The Anonymous Widower

Rugby Goal-Light Technology Trial At Principality Stadium

The title of this post is the same as that on this article on the BBC.

This is the first paragraph.

New technology to light up rugby posts in different colours to show whether a kick is successful was trialled at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.

Although, I’m not registered blind, I do have problems with spotting movement in certain light conditions and at certain angles.

If I regularly went to rugby, these lights could improve my experience.

They are a good idea.

What puzzles me, is that the post says they could be used in American Football.

You’d have thought that the Americans would have already done it, but obviously they haven’t!



April 27, 2019 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

Glasgow Bin Lorry Driver Should Have Been Charged

According to this article on the BBC web site, a former prosecutor has said that the driver of the Glasgow bin lorry, that killed six people should have been charged. The report starts like this.

A former senior prosecutor has strongly criticised the decision not to charge the driver at the centre of the Glasgow bin lorry tragedy.

Brian McConachie QC said there was sufficient evidence to prosecute Harry Clarke.

He said the Crown Office had “jumped the gun” in not pressing charges.

I feel very strongly about this. After I had my stroke, my eyesight was terrible and I decided that to start driving again would not be a responsible thing to do.

My current GP, who has seen me for three years, feels that if I wanted to, I could get my licence back.

But quite frankly I couldn’t be bothered. And I have a lot of backing from my healthy bank account.

What worries me, is how many other Harry Clarkes are there driving around?

In the last four years, I had lifts from other drivers a few times and quite frankly with two of them my eyesight seemed better.

My eyesight problem incidentally, is that I can’t see moving objects low down on the left. So one nightmare on the street, is meeting a crocodile of young children, say being led by their teachers. Luckily I haven’t done anything I shouldn’t! A few times though, people wheeling cases have pulled in front of me from the left and I’ve bumped into the case. Only once have I ended up on the ground, as usually my balancing skills which are still tip-top have got me out of trouble.

Harry Clarke was extremely irresponsible, in not reporting his failing health problems!

Incidentally, if say I was fifty and had got my eyesight problem, as I live in London, I would get a Freedom Pass, entitling me to free public transport in Greater London. I get one anyway as I’m over the qualifying age.

August 21, 2015 Posted by | Health, Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

An Unnecessary Good Deed

I like to think that I can be a gentleman some of the time.

When I was going home this afternoon from London Bridge, I took the Northern Line to Old Street with the intention of getting a 141 bus from Provost Street opposite Moorfields Eye Hospital.

To get from the station to the stop I first had to cross East Road, walk past the stop for the southbound 43 bus and then cross Provost Street itself.

As I started to cross Provost Street, I noticed a classic little old lady with a white stick, who seemed rather feared to cross the other way. So I crossed over and asked if I could help. She told me that she needed to get a 21 bus south towards Lewisham. I should say that I did do a bit of training with Guide Dogs for the Blind on how to lead people, so after telling her that the stop was behind the building on our left, I guided her across the road, past the 43 bus stop and then across East Road to walk back to the step for the 21.

What was a bit frustrating was that as we crossed East Road, a 21 bus disappeared on its way south.

A few minutes later and with a bit of help from a fellow passenger, who told us a 21 was due in three minutes, I put the lady on the bus to New Cross and her home.

I used the word unnecessary in the title of this post. for two reasons.

I said the lady was a classic little old lady in the mould of Louisa Wilberforce in The Ladykillers or Mrs. Ross in The Whisperers, but she certainly was totally on the ball and without any eccentricities. She was also proud too, that she’d got the bus so easily northwards from New Cross. She also thought it a good idea to try my route next time, of a 43 to say Finsbury Square and then get the 21 from the same stop.

But the main reason, all of my guiding was unnecessary is that if there had been some clear large print signs, she would with her mental and physical faculties managed the walk without any passing assistance. Although, she thanked me profusely, she was a very independent soul, and she would probably have felt really satisfied to have been able to manage the walk unaided.

Surely outside an eye hospital, there will be quite a few people walking around, whose eyesight isn’t 20/20.

As I indicated in Is Silicon Roundabout Going To Become Silicon Peninsular, Transport for London are rethinking the Old Street Roundabout.

They have a unique opportunity to sort out the area for the visually impaired.


January 7, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Just Keep Driving, No-One Will Bother!

This story is terrible, as it details how many drivers have more than twelve penalty points and are still driving.

Almost 7,300 motorists with 12 points or more on their licences have not been banned from driving, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has claimed.

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) latest figures show a man from Liverpool is driving with 45 penalty points on his licence, the IAM said.

I suspect that none of these drivers have committed a serious motoring offence like dangerous, drink or careless driving, as then they would probably have been banned.  But who knows, as surely some of these drivers didn’t get banned because of various underhand means.  Nudge! Nudge Wink! Wink!

But even if these drivers are just persistent speeders, do they moderate their speed in towns and cities, where there are some not very alert pedestrians and cyclists, who might misjudge a speeding vehicle? And do their insurance companies know of their points, which if they don’t would surely invalidate their insurance.

I suspect now, that with a persuasive medical report from the right consultant, I could get my licence back. But I have made the decision after my stroke not to drive again, as if I was involved in a serious road accident, I’d be the one to blame.

Except for cases like my abortive trip to Doncaster, it is no inconvenience to not have a car.

One thing that does worry me though, is that I’ve been in a couple of cars lately, where I think that my eyesight was better than the driver.

There are masses of drivers out there who should be banned from driving for various reasons.

But politicians don’t want the law properly enforced as it would be a vote loser.

January 7, 2014 Posted by | News, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

I’m Finally Feeling Better

The rain yesterday seemed to get into my body and for the first time since probably last September, I’m starting to feel better and my nose has almost stopped running with its chronic rhinitis. My gut, which hasn’t been of the best since my stroke, has now returned to good health and any gastro-enterologist would hate all his patients to have such a healthy one.

So my left hand is still a bit gammy, but then it always has been since my arm was broken by the school bully. I can use it for the shift key as I type, but in most instances, I just span with my right. The only thing, I have done a lot with the left is fly an aircraft and ride a bike. Perhaps I should do both of these again?

My skin still itches and my scalp is tight from getting too dry over the winter, but a few days in the rain without a hat will help to cure that.  Thinking about it, I’ve always liked being in the rain and rarely used to carry an umbrella.  C used to think I was mad sometimes. I once joked to her, that I was short because I spent too much time in the rain.

But I’m getting there and I think more and more, that a lot of my troubles were caused by changes I made on the death of C, like the duvet and extra radiators I put in at the previous house, and the very dry atmosphere I have lived in since the stroke. In Hong Kong, the hospital had large picture windows, where the sun streamed through and guess what, it is the same in this house.  The air has been particularly dry outside all last winter and only now is it getting more humid.

Quite a few of my eye problems have gone away too, although I still have the left lower vision loss from the stroke.  My eyes are at last getting wetter more of the time. i think I could probably get my driving licence back! But why bother?

I shall make sure I don’t repeat drying myself out!

August 25, 2013 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment

A Three Hour Eye Test

Yesterday, I went to Moorfields Eye Hospital for an eye test.

Not your average eye test, but one that was part of a study to test new diagnosis methods, rather more than my eyes. The eyes incidentally, seemed to be much the same as ever.

What I found interesting was how far the new equipment is moving down a patient-friendly route and the more things they could tell you.

As an example, with my eyes, I hate the standard ‘puff of air’ test, that checks the fluid pressure inside your eye. If you want to read more on what is called ocular tonometry, it’s here on Wikipedia. I had a test from a new instrument, that was much kinder to my sensitive eyes. So that one instrument, seems a big improvement.

I also had a visual field test on the state of the art perimeter. There’s more on perimetry here. This was to compare with the results found on some of the new methods they tried in another test.

I had the same test in Cambridge in 2010, soon after I had the stroke.  Unfortunately, they didn’t send me the results. Surely, it’s about time, that we all had an NHS account, where we could access all of our notes, X-rays and tests. I shall be trying to get those field vision results from Addenbrooke’s, as it would be nice to know, if my eyes have got worse.

Even a chain of opticians like Vision Express can’t access results of tests performed in one shop from another. That is apparently down to the Data protection Act. How stupid is that?

This is the second University research project, in which I’ve collaborated. The other was respect to widowhood at Liverpool University.

I would like to get involved in more, as research is something, I feel will be the saviour of this world.

Perhaps we need a web site, where people could register, to say they would be prepared to take part in research, that universities could tap into for volunteers.

Both the research projects I’ve been involved in, have been non-invasive and the worst danger I’ve faced is probably crossing the road to get to Moorfields. I suspect too, that much of the medical research in the next few years, will be of this non-invasive nature. I recently had a request from Liverpool University, looking for gay men, who had suffered bereavement, for a study. This is the sort of project for which a national database of possible participants would be a great help.

It was interesting to see how yesterday, one instrument was virtually a laptop in a frame. The boundaries between specialist professions like doctors, vets  and dentists, and those like engineers and computer scientists, are getting very porous.

May 15, 2013 Posted by | Health | , , , , | Leave a comment


I saw this film last night in the Barbican, but this time in the original screen in the main complex.

As when I saw Safety Not Guaranteed a few days earlier, I watched most of the film without my glasses.  What is happening to my eyesight? It’s certainly not getting worse, which you might expect as I get older.

As to the film, I found it a bit disappointing, although, if like me, you are an older person and like your stars to be stars, it is a good film. I note too, that it was a BBC film and it certainly isn’t wasting my licence fee.

January 5, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Is My Eyesight Getting Better?

Yesterday, I watched most of the football match at Leeds without my glasses.

Surely, my eyesight can’t be improving that much?

December 16, 2012 Posted by | Health | | 1 Comment


I don’t drive anymore, as my eyesight deteriorated badly due to a stroke.

I object to all the money that is wasted by the NHS in dealing with so many of these non-existent lawyer-driven whiplash claims.

People should just drive a bit more carefully!

Or use public transport like I do!  The great thing about public transport in many parts of London and especially this one, is staff and fellow passengers often make it a friendly experience. Perhaps, Transport for London, should sell silly hats like this one, in aid of charity!

December 11, 2012 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment

My Eyesight May Be Improving

I was entering Starbucks at the Angel, one day this week, when I startled as something low down on the left passed me in the doorway. At first I thought it could be a small child or perhaps a dog running in from the street.

But all it turned out to be was a bubble from the machine outside the shop next door.

So my eyesight can’t be as bad, as I think it is.

September 29, 2012 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment