Focus and precision

Wednesday 10 August 1664

…So I find out Cocker, the famous writing-master, and get him to do it, and I set an hour by him to see him design it all; and strange it is to see him with his natural eyes to cut so small at his first designing it, and read it all over, without any missing, when for my life I could not, with my best skill, read one word or letter of it; but it is use.

I have always been excited by seeing craftsmen at their work. They may be woodworker, jeweler, potter, artist, but irrespective of the craft I get a thrill from the human mind doing what it can do best. The human brain is the greatest relational database in the world and seeing people use their brain or shall we say their mind brain encourages me to recognise my humanity to the full and hopefully to emulate it as I do with this  diary. I’m into my seventh months now and look forward as ever  to recording anything of value in terms of observations and reflections. This coming Saturday there is a model railway demonstration and show at Wells.

This morning I went to visit a potential customer who is just about living on planet Earth. It was buried in the depths of the country and when I entered the garden or should I say Jungle, I was greeted by three noisy dogs who I was assured are quite friendly. the garden area was as high as it was wide with huge trees overgrown with vines, weeds 6 feet high, buried paths, too many trees competing for too little space.

She had a memorial garden to her husband who had died many years before. It was derelict. Her son used the front area as a dump for pallets and there were about 50 of them together with 6 foot by 8 foot boards.  The whole garden area was more than a mess, it was abandoned. To make it worse, the woman had lost the use of one arm in an accident a year ago but still talked about climbing ladders, pulling out bushes and so on, things that she was clearly unable to do. She showed me the area that she wanted to have cleaned out, an area 6 m x 4 m and when I asked her what she wanted to do with it she said that she used to grow runner beans there and she now just wanted it left.

I’m not very good at walking out on people  that I cannot help but I did feel like it on this occasion. The garden work seemed a purposeless exercise; the state of mind of the customer was eccentric to put it kindly. However, somewhere there is a need so I will get back to her and offer to start off with a very simple operation, the cleaning of the area, and see whether some  coherent set of desires emanates from her.

Off to the eye Clinic in the afternoon. I was privileged to have the chief consultant of the eye Department look at my eyes. I took the chance to discuss the various remedies for macular disease for example MacuShield Gold which contains a cocktail of vitamins that are supposed to be good for the eye. He told me candidly that there were no definitive studies showing the effectiveness of this or other preparations and that the best I could hope for was to stop the macular disease appearing in the other eye which I thought was a pretty good basis for continuing my self-medication. Anyway, the monthly eye injections seem to have worked because there is no deterioration since last month in fact a small reversal of the situation. Thank goodness for the NHS without which I would have been many thousands of pounds the poorer.

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