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Visions Of Prescriptions (Or - Literally - Welcome To My World)
Every so often I come up with an idea for a blog post and dismiss it out of hand almost immediately - either because it is extremely complicated or because I can imagine one of my friends in particular deciding that I need to be booked in for an urgent processional consultation with them as a result of reading the results.  (In case you are wondering - the friend I am referring to works in the Mental Health Profession.)

There are many reasons why what you are about to read only narrowly escaped instant dismissal when the idea came into my head (some of those reasons will probably become obvious as we go along) - but I decided that they were cancelled out by one major reason for writing this blog post.  That reason is blood, guts, and gore (not literally but it does come very close) honesty.

I wanted to give you a small taster of my vision, as well as show you my glasses in a new way (as well as giving you an explanation of them.

So - sit back and enjoy the trip into my eyes.

The idea for this blog post came to me as I was standing in my kitchen this morning trying to put one of the lenses of my glasses back together after cleaning my glasses.  I was actually trying to stick the flexible bit of the lens onto the solid bit of the lens.  (Don't worry - I will explain what I mean as we get a bit further on.  All you need to know for now is that - technically - instead of having one lens in each hole in my glasses frame - I have got two lenses.)

First things first.  I suppose I had better explain the "process" behind the photographs you are about to view.

(I told you that I was going to dismiss the idea of this blog post, didn't I??? Now you are going to find out one of the reasons - pay very close attention to this next bit.)

When I say that I am a member of the "Bat Brigade (Blind As A)" I am not exaggerating.  Anything further away than approximately 3 centimetres from the end of my nose is a blur if I haven't got my glasses on.

As you can imagine this causes two slight problems as far as photographing things so you get a flavour of what I can see without my glasses is concerned.

Problem number one being that it is very difficult to deliberately get a camera that far out of focus at the best of times.

Problem number two being if the object I am trying to photograph is my glasses themselves, and they are not on my nose, I have great difficulty seeing what I am trying to do for obvious reasons.

(Before I get much further I have to thank Julie Kirkpatrick for looking at the photos in this blog post and making sure they were OK - as well as telling me that this would be an interesting idea for a blog post.)

Please note - all the photos were taken by me with no huamn assistance whatsoever.

So - the question I get asked more often than not is "what can you see without your glasses?"

Find camera - take glasses off nose - take photographs through each lens individually as though I am looking through them - and you will get your answer.

In both cases look at the TV (that black blob in the corner).

This is as close as I can get to what I can see with my left (bad) eye sithout glasses.

You are forgiven for thinking that my right (good) eye is not much better because - in the great scheme of things - it isn't!!!

So now you have had a slight taster as to what I can see without my glasses on I will tell you a bit about the "mechanics" of my glasses (and why I have been known to take them to be cleaned by my optician).

I told you that my glasses technically have two lenses in each eye (one flexible lens and one solid lens)???

I can prove it.

The left lens of my glasses is left in "one peice" - the right lens has the "carrier" (solid) lens in the frame and the (flexible) "Fresnell lens" below it.

(You are very lucky that I decided it was worth the aggravation of "sticking" the flexible "Fresnell" lens back on to the carrier - otherwise you would not have seen either this photo or the next one.)

What do I mean by "Carrier" lens???

Well, the simple explanation is that the Brainiacs who manufacture the "Fresnell" (flexible) lenses do not make them anywhere near strong enough for my prescription - apart from that the "Fresnell" lens are too floppy to be put in a pair of glasses on their own.  So, I have a solid "carrier" lens which is just over half of the prescription and a "Fresnell" lens which is "stuck" to it - think of both pressing the back of a board rubber to a wall, so it sticks to it by suction alone, and one of those holders for your Satnav which you stick onto your windscreen, with the help of a little moisture, and you get the idea.

My "Flexible Friend" - No - not a Mastercard (or whichever credir card had that as the tagline for their adverts - this is the only up close and personal view you will ever get of one of my "Fresnell" lenses.

(I have just noticed a sheer fluke in that photo.  The carpet is only fractionally less blurred than it looked when I took the photo of the lens!!!)

You will notice the second reason for me preferring to get my glasses professionally cleaned (apart from their annoying habit of coming unstuck from the "carrier" if I catch them at a certain angle when I am cleaning them) - the circular grooves which have a nasty habit of getting dust, etc, in them.

The observant among you may now be thinking "I have seen that lens somewhere before".  You would be correct - especially if you have been on a coach or a bus with a square of what looks like frosted glass stuck on the rear windscreen.  It is exactly the same thing.

I hope you have found this interesting and/or helpful.

I have one more photo I wish to share with you which might explain why I will never go back to "conventional" one peice lenses again if I can help it.

Please excuse the extreme closeup of my ugly face but there is a point to the photo.  If you look at the "bridge" of my nose you may just be able to make out a dent in it.  That dent was caused by almost a lifetime of wearing heavy lenses in my glasses.  Not only are my current glasses a visual improvement on the old very thick lenses - they are almost a quarter of the weight as well.

As I said at the beginning of this post I nearly didn't write it - not so much because of the difficulty in making something I don't usually think twice about (because I am used to it) accessible to you (the uninitiated) through words alone - more because of the difficulty of doing the photography on my own.

I will let you make your own mind up about the "words" bit of it but I am very pleased with how the photos turned out.  Although, I have to admit that photography without my glasses on is not an experience I am in a hurry to repeat if I can help it!!!

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