January 5, 2017


I’ve been wearing glasses for about twenty-five years, and sometimes contact lenses, though rarely at the same time. My prescription has remained fairly constant for the last ten or fifteen years, and so it’s been an impediment that hasn’t given me too much trouble. Every couple of years I get an eye test to verify that my vision is much the same as ever. I order a new pack of contact lenses once in a while. I used to wear monthly disposables, but then switched to daily disposables because I would wear them less than once per month on average anyway.

In recent times I’ve had three pairs of glasses – a main pair for daily use, a backup pair that never needed to be worn (and which were free, thanks to Specsavers’ 2-for-1 offer), and a pair of prescription sunglasses (which actually get used more often in the winter, when the sun is low in the sky, than in the summer, when it’s generally stuck behind a cloud anyway).

Three months ago, my main pair broke. The metal just gave way and the lens fell out while I was cleaning it one day. I took them into the shop to see if there was anything they could do, but the news was not good. Had the frames not been of an old, discontinued design, they might have been able to perform a lens swap, but that option was not available.

They checked my file and told me that my next eye test was due in about six months, so I figured that my spare pair would be able to do me until then. After all, I’d managed decades so far without breaking a pair of glasses, so what were the odds of breaking another pair in the next six months?

I’m sure you can see where this is going. On Monday morning, New Year’s Day 2017, I stepped out of the shower, tried to put my glasses back on, and instead dropped them on the floor. A lens went scurrying off across the lino and tried to hide inside my disreputable pyjamas.

One small piece of electrical tape later, the glasses were bodged back together with the lens in place. I called up Specsavers on the off chance that they were open, which they were, and gave them my sob story. They made sympathetic noises and agreed to bring my eye test forward, and could fit me in the next afternoon.

The eye test yielded the thoroughly unsurprising news that my prescription had once again steadfastly refused to change significantly, of course. I also received the bad news that my spare pair of frames, too, were of an old and discontinued breed, so a lens swap was once again out of the question. New glasses time!

I chose two pairs of frames, one thin and discreet, the other bold and chunky. Eschewing the thinnenned lens option for the chunky ones, it turned out that they’d actually be able to produce that pair, in-store, in under an hour. I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least, and it makes me wonder if there is any provider of goods or services who has given me such a consistently excellent experience as Specsavers. They’re not paying me to say that, I promise you.

Anyway, I have learned my lesson from this experience. Never again will I risk the danger of being without a spare pair of glasses. It’s true to say that the adrenaline rush from flying so close to the sun was unsurpassed, but in the long run, it just ain’t worth it.

On an unrelated note, I started my first blog on the 25th July 2002. Actually, that’s not entirely true, I had started at least one before that, but it’s lost in the mists of time. Anyway, I’ve dug out my old archives, and discovered that I wrote 7 posts on that day. One was fairly weighty, but the other 6 were fairly short. Not quite short enough for Twitter, but certainly so short that nowadays you’d be more inclined to trim them down to 140 characters than to create an uppercase-b uppercase-p Blog Post for them. How things change.

I feel another blog post coming soon, about how much of an arsehole I used to be. How very meta.


19 thoughts on “Spectacular

  1. I’d agree re Specsavers – I’ve been using them for a long time now, and found them to be consistently good, regardless of specific branch.

    More importantly, I’ve also found that on the occasions where something has gone wrong (missed measurement, frames actually too small to be comfortable etc.) they’ve handled the issues with ease and no quibbling – which in my experience is even rarer than a consistently good standard of ‘normal’ stuff.

  2. I have two pairs of glasses, that I don’t wear nearly often enough. One at home, one at work.

    It is nice to see you blogging again. It feels like an old-school blog post and I like that. I miss this sort of thing.

  3. Lyle: I agree. They also seem incredibly friendly and enthusiastic, which is fairly uncommon in a big high street chain.

    Pix: I’ve been in a bit of a nostalgia spiral for a few weeks. It started when I found out that the hotel we’d be staying in on Christmas Eve Eve was built on the site of a pub I used to gig in as a teenager. I’m doing my best to expunge said nostalgia funk from my system, hence the retro style blogging.

  4. All five of us went for eye tests (and Cameron and I also for contact lens checks) yesterday. Three hours, I was in there.
    I don’t have a spare pair though! I do have prescription sunglasses but I’ll feel a bit of a wally if I ever have to use them as my main pair.

    Lisa on January 5, 2017
  5. Lisa: I suppose that having contact lenses probably is backup enough, as long as you don’t mind wearing them all day. I tend to just wear my contact lenses on occasions so wouldn’t want to be dependent on them for that.

  6. I think that the fact we agree about Soecsavers is a cornerstone of our relationship.

    Karen on January 5, 2017
  7. Hate to disagree, but my experience of specsavers has not been good, and I’d not want to use them. I’m also pretty down on Boots (which, bearing in mind I work for them and get a discount is quite a thing). Lucky for me, surgery meant I didn’t need to darken anyone’s doors for glasses for the best part of 10 years. When I needed some recently (about an hour a day, when I’m tired or in front of my laptop at work), I went to Vision Express. Not cheap, but they’ve always been good for me.
    And this IS a proper blog post, isn’t it? Well done.

  8. I also habitually do two spaces after a full stop, so….what do I know?

    You… you… monster.

  9. Pete, I can only really manage my lenses for a few hours – I haven’t yet used up the pack of 30 I bought at my previous contact-lens appointment, 15 months ago.

    Lisa on January 6, 2017
  10. (I probably have an old pair of glasses in a similarish prescription somewhere, if pushed.)

    Lisa on January 6, 2017
  11. I haven’t yet used the pack of lenses I bought before Bernard was born, Lisa.

  12. …also, you’re not getting off the hook that easily. I’m entered in the race and will find you and run with you whether you like it or not.

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