Soundball Tennis at Shoreham is special

Soundball Tennis at Shoreham is special.

The normal arrangements are that it is an indoor sport, whereas we can enjoy it as an outdoor sport with fresh air, none of the noise associated with sports halls (squeaking shoes, screams from Badminton players, rock music from the climbers on the indoor walls, etc.)

We have found and initially we prefer the slightly firmer BUZZBALLS which re made in England as their flight is truer than the normal Japanese balls. We have since progressed via red balls, orange sot andgreen spot balls to the normal yellows.

The company making them work with 23″ rackets so so do we. We have found that the Japanese balls do not survive heavy usage particularly with the longer 25″ and 27″ rackets. For yellow balls we now use 27″ rackets.

We use the ‘orange ball’ court because it’s appropriate for the shorter rackets. Nowadays we use a full size court.  Net height is set at 80cm.

For a video of the indoor version look at Metro, indoor Soundball

I set thus up because I wanted to be able to play at a court I could walk to from home and enjoy peace and quiet. By joining Sussex County Lawn Tennis Club as a member I could enjoy the club facilities at any time. Thank you.

Today we have two visually impaired players and three helpers. Most of us were starting tennis for the first time and nobody could see any of our mistakes.!

Two years on and our effective vision is much better and we are all fitter  and healthier.

Come and join us.

AMD & Cliff’s Action Plan for AMD

 

Well seven months later, 11th January 2197 update.

My wet AMD hid the attack by Dry AMD in my left eye. “Both of your eyes have extensive damage from DRYy AMD so we don’t see any benefit of continuing the injections in your left eye.”

I know the extra sight I get after an injection so this proposal appalled me.

I have added a special pocket to many pairs of trousers so as to carry my telescopic white stick all the time just actually using it for the shortest times.

SO WHAT.  I hauled out my boots and went for an eleven mile walk over the South Downs today, just to prove I can

My effective vision is as good as it has ever been.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

September 20116 Update:

I’ve had AMD for six to seven years mow. I had early onset Dry AMD in my right eye which later deteriorated to the left eye and with Wet AMD. There have been many ups and downs and I’m pleased to say that my effective vision is better today than at any time since diagnosis.

Since April I have been taking Lipitor at a gradually increasing dosage from 20mg per day to 80 today (September). We have no objective measurements yet and possibly not until January 2017. I bought the Lipitor from pharmacies in Portugal while visiting.

I have stopped carrying a white cane.

…………………………………………………………………………………

August 2014 Cliff’s personal action plan, a  schematic.

develop your own personal plan

1.  Take Food Supplements
Drosen  is dead cells not washed away, so I take Lutein  and Zeaxanthin with the zinc supplement and  vitamin b12. I take 80mg, rather than 10mg because one always lives in hope.
2.  Look  Beyond.
I’m using my brain to instruct my eyes to “look beyond” or round the splodge to get my peripheral vision looking ahead of me.
3. Go Walking.
I go walking in parks or the countryside as its green – relaxing and good for the eyes and the soul. Target, 10,000 paces a day.  This sounds a lot but this is only an hour and a half.

4. Go Further and Even Further.
To move on I need to try to go further in every area of my life, all the time, always rebuilding my self-confidence.

5. Get Visual Impairment certificate.
Gives you reduced prices for your carer and may be some government “Benefits”.

6. Always say YES.
It’s scary but the fastest way to re-develop myself.

7. Get a Tablet
Start with this technology NOW and learn to use it fast as it’s a life-saver, as it keeps you in touch with the world. Without being in touch with the world, quality of life can disappear down the drain.

8. Get and Help Another VIP
A problem shared is a problem halved.

9.  Build up an Exercise Regime
I do Tai Chi and indoor tennis. I run a productive allotment.

LUTEIN – The Macular Society’s Comments

These are exciting times for research.  Promising new drugs are in development, important genetic discoveries are being made and we’ve seen the first safety trials of stem cells in the human eye.

 

A large study, the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS 2) suggests that a high intake of lutein can reduce the risk of developing advanced AMD. The Aston researchers concluded: “For an informed population, many AMD participants were under-consuming nutrients considered to be useful for their condition.  Participants without AMD were more likely to reach recommended daily allowance values”.

[ Publsher’s Comment ; The AREDs 1 study is in fact more important.]

 

Lutein and zeaxanthin, key constituents of macular pigment, have been found in high levels in the retinal rods.  This suggests that macular pigment could play a significant role in keeping the retinal rods healthy and maintaining how well our eyes are able to adapt to the dark

 

Consider a nutritional supplement if you cannot be sure of getting high levels of antioxidants in your diet.  There is some evidence that a specific formula of antioxidants and zinc tested in the second Age-Related Eye Disease trial  (AREDS 2) can slow down the progression of AMD in some groups of people.  No supplement has been shown to cure AMD.  You should always talk to your ophthalmologist or optometrist before taking supplements, as they can interact with prescriptive medications.

 

The Macular Society has information on all aspects of living with macular conditions.  We also have local support groups and a training programme to help people learn to use their peripheral vision more effectively (called “skills for seeing”).  We have a professional, confidential telephone counselling service, a befriending service and a team of “buddies” who can provide reassurance on injections and visual hallucinations caused by Charles Bonnet Syndrome

 

My notes for talk about AMD – Macular

AMD Facts (source Macular Society):

  • 51% of over 65s have the start of AMD

  • 15% of all over 80s have advanced AMD

  • time from initial symptoms to severe is usually between 6 and 12 months

AMD causes progressive deterioration of sight:

  • no driving

  • no reading (newspapers, TV programmes, books, signs,)

  • no writing

  • fewer smiles, no face recognition. No eye contact

  • loss of colour definition, and clarity; need more light,

  • no depth perception

AMD Pre-emptive defence:

  • Get OCT scan from Peter Marson in Church Road Hove
  • Take Lutein

  • Get fit, you’ll be walking a lot!)

  • Get a good smartphone

  • Join Shoreham AMD Support Group at The Shoreham Centre

  • Give me a call, Cliff on 07582 902922

  • Use your sense of humour, plenty of obstinacy, and a pair of waterproof shoes

Cliff Jenkins, February 2016

My “Please Help” Card, It’s wonderful

My “Please Help” Card says “Please help. I’m visually impaired.” and it’s wonderful.

I no longer have to say anything about my situation, I show the card and ask my query as if I was completely normal.

Absolutely Adult to Adult – “I’m OK, you’re OK.”

I must give you my example from yesterday. I had booked two tickets for the Barbar v Samoa Rugby Union match at the Olympic Stadium and unfortunately my carer couldn’t make it. Do I go or not?

I have used my Yellow Card on many occasions and knew it worked but this would be extraordinary. From Shoreham By Sea to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, East London and return. Let’s see when I used it:

1. At Shoreham Station when buying my Travelcard,, just as an alert that I may appear slower than I am.

2. At Brighton Station when asking a station official time of the next train to London Bridge (as there are huge destination boards showing just that information.

BUY ONE NOW, click here.

3. At Bank Station to ask a DLR (Docklands Light Railway) official for a train to Stratford.”Next one, change at Canary Wharf”.

4. At Canary Wharf, a DLR railway cleaner for the next train to Stratford.

5. At Stratford, well you can see the Olympic Stadium but how to get there, I asked two PCSOs standing together, through the tunnel over there, right to the end and then into the Westfield Centre and take the escalators to the second floor”. (I wanted an Italian restaurant for some lunch. )

6. At the end of the tunnel I couldn’t make out thee arcade with the escalators, (actually I couldn’t see an arcade at all) so I asked another PCSO and he looked and then said “I could use a walk, I take you over there myself. ” straight to the escalators.

7. Up two flights of escalators  and nothing but clothes shops, but no Italian Restaurant. I selected a shop selling expensive watches and asked and a delightful young man gave  me a smile to warm your heart and said “Up there to the left is “Strada”.

Success. half way, time to relax a bit.

BUY ONE NOW, click here.

8. I showed the waitress my yellow card as I can’t read a menu.I had chosen an Italian restart as they always have Gluten Free pasta. But No. Not Strada. We settled on  salad with cold poached salmon. Just right.

9. Out of Westfield was straight forward as all the stewards were directing people to the Olympic Park so my next use was with the first Olympic Stadium steward who then read my ticket and directed me to the Block I needed. It’s wonderful indeed.

10. Up the stairs into the Stadium and I realised my ticket was not up in the Gods but higher still. Pulled out my card to ask if there might be any empty seats and he immediately put me in row 30 rather than row 56!

Well the match was a trifle difficult as my “Blodge” more than covered the whole of the area of the rugby posts and if I turned my head to look at the screen the same problem occurred. I learned that I would be OK if next time if I sat in the expensive seats in the middle and also if I set up my smartphone to listen to the radio commentary.

AND so the return trip. I made a fundamental error I did not precisely retrace my steps from the stadium to the station.

11 and 12 got me over the bridge into the station.

13. Another PCSO got me on the Jubilee Line direct to London Bridge.

14. The last time I was in this part of London was before they built the Jubilee Line! I turned to a delightful passenger showing my card and said that I didn’t know the Jubilee Line and couldn’t read the Tube Maps. She explained that he train actually went direct to London Bridge. Her father also has AMD and I think she said that he runs ten K every day! Notwithstanding that I gave her my card so that I could introduce him to Soundball Tennis.

15. At London Bridge Station I went to the barrier staff to find out the platform no, of the next train to Brighton. What a fantastic trip.

This may not necessarily be what Brighton and Hove Buses had in mind when they decided to produce the Yellow Cards, but I wouldn’t have done it without the confidence their cards give.

So multiple thanks for the freedom the Yellow Card has brought me.

Thanks also to so many friendly and helpful people. What a lovely world we are fortunate enough to live in. AND they were all smiling.

BUY ONE NOW, click here.

………………………………………………….

September 2015

It’s so good my card wore out, so I’m having some made.  I can give them away, give them to people who need them….. I might also sell some!

BUY ONE NOW, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Oil and Water. Sighted and unsighted meeting

OIL and WATER? Sighted and the Unsighted

Are we troglodytes?

I think there is a natural collision which makes it difficult for non-sighted people to join and work with sighted people.

The differences that need to be circumvented:

  • travelling to a venue i.e. public transport plus walking or car

  • Getting to a regional meeting locally when the bulk of the public transport links to a hub, like a star formation  whereas by car anyone can go across in any direction
  • counting out change 

  • recognising a face more than five feet away

  • seeing a smile or a scowl, seeing a laugh

  • reading the minutes, accounts, letters etc in a meeting

  • making notes and diary entries

  • finding the toilets

  • pouring a glass of water, white wine or a gin and tonic or even milk into a white cup

  • completing a form

  • reading my debit / credit card details to key them in or to dictate them
  • reading non-verbal signs and body language
  • reading a noticeboard, a label, numberplate, bus tine-table

An endless list, all minor even un-noticeable and normally inconsequential..

Any one of these is taken for granted by the sighted and leaves the unsighted totally at a loss.

AND, my proposition, is that every instance gradually adds to the frustration until the pressure is too much or exhaustion takes over.

Either Explosion or Exhaustion.

……………………

September 2015

What a superb weekend, organised by the Macular Society. There were probably sixty ‘unmsighted’ people there.

Y you can relax in each others company because you largely have the same experiences and togther you can laugh about them. Also suddenly the ‘unsighted’ out-numbered the ‘sighted’.

Oh! The luxury of finding others who can read, but only three paragraphs. Then it’s trashed.

I hate the people who cannot write concisely, who pad everything out so it seems more important and the ones who write long inconsequential introductions.

Shoreham Soundball Tennis

Join us at
Shoreham Soundball Tennis

Tennis for Visually Impaired people

Visually Impaired (VI) people of all ages, abilities and circumstances are made very welcome. We provide the opportunity to to learn and to play Soundball Tennis. We provide both the equipment and the training.

So we’re looking for VI people plus sighted volunteer players and umpires, coaching is provided for everyone as are Rackets and balls.

Come and See for yourself on Mondays at 5.30 – 7.30. ts, FREE taster session then £10 per session or £20 per month or £190 per year. FREE facilities for volunteers

 

Great Fun with Improved fitness, agility, effective vision, weight-loss, friendship, new experiences, and fresh air.
Contact: Cliff Jenkins 07582 902 922

A Not-for-profit group run
in conjunction with Sussex County Lawn Tennis Club
Kingston Lane, Southwick, West Sussex, BN42 4DJ

Our eyes, Our Wonderful eyes.

Our Eyes. Our wonderful eyes.

Our eyes were designed for rural and forestry living.

We’ve only had electric or gas lighting for one hundred of the millions of years over which we have developed our eyes. Just one hundred years, less than the blink of an eye, no wonder they are serious risk.

Small wonder. Our eyes have to handle huge demands and long hours of artificial light, caused by:-

  • office and home lighting

  • shops, arcades, supermarkets and shopping malls

  • searchlights, spotlights and stage lighting

  • photograph / camera flashes

  • ultra-violet lights in clubs

  • street lighting and vehicle headlights ( and rear fog lights)

  • television screens particularly bright white light

  • computer screens, smartphones and tablets

  • lasers

  • plus glare from white painted buildings and glass fronts

  • plus natural hazards from snow glare and glare from lakes, rivers, seas and oceans

Small wonder our eyes can benefit from extra care and attention including extra lutein to supplement the natural lutein in our eyes. The eyes use this as a natural ultra-violet ray protection and for all “blue” light.

Open letter to Macular Society re Lutein v AMD

 

An Open Letter to the Macular Society about Lutein v AMD

 

Looking at my local Macular support group only two out of twelve members had heard of Lutein  and both used  it successfully. The others, ten people had never heard of it.

 

Whilst the Macular Society on their web site support the benefits of Lutein, their quote is buried deep in the turgid detail of a report by scientists. I quote:

 

“Research supports the theory that high macular pigment levels may reduce your risk of AMD or its progression.Macular pigment can be increased by taking supplements with lutein or zeaxanthin or by changing your diet to include more of them.” Macular Society website.

 

What they don’t say is that 50% of users found that their eyes stopped deteriorating. They do not state that there is no scientific or statistical support for these same benefits being achieved by changing your diet on its own.

It is my contention that our Macular Society is letting our members down and allowing thousands of members to suffer continuing degradation of their sight unnecessarily.

If I was a cynical person I might think that this situation has occurred because of the financial support given to the Macular Society by the suppliers of assistive technologies. They have a strategic need to find more people with deteriorating eyesight. [They sponsor our annual conference and advertise in our magazine.] But may be that’s unfair.

 

THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE.

 

I Propose a new policy for the Macular Society:

 

Draft 2 for Lutein Policy for the Macular Society to consider.

(28th september 2014)

 

“The Facts about Lutein

 

It is a fact that our eyes have Lutein in the macula.

 

The AREDS (Age related Eye Disease Study) found that people suffering from AMD got relief from further deterioration by taking supplementary Lutein (with Zeaxanthin) in doses ranging from 10 to 30 mg per day. There were no no side-effects observed.

There is also empirical evidence and some early studies showing that Cataracts cease growing when using the Lutein supplement.

There is increasing professional support of the results of using these supplements and some eye professionals are starting to prescribe them.

The Macular Society is pleased to see these developments and will conduct its own study of our members to try to confirm, or otherwise, the effects of the use of these supplements. In the meantime it is upto each person to find out as much as they can and take their own decision. We will conduct our own study and then we hope to endorse its use fully.

 

The Macular Society

Dated:…….

 

 

What Music means for me

Mmmm!,So the Open University and Royal College of Music have launched the Lstening Experiences Database to try to understand the relationship between composers, performers and listeners.. I think that is much too facile. Take me for example….

NOW Listening to Scott Joplin piano rags. Three styles… The Stuart and Bradley James, the man himself and the music for the ballet Suite Elite Syncopations. All started by buying sheet music at a church Jumble Sale. Wonderful.

A crazy mixture of music experiences.

Now its WOAD...very modern. Powerful guitars.

1170 tracks on my tablet, 2200 on my main computer, most recently from Amazon and Spotify. Prior to that vinyl transfers to dpigital plus CDs.

Started with singing church music then learning to play the piano plus Scout campfires and Gang Shows plus the school choir (Walpurgis Night)

Winning piano competition …. Splfeggio. Marriage of Figaro TV broadcast from Big School.

My sudden interest inreacting to the ideaa of the database was caused by a brilliant concert. Berlin Philharmonic / Simon Rattle/ Prokofiev Piano Concerto No.3 / Lang Lang. Four. Geniuses. Wonderful. The camera work was superb.
NOW listening to it (Prokofiev) and the studio sound is even better.

Also over the last three years ballet from the shoi…..Soshtakovich,Tchaikovsky, Katchaachurian, Stravinskiy, Fuare, Mikus, Delibes, and also Brubeck Linchbury

Then here is West Side Story, My Fair Lady, Cabaret, Mamma Mia! With each of these I became emotionally engaged.

Now Its Raining Men

TIMELINE

1947 Wind up gramophone with Puccini Madame Butterfly, One Fine Day. Then Sunday School and hymn singing starts. AND Frere Jacques, Sur le pant D’Avignon,
Allouette, gentile Allouette,
1948 Started to learn to play the piano, Schubert Mozart Chopin, Bach,
1952 Watched Mikado and other G&S a other amateur operetta’s
1953 Coronation marching bands plus later Military Tattoos and also Colliery Brass Bands,… The Post Horn Ga!lop.
1956 Stopped learning piano. Saw Ruxolf Nureyev dancing Le Corsaire.
1957 Mi!itary band for Queen Sout marchpast at Windsor Castle; Carol singing; Dancing g Rock and Roll,skip Jive; Country Dancing
1858, Week of Operas at the Alec, standing at the back.
1959 Abide with me. family funerals.
1966 Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring at our wedding; Vacationes enan Mallorca… Hava Nagula
1968 Rumania Circocilia and folk dancing
1976 Songs sung in Mandarin, extraordinary, so melifulous
1980 Singing the Marseillaise as we sail into a French harbours. Yacht club Dinner Dances for jive, rock and somtimes even a quick step, waltz.
2010 Found ballet again.Bright Stream, Spartacus, Le Corsaire, Concerto (BRB),
2014 Concert Simon Rartle , Lang Lang, Prokofiev Piano Concerto 3 with Berliner Philharmonic. Bought the down!oad from Anazon.

Stopped Spotify subscription.

Now Spirit in the Sky

Star Wars, Gladiator. Happy Feet animation ballet, Fantasia animation ballet.

Then there is exquisite playing eg Nigel Kennedy, Vanessa Mae, Kyung Wha Chung, Julian Lloyd Webber, Rachmaninov, Bernstein, Ray Charles, Elvis Presley,

And La petite Piaf, Marlene Dietrich, Esther Ofarim, The Carpenters, neil Diamond,

So for me music comes in all shapes and sizes. There are composers and performers and listeners. There are a!so extemporisers ( both jazz and church organ introits) and amateur performers, including karaoke, plus active, participating listenrs eg dancers,skaters and then sedentary listeners. People wander across a few, many or all categories.

My preference is now the combination of people interpreting music in all forms whether skating or stage dancing or ballet or The Prottopopovs, Torville and Dean, Kenneth Macmillan, Frederick Ashton, even the choreographers on Strictly Dancing.

For me for the future I need to crack, the problem 9f sheet music for my digital piano and / or to learn the auto-backing in the CDP 220 and create my own music.

NOW listening to Liebestraum by Liszt

AND the good news is tioday’s break-through because rather than waiting to try to get Musescore.org on my (Ubuntu) computer I decided to adopt a more classic approach by getting a music stand and drilling a hole through my desk so tht the music is directly in front of my eyes. I mmediately rang the RNIB muusic Team to request a copy of large print score for Brahms wltz in A Flat. Let’s see how I get on.

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