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Archive for March, 2008

We were back at the eye clinic today.  The sight in Little’un’s lazy eye has improved vastly and the optometrist is very happy with her progress – she can see far more clearly from the lazy eye than she could at our last visit.  Because she is very longsighted in that eye she still needs to wear glasses to see at all, but to start with her vision was poor even with the specs and happily that is now no longer the case. 

Normally Little’un’s sight would be allowed to continue improving just with glasses for the time being, however as she starts school in September they are going to bring forward the start of patching in the hope that it will be dispensed with by then and we therefore won’t have to endure the nightmare hassle of patching her after school.

The idea is to put a patch over her good eye in order to force her lazy eye to work harder.  The harder it works, the stronger it will get, and the more her vision will improve. 

Little’un has been persuaded that this is a good idea by being issued pink patches with flowers and suchlike on them.  She is a little concerned that her friends will call her a pirate* but other than that seems happy enough with our new game.  She will have to wear it at nursery through the week so we shall see how that goes. 

 Given that this is only our third appointment, I am delighted with her improvement thus far.  We have been warned that the rate of improvement will slow down as time goes on and will eventually plateau but if we continue with the patching for a few months then we will get the best possible result.  All in all a very positive visit.

* Edit – I dropped Little’un off at nursery with her patch on today so as to explain the process to her carers.  As soon as we walked in through the door she was lynched by hordes of little boys who were fascinated by her pirate patch [sigh].  Thankfully they were jealous rather than scathing however there were tears from my poor little girl.  The tears have thankfully now dried and the children have been asked not to use the “p” word in connection with her patches.  Hopefully that’s the end of that.

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Bugger

Little’un has not got a place at our first choice school.  The school which, even though only a 10 minute walk away is apparently too far, because a footbridge across a drain is not counted when calculating the distance to school.  The route is calculated by road and because we have to drive a far longer route than we would have to walk we are further away from the school (according to the County Council) than enough children to fill the available 40 places.

Bugger.

We will be appealing against the decision.  Watch this space…

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I’ve just spent the last hour watching The Woman Who Stops Traffic.  I’m really annoyed about it.  Annoyed because it seems to have completely missed the point when it comes to sorting out the traffic problems here.

Boston is a small market town miles from anywhere.  It is probably safe to assume that a lot of people who live here don’t work in the town centre and have to travel out of town to work.  Similarly there are a lot of outlying villages and I would also hazard a guess that residents there have to travel a fair distance to work.   I drive through town every day to get to and from work, as does The Yorkshireman.  Neither of us works in Boston town centre and there isn’t any way of getting to where we need to go by public transport.  We don’t want to run two cars, it’s expensive and a pain in the arse but without our cars we would not be able to get to work.

I can see the point of encouraging people out of their cars for short journeys but I would hazard a guess that a lot of people aren’t driving just half a mile.  My theory on why the traffic is so bad here at times is that there are only four routes in and out of the town which often get snarled up at level crossings and the endless traffic lights.  There has been a long standing campaign for a bypass that I have a lot of sympathy with.  There’s also a lot of heavy traffic here as lorries transport veg from Lincolnshire all over the country and into Europe, and vice versa.

Since the programme was made there has been a huge undertaking to sort out the traffic light phasing on the main thoroughfares.  One big roundabout has had its traffic lights switched off permanently and another is undergoing a trial switch-off period.  The traffic flow has massively improved as a result, to the point where even people who only visit Boston once in a while have commented on how much easier it is to get there (yes, it’s true – earthquakes aside not a lot happens around here so traffic flow is a topic of conversation).

Public transport around the town is being improved with new buses ordered and new routes planned.  Buses will be far more frequent meaning that I will be able to get a bus into the town centre without having to wait anything up to two hours for it.  The town centre is actually a walkable distance, about 1½ miles, but to walk there and back with a tired three year old?  In the rain?  When I don’t have three hours to spare?  Knowing that there is likely to be a bus when I need one will make me far more likely to leave the car at home.  That said, I will still have to schlepp a fair way to the bus stop – even the new improved bus routes don’t come that close to where I live.

The people of the town were shown to be… now how can I put this… not exactly open to the idea of change.  I will admit that there is a large element of you’re-not-from-round-here-are-you-we’ve-always-done-it-this-way-and-aren’t-about-to-change-now.  However people’s behaviour is also governed by circumstance, and the general circumstance here is that people generally have to travel 5 miles or more to do whatever they are doing or go wherever they need to go.  There are few or no shops left in the villages.  The majority of the area’s secondary schools are in the town and have geographically large catchment areas.  The majority of workplaces are outside town, off bus routes.  Working hours vary so much as to make car sharing tricky in a lot of cases.

So todays not entirely shocking revelation is… it just goes to show, you can’t believe everything you see on the telly. 

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