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The Clash Of The Worlds (Or - Would You PLEASE Leave The Flipping Contrast Button Alone???)
This blog post was inspired by a tweet I read today which ordered me to "Embrace Reality".  My reply to that was "I usually embrace a different reality to everybody else anyway so I will keep on embracing it!".

If I am to be completely honest - I spend most of my waking life veering between my preferred "fluffy bubble" reality and the rest of the known universe's "solid state" reality (with a few rather surprising tweaks which I will attempt to describe as we go along).

A very quick and easy way of describing my exact level of vision without my glasses on is as follows - A Medical Emergency.

Seriously - I have lost count of the amount of times that I have heard the following on a news report about the symptoms of illnesses like Meningitis, Stroke, etc - "If you experience blurred vision, spots in front of your eyes, and/or your eyes are sensitive to bright lights, please seek urgent medical assistance".

Considering I have experienced all of the above my entire life (and continue to do so) I keep wanting to write to the Mainstream Media and ask them to put an extra clarifying phrase in their advice - "...and you have never experienced these symptoms before...".  Unless they would like me to present myself at Accident & Emergency every time an illness with the above symptoms gets discussed in the Mainstream Media???

If that wasn't bad enough - some of the more "interesting" side-effects of my sight could probably (if I try to describe them to the wrong group of people) fall under the classification of "the after-effects of the consumption of large quantities of mind-altering substances" or - in plain English - hallucinations.

I will give you an example.  In my "natural" state (as in without my glasses on) you will appear "fluffy" if you are a short distance away from me.  Apart from that - depending on the distance between us - your facial features, any pattern on your clothing, any small item of jewellery, etc, immediately disappear (along with any edges - as in the edge of the table we are sitting at, etc).

So - what I am left with is the following;

Your hair colour (but not the style - unless it is either a mohican, or something unusual which stands out from your head).

Your skin colour.

The main (as in most obvious) colour in your clothing.  If any item of your clothing matches the colour of the background scenery it will just be swallowed up in it.

Even with my glasses on I have difficulty seeing things like "graph paper" patterns on a shirt - as in very thin lines of a similar colour to the background colour of the shirt.  The bigger the pattern the easier it is for me to distinguish.

The above may explain why I hate it when people describe others in minute detail (even down to the pattern on their blouse, etc).  Just give me their hair colour, their skin colour (if relevant), the colour of their clothes, followed by something useful that doesn't need my eyes to look at it (accents are a good example, as is a rough description of their size - are they taller than me, wider than me, etc???).

Now for the explanation of my comment about "hallucinations".

My eyes operate at optimum level if it is a cloudy day (or similar lighting conditions).

Bright sunshine has a habit of making things disappear from my view - entire houses have been known to evaporate into the ether, colours on buses, etc, do as well.  And I don't know how many times you have had a five minute conversation with a jacket, trousers, and shoes, for example, which have no obvious means of support - yet still seem able to stand in a vertical postion??? This means that the contents of the clothes have got their back to the sun and I am looking straight into bright sunshine.

It gets worse when it is getting dark.  Dusk is when the "mobile trees" come out to play.  If the fading light catches a human at the wrong angle my brain will process them as a tree - think "The Triffids" and you get the idea.  Speaking to me may help me process you as a human.

You already know about the "silent disco" effect I get when I am in total darkness???  What you may not know is another "interesting" side effect of it.  Illuminated advertising billboards develop a very interesting sideline at night.  Humans have a nasty habit of standing so close to these things that the aforementioned humans have been known to appear part of a three dimensional advertisement - until they stepped away from them.

I did say something about my sight giving the impression of "the after-effects of the consumption of large quantities of mind-altering substances", didn't I???

There is another slightly more frustrating side-effect to my sight - Directions.  As in - the more turns you mention the more confused I am likely to get.

I will give you an example which has stuck in my brain since it happened several years ago;

One of my friends had told me two routes to get to the house they were living in at the time.  One of the routes was what my friend called "the long way" (very few turns) - the other was not unlike those mazes you get in children's puzzle books (or so it seemed) - this was what my friend called "the shortcut".

We were walking to my friend's house when they decided to see if I had remembered the route and told me to guide them home.  I took them via what they called "the long way" - in fact, I seem to remember they complained because I hadn't taken the shortcut.

What they didn't realise was - my brain had deleted the "shortcut" from its memory for being too complicated and supplied what it called the shortcut and what they called "the long way".  I got them home anyway.

The ironic thing is that, some years later, the very same friend complained that "you are not like my other friends".  No - my friend's name wasn't Albert Einsten nor Sherlock Holmes (or even Dr Watson).

I hope this has given you a small taster of some more aspects of my sight.  I am aware that I could delve very deeply into the whys and wherefores (and either confuse you totally or bore you to a very sound sleep indeed) but I wanted to try to keep it "entertaining" (even though the reality can sometimes be more accurately described as "as scary as your worst nightmare".

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