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Evie

Reading glasses

I have just been to collect my new reading glasses - have not worn glasses at all before, but was realising that print was getting increasingly blurry, and thought I ought to get my eyes tested before I got to the stage where my arms were not long enough to hold a book at a readable distance!

Middle age is definitely here.  But I am using them to type this, and while they take a bit of getting used to (mostly the fact that the rest of the world is completely blurred now when I am wearing them!  I understand why people perch them on the ends of their noses...), it's great to be able to read clearly - can't wait to try them on an actual book!

Sorry, this is very boring, I know - I just like new toys, and wanted to share!   Cool
MikeAlx

Ah, welcome to our club, Evie! I've been bespectacled since my early twenties, though not for reading (except road signs). Late-onset myopia like mine tends to get worse in quantum stages, so at 21 I just needed glasses for driving and the cinema; now I have them on most of the time, except for close work.
TheRejectAmidHair

I had two pairs for a long time – one for everyday use, and one for reading. It was a bother always carrying an extra pair along, and exchanging glasses – especially when bookshop-browsing – was a pain. I now have varifocals, which has normal power in the middle & upper part of the lens, and reading power in the lower part. This is all very well except when you’re walking down the stairs, for if you look down at your feet, it’s all blurred. And it’s not very good either for reading in bed, for then, one is holding the book up at eye level. Walking downstairs I have got used to: I just have to remember not to look at my feet. But for bedtime reading, I keep my old reading glasses at my bedside.
Chibiabos83

I write from the University Library, having decided it was time to do some work and that the dissertation wasn't going to write itself. I think I have fulfilled the day's gerund quota already.

I've had glasses since I was 9, and have used them for more or less everything since I was 10 or 11. I don't know how short-sighted people managed before they were invented, but that was many centuries ago. There are some nice pictures of people wearing glasses on the relevant Wikipedia page, including this one of Francisco de Quevedo y Villegas, who judging by appearances is the David Starkey of the 17th century.

Caro

When I was about 45 I decided reading was becoming difficult so I went and bought cheap glasses which just have some sort of magnifying lens, I gather.  People were uncertain about this, but opticians later said it was fine, and that is still what I wear.  Now they come in lots of interesting coloured frames, and because I am forever losing/breaking them I have a red pair, and a blue pair and now a black pair with the glass having a sort of iridescent look to them.  Every now and again I have to go up a size, so now wear whatever 2 and a half means.  

Must get my eyes checked this year; apart from some sort of test for driving I haven't had them tested for 15 years.  But I can't easily read a television screen - writing is too small on it without my glasses, and blurry with them.  

Cheers, Caro.
Evie

I am 46, so it seems an age-related thing, Caro!  I have wondered about those off the peg glasses - and now I have a prescription I will probably buy those in future - I have been told that several pairs are necessary, for different parts of the house, etc, and cheaper pairs are obviously good as it is less serious if they get lost or broken!

How do I put a picture in?  I know I have done it before, but can't work out how to do it now!
Chibiabos83

From an online source you put [img] then the full url of the image (ending with .jpg, .bmp or similar) in here and then [/img] to finish.

From your computer, click "Attach File", which is immediately below the text box, and follow the instructions.
Evie

Thanks, Chibiabos!  Didn't see the 'attach file'...should have gone to Specsavers.  Oh, I just did!  

Anyway, inspired by your lovely picture, here are two of my favourite works of art featuring spectacles.

This one is an engraving of the Death of the Virgin by Martin Schongauer from the 1470s (one of the two disciples in the lower left corner of the bed is holding spectacles to read):




And this is a painting by an anonymous painter from around 1500 - I love it because St Peter is clearly ogling the rather self-consciously demure St Dorothy, causing him to fumble with keys, Bible, and glasses - hilarious!




Enlargeable version here: http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk...tarpiece-saints-peter-and-dorothy
county_lady

Gosh I didn't know of St. Dorothy. That was my mother's name and one I have used on other forums. Smile
Luckily I don't yet need glasses for other than shielding my eyes from bright lights and sun.
Marita

I started wearing glasses full-time when I was about 10. When I was in my early twenties I wore contact lenses for a few years. I preferred them to glasses but I had to give them up when my eyes became too dry due to my illness.

My husband needs reading glasses now and has several pairs: 3 in various places around the house, one foldable pair he takes to work and one in my handbag for when we go out.

Marita
Jen M

I've been using a pair of £5 reading glasses for about a year, for reading in poor light and increasingly for VDU use at work.  My employer pays for a free eye test every two years for VDU users and I had my eye test last week - I am now going to have some prescription VDU glasses (which I assume will double as reading glasses but my mother says she has different glasses for reading and VDU use, so I may be wrong).

It's definitely age-related, although I seem to be among the last of my contemporaries to need glasses of any description.  I tried to resist wearing the reading glasses for some months, fearing I would become dependant on them, but I then decided that I'd prefer to be able to read than struggle.    I'm now taking the view that I'm about to have something new that I am not having to pay for (as my employer's scheme will cover the cost of them).
Ann

I started in my forties too and like you, Caro, use cheap ones as I don't need them for distance vision at all and the optimetrist said it was fine for me too. The only problem I find is they scratch easily but I have several pairs. This doesn't prevent me wasting a lot of time every day wondering where my glasses are.
MikeAlx

My mum was the same - she had 20/20 vision when she was younger, and didn't need glasses until she was 50-ish. Unfortunately I got my Dad's eyes (well, not quite as bad as my Dad's - I can see my hand in front of my face!).
Evie

Jen - my reading glasses have anti-glare lenses so that they are suitable for computer use, though I am not sure I really need them for that - am wearing them at the moment, as am still trying to work out if the prescription is right!  The optician asked me how much I use a computer, and since I use it many hours a day, she recommended these lenses, so the same pair are intended for reading on the page and on screen.

I have decided only to use them when I really do need to, though - my sight is generally still very good, and I can read a computer screen without any problems, so I need to stop playing with my new toys and use them wisely!
Evie

Couldn't resist sharing this - a friend's holiday photo from Pontevedra in Spain, showing St Jerome wearing his reading glasses!


Evie

I have now bought a pair of reading sunglasses in Superdrug, as I like to read outside on my balcony - great that they make these too!
blackberrycottage

Having attained the popular age of 46 this week, I have recently had to have varifocals. How my eyes can manage to be extremely short-sighted and need glasses for reading at the same time is beyond me. I can manage reading in bed, but looking at street maps etc - I have to look over the top, which defeats the object somewhat.
Jen M

Evie wrote:
Jen - my reading glasses have anti-glare lenses so that they are suitable for computer use,


Ah... thanks Evie, perhaps that explains it.

Blackberry, I haven't yet got the hang of map reading with glasses.  I don't like wearing the glasses in the car, as I think they make me feel travel sick (I haven't worked out why).  I've always liked maps and enjoy map reading, but now find it difficult to keep track of where we are as I only look at the map when I need to, as opposed to following the route as I used to do.

I also like to wear sunglasses in the car, so I have to keep swapping from one to the other.

Confused
Evie

I bought a cheap pair of reading sunglasses the other day - the bottom part has reading lenses, the top part is plain, so you only get the reading bit when you look down.  They work better than I thought they would!

I should say that I had to pay an extra £30 for the anti-glare lenses in the other, but as I use the computer at least 8 hours a day, it seemed worth it - I only had them in one pair, though.
Jen M

I've never heard of reading sunglasses, Evie, where did you get them?  They sound like a good idea.
Apple

I'm suposed to wear glasses for reading and close work and I do occasionally but I have a habit of putting them down and then fogetting where I have left them!  Confused

Jen - Most opticians will make you a pair of sunglasses with your prescription, if you ask them
Gino

Dorothy was also the name of mrs Herod of Salome fame.
Evie

I thought 'Mrs Herod', and mother of Salome, was called Herodias.
Gino

Indeed that was her title but she had a personal name much as the other victoria was enititled Regina
Evie

Ah, of course.  But Dorothy...?  Doesn't sound very biblical.  You are a mine of information, Gino!
TheRejectAmidHair

I must admit, this is the first I'd heard of it. I'd always thought Dorothy is a form of Theodora, which is a Greek name. However, whe next I listen to Richard Strauss' Salome, I'll always, thanks to Gino, think of Herodias as Dot.
Gino

Sorry, brain slightly addled by travel on the mainland, it was doris not dorothy.

Herod the Great - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Evie

Doris is even better.  Though it wasn't Herod the Great who executed John the Baptist at Salome's request, it was his son, Herod Antipas - I hope Wikipedia at least gets that right!
Evie

Plus...I do also still think Herod is a name, not a rank, and Herodias was the actual name of the mother of Salome...but I shall always think of her as Dorothy.
Gino

I apologise again to the board for publishing a poorly remembered snippet of information that probably came from Readers digest or some such source, I did of course know that it was not 'the slayer of the innocents' that was the step father of Salome but his son.
Like with many leads on this board I have been moved to study the history of the period from better sources and will probably make fewer mistakes in future.
I am still puzzeld as to the name/title of Salomes mum nowhere can I find her refered to as other than as Herodias so I guess that was her given name
Evie

Herod was also Herod's given name, which is what made me wonder.  It was a dynastic name, but a name rather than a title.

All good fun, anyway, and I certainly didn't know that Herod the Great was married to Doris!
Ann

.......and, since the title of this thread is Reading Glasses, I feel Doris should have worn spectacles too!
I used to have a book on the origin of peoples names but it vanished. Some of the meanings were very strange. I used them in teaching and I remember that Paul means little and Sarah, princess.
Mikeharvey

Douglas Byng, the famous cabaret drag act of the thirties to fifties, used to perform a monologue called 'I'm Doris, the Goddess of Wind'. It was used in Alan Bennett's most recent play 'The Habit of Art'.  

To return this thread to its subject of reading glasses - may I pass on the fairly useless information that I have two pairs of vari-focals which work for computer screen, reading and long-distance. Even so I find myself peering over the top occasionally.  The second, spare pair are identical, except for being Reactalite, which means they become tinted in sunlight, and fade back again indoors.
TheRejectAmidHair

And let's not forget that Doris who became Czar of Russia - Doris Godunov.
Jen M

TheRejectAmidHair wrote:
And let's not forget that Doris who became Czar of Russia - Doris Godunov.


Groan!  (there should be an emoticon for that)

On reading glasses - I now have mine; they are slightly stronger than my £5 pair so I'm not sure whether I should be using them yet, although I have used them at work.

On Doris - both my and my husband's grandmothers were called Doris - as a child it always struck me as a strange name - how could anyone think of calling their baby daughter Doris?  (or Edith, or any number of old-fashioned names - it amazes me how some of these come back into fashion).
Evie

I think my reading glasses are a bit too strong - I even bought a couple of cheap pairs (2 pairs for £2.99!) that are slightly weaker, and they are more comfortable, so I think I will go back to the optician.

As for names - I think Edith is lovely, but am not sure about the current craze for Ruby - not a name I like at all.   Funny how names go in phases - my real first name is Susan, though I changed to my middle name when I went to university, partly because I didn't like the fact that Susan was such a popular name, there were dozens of us - it was obviously popular in the 60s, but you rarely hear of babies being called Susan these days.[/list]
Jen M

No, I don't like Ruby; I've dome across girls called Elsie, Mabel, and Iris, names which all seem very elderly to me.  Boys' names don't seem to date quite so much; I don't know why.

My middle name is Susan; apparently my father wanted to call me Susan but my mother thought it was too common (as in popular), so it was settled on as a middle name.  I know quite a few Susans (or Sues) now, the youngest being about 35.
MikeAlx

I work for a company with 20 employees. Three of us are called Mike! At school there were three Mikes in my class.

'George' is now amongst the most popular boys' names; it was pretty much in the wilderness in the 60s and 70s. I think 'Jack' is currently the most popular boy's name - another one that was rare in my generation.
Ann

Jack is one of those names which is a very odd shortening. How did anyone think Jack was a casual way of saying John?
If anyone is interested I looked up the origin of Doris. It hadn't occured to me it meant a doric Greek!

http://www.behindthename.com/name/doris

Like Evie I grew up disliking my name and changed it when I went to college. I am really Antonia but Ann makes  an acceptable shortening. I feel my name has given me a lifelong dislike of notoriety as, in the past,  everyone exclaimed about my name and I was teased about it at school. Many children nowadays are given odd names and it is much more acceptable because of the strange choices of celebraties. How awful for a child to know s/he has been called after the place he was conceived. I can think of nothing more embarrassing!
Mikeharvey

I know old ladies who are called Ada, Clara, Maud. These names seem somehow appropriate for them.  But, just think, in the future there will be old ladies called Tracey and Kylie and Cheryl.  
My mother was called Gertrude. I don't think that's a very popular name these days.
Chibiabos83

I remember a piece by Alan Bennett where he imagines the matron of a nursing home welcoming a new resident with, "You're our first Kevin!"
Castorboy

Mikeharvey wrote:
My mother was called Gertrude. I don't think that's a very popular name these days.

My mother-in-law was called Gwendolyne - I wish that name was more popular as well!
Chibiabos83

Ann wrote:
How awful for a child to know s/he has been called after the place he was conceived. I can think of nothing more embarrassing!

Very good thing my parents didn't go down that road. I think I would have been called Gatehouse of Fleet Wink

I wondered briefly about changing my name before university as I've always preferred my middle name, but 19 years turned out to be about the right length of time needed to resolve me to being a Gareth so I didn't bother.
MikeAlx

More foolishly, my parents let my older brother and I choose our little brother's name. Our first choice was 'Neil', but this was relegated to his middle name, as we already knew a lot of Neils (due to Neil Armstrong perhaps?). We had to think again, and ended up burdening him with 'Barry' - which we chose in honour of a brave St Bernard rescue dog in a story we'd been reading. So not only does he have a dodgy name, he also has the dubious honour of being named after a dog!
Mikeharvey

Gareth is a wonderful name full of Arthurian resonance.
Mikeharvey

Gwendolen in 'The Importance of Being Earnest' has some thoughts on the name Jack.  The real name of Ernest, her beloved.

JACK: I think Jack, for instance, a charming name.
GWENDOLEN:  Jack?.....No, there is very little music in the name Jack, if, indeed, any at all. It does not thrill. It produces absolutely no vibrations...I have known several Jacks, and they all, without exception, were more than usually plain. Besides, Jack is a notorious domesticity for John!  And I pity any woman who is married to a man called John. She would probably never be allowed to know the entrancing pleasure of a single moment's solitude. The only really same name is Ernest.
JACK: Gwendolen, I must get christened at once......
Castorboy

Ann wrote:
How awful for a child to know s/he has been called after the place he was conceived. I can think of nothing more embarrassing!

Quite agree - imagine being named Nether Wallop just after birth!
Gino

I once had a neighbour who had 12 children all by different fathers and she called them all by the names the vegitation adjacent to where they were conceived, ivy,daisy,violet,rosemary etc.
chris-l

My poor Mum's middle name was 'Doris', allegedly in honour of an aunt who was thought to have some money (if she did, it never came my mother's way). She hated this name, and when she first met my father, told him that the 'D' stood for Doreen, which she found less embarassing. Of course, the awful truth was revealed on their wedding day, when her full legal name was read out in church. Over the years, whenever he wanted to annoy her, which was quite often, he always addressed her as 'Doris'. Perhaps because of this, neither I, nor my brother and sister, was given a middle name: we each have a single first name, which we do the best we can with!

Back to the glasses topic, I had my first pair almost exactly on my 40th birthday: until shortly before that, I had had extremely good eyesight. Telephone directories and the British Museum Catalogue began to get the better of me, and at first I had a fairly low magnification pair of reading glasses. As the years have gone by, I have needed more and more help, so now I have varifocals, which go on my nose when I wake up in the morning and are removed as I put the light out in the evening. They are so much part of me that I tend to feel rather affronted when sometimes someone suggests that I should remove them for a photograph. I really ought to have new ones, but find that every optician only offers variations on the currently fashionable tiny rectangles, which seem to me to be much too small to do a good job, so I'm hanging on for a change in fashion in the hope that bigger lenses will suddenly become all the rage. We Big Readers obviously care a great deal about our specs!
Evie

Yes, the trendy rectangles seem to be all that's available these days.  I wanted round ones!  The rectangles are actually quite good for reading, though, as I can wear them so that I look through them when I look down to read, but look over the top when I look up!  I wear them half way down my nose, and feel very studious.
Caro

Having been away for a while I thought I would be able to flick through and/or ignore this one on glasses, but it has turned into one on names, and I can never ignore that!  People finding it hard to imagine certain names on old people must have been the case at least for the last 150 years - those flower names like Ivy and Myrtle were very new in the latish 19th century.  It won't be hard for people in another 30 years to think of Kylie etc as an old person's name, since these fashionable names do quickly go out of fashion generally.  

Some last better or are in and out of fashion. I recall how old-fashioned Matthew sounded to me when I read Anne of Green Gables but then sometime in the 60s or 70s it took on a new lease of life.  

Barry's ok.  I have been interested recently since I have started going to indoor bowls.  The men there are called Barrie, Barry, Bruce, Don, Tom, Les, Geoff, Lance.  One Hayden, but he is still at school.  When we played against another team once all four of their names started with D.  

I am not a great fan of Gertrude at all and Gwendoline was the name of the silly girl in Enid Blyton's Malory Towers series, so although it is quite pretty, I have never been able to dissociate it from this.  Antonia is a lovely name, Ann - how could you want to change it?

Cheers, Caro.
MikeAlx

One thing I find curious is how a name can be lovely in one language and not so nice in another. For example, I'm not a particular fan of Sophie, but think Sofia is lovely! And I don't like Muriel in English, but in French it sounds quite pretty (pronounced more like Mirielle).

For the Gertrude-detractors, you wouldn't have liked my paternal Grandmother's names: she was Ethel Gertrude Alexander. I think a lot of those sorts of names came from the late-Victorian obsession with all things Saxon.

Like Chris-L, my mother has no middle name, which made her particularly cross as she didn't like her first name, and her siblings all had middle names (indeed, my uncle has always been known by his).
Caro

I had four uncles - three on my father's side and one on my mothers.  They were all given names from people (first name then surname of friends, rather than relatives, I think).  All of them were known by their second names, and my mother's brother and one of my father's were both called Bryce, which has become relatively popular in recent years but was very unusual then.  My other uncles were called Loudon and Watson.  It irritates when the media refer to people by their first names when they were known by their second - it makes them feel like a different person.

Cheers, Caro.
Evie

It isn't really a thread about names, it's still about reading glasses - it's been hijacked!  Amazing how a couple of off-topic comments can pull a thread in a completely different direction.   Smile
Gino

Let us try and unify it, does anyone have a pet name for their reading glasses ?
Mikeharvey

My full name is Michael Ellis Harvey.  Ellis was my father's Christian name and curiously Ellis was also my mother's maiden name, Gertrude Ellis.  My mum was known as Gert or Trudie to my dad.  
Being a Catholic I acquired a Confirmation name - Christopher - but I've never used it.  
My late partner always lamented that he didn't have a middle name so we decided to give him one.  We decided - he being an English and History teacher - on Caedmon.  It was never used of course, except humorously by a particular friend who sent cards reading 'To dearest Caedmon on his birthday'.
Thinking about first names - I have never come across anyone called Alban.  This seems odd considering that St. Alban was the first English martyr. And it's a charming name I think.  And isn't it a shame that old British names are not used.  I rather like the idea of being called Ethelred or Aethelwulf. Is that last an actual name or did I make it up?
Evie

Pet name for reading glasses - what a good idea, Gino!  Will give it some thought, and christen my glasses in due course.

Thinking about shape - wonder if anyone makes half-moon glasses any more?

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