Catch up

treesIt has been a long cold winter and I am surprised just how much I am affected by the weather now that I don’t drive.  If they had a Mastermind category on daytime property TV programmes, I would stand a good chance of winning it.

On a more serious note, in some ways the time has been well spent in adjusting to the limitations imposed by Wet Macular Degeneration.  At times the frustration of being able to see almost everything but not being able to focus is exhausting and infuriating.

Late last year, I realised that I could no longer read normal sized print, let alone the small print essential to my work as a volunteer Citizens Advice Bureau Advisor.  After 20 years it was a wrench to have to leave.  Filling in the gap is taking a lot of imagination and energy.

So far, I haven’t got the balance right.  I still belong to a great book group which meets monthly.  With the help of expanding print on the iPad and talking books I am keeping up with the reading.  Slow, though.

I finally joined the local University of the Third Age.  In this area there are plenty of group topics to choose from and I have enrolled in a Current Affairs group.   U3A is run by its members and so far I have found it interesting even though I am somewhat out of my depth.  It’s good to meet new people and widen one’s interests.  There is plenty of choice  for someone with low vision.  As U3A has branches all over the UK, I can really recommend it for older people. They also have general meetings once a month, but I haven’t found those so interesting.

As a Low Vision yellow card holder, I can take an enabler with me to cinema, concerts and theatre free of charge so that they can interpret any actions I can’t see.  Any volunteers?!

On the volunteer front, I am now a befriender for the Macular Society.  They provide training and support.  I am  in regular telephone contact with a befriender who became isolated when her husband died.  She is delightful and we chat once a week.  Befrienders are just that.   We chat and exchange information, but the MS make it clear that no counselling or professional advice is involved. My befriender is 84 and loves vampire books so we are not short of something to talk about.  The service is  telephone only and we don’t meet.

Friends and family give amazingly generous support on practical and emotional levels.  Thank you seems inadequate but it is really heartfelt.

Those links again:

Macular Society

University of the Third Age

This entry was posted in Communication, low vision, technology, weather and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Catch up

  1. Nordie says:

    glad to hear that you’re ok.

    Just remember that you dont have to have read a paperbook to come to a meeting in Yorks, it’s as much about meeting friends and talking to people as anything else.

    Have you been told about the Bookwormers meeting in the JQ on a thursday night (I think the next on is May 16th)? Local authors, mainly producing in paper form, but there are some people who turn up who prefer audiobooks or ipads, so there is some discussion around alternative formats. With them being small writers, they are more open to self publishing ebooks, especially when they know there’s a potential market for it. The only thing I would worry about is you getting there and back – it finishes around 9:30 and it’s dark even now.

    Anyway if you ever want someone to come to the cinema or theatre with you just let me know!

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