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The continuing saga of the lost spectacles

By Frances Burscough

Published 22/08/2015

Frances Burscough
Frances Burscough

I have a brilliant idea for an invention. Remote-controlled glasses. Wherever, whenever, however you lose them, you simply press a button on the convenient pocket-sized handset and they whizz back to you in a flash. Not only that, but the arms open out mid-air like something in a James Bond film, before they reverse-park themselves perfectly between your ears and come to a smooth and comfortable halt on the bridge of your nose. How could it possibly fail? Everyone in the spectacle-wearing world would want a pair. Before long I’d be a millionaire - a billionaire even. I’d buy a yacht and set sail across the seven seas with all my family and friends and dogs on board and Clive Owen would be my personal servant, making me cocktails and massaging my feet...

Yes I was daydreaming. Sitting in Specsavers, waiting for yet another eye test after losing yet another pair of glasses. Two actually. I’d lost two pairs in the last 12 months and had been making do with £2.99 magnifying lenses from the corner chemists, until the eye strain took its toll and I had to make the walk of shame once again back to the shop for replacements.

What is it about glasses that makes them so easy to lose? I have toys and books and photographs from my childhood in the Sixties and Seventies all still in perfect condition, intact, in boxes, but the pair of glasses I got in May? Gone. Forever. I searched high and low; down the side of the sofa, under the sofa, behind the sofa; I even emptied out the bins and strip-searched the bed, but to no avail. Another one bites the dust. And it’s not like I have any old pairs that I can wear until they turn up, because they’re all lost, because they never turn up.

First to go were the red square frames — the ‘my name is Michael Caine-style’ — lost in transit between the living room and my bedroom. Next, identical replacement frames. Lost somewhere in the garden this time. I blamed a myopic magpie, but in retrospect I think they fell into the pile of leaves I’d swept up — and have gone up in smoke.

After that I got a fancy Dame Edna-style pair with diamanté encrusted rims. I hoped the sparkly element might make them easier to spot, alas, I was wrong. These were lost on the beach on day one of my holiday, so I couldn’t read the blockbuster novel I’d bought at the airport — or anything else for that matter. I subsequently pointed at random at the hotel menu and got sautéed liver.

After the Dame came John Lennon inspired round metal frames with coloured lenses. I literally saw life through rose-tinted spectacles for a while until they vanished on a shopping trip to Belfast and I went back to blurred vision and the cold light of day.

I left another pair on the courtesy bus from Heathrow airport to the tube station on my first visit to see Luke at university. As a result I couldn’t read the tube map or any of the texts Luke had sent giving me directions. I had to ask random strangers in the Underground tunnels to read them for me and just hoped and prayed that I wouldn’t get mugged or murdered.

All of the above were standard budget frames, but on one occasion I actually splashed out and bought proper designer-label Donna Karan specs in a gorgeous turquoise tortoiseshell. They cost £150 and I vowed I’d never let them out of my sight. I should have had them superglued on though. Some people never learn do they? They were gone within a month.

I started to suspect the dogs may be involved. Were they pinching them while I was asleep and then burying them in the garden? If so why? Larger food portions by accident as a result?

Before I could think of an answer the optician called my name and there I was again, trying to read the bottom line of text the size of a micron.

“Have you ever considered contact lenses?” she asked.

Belfast Telegraph

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