First thing to say about today is just how much I have enjoyed it - for purely selfish reasons really. The problems with my NHS Hearing Aids and the difficulties with getting them 'seen to' during the Covid situation and the fact that I find it extremely difficult now to put in the necessary new batteries almost every week or ten days has meant that I finally came to the expensive decision to replace them by going to a private specialist. My appointment was today and was in Ripon - about twenty five miles away. My usual taxi took me down and a taxi local to Ripon brought me back (my driver could not wait as he does a school run and had to be back in time).
I had a hearing test and the result - as I suspected - is that I am almost on the spectrum of being profoundly deaf. This means that many of the modern hearing aids are still battery operated and I can't any longer manage the insertion of the batteries. But we have decided on a suitable one and I now have to go back for a fitting in a fortnight. This is fine. The young man who did the testing was charming and very efficient, explaining so many things to me and the lovely young receptionist - who was Chinese - made my day by saying just how 'lovely' I looked (her word). The young man who had done the tests agreed and I have to say - maybe I am selfish and maybe I am vain - but it really made my day and made me think.
I go out rarely because I can't go unless someone takes me - friends are brilliant at doing this and I thank them most sincerely. But this morning - when my carer asked what I intended to wear for the outing - I said it was so long since I had worn anything but my ev eryday clothes - and I never went anywhere to wear them, so I was going to get 'dressed up'. I wore new trousers bought for last winter but never worn and one of my cashmere jumpers. I wore my black boots and my red leather jacket. I wore a gold bracelet that my husband had bought me many years ago. I felt good and obviously it showed.
I have to do this more often. Mybe it is vain but the fact is - I had got into the habit of not bothering and it had begun to tell on me. Now, coming home this evening (although I shall be £3000 lighter when I get them), I feel so much better.
Apart from that it was the most beautiful journey. It has been a warm sunny day here, the countryside was looking at its very best and the journey from here to Ripon, through pretty villages like East Witton and Staveley is such a lovely journey. Going there with my usual taxi driver - we chatted all the way - he has so many stories to tell and is a delight to listen to and then coming back with a taxi driver local to Ripon a chap who is a keen metal detector so I learned a lot about early coinage. I am sure you can imagine what a delight the whole afternoon has been.
Coming in I almost felt 'normal' again. I have faced up to the fact that I shall not walk unaided again and that my driving and gardening days are over. But today has really boosted my confidence all round and I am very grateful for it.