Tag Archives: deafness

Simon Wilson, Nottingham Poet

Dickens, Deafness, Disappointment

I am sitting in the back room wearing a woolly hat, several layers of fleece and a pair of fingerless gloves which my sister knitted for me. The general effect, in my mind, is the same as the one achieved by Alistair Sim in A Christmas Carol.  However, I can’t find a picture which fully backs this up. Over Christmas, when I will be spending all day (all week if I can get away with it) in a nightshirt and dressing gown I will, from what I see, look more like it.

Victorian Miser Chic is likely to become my winter default look in years to come, as layers of fleece and flannelette replace profligate spending on heating. Keep looking, you may even see me depicted in various life-style magazines as a trailblazer in the New Scrooge Movement (Bah, sugar-free humbug!)

The way things are going I may well be employing an ear trumpet too. I knew I was going deaf when I found myself saying, “Stop mumbling and open your mouth. Nobody speaks properly these days!” This is a direct quote from my Dad. He started off being deaf in one ear, something he didn’t even realise until he treated himself to a stereo record deck and headphones.  No, it’s not retro, it was all we had before tapes and CDs. He took the headphones back to the shop because one side didn’t work and after a little checking the shop deduced he only had one working ear.

I, at least, am going deaf in both ears equally, which is easier from a practical point of view. I have to turn the TV up louder than Julia and I complain to both her and one of my workmates about their habit of muttering to themselves. It’s very irritating for someone who is hard of hearing tom have to work with people who talk to themselves, as you feel you may be impolitely ignoring them. On the other hand, it does allow me to ignore them without feeling rude, so it has its good points too.

And that, as far as it goes, is my Sunday morning.

This is the Ambition phase. It will soon be the Breakfast phase and that will rapidly transition to Sloth, then Disappointment. Sundays are, in so many ways, a microcosm of my life.

The header photo portrays me in my glasses and beard phase. I may try a Victorian Miser Chic shot over the holiday.

Students again

We were greeted by the increasing guineafowl flock this morning, including the whites and the lavenders. They all seem to have left the shelter of the poultry field and be roaming round as a 30 strong pack making permanant alarm calls. We’ve now had several complaints from the farmer’s mum so Something Must Be Done. Just before lunch he reminded the lads they needed to catch a dozen to send to market with the pigs tomorrow.

You know what?

I can still hear them but I can’t see a single one of them. I know they can’t understand us so there must have been something in the body language that alerted them. Smart birds, guineafowl.


Apprentices 0 Guineafowl 1.

There’s a good coating of ice today and the group of students we have visiting find the first job of the day is breaking ice on the outside water troughs. I think it’s the first time that many of them have experienced the idea that water can’t be guaranteed. It’s more of a shock than the cold. To be fair to them they have all brought the right clothes for the day (unlike the Monday course) so the cold isn’t that bad. There is, as we always say, no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing.

We won a prize for championing farming as a career two years ago. Not sure the weather is helping us today.


I’m currently wearing a short-sleeved shirt despite the ice, and I’m trying to look like I’m enjoying it. That’s what happens when you have several black and white checked shirts, middle-aged eyes and get dressed in the half-light without turning the lights on.

We treated ourselves to an extra hour in bed because we’ve been waking each other up with the coughs that refuse to go. That meant we had to rush out with no breakfast though we did find time to stop and buy some to eat in the car. You always do, don’t you?

That’s the 21st century – rush, profligate spending on poor nutrition and a general feeling that I could do better. I’ll have to do better on Monday – it’s National Breakfast Week! OF course, in line with modern marketing techniques it’s know as Shake up your Wake up!. It doesn’t even make sense. Grumble, grumble…better in my day…

On the positive side we saw goldcrests in the conifers by the chicken field yesterday. They are surprisingly common according to the figures but you don’t often see one. Normally you hear the high-pitched squeak they make but, likethe somg of the skylark the ability to hear goldcrests declines with age. I haven’t heard a skylark for ages, or a bat for 30 years,  and am now worried I may have reached the age where I can’t hear goldcrests.

However, it could just be that the skylark is down to a tenth of the population it had 30 years ago. That’s probably sadder than my toughts of deafness. And to round off with a strange coincidence – I’ve just had an email on my phone “Alzheimer’s Disease is now following you on Twitter”.

Not sure what to make of that.