Dame M's sight has become very poor. On her kitchen table are an array of reading lamps. She has had an operation for cataracts and has been diagnosed with macular degeneration. As well as making it hard for her to read and see close up, she is terribly affected by bright light and glare.
As well as the glasses she had on, she had a pair next to her. There was a pair on her kitchen table and another on a bench. On her hall table there was a stack of eleven pairs. I'd reckon there were a few more pair around. She has clearly tried many many glasses.
Smoking is a significant factor causing macular degeneration. The disease has affected her confidence and her ability to go out on her own. She has decided to address her wanton ways. She has cut her smoking to a couple of cigarettes a day and has cut her drinking down a lot too.
When we first met her maybe ten years ago, she drank straight white wine from a cask. She is allergic to bottled wine, as I am a bit. One or two glasses are ok for me, but more than that and I get an allergic skin reaction. Dame M sneezes. It doesn't happen to me with wine from a cask. Who knows why?
Then Dame M started to put a decent dash of soda water in her wine. Now she has half and half.
And her hearing is going too. But is she feeling any better for her lifestyle changes? No. She coughed so badly last night and was not exactly the life of her party.
It is good that she addressing her health problems, but gee, she is not the same Dame M she used to be.
After a couple of drinks she could hold twenty people in thrall with her tales and her life. She is a bit flatter now. Some people are just meant to drink and entertain. But there comes a point where they have to slow down.
It is sad to watch someone decline. Fortunately I don't sit so high, so not too far to decline.