Guide Dog training – another eye appointment

Today I went to my coffee morning at my local church, Holy Trinity in Paulton. The vicar had left for another parish the previous Monday. In spite of this or perhaps because of this, the place was full and about 20 people turned up. Maybe they felt in the absence of a vicar the need for mutual self-assurance among our small but dedicated congregation.

We had a long chat about holidays, especially Shearing holidays, which we use frequently for bargain weekends. We are going to Exmouth in December and will get 3 nights bed breakfast and evening meal plus four drinks on a Saturday for £99 per person which we think is more than reasonable.

Anyway, at the coffee morning I met a woman who is a guide dog trainer. Guide dogs can be fully trained by the age of 3 but the training is in two stages, first order to make sure that they are are of the right temperament to be a guide of blind people and secondly to refine the training and ensure the dog reaches the necessary standard. I was told that some dogs although they’re the right breed simply do not want to do the work or are better at some aspects than others and the dog is evaluated on a monthly basis so you have to be pretty good to become a trainer. The life of a trained dog can be long or short. They can go on until the age of nine depending on the difficulty of duties but eventually rheumatism and illness get the better of them.

I rather like these coffee mornings held as they are in the back of the church in very humble surroundings, unsophisticated you might say, but there is all the warmth and comradeship that you could wish for and I’m reminded that within maybe a square mile there are people sitting on their own who would just love to have the company but do not know of the existence of this group or do not have the courage to come along and give it a go.

Off we went to Bath and I went to my eye appointment while Francoise went off to do the shops. This must be my 20th appointment. The vision in my right eye is perfect but the vision in my left eye is somewhat lacking but it is stable so this time I did not have to have an injection in the eye and it is worth mentioning for anyone who hasn’t had this done before is that it is not a painful operation. I just feel a little tiny pin prick in the eye and that’s it. Macular precludes central vision details but you can see peripherally perfectly well.

I enjoyed the usual varying picture collection along the corridors of the Bath United Hospital and as I’ve said before, anyone can go and have a look. You don’t have to be a patient, you can have a meal in the dining room with everyone else, the patient’s, friends and staff. No one bothers or checks. And then, an educational informational service announcement.

I always remember to look at the images before I go into the eye examination because they put drops in that stop the eye focusing and it is very difficult to see any detail never mind look into the sun because the eye is temporarily paralyzed from its duties

I took the number 4 bus to the centre of bath and decided to go with Francoise to buy some shoes. It is a very rare thing for me to buy any item of clothing, I just can’t get up the enthusiasm. So long as I warm and comfortable and don’t frighten small children I tend not to worry. On this occasion we went to Millet’s which is a specialist outdoor activity shop. I was very impressed by the salesperson James, who knew footwear intimately, what to look for, how to buy the right size and he mentioned all sorts of details and subtleties that impressed me very much. He had evidently completed the 10 Peaks examination in Dartmoor and was obviously very physically fit. Because he was so good at his subject and so knowledgeable I trusted what he said and spent more money than I would have expected on a pair of shoes but they fit beautifully, in fact they fit like a glove. PS You  get 15% off if you are a member of the National Trust.

Today is the day when I expected the completion of the software development for my website The man who is doing lives in Romania or is it Croatia I can’t remember. He promised to finish it today but was ‘having difficulties’. I think it must be very difficult to rely on or should I say trust someone you’ve never met but I did pay him most of what he asked with the agreement of the balance would be paid on satisfactory completion and having loaded the files onto my server. The answer here is to be firm and fair and not exploit people because this Middle Eastern country has more financial difficulties than we are and people are probably struggling so we need not to be smug about this. As I write, I have heard nothing.

Tomorrow we go off to Glastonbury for the ceremony of Samhain which is part of the pagan year. We sit around Chalice Well and meditate; this year’s meditation will be about half an hour for some reason. In any event we enjoy going to Glastonbury, though I would never live there, it is my scene but it isn’t. I think some of the people are a little bit too far out; I rather impolitely call them space cadets, but I love going to the Goddess Centre and the wonderful woman who work there.

Today the day was sunny though cold. I hope that the goldfish in my newly renovated pond will find something to eat. It is interesting how quickly and ecosystem creates itself and becomes the means to support many types of creature

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