal oedema on my left eye - the strong one. There's a risk of retinal detachment and the possibility that they're going to have to shoot a laser into my eye whether it freaks me out or not. 

26 December 2007


London decided to revert to some nostalgic, fairy-tale version of itself, draped in a pea-souper. If you can't have a white Christmas, a cold and foggy one is a decent substitute. And god was it cold. The damp allows the chill to bypass the flesh and hit the bone directly. You're cold from the skeleton out. Layers don't help. It can only be cured by comfort. Getting home after braving the mad streets, the shops with their dry, harsh attempts at warmth that leave you dehydrated and longing for the freshness of the chill outside. Getting home and knowing you don't have to go out again. It's that relief that warms the heart, that thaws the skeleton so that once again you're warm. You get ready for that to be your Christmas, and you look forward to it.

Then the temperature rises, the cloud rolls in and the real London asserts itself over the fairy-tale. The rain starts to fall and everything in the world is wet. Outside is no longer whimsical or an adventure, just something to avoid. Inside though, is full of lights and laughter, the clink of glass and the tearing of paper.