Bryant & May & Me

Christopher Fowler
229793644 Yesterday I finished next year's Bryant & May novel (I have a little tidying up to do, but basically it's done). I'd been putting in an insane number of hours on the book. I needed to end it then because I was due to have an eye operation, after enduring months of rapidly deteriorating vision which had led to slower and slower typing, as well as many other problems. So yesterday morning, a surgeon replaced the lens of my left eye with a plastic one. You can have varifocals inserted now but the satisfaction rate is lower. It was painless and took about 20 minutes. It left no scar tissue or swelling - nothing. As
I was born with an astigmatism, they were able to correct that at the same time. This morning I got up and took the patch off. And promptly fell over. Because apart from it giving me 20/20 vision in one eye, the difference between the two is surreal. The world through the left is sharp, white, bright, lurid even. The view through the right is like looking at a particularly vile sepia Victorian painting. I now want to get the other one done as soon as possible. This is a total revelation. My surgeon had said 'You may want to wear dark glasses for a while'. I thought he meant it was to stop me from frightening small children with my Peter Lorre eyes, but he meant it was for my own protection from all the colours. And this is in London, where, Eskimo-style, we have thirty different words for rain. Thank God I wasn't about to head for Barbados. What has this to do with the old detectives? It makes me think how much fun I could have with altering Bryant's perception of the world. When I was a child we had our own version of Mr Magoo - he was called 'Colonel Blink, the short-sighted gink' (no, I have no idea what a gink was either). When I've finished my volume of Bryant & May short stories - there's one half-written right now - I may play around with this idea. Next week, to celebrate the launch of the book, we'll have a competition to win signed copies, I think. BTW, I took a picture of the visitors' book in the King VII Hospital where I had my eye op, because it's the Queen's hospital and she gets a whole page to herself. Not to mention not bothering to use her last name. How cool is that? IMG_2766


Jo W (not verified) Fri, 21/03/2014 - 10:35

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Glad your eye op was a success. Him indoors had that op done a year or so ago and he'll tell anyone who'll listen,how amazing the change was. I hope that all your loyal fans appreciate your hard work. Did your Mum or Gran warn you about damaging your eyes,with always having your head in a book? I know mine did. Looking forward to getting new book next week,but I hope it won't rain. "Coming down in stair rods" is my favourite description of precipitation!

Paul Graham (not verified) Fri, 21/03/2014 - 10:51

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Good god, I remember Colonel Blink, he was in the Beezer, which was a broadsheet comic, if I recall correctly?

Just realized that would be 40+ years ago...Bloody Hell does this make me officially old now?

Keith Page (not verified) Fri, 21/03/2014 - 11:24

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Nice to hear your op went well.You might find you need sunglasses more often as I believe this procedure makes you generally light-sensitive.A real plus for having modern technology available, though.

Mike Cane (not verified) Fri, 21/03/2014 - 14:27

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

You're braver than me. I have astigs in both eyes, hate wearing glasses for reading (and screening), but too chicken to have any op done on them (I don't even know if they can be done; haven't wanted to get any doc all worked up!). Will be looking forward -- ooh, didn't intend that -- to when the pair have been done and your reaction. Good luck.

Peter Lee (not verified) Fri, 21/03/2014 - 14:28

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Blimey, the Queen's writing has gone a bit wobbly. Whose signature is that beneath hers though? Looks like it says "Barry". Manilow?

pheeny (not verified) Fri, 21/03/2014 - 15:21

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Cor - how light and airy the new site feels!

pheeny (not verified) Fri, 21/03/2014 - 15:22

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

@JoW - my favourite term is "raining old ladies with walking sticks"

m (not verified) Fri, 21/03/2014 - 17:11

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Glad it went well. One of the in-laws had it. His are UV blocking but that doesn't actually help with the bright.

Peter (not verified) Fri, 21/03/2014 - 18:11

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Glad to hear that your operation went well. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

Christopher Fowler Fri, 21/03/2014 - 18:30

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Thanks all but I think I'm pretty much recovered - everything looks like a Disney movie. I should have had this done years ago. I keep walking around and going 'Wow! a lot.

Dan Terrell (not verified) Fri, 21/03/2014 - 18:40

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

My younger sister works for an eye doctor and she always says to take it carefully for some days post-op. It can be a bit off putting to reach for an object and miss by a micrometer. Hang on to railings. You may also get headaches because of the contrast, so several shades of ... sun lenses, if you have them, may not be a bad idea. I have the same operation in the queue for down the road, but have a couple of other things ahead. (For 48 years of marriage, my wife has had a stolid fellow, but since last July she has begun to wonder if she now has "a fixer-upper" as they say on Home & Garden TV.)
You're halfway through a B&M collection of short stories? (Old ones in there, too?) So our pounding on your big windows (We are Roofworld readers after all) and the wagging our placards is paying off. Wonderful, good man.
And a Happy J.S. Bach's birthday as well.

Dylan Lancaster (not verified) Sat, 22/03/2014 - 12:32

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Life in High Definition. There's a lot to be said for it.

Diane (not verified) Mon, 24/03/2014 - 17:04

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Glad you're seeing everything in a new light!!! Woo Hoo bring on the competition I'm totally ready to win a signed copy!
Am I still eligible even tho I live in the U.S.? Anyway - Glad you're up and about!!