“I see you’ve gone back to working again,” said one of the smart, efficient staff at my Whitegate Drive optician’s.
“Well,” I muttered, putting my chin on a rest and staring into a screen in the darkened room, “I still do a column in Thursday’s Gazette.”
“I read it,” the assistant, Tricia, said kindly. “Now, concentrate on the little light ahead and click if you see flashes around it.”
She was testing my peripheral vision for glaucoma, a wonderful health precaution – and free to the young or over-60s.
I would have told her that semi-retirement beats tiring your eyes staring into a computer at an office, but had to stare into her gadget instead.
Weekdays now are a dream. We enjoy breakfast in bed at Edmonds Towers then, around 10am, I ‘go to work’.
This entails stepping into the spare bedroom-cum-study, then opening my laptop. Changing for work means slipping on an old track suit, which takes two minutes. Then I’m ‘ready to go’, as they say, usually on my latest novel – a labour of love.
We enjoy Elevenses, then lunch in the lounge. Afternoons and evenings we do as we please.
However, I couldn’t tell Tricia any of that. I was too busy clicking at those light bursts on screen. It was like a computer game or old fairground shooting range.
In fact, I was getting trigger happy, with a patch over alternate eyes that made me feel like Rooster Cogburn, played by John Wayne in ‘True Grit’.
“Okay,” Tricia said doubtfully, after showing my results to the optician, “you may have to come back again, have another go, if you don’t mind.”
“Not at all,” I volunteered, resting my trigger hand and hoisting the patch.
“Say 9am next Friday?” suggested her helpful colleague Gillian.
“Hmm, what about 11.30?” I suggested, then explained, “I’ll be working, earlier.”
* You can eye up Roy’s books at www.royedmonds-blackpool.com