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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Nor any drop to drink...

Yesterday didn't exactly go as planned. I should have been sweltering gently in the office all day. And I would have been, had it not been for a very early phone call from my diagonally-downstairs neighbour asking whether my water was off. And, lo! It was. She had already been on to the water board, who had assured her that she must have had a card through the door the previous afternoon. She hadn't. Neither had I. Without any prior warning, we hadn't even had the chance to fill our kettles, let alone any jugs, bowls or buckets we might have considered keeping to hand for the necessities of life.

It's a good job she phoned. I shudder to think of what the consequences would have been of me stepping into the shower when I had a full hot water tank, but no cold water at all in the pipes. (I'd like to think I'd have noticed the steam coming off the water, but I'm really not at my most alert early in the morning.)

Not, therefore, having even been able to brush my teeth, I took the colleague-friendly, executive decision to work from home. Which is why I was in to answer the door to the postie at 11.15. The postie delivered the pair of Koali* spectacles I had won in an eBay auction last Sunday for the princely sum of 99p.

They were, as I had anticipated, er, "pre-owned". But, given that Koali have only been on the market in the UK for a couple of months, I reasoned that the previous owner wouldn't really have had time to do them any serious damage. And, at 99p, it was definitely worth a punt.

The frames being in excellent condition, I rushed as fast as my cripple's feet would carry me towards the bathroom mirror to check whether the frames suited me. And, er, that's where things started to go a bit wrong. Whoever owned these glasses before must have terrible eyesight. You know when you try on someone else's glasses for a laugh and everything is a bit blurred? This was worse. Everything was one big blur. I couldn't even make out where my face was in the mirror, let alone where the glasses were or whether they suited me.

Chortling quietly to myself at the ludicrous situation I found myself in (and attempting to shake off a sudden and inexplicable headache), I decided to share my misfortune with Katie, who just happened to be available on IM at that precise moment. "Take a photo of yourself wearing them", she suggested. The woman's a genius! Why didn't I think of that?

With some difficulty, I managed to take a picture on my mobile phone. (Which I'm not going to publish here. Not even if you beg me to. The water was off, remember?) Other than the fact that the immensely-strong lenses did a bang-up job of magnifying the bags under my eyes to terrifying proportions, the photo didn't help enormously. I went back to work in a somewhat disgruntled manner.

Some time later, the water came back on. Having - as a matter of some priority - first flushed the toilet, I then got myself clean and fragrant. And treated myself to a very large mug of tea.

As the afternoon wore on, it occured to me that I could, if I put my mind to it, venture into town and visit the lovely Mr Blankstone with my nearly-new frames. And then it rained for an hour or so, and I went off the idea. But the rain stopped at the point where there was still just time for me to get to his shop before he shut for the night. So off I went. And I took with me a pair of Vanni frames which I had bought from eBay ages ago, but which had turned out to be too narrow for my face. I thought Mark might as well have them, if he wanted them: they were certainly no use to me.

Once Mark had pushed out the old lenses (in what he assured me is a professional technique, finely honed through years of experience, and one which Should Not Be Tried At Home) and done something clever with the arms (which had been bent to fit the previous owner), the specs looked rather good on, so I asked him to glaze them for me to my prescription.

At which point, he said he'd glaze them for me for nothing because he'd be able to recoup the cost of glazing them by selling the Vanni pair. I was astonished. And also fairly horrified that he might have thought that that was my intention in taking the Vanni's in to him. I just wanted to get rid of them: I hadn't for a moment anticipated any financial benefit from doing so.

So the upshot of all these shenanigans is that I will soon have a pair of Koali spectacles which will have cost me only 99p. Which, considering that brand new ones retail at about £240 a pair with lenses, strikes me as being something of a bargain.

*More about Koali frames:-

Very new on the market, and very different from anything else out there. If you like jewel colours and sleek design, you're going to love them. The designs are all inspired by forms found in nature: trumpet creepers; sphinx moths; spider plants; manta rays; damselflies; fiddler crabs; comet moths and nautilus shells. There is depressinly little coverage of them on the Interwebnet as yet: even the official site only has pictures of three pairs. But I've done a quick trawl through Google images, and I've scattered the results around this blog entry to give you some idea. (I'm afraid that's as big as those photos go - unless you are considerably more skilled than I am in enlarging photos which are intended to be little.)

If you really, really like the look of them, you'll need to either sweet-talk your local independent optician into stocking them, or get in touch with the lovely Mark Blankstone. (The link to his site is in the sidebar.)

The Editor


Blogger DD said...

No water? This could cause a mewks crisis.

11:48 am  

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