Dave: It’s that time of year when the sun is making an appearance, there is warmth in the air and all of the plants have woken up following a long winter. I think that there are lovely parts of every season but enjoy the spring due to all the plants budding and being able to feel the new growth on a daily basis. I’m not a great gardener but like to potter around in the garden. I like plants that have vibrant, contrasting colours (yellow or white flowers on green foliage) and also enjoy my Acers (Japanese Maples) for their shape and soft leaves. However, this isn’t an Alan Titchmarsh gardening post, but to have a moan about people who don’t keep their gardens and, in particular, their bushes, hedges or trees that border a pavement tidy. I’m sure the majority of people do try and keep a handle on new growth but there are many homes that I walk past where the hedge or bush has really overgrown and, with the new spring growth, means that I get poked or brushed in the face more and more this time of year. I wear my sunglasses nearly all the time when I’m out and about with these not only protecting me from the glare of the sun but also as a barrier to things poking or scratching my eyes as I walk past. I know that I can report this on the council website but I shouldn’t need to do this. Please, if you have a garden that borders a pavement, get your shears out and give your overgrown bits a good trim…;-)
Vicky: Whilst we’re on this topic (and to bring it back on track a bit :-)) it’s also something to be very aware of if you are being a Sighted Guide for someone. Apart from being a real pain when you have to keep avoiding bushes sticking out onto the pavement too far (or continually having to use the ‘narrow gap technique’) what about up above? You may well have allowed for the width of you and the person you are guiding but have you checked for overhanging branches or twigs that droop down only on their side of the path? You will need to be particularly aware of this if the person you are guiding is taller than you. Believe me you will feel rubbish if you miss something visually and they don’t miss it physically!
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Our VIDA Insights...
Following our experiences from delivering our Vision Impairment Awareness training days over the past couple of years, we know that there’s loads more that we could talk about and examples we could have shared. Whilst these won’t be a substitute for our training, they will give you an insight (hence the name!) into our thoughts, observations and experiences from each of our perspectives - Dave’s living with sight loss and Vicky’s from being a sighted person and working alongside and supporting people who have sight loss.