I made my last post with the best (or worst) intentions of returning to reasonably regular blogging. Then, as P. G. Wodehouse used to say, Judgement Day set in with unusual severity.

To begin with, I caught a fairly impressive case of the Official Plague, which is to say, the then fashionable strain of COVID. This kept both my Beloved Bride and me housebound and decrepit for the best part of a month, followed by a long, slow recovery in which neither of us was able to do anything much. My short-term memory was particularly hard hit. Many a time I found myself upstairs in the bedroom, having fetched up exactly one of the three things I was supposed to bring, and then trudging back down to get the other two. And sometimes it took a mighty effort to recall them both when I got there.

Sometimes, in this condition, I tried stringing four words together. The result would have been amusing, I think, if I had posted it here, but the joke would soon have grown stale.

This took me through October and November. Meanwhile, the cataracts have been growing.

Last spring, my optometrist gave me my regular eye test and fitted me out with new glasses. After a few weeks, I noticed blurry vision in my left eye, and supposed he had got the prescription wrong – or that my eye injury had been a little more severe than first thought. (I took the jagged end of a broken tree branch in the left eye. By luck or providence I blinked at just the right moment, and ended up with nothing worse than a bruised sclera.)

It turned out that I was developing a cataract in that eye, and it was now advanced enough to prevent my lens from ever quite focusing light correctly. No amount of fiddling with my prescription could correct this. If I looked at single points of light with that eye, they resolved themselves into bright, blurry rings. (Our Christmas tree this year is decorated with glowing O’s – but only to me.) He recommended that I follow up with the specialist who looks after my glaucoma from time to time.

The said specialist peered into my left eye and said, ‘Yup, you’ve got a cataract.’ He then checked my right eye. ‘And one starting in this one,’ he added. As luck would have it, his practice specializes in both glaucoma and cataracts, and he got straight down to business and booked me for surgeries. My eye specialist is not one for chit-chat; he runs a volume business and sees each patient, if possible, for just a minute or two. That day, when I saw him, there were upwards of forty thousand people in his waiting room – at least, I saw that many. Likely my eyes were exaggerating. I only saw one of him, but that doesn’t prove anything; he was sitting right in my face, looming, as he peered into my eyes through his fiendish apparatus, and there was not room enough in my visual field to see two of him.

So I have been nursing my cataracts along, cutting down on driving (though I am still legal for now) and close work (which gives me eyestrain after a few minutes). My left eye is due to have its dicky lens replaced on the 11th, and the other on the first of February. Then we shall see; that is, we shall see if we shall see.

Happy New Year to my 3.6 Loyal Readers, and I hope to be able to post more after the operations. For the first time in years, I am beginning to feel as if I have something interesting to say.

And then, of course, people come up with helpful things like this to vex me with:


  1. Mary Catelli says

    Praying for success!

  2. God bless and keep you, brother!

  3. Thersites says

    May you have a better cataract surgeon than John Taylor.

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