Squinting my way through life

Some may take this blog as another sly attempt to sneak in comments about how sunny it is here all the time and how it’s just a wonderful place to be, and how it’s getting cold, wet and miserable back home. But you know me better.

There is an awful lot of sunshine mind you. And that brings me to sunnies, or shades, or sun glasses or artificial retina protectors as you may more commonly call them.

If you were painting a sketch of a typical kiwi you would have to include the sunnies as essentials. Now, to be fair they have more use for them than most but wearing sunnies indoors on a grey day is just plain weird. Following is a list of reasons why they fall onto my ‘things that I dislike’ list.

When people are wearing them you can’t see their eyes. Of course this is kind of the point but it’s impossible to have a heartfelt conversation with someone when you can’t see the whites of their eyes. It also allows you to sit in bars by yourself and check out all the ladies without fear of detection. I tried this without the sunnies and had to walk home with a limp and a bleeding nose…

They provide a shield to hide behind, to keep people at arms length, to avoid intimacy, honesty and the fear of social contact. Though that sounds like something I would love, it’s like a crutch I refuse to accept. The path of least resistance was never one I was keen to travel. Somewhere a paragraph or so back I was talking about sunnies…

They cost obscene amounts of money and then you set them in the glove box with a pile of twenty pence pieces and all of a sudden you’ve got a scratch down the lens and you can’t see through them. I buy a pair a year roughly. Of the BP filling station class of sunnies. A fiver with a twenty quid fill up. I tend to sit on a pair a year by mistake so this works out well.

They make your nose itchy and your ears hurt. Though once I was told they weren’t actually for nasal or otological insertion that cleared up somewhat. I’m lucky enough to have the eyesight of a… well some animal of good eyesight, can’t think of any right now, so I’ve never had to wear glasses. I’m not a big fan of anything on my person if you know what I mean – watches, jewellery, clean clothing, that kind of thing.

There is the one exception to this rule. Snow. Snow on a sunny day is a killer and you’d be lucky to last half an hour without the sunnies. In fact extend that to two exceptions (maybe I should start putting some actual thought into my writing…), in driving when the sun is setting into your vision and you’ve already clipped two cyclists.

There are few joys like squinting into the sun. Today’s paper before me, sitting in an outdoor café, with my eyes screwed up (usually my left one screwed up) staring at the sun. You end up with white crow’s feet round your eyes, a headache and a low-grade skin cancer in later life. Couldn’t beat it.

I have every intention of squinting my way through life. To hell with the sunnies-wearing beautiful people of the world. They never really liked me anyway…

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