Diary… Oral B, Joint Flex and Specsavers… Plus Andy Warhol at Tate Modern


Close inspection is always worth the effort, especially with pop art…


Saturday 14 March, London

New series: ‘World of Interiors’, in which I photograph the insides of things. Today it is four pictures of the four shelves in our mirror-finish rotating bathroom cabinet.

Inside our bathroom…

📌 Then, inspired by yesterday’s visit to the ‘Wildlife Photography of the Year’ exhibition at the Natural History Museum, I got quite excited when I spotted a blackbird in a nearby tree.

When I looked at it through the longest lens I have, I was hypnotised by its beak and eyes. I can well understand how some people get hooked on this kind of intense observation. It has a certain purity.

The eyes and the beak…

Then I spotted some wildlife of a different kind. Again the concentration of scrutiny was captivating. Am I a voyeur?

The building site outside our front door…

📌 For more than seven years, the unsung heroes of my stroke recovery were Specsavers. But not any more. 

My stroke left me with double vision (diplopia). After several appointments at UCLH ophthalmology department they found a prescription that would correct the diplopia for both near and distance vision.

Specsavers then worked hard to make the prescription into affordable glasses. One of their Tottenham Court Road staff members, Patricia, took a special interest because it was the first case of acute diplopia she’d come across.

Since then, the prescription has been modified slightly and new glasses bought. So many times in fact that I had accumulated lots of frames with now-defunct lenses.

Three weeks ago I decided to have new lenses fitted to old frames and deposited the frames at Specsavers for the job.

Last week I got a message to say they’d accidentally broken one pair of frames but will replace them free of charge.

We arranged to collect my new glasses today. One pair for distance vision, one pair for reading.

On arrival at Specsavers we find that both pairs of frames held distance lenses. Now it will be another two weeks before my new reading glasses are available.

📌 Waiting for the 55 bus outside Primark on Oxford Street, I spotted this strange partnership of 21st Century short-term business impressed upon what I guess is a 19th Century building. It looks like the kind of place Mr & Mrs Micawber might have lived in.

On Oxford Street…

📌 Got a message from the doctor’s surgery saying don’t call us if you have a dry cough, go to the NHS website. Then this appeared on TV.

Reporting from Italy…

📌 Later to Tate Modern to see the Andy Warhol exhibition. The first thing we learned was that he was Andrew Warhola, son of Slovakian emigrants Andrej and Julia Warhola. It was surprisingly busy.

At the Warhol exhibition…

📌 On the way back over the river across the Millennium Bridge, a young man was down on one knee, ring box opened, proposing to his girlfriend.

I noted her reaction – surprise, but not total surprise – in the decisive moment. She wore Ray-Ban Aviators.

Then she embraced her suitor by cupping his face in her hands, and kissed him. I didn’t actually hear her say Yes, so I asked, “Is that a Yes?” and she repeated to his face, “Yes”.

Pop Quiz… Name that Tune
“Where are you
In shadows only I can see
Looking for hope
And you hope it’s me

TITLE …………………………..

ARTIST …………………………

📝 Read yesterday’s diary.

🎧 Pop Quiz answer here.

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