ADRIENNE'S HIV BLOG – Hivine's Weblog

HIVINE is written by HIV positive women but still with a sense of humour

Archive for September, 2009

Speccy Four Eyes

Harry blogger square

Losing your car keys or locking yourself out of the house can throw your whole world into total turmoil, all for the want of a tiny piece of metal – but when your glasses snap in half, which is what happened to me the other day rendering me completely useless, it reminded me of what primitive things glasses or spectacles as posh people call them actually are. Two bits of magnifying glass which sit astride the bridge of your nose, held in place by the equivalent of a bent coat hanger wrapped around your ears Harry Potter style. You’d think someone would have come up with another more aesthetically pleasing option by now, wouldn’t you? I know there are such things as contact lenses because my friends are often to be found crawling on the floor on their hands and knees looking for theirs, especially after a wild night out, and there is affordable laser surgery constantly on offer now, although apparently that is not an option if you are over fifty, which as my sixtieth birthday looms definitely rules me out. The same applies if you are a lactating woman or HIV positive. My lactating days, I’m not sorry to say, may well be over but my positive days thanks to HIV unfortunately never will be, therefore I will have to continue to wear spectacles and be known as a ‘speccy four eyes’ as well as making (as is often the case) a spectacle of myself.

The day my stupid and not cheap glasses frames it has to be said snapped in two I happened to be on unknown territory in an undesirable area of Manchester and quite keen to find my way out. As I couldn’t see to read let alone understand the complicated bus timetable I got on the first bus that came along which luckily delivered me in an indirect fashion to the train station. The station was packed due to the cancellation of certain trains and everyone was peering up at the console with worried expressions on their faces, even me, although I was only pretending as it was all a blur. People kept approaching me asking about train times but I was forced to uselessly shrug my shoulders, dangling my broken glasses in each hand. When exactly did I become sort of person who looked like I knew where I was going I wondered?

The train to Bolton when it did finally arrive was packed to the hilt and we all had to stand squashed up together in the doorway peering over the mountains of overstuffed carrier bags from Primark. A huge black guy, a boxer he informed us proudly, was determined to engage the sardine like throng in unwanted conversation.  

“In America not safe to ride subways,” he squints from side to side over his broken boxer’s nose, “someone done shoot you man – an if you see some dude you know, don’t catch dere eye as dey more den like done shoot you too.”

“Sounds a bit like Moss side,” chuckles female shopper clutching Primark carrier bag to joggling bosom.

Everyone laughs in acknowledgement of joke thereby uniting squashed throng and the shared humour forms an instant bond. Boxer now has centre stage.

 “You from round dese parts dude?” he addresses washed out looking student with thin greasy imitation Rasta locks. “Ever been to the States man?”

Student shakes pathetic locks and looks petrified. 

Didn’t really want to get off as was enjoying interchange but even without aid of spectacles managed to disembark at right station. Would you believe it, forty five minutes to wait according to passing guard. Bored out of brains; no boxers to talk to, couldn’t read rolled up newspapers had been lugging around all day under arm, so was forced to pace up and down. Maybe they sell plasters at newspaper shop I think then can tape glasses together. No plasters madam but why not try chewing gum suggests assistant. Chomped away sulkily on gum like yeah but no but am I bovvered schoolgirl for a while, but was far too sticky to hold frames together and didn’t fancy having eyebrows involuntarily plucked, have hardly got any left as it is.

Boarded train and managed to locate seat. Opened newspapers even though couldn’t see print. Tried balancing two separate halves of glasses on nose but affect of distorted varifocal lenses didn’t help the constant vertigo I suffer caused by meds. Train windows wide open for a change, normally try to suffocate us. Rickety old train whizzes through long black tunnel. Deafening noise and icy cold wind rushes through carriage. Psychiatrists say dreaming about trains and tunnels has sexual connotation. All psychiatrists kinky if you ask me – well at least the one’s I know who shall remain nameless, at least for the moment. There is something called tunnel vision ponder to self and also tunnel love – or is that radar love?

The icy breeze catches newspaper pages and whips them up into frenzy, loose pages flapping everywhere. Katie Price a.k.a Jordan now stuck to ceiling, best place for her and her ridiculous bosoms if you ask me, sick and tired of reading about her. Tunnel seems to go on forever. Motion rattles glasses off nose, broken frame dangling from either ear, looking like Harry Potter gone mad. Wonder train doesn’t come out at Hogwarts.

Off to Specsavers the next day to get glasses fixed – still under guarantee I presumed as hadn’t had them that long. Specsavers packed, does whole population of Blackburn wear spectacles or is it the fact that they are offering two pairs for the price of one. That is total con as far as I can see – which I couldn’t as it happened. All assistants wearing spectacles must be part of the job description.

Offered broken glasses up to grouchy woman assistant for inspection without saying a word, lense in each hand dangling from fingers.

“How long have you had them?” mean faced assistant enquires her ostentatious thick black framed diamante studded glasses perched on her beaky nose.

“Ooh, let me think, tis less than a year,” I tell her. I really believe this.

Looks at me suspiciously and tap tap taps on computer with her matching diamante encrusted nails – was waiting for her to look up and say computer says no. Instead announces triumphantly – hah – March 2008.

“Really?” I gasp with feigned amazement, “I don’t believe it, how time flies when you’re wearing glasses. How long will take to repair them?”

“Irreparable,” she glowers.

“Irreparable?” I repeat in semi-threatening tone with a meaningful lift of the eyebrow.

“You must have been rough with them,” she challenges me.

“By rough do you mean taking them off and putting them on?” I enquire sarcastically.

“You always have to take your glasses off with two hands,” she throws back.

Is she serious?

“Surely this is more a case of shoddy workmanship?” says I.

Pause whilst we glower at each other across table, nose to nose like predatory Eagles, sizing each other up.

“It would have cost forty pounds to repair but as these frames are now out of date cannot do.”

“Only bought them little over a year ago, how can be out of date?”

“Are,” she insists.

“Why wasn’t I informed when bought frames that would be soon out of date and thus irreparable?”

“Well, we don’t know what’s going to be in fashion in a year’s time do we?”

“Does that mean now have to buy completely new frames at great expense to self?” I demand angrily.

“Maybe can adapt lenses to similar frame but will mean will losing ex percent of reading spectrum,” speccy four eyes informs me.

“Should have gone to specsavers – should have gone somewhere else,” mutter under breath and also quote old expression, ‘Men never make passes at gals who wear glasses,’ especially I would think in ol’ beaky’s case.

Whilst waited for glasses to be adapted did some shopping then went home, but couldn’t do anything useful or even write blog. Good excuse not to do things, like at school. Sorry, cannot do homework, glasses broken. Good excuse for retail therapy though as couldn’t see prices.

Son drove me back to town later that afternoon to collect revamped glasses. At traffic lights man giving me the eye from next car.

“That bloke’s looking at you mum,” son says in surprise, “Think he fancies you.”

“Why so surprised?” I asked him. His old mum might be approaching sixty have to resort to wearing glasses occasionally and be HIV positive (although of course man in car didn’t know that) but can still turn a head every now and then.

Maybe man in next car should have gone to specsavers – or in my experience maybe not!

Pillow Talk

under the sheets pink for hiv

Tossing and turning, all night long – brain in total overdrive, hurling pillows in air and flinging on floor like plates at Big Fat Greek wedding. Mind you, had been watching Olympic hurling trials that day and talking to nice Greek man. Not fat one hasten to add – slightly plump, more like comforting pillow would imagine, not that I was?  

How many pillows you choose to sleep with (or Greek men presumably) apparently says a lot about you, as in what size, shape etc. you prefer. For example, someone who sleeps with a hard one (they should be so lucky) probably suffers from neck or lower back problems, (serves them right I say) whereas someone who sleeps with no pillows at all like Joan Collins allegedly chooses to do, is thinking about not getting anymore wrinkles as opposed to winkles.

Thanks to Changing Rooms, sixty minute makeover and the like, the current fashion a la Matalan is to overdress your bed with all kinds of throws and scatter cushions, hence the fact that I spend half the night hurling them in the air and kicking them out of bed – talking pillows here as opposed to Greek men. There is a common practice known as ‘pillow talking’, which according to wikipedia is a conversation that generally takes place at night and involves talk of romantic interest. It is speculated that sexual partners of many world leaders have had extreme influence through this type of discussion. Well, as I currently don’t have any world leaders to cuddle up to and the last time I met Jack Straw he expressed no desire to talk to me in broad daylight let alone at night, I will just have to talk to my pillow alone, which I often do as it happens. However, I am no longer content with the company of my old pillows, there have been too many tears shed and too many bad dreams, thanks to the meds. Do pillows store up memories and dreams I wonder, and if so, perhaps the time had come to buy some new ones.

Great, two for one at Asda. Push them around in my trolley, then take them home and introduce myself, as will be sleeping with them for next twenty years I hope, although that might be bit optimistic considering age and affliction. Try some pillow talk.

“What to do about credit cards and mounting debt?” ask new pillow.

“Ignore for now,” pillow advises me, “And go to sleep.”

Ask it golden counselling question. “Pillow, if you wake up tomorrow and everything is alright, how would you know?”

Pillow not answering so stick between knees to relieve aching hip

Make note – have seen specially designed knee cushion in kleeneze catalogue. Always have pen and paper directly to hand next to pillow incase wake up in night with idea for painting or new blog. Sometimes write very strange things that cannot understand in morning as am usually hallucinating from meds, for example found other day written in big scribble – how do you say Noddy in Spanish – don’t be daft Noddy doesn’t live in Barcelona he lives in Toy Town.

Now what would you make of that?

Write down on pad ask Luis what is Spanish word for pillow. New pillows useless as far as conversation is concerned.

“If you despierta manana,” ask Luis next day “And everything okay, khow you know?”


Luis too tired from painting wardrobe doors to play mind games.

New handles and knobs needed for said wardrobe doors so googled ‘interesting knobs’ – various websites pop up, posh knobs, knobs and knockers not to mention snobs knobs – which don’t bear thinking about really.

Off we go to B&Q on knob hunt – take old knobs in pocket. Most knobs extremely boring as anyone who cohorts with rich will know. Nothing of any distinction in B&Q and very expensive to boot, so go to small hardware shop like something out of Two Ronnie’s sketch.

“Got any Fork handles?”

“Four candles?”

 “Got any interesting knobs mate?”

Back to B&Q before hardware man calls police. Settle for least boring knobs can find, but on way to check out discover have stuffed stray knob in pocket along with old knobs. Luckily didn’t try to walk out door or would have got arrested like Richard Madeley for knob lifting.  Looking for knobs can be a perilous business it seems.

Got home to find downstairs laptop had packed up on us – domestic tragedy on a grand scale as Luis likes to read Spanish periodico of a morning. Tell him he has broken it by tapping too hard on touchpad and swearing at it in Spanish when it wouldn’t do what he wanted it to do – and we English know you have to be kind to computers; they are very sensitive and moody entities which have to be treated with the utmost respect. Downstairs lap top obviously taken offence because cursor was acting peculiar and had to tilt lap top backwards and forwards to make arrow move – t’was too frustrating by far for a fiery Spanish hombre who kept beating fists on table thus sending arrow into complete hiding.

What to do, we put defeated cabezas together and ponder – cannot afford new lap top and Luis cannot survive without reading Spanish news in morning – have to keep him khappy or won’t screw new knobs on.

“Why not use mouse?” advises sister on telephone. “Mouse much better than touchpad any day.”

Haven’t got mouse but think very good idea – sister very clever, much cleverer than moi.

Take Luis back out on exciting magical mystery trip to PC World (normally only gets to go on outings to B&Q and Asda) it’s a bit like Sea World I tell him, but no pescado, instead lots of mice for computer or ratons as they are called in Spanish.

“If mouse called raton,” I ask him, “What rat called?”

“Ratta” Luis growls rolling r’s.

“As in rattafarian,” I make joke, “with dreadlocks?”

Luis not in mood to laugh till lap top fixed.

Don’t worry be khappy sing to him.

Choose shiny black raton to take home with us and wonder of wonders it works without cable. Tis wireless operated mouse opposed to clockwork mouse. Luis now not worried, very, very khappy, keeps stroking raton and protecting from me with hands, wonder doesn’t call it Basil like Manuel in Fawlty Towers.

Basil   Basil

Oh no, get up next day and ratton not working – Basil ees dead Mr Fawlty.

When Luis not looking, roll Basil over on back to see if balls clogged. Discover wireless controlled ratons don’t have balls – don’t know much about mice or ratons, more used to cursors, but thankfully since menopause haven’t one of those for a while

“No touch khim,” Luis jumps out of shadows

“Was only looking to see if had any cojones,” tell him sulkily.

Cojones Spanish word for balls – Spanish word for cushion cojins. Very similar sounding. Already fallen into language trap by telling Luis had been sleeping with two many cojones and was looking for some new ones.

Anyway, you will either be sorry or extremely pleased to hear that the Spanish vocabulary lessons are coming to a temporary halt as Luis going back not to Barcelona but to Ibiza. Will have to make sure he doesn’t try to smuggle Basil with him in suitcase – there is heavy duty fine and even imprisonment I believe for attempting to smuggle ratons either in or out of a country.

Whatever will I find to write about? No more knob lifters, rat smugglers or fork handles. Four candles – although hopefully not a funeral!