Get enough specs

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

I’D JUST had one of my reg­u­lar for­ays into Pound­land. My haul this time con­sisted of two Jane Asher dishes, a sta­pler, lots of sta­tionery, freezer bags and some cran­berry, yo­ghurty snacky things.

Oh... And a pair of tinted specs for read­ing in the gar­den. All for less than a ten­ner.

I wear con­tact lenses but for close read­ing I need ex­tra help so I buy bun­dles of off-the-peg specs from Pound­land.

My specs of many colours are ev­ery­where. In the kitchen, on my key­board, stuffed in pock­ets and bags; even in my car’s over­crowded glove com­part­ment which is more of a stale-crisp, old lip­stick and tepid bot­tled wa­ter com­part­ment.

The stigma of such shops has dis­ap­peared – even my op­ti­cian has given her bless­ing to these cheap specs. But maybe that’s be­cause I’ve kept her happy by pay­ing a small for­tune for pre­scrip­tion var­i­fo­cals to be worn on lens-free days.

Pound shops are pulling in shop­pers of all so­cial classes – re­cent re­search from re­tail con­sul­tancy Him! showed that 57 per cent of Bri­tish shop­pers use dis­count stores ev­ery week. Over half of these are from mid­dle and high in­come house­holds, up from 37 per cent a year ago.

Any­way, there I was clutch­ing my bar­gains, when I stepped into the Pavil­ions Shop­ping Cen­tre to be greeted by a sparkly set of tap-danc­ing pen­sion­ers.

I had stum­bled on the Hilling­don Vol­un­teer Fair or­gan­ised by Hilling­don Ad­vice for Res­i­dents Part­ner­ship (HARP) and Hilling­don As­so­ci­a­tion of Vol­un­tary Ser­vices (HAVS).

Bus Pass to Broad­way was the name of the singing danc­ing oldies, and I, and my many car­rier bags, were happy to join the crowds where I tapped my non-twinkly toes in time to the show­tunes.

I was told there is an ur­gent need for vol­un­teer wel­fare ben­e­fit claim as­sis­tants so if you can help, con­tact Nancy Rawl­ings or Ver­ity Lo­mas: Email: HARP@havs.org. uk or call 01895 442722. Full train­ing and sup­port given.

Fol­low-up tests af­ter Mr F’s emer­gency op in April re­vealed he has prob­a­bly got Ad­di­son’s dis­ease (low cor­ti­sol lev­els) which can fol­low trauma.

He may be ad­vised to wear a medic-alert bracelet in case of any fu­ture emer­gen­cies.

Pon­der­ing on this we had great fun de­cid­ing which of his other char­ac­ter­is­tics could also be en­graved on it. My favourite would be ‘pedant’.

Email bmail­bar­bara@gmail. com

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