Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Pick Up Thy Map And Walk

Map reading has been a particular challenge for me this year but recent events will make it easier in the future. Things are looking good - quite literally.

A couple of years ago I was diagnosed as having a cataract in my right eye. I was informed that vision in that eye would gradually deteriorate and increasingly be affected by glare. I had all of that. The symptoms were exacerbated by the need for a new prescription for my spectacles. An eye test for new specs would have to wait though until after the surgery which would eventually be required to remove the cataract.

As with any surgery there is a risk so the quack makes a judgement, balancing the risk attached to the surgery and the worsening state of the cataract. My name was eventually entered on to The Waiting List four months ago, I had the surgery one month ago and today I was given the all clear. Truly, it was a wonderful thing – within hours of the surgery I could see clearly again through that eye. I will still need spectacles (although a lesser prescription and I’m finding not all of the time) but post-operation it’s as if a curtain has been drawn.

At the pre-operation check up a few months ago I was informed that a cataract was forming in the left eye which rather took the shine off my good news because I expected a 2–3 year delay before it would be dealt with. Vision is already significantly blurred. However, today my name was placed on The Waiting List so I can now expect an operation in 2-3 months to draw back that curtain.

The magnifying glass, which I have been carrying, and which I hadn’t declared on my kit list, is now confined to my desk drawer - redundant.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Brasher Supalite GTX

Boots (footwear, not the chemist) have been on my mind as well as on and off my feet for a while now. Brasher Supalite GTX boots to be precise.

Although they are probably the most comfortable boots that I’ve ever worn, I’m cautious about giving them the five stars that they may well deserve just yet. I wore them on my recent trip to the Peak District and have been wearing them locally on walks of up to 6 miles but that hasn’t demanded much of them. I was almost as pleased with my North Face Hedgehog GTX XCR’s when first wearing them but that verdict turned out to be a bit previous. At less than a year old and without any real workouts the one on the left foot lets water in now. Judging by the reviews I have read then I was probably unlucky and my Hedgehogs weren’t quite right when I bought them.

The Brasher Supalites are just that – super light and very comfy. My size 10s weigh in at 1220 grams (2lbs 11oz). They look, well, errr, normal or near traditional perhaps - boring even. But the spongy feel with each step is just what the soles of my feet, which are prone to soreness, need.

I’ll reserve judgment until after my next backpacking long distance walk. I don’t know when that will be but that’s been on mind a lot recently too.