Monday 28 July 2014

Life in a Fishbowl


Remember my quest for varifocals? After searching online for several weeks, I decided to try some brick-and-mortar shops for glasses.

I started at the big high street shops: Boots, Day Lewis. Day Lewis had a few pairs of interesting glasses by a Danish maker, Prodesign. But I was not ready to commit that much money to something that didn't entirely jump out at me.

I found Kirk Originals online, and saw that they were stocked at McClintock in Covent Garden. (Do a google image search for Kirk Originals to see why they caught my eye). I also wanted to visit Spex in the City in Covent Garden, since one of my friends has bought gorgeous glasses there in the past. Slightly closer to home in SW London, I found Bromptons Opticians in Clapham.

McClintock has a beautiful selection of glasses - and they had Kirk Originals on sale! - but something told me to keep looking. Gillian of Spex in the City suggested an amazing pair of glasses that she said had taken her seven months to source from France, but even they weren't quite right. Then I found Lafont frames at Bromptons. Skip to the end: I am now the proud owner/wearer of a pair of Lafont Greta glasses with Hoya varifocal lenses and Transitions tinting in the sunlight. I was also glad to support a local, independent business with excellent service, who helped me find frames and lenses that work for me.

It takes a bit of time to get used to varifocals - when I walked out of Bromptons, I felt like I was in a fishbowl. Everything is ever-so-slightly distorted at the edges. But after a week of wearing them, I know which part of the lens to use for different tasks, and it is so nice not having to take them on and off. I suppose the real test was taking them off to cook dinner the other night: I felt disoriented and noticed that my eyes were working hard to focus.

I have already received some nice compliments ('they really suit you!') but the best reaction was from Junior: 'Mummy! Your glasses have lights on! Where is the switch?' Indeed, Junior. Indeed.

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