Category: Optician

Words are all I have…


As many of you know, the Lifestyle Support Guru loves words of all sorts – short words, long words, foreign words, words you can pronounce and words you can’t, and words that can make you smile, and it is with this in mind that I thought I would share some thoughts on words with you today.

Words can help you make career decisions:

For example, I have decided that I will not retrain as a phlebotomist, since the word is almost as difficult to say as it is to spell. The same applies to ophthalmologist.

Foreign Words

Foreign words can take people by surprise sometimes (even if that wasn’t the intention):
A close friend of mine (not the LSG, of course, because I would never use the wrong word) was once on a school trip to Paris where one of the students had been accused of stealing money from another (British) guest at the hotel. As the only French speaker among the staff (because it was a History trip) and the other British guests, the close friend had to translate for both the student AND the accuser once the police arrived. It was fairly late in the evening after a long day visiting various historical sites in Paris, so it would be fair to say that the friend was rather tired and perhaps not thinking as clearly as she might have when the accuser asked her to translate that he had made the assumption that the student had stolen from his wallet. It was when the French policeman’s eyes opened wide in surprise at the use of the word ‘l’Assomption’ that the close friend realised she had made the teensiest of errors – ‘l’Assomption’ refers to the ascent of the Virgin Mary to Heaven after her death and is a religious festival in France!

Wrong in Spain

This same close friend went to Spain at Christmas and, upon arrival at the hotel with an accompanying sibling, thought she would impress the receptionist (and sibling) with her knowledge of Spanish. However, upon approaching the desk, she realised that ‘We have two rooms booked’ had not been covered in her Spanish classes, although she would have been fine giving her age, profession, nationality, number of siblings and ordering beer and wine, all of which had been covered in the first five chapters. After a slight moment of panic before making the assumption (ha ha! See what I did there!) that the word for ‘room’ might be similar to the Italian, ‘camera’, she confidently said, with a smile, ‘Dos camareras’. The receptionist’s eyes opened wide, rather like the French policeman’s, since the friend had confidently asked for two waitresses. An easy mistake, I think.

Speedy Freda

And, finally, words can make you smile (again, unintentionally):
The much-loved mother of some very good friends of mine has just died. I know we all find it difficult to find the right words to say at times like those, but I thought the response from TT (the Tiny Tyke, who has featured in many of my tales and who has a Yorkshireman’s way with words – brief and to the point!) was a classic. I sent TT a text to tell him the news, because he had met Speedy, as she was affectionately known, when he had come on rugby trips to Wales. I read his reply while I was making my way round Sainsbury’s and I got some very strange looks when I laughed out loud.
What was his response? ‘I’m so sorry’? ‘That’s sad’? ‘Please send my condolences’? No, his response was: ‘Unfortunate.’ UNFORTUNATE? ‘Unfortunate’ is when you spill a cup of coffee on the cat; ‘unfortunate’ is when you trip over the said cat and break your leg; ‘unfortunate’ is not what you say when someone dies – unless he felt it was unfortunate that Speedy would now miss the 2017 Six Nations, due to start this coming weekend, and which she loved?
Farewell, Speedy Freda – you’ll live in people’s memories for a long time, FORTUNATELY!

Conversations for all occasions:

Poster picture mutual incomprehension


With the festive season fast approaching, I felt that the Lifestyle Support Guru could offer some help in providing conversation outlines that could be adapted for almost any social occasion. There are several conversations, so don’t feel you must read them all in one go – feel free to stop for refreshment in between each one (as I have done…).
The first of these takes place at a party, held as a surprise for a former neighbour (I would have

birthday cake with candles

Birthday cake

said ‘old neighbour’, but he’s younger than me) who had reached the grand old age of 50 – a mere stripling! The disco was very loud, as was the DJ, who didn’t seem to realise that you don’t need to shout into a microphone – it does the work for you! This meant it was quite difficult to hold a reasonable conversation. You are talking to the party boy’s mother, whom you haven’t seen for several years, and it goes something like this:
Me: It’s lovely to see you again.
Party boy’s mother: Obblygooblywibblyobbly.
Me: Really?
PBM: (Nodding enthusiastically) Wibblyobblygooblydibbly.
Me: That’s nice.
PBM: (Smiling) Dibblygooblynoobly.
Me: I’m glad to hear that. I’ll be back in a minute.
And with that you head off to the relative sanity of the bar where the music and DJ can only be heard at half-volume.

Magnifying Glass

At The Optician’s

The second conversation takes place at the optician’s, where he has apologised for making you wait, explaining that he’s got a couple of patients in who need some urgent treatment, so you decide to fire up your mobile wi-fi so that you can read a book on your phone while you’re waiting. However, you have to put a code into your phone, and the code is written in TINY letters on the back of the wi-fi thingummy, so you go to the reception desk:
Me: This may seem a strange request, but you wouldn’t happen to have a magnifying glass, would you?
Receptionist: (with an old-fashioned look) Yes.
Me: Oh, that’s lucky.
At this point, you hear a snort of laughter behind you and you turn around to see another customer grinning widely.
Other customer: It’s an optician’s, me duck. Of course they’ve got a magnifying glass!
Luckily, the optician calls you in and saves you any further blushes, until…

You have decided to get some new glasses, so you are left to peruse the selection of frames while the receptionist-cum-person-who-blows-a-puff-of-air-into-your-eye-making-you-jump works out how much of a mortgage you’ll need to pay for them.
Receptionist: Have you found any that you like?
Me: Yes, I rather like these. But I’m spoilt for choice with all the colours.
R: Erm, (trying to be polite) I’m afraid they wouldn’t be any good.
Me: Oh? Why? Do you think they wouldn’t suit me?
R: Erm, (trying to be tactful) they’re from our Disney Princess ‘Frozen’ range. They’re for children.
Me: Ah. Right.
You eventually end up with a rather fetching pair in a very tasteful lilac and silver… Dame Edna Everage, move over!

And finally, the sort of conversation you may have in the high street of any town. I cannot lay

man carrying notice board


claim to personal experience – it was sent to me by a friend who overheard it and thought I might find it amusing. He said I could use it, providing I didn’t give his name – not for any clandestine reasons, but because he doesn’t like the limelight and thinks that being personally associated with the LSG might bring him too much attention! So, with thanks to my anonymous friend (you know who you are, Footie Fan!):
The scene is the main street in a West Midlands town (hope that’s not too much information, Footie Fan?) where a couple of guys with a ‘Repent before it’s too late’ placard are buttonholing passers-by. There was an old couple walking past and the ‘Repenters’ try to involve them. The conversation went something like this:
Repenter: Excuse me, sir – have you got a minute?
Couple stop.
R: Can you tell me the last time you went to church?
Old man: Well – I don’t go very often.
R: Really? And what do you think you should do in the future?
Old man (after a little hesitation): I’m going to have some lunch
R: Yes, but what do you think you should do to improve your life?
Old man stops and thinks a little longer and then says, ‘I shall have some chips.’
Clearly, the end of the world isn’t that nigh then….

Feel free to adapt these conversations to your own circumstances. Sleep well, faithful followers!

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Happy

bokeh images

Happy lightness

A very good evening to all my followers! As winter draws (and drawers) ever nearer, I felt you might need some help and encouragement in seeing your way through these cold, dark nights. I have previously written about looking at the positive side of things, but I now have some further support to offer, having had some experience this week of looking on the bright side of life (hmm, that could be good title for a song…). Much of this advice is particularly pertinent to those of you who wear glasses or contact lenses – and for those of you who don’t, believe me – it will happen at some point!

sun glasses

sun glasses

You will need to visit your local, friendly optician for an eye test (free for those of us over a certain age) and casually drop into the conversation that you will be going to Africa in the near future so you wonder if you should get a pair of varifocals with light-reactive lenses, because it’s bound to be sunny and at the moment you only have a pair of boring, non-light-reactive bifocals (again, age will bring these delights for those of you who don’t need them just yet) which you wear as little as possible.
You think this might be a sensible (but expensive) idea in case you get some grit in your eye whilst on safari or lying on a sandy beach on Zanzibar (your local, friendly optician may start to look annoyed at this point) and have to remove your lenses and wear glasses instead. You explain that a few weeks ago you had to wear your glasses for longer than usual AND out in public (a rare occurrence) and it happened to be a sunny day (you may recall that day – August 17th, if my memory serves me well), so the only solution was to wear a pair of plain sunglasses on top of the ‘ordinary’ glasses. Now, while the Lifestyle Support Guru can get away with such a look, it is not something that ordinary mortals should cultivate because people will look at you in an odd fashion.

old shoe

old shoe

Your local, friendly optician, realising that you have already spent a fortune on the forthcoming trip to Africa (threadbare clothes, shoes with no soles, that sort of thing), will suggest a much cheaper option of daily contact lenses to take with you (I think he was still trying to picture the LSG driving around wearing sunglasses on top of ordinary glasses), which you agree sounds much more acceptable – and probably less frightening for those one might meet on one’s travels!
Your local, friendly optician then asks if you have any other questions and you mention that you have seen a product which might relieve your ‘dry eye’ problem (which is a bit misleading because ‘dry eye’ actually makes your eyes water!), which is an eye mask that is heated in the microwave before placing it over the eyes for 5-10 minutes. He agrees that this might be helpful and this is where the ‘looking on the bright side’ comes in – instead of feeling sad that you are getting older and things are starting to fall apart, you can feel happy because you now have an excuse to go back to bed for 10 minutes because you need to lie down in a darkened room twice a day!

woman lying on bed for rest

Lying down for 10 minutes

And the other experiences of looking on the positive side? An acquaintance offers earlier in the week to come round on Saturday morning to discuss possible plans for your garden (I use that term loosely), but you realise that you’d rather go and see ‘Spectre’ on Saturday, so you seek him out in the pub (where I meet most of my acquaintances) to offer your apologies and arrange another date. However, before you can say, ‘I’m really sorry, but something really urgent has come up tomorrow morning, so could we postpone the garden inspection?’, the acquaintance apologises profusely for not coming around THIS morning! ‘No problem!’ you reply sweetly, ‘We’ll rearrange it for another time. I can’t do tomorrow, though.’
And, finally, that ‘bright side’ moment when you realise you are up there with the ‘big players’. You have finally filled in your Tax Return (this is not a BIG Tax Return, believe me) after putting it off for months and you give details of the interest earned on your current account – a MASSIVE 13 pence! I think that’s probably more than Starbucks, Amazon and Google have paid put together, so I think George Osborne should be really grateful!

Always look on the bright side of life, dadah, dadadadadadah…
Enjoy your weekend, devoted acolytes!