Pink NHS Specs,1975 (Life’s a Journey Series, Week 14)

This post is part of a weekly series of ‘link-up’ Posts which reflect on life’s journey, old memories and family stories (see below for more info).

After my semi-negligent parents failed to notice that I spent the first 8 years of my life sitting a cosy 3 feet away from the TV set, the Optician arrived at school. This innocuous event turned out to be the worst day of my life.  An event from which I have never recovered, for it resulted in the discovery that I couldn’t see a bloody thing. This, in turn resulted in a trip to the High Street Optician, which resulted in the provision of a pair of pig-ugly NHS spectacles and a lot of tears.

No photographs remain of my butt-ugly days in those pink monstrosities (I may have played a hand in their mutilation, or more likely didn’t wear them enough to actually be caught on celluloid in them). I imagine that I looked something like this…..

family stories

I can clearly remember the day we chose these pink beasties. Led by my parents, who with retrospect obviously thought that FREE was     more important than a lifetime of self-esteem for their beloved 8 year old daughter, I was presented with a display board which held 3 options:-

1. ugly glasses in tortoiseshell brown (for boys)

2. ugly glasses in baby pink (for girls)

3. ugly glasses in baby blue (for boys and girls, and my classmate Jill who I’m still not entirely sure about)

If the expression “What the Actual F?!” had existed in 1975 then I surely would have used it. I waited for the trendy stuff to come out, but was met with a stoney silence. This, it seems, was to be the first day of the rest of my disappointing life. Pink it was.

It is hard to appreciate the splendour of an in-focus office block when you are viewing it through tear-stained pink beer bottles. I remember declaring my surprise that the windows in our house actually had square corners, and my Mother emitted a muffled “Sh**, I didn’t realise she was THAT bad.” Or I may have imagined that last bit, since it’s probably more a commentary on my own mothering norms than hers…

At 18, I fair sprinted to the queue for contact lenses, and these have been my friends ever since. I almost wish I still had those godawful frames so that I could pop them on for you and Instagram myself up. But it would only serve to remind me just how much worse my sight has got since then, so best left alone, methinks!

Anyone out there got memories of the school optician, or a first eye test? Maybe you were the proud owner of a pair of blueys? Do share in the Linky!!!

Post an entry to your own Blog  and use the Linky tool (link below) to enter your memories into the fray. If you like, just leave a comment and join in that way, but do join in.

If you feel sexy, grab the code too (just follow the link) and post it into your Blog entry – that way, everyone can pay it forward as they say – it’s good to share.

Please visit the other blogs on the list and leave a comment or two – it makes everyone’s day!

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…


More about the Life’s a Journey weekly memories series.

Other posts in this series:-

Week 1 - My earliest baby photo

Week 2 - Old School Portrait

Week 3 - Earliest Writings

Week 4 - Bestest Friends

Week 5 - Teenage Crushes

Week 6 - First Movie Memories

Week 7 - The Song You Snogged Your Hand To

Week 8 - Homage to Grandparents

Week 9 - Favourite Childhood Books

Week 10 - Tying the Knot (again)

Week 11 - Blue: Girl Guide Uniform Shambles

Week 12 - Cuddly Companions

Week 13 – A Rope, Some Pals and Jelly on a Plate

About these ads

26 responses to “Pink NHS Specs,1975 (Life’s a Journey Series, Week 14)

  1. I well remember the NHS specs. My mother taught me to read, write and knit before I went to school. No one knew I needed specs until a year into infants school when I was placed at the back of the class and the teacher wrote on the black board in red chalk and I simply could not see it. I was the only child in my school who wore glasses and since my surname was FUDGE which was bad enough I was called Four Eyes Fudge which made me cry. The most embarassing moment of many at infants school was when I left the dreaded specs at home one day and my Father came running into the playgroud waving them at me.

    • OMG how devastating! I had a friend (the aforementioned Jill) who used to fold her specs (blue) and put them on the table, then when she wanted to see the blackboard she would pick them up like a sort of ‘monacle’ and hold them to her eyes, then put them down again! Weird girl. I HATED wearing them and still do. The optician told my Mum that I’d probably grow out of it by age 18. LMAO, I’m almost 45 now!!!!

  2. Pingback: Regrettable Hairstyles of the 80s: The ‘Mullet’ (Life’s a Journey Series, Week 15) « SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

  3. Pingback: ‘Life’s a Journey’ weekly link-up (preview) « SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

  4. Oh, I feel your pain. I had the same horrors, and blue ones later when I refused the pink ones. Although I hardly ever wore the atrocities outside the classroom, I can remember sitting on the top deck of a bus in Edinburgh and being astonished at the number of clocks there were. As most of them were more thank six feet away, I hadn’t seen them before. I got contact lenses when I started to drive. My optician told me I wasn’t safe to cross the road by myself, so I’m lucky I survived!

  5. Pingback: The Lo-Tech Times of Childhood (Life’s a Journey Series, Week 16) « SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

  6. Pingback: Rollermania! (‘Life’s a Journey’ Series, Week 17) « SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

  7. Pingback: Old Teen Magazines (‘Life’s a Journey’ Blog Hop, Week 18) « SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

  8. Pingback: ‘Life’s a Journey’ weekly nostalgia link-up (theme preview) « SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

  9. Pingback: Becoming a Parent (‘Life’s a Journey’ Blog Hop, Week 19) « SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

  10. Pingback: ‘Life’s a Journey’ Week 20 Nostalgia link-up (theme preview) « SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

  11. Pingback: First Parent-less Holidays (‘Life’s a Journey’ Link-Up, Week 20) | SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

  12. Pingback: ‘Life’s a Journey’ weekly nostalgia link-up (theme preview) | SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

  13. Pingback: My family of other animals (Life’s a Journey Link-Up, Week 21) | SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

  14. Pingback: If it’s 8pm it must be Dad’s Army | SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

  15. I found a job washing dishes at the age of 13 and saved for months to get contact lenses. My mother wouldn’t consider them until my prescription “stopped changing.” My next set of paychecks were to buy a duffle coat for my school uniform to replace the a-line monstrosity my mother also thought was a good idea. Seriously, she could not have done a better job of gearing me up as a complete social pariah. God, I was miserable as a teenager…

  16. Pingback: Driving Test Nostalgia (‘Life’s a Journey’ nostalgia Link-Up, week 50) | SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

  17. Pingback: ‘Life’s a Journey’ nostalgia – a year in review | SaveEveryStep - family stories past & present·

  18. Pingback: My family of other animals | SaveEveryStep - family stories past & present·

  19. Pingback: Band Worship (‘Life’s a Journey’ nostalgia Linky, Week 81) | SaveEveryStep - family stories past & present·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s