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(15) The break in

Meanwhile back in Nottingham it was the late 70’s and I was settling into the humdrum of working in the city centre.

After the rather quaint little cottage I’d rented during my year in Wiltshire my expectations of what I could get for the same amount of ££ proved unrealistically high, I turned down several perfectly good (with hindsight) rooms and flats and ended up spending my first year drifting from one set of digs to the next always expecting the perfect place was just around the next corner.

Many evenings were spent with Horry, Fairycake and Northers in various establishments of the spit and sawdust persuasion. Even in those day’s I could rarely manage more than a night or two a week with them without risking permanent liver damage

It will probably come as no surprise to read that Horry’s dad was a Yorkshireman when I tell you that by the simple tenant of buying shares in Shippo’s brewery to offset college fee’s he ended up as the only person in history who has sent their offspring to college and managed to come out of it in profit.

One night after a visit to the local hostelry the lads from the surveying course decided they needed a little female company, at the time there was a female only dorm near the bottom of forest fields.

Legend holds it was guarded by a dragon so fearsome that any male attempting entry risked a swift and painful death by fiery immolation.

Even this bunch of inebriated half wits recognized the dangers and having wended their weary way in that general direction sought alternative means of entry, it was late and no lights were on.

Moving around the grounds they spotted a top floor window was open next to a conveniently place drainpipe.

The most intrepid/inebriated member (Horry of course) no doubt having watched too many milk tray adverts took it upon himself to shin up the drain pipe in pursuit of the laydee’s.

Despite some half-hearted warnings he made it to the top, hefted the window open (it turned out to be the kitchen window) rolled through and stood in the dark waiting for his eyes to adapt to the gloom.

Turning to the left and right in search of some kind of lighting he espied a row of switches and proceeded to press all the switches in sequence until the lights came on.

A thumbs up out of the window and he disappeared from sight for ten minutes in search of suitable candidates. None were around so after a while he re-appeared at the window, turned to switch all the switches and shinned down and they headed for home thinking no more of it.

The next day the university canteen was awash with rumour, a break in had occurred at the girls dorm.

Nottingham’s finest had been brought in and were soon hot on the case.Footprints in the flower bed and muddy marks on the window sill soon pointed them in the right direction.But there the trail ran cold. They remained baffled why anyone would risk life and limb to climb up several storeys then climb through a window just to switch a deep freeze off and then shin back down again to escape.

As far as I know the crime remains unsolved to this very day.


Hard or Soft?

Finally we may have an answer to the age old question of why some people have problems with varifocals whereas others take to them like the proverbial duck to water.

The very latest lens designs use some pretty sophisticated computer mapping to optimise the different optical zones for each type of prescription and visual requirement.

After years of looking and many false dawns we finally have found a new lens supplier who actually have raised the bar

Optik Mizen are a small innovative company with cutting edge lens designs, by classifying designs as Hard and Soft and defining how each design works best depending on occupation, age and prescription we expect a higher level of success.


Frames first or lenses?

How do you go about choosing a pair of specs?

How would you ensure you’re getting the best for your money?

You want them to be stylish and look good.

But you also want something that is comfortable to wear all day with the clearest vision possible.

Most people will choose the most expensive frame within their budget with little thought for the lenses.

Whereas an optician would look for the best quality lenses they can find and choose the frame afterwards

They know that even the finest frame will not always look great with ordinary lenses

Whereas top quality lenses can transform any frame

Tailor made premium lenses will tend to be thinner and lighter and by the end of the day you’ll certainly notice the difference

And a good quality anti reflection coating will improve the appearance and clarity of your vision

Lenses can be great or not so great but we never supply lenses we wouldn’t wear ourselves

Great lenses aren’t cheap but you only have one pair of eyes,

Aren’t they worth it?


The World of Warcraft

On and off for the last 12 years and mainly when the weather is inclement I’ve spent a fair chunk of my life in the alternative world of computer gaming that is World of Warcraft.

Or WoW as it is commonly known to it’s millions of followers worldwide.

For the uninitiated WoW is a massive pretend world populated by creatures (normally called Mobs) of all shapes and sizes nearly all with the one express purpose of killing you dead Worldwide roughly 10 million players can be online at any one time.

You can play as individuals completing quests to earn experience and gear to make you more powerful. Or you can play as a group to tackle the more demanding scenarios

Dungeons The designers create dungeons which require groups of players to cooperate and work together, Raids at the top end raids require groups of up to 40 players in a battle of wits against the game designers who spend their days contriving ever more fiendishly difficult game mechanics

The only way to defeat these is to play as an organised guild group with a dedicated raid leader tasked with getting a bunch of halfwits to follow instructions and think on their feet.

Roles you can play: Damage dealer, either casting spells, shooting projectiles or bashing the bad guys with blunt or sharp pointy instruments

Healer who’s role is to cast healing spells to keep the raid and particularly the tank alive

Tank normally dressed in plate armour the tank’s role is to absorb massive amounts of damage and protect the raid, if the tank dies the raid follows quickly in what’s known as a wipe.

Raid leader

is the most demanding role I’ve ever seen, you need eyes in the back of your head and lightening reflexes as you’re normally at the forefront of the action whilst needing to monitor everyone else performance.

Raid leader is invariably the also the tank so not only do they have to monitor everyone else's performance but do so whilst being repeatedly bashed on the head

It will come as no surprise to anyone that yours truly is universally regarded as far too thick and generally slow witted for such a role.

Pinnacle of my “career” came in the early day’s I played a mage casting magical spells to damage and slow enemies, I also had a spell called polymorph which turned a mob into a sheep for 60 secs during which time they could do no harm as long as no one hit them and broke the spell.

It was the final boss in Nefarions lair and the 40 man group had battled solidly for 5 hours to reach the biggest and baddest boss in the game

Only a very very tiny percentage of players ever made it that far

One of the boss mechanics was he could turn raid damage back on itself, to avoid this we had to periodically hide behind a pillar whilst he cast the spell.

Someone was a bit slow to react when the warning came and the main tank turned into a sheep allowing the boss to squish the raid.

It didn’t take the other 39 long to figure out who the culprit was.

I wasn’t too popular that day.

I’ve served time under some of the top raid leaders around in the last 12 years but by far the best I’ve ever come across were a bloke called Vik and a girl called Pam.

No doubt it will come as a surprise to some of you to read that a surprisingly large proportion of hardcore raiders are female but the combination of speed of thought and organisational abilities combined with multitasking and coolness under pressure makes them ideally suited to the role.

Thursday night was raid night and Pam was leading,

I was reprising my customary role of running round like a headless chicken trying to keep other players alive whilst trying not to get myself killed, something I invariably failed at miserably.

I’d grabbed a drink during a break and unadvisedly left my room door open and my speakers turned up.

Friday morning dawned and we were driving in to work.

“Who’s that woman who keeps talking to you on your computer?”

“Oh (say’s I) that’s Pam, she’s lovely”

Ding ding ding ding ding ding ding

“Talk’s a lot”

“Oh yes, she’s the raid leader so that’s her role.”

“I never hear you talking?”

“Oh no, my role is to listen and do what I’m told”


“Does it go like that every time?”

"Pretty much..."



“How the b^&%y hell does she get you to do stuff when I can’t even get you to run the hoover round now and again!!!!!”


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Binocular balance assessment £10 Autorefraction £10 Tonometry (i-care) £10

(included within standard private test)

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