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Thursday 16 May 2024

Proof of mental decay

I have four pairs of specs on the go. One pair packed into a case and carried in my shoulder bag (see pic), one on the desk in my mancave, one on a small side-table in the living room within reach of the couch and one on the bedside chest of drawers. I am thus prepared for any reading task – anywhere - this side of a nuclear attack. How prescient.

Alas, these four pairs of specs also measure my mental decay as times slips by. For instance: I am peering at the monitor through the mancave specs, writing a blogpost, when I am reminded to add “Satsumas” to the shopping-reminder chalkboard in the  kitchen. Forgetting to remove my mancave specs I shuffle downstairs, do the business with the chalk, pass through the living-room and notice VR has finished reading this week’s New Statesman. I sit down and read an improving article on the perils of Brexit; this takes ten minutes.

I glance at my watch and realise it is time to prepare VR’s two slices of Ryvita spread with Philadelphia cream cheese and loaded with defrosted prawns in salad cream, a dozen to each slice. I don’t need my specs for such haute cuisine and I remove them from my nose to put them on the side-table. Only to find a pair of specs already there. The ones I took from my nose belong upstairs in the mancave.

Once I would have indolently left the two pairs on the side-table. Experience scrabbling round the house on an angry specs hunt has taught me I must – Now! At this moment! – go upstairs for the sole reason of returning the mancave specs to their rightful location. But not on the Stannah stair-lift. Such ascents qualify as exercise.


  1. For stuff to go upstairs I put it on the steps to take up next time I need an unavoidable visit upstairs rather than make a special trip each time.

    I carry the other of my two pairs of expensive varifocals in my rucksack. If anything happened to the first pair I would be doomed not being able to read the map. However that is less important these days as my wanderings over pathless wilderness have been largely curtailed and replaced by anodyne country walks on recognised paths and roads.

  2. Sir Hugh: Ah, but suppose you were blessed - as I am - with extreme forgetfulness. Being able to forget that I'd added a certain item to the pile on the stairs and searching all the other places it was likely to be other than on the stairs.