Obscure even by Grass Routes standards, yesterday’s blog groped its way around the problem of steamed-up spectacles when wearing those pesky masks.
It’s what football folk used to call restricted vision, but in those days – especially at Wembley – it meant sitting behind a damn great stanchion.
Cloud trouble had occurred at Esh Winning v Heaton Stannington on Saturday, at once prompting an apologetic email from Neil McKay – a friend for 40 years – who’d also been at the match. “I just didn’t see you – or much else,” he says.
Others attempt enlightenment, both John Maughan and Alex Metcalfe recommending a gentle application of washing up liquid to the lens – hence today’s header – with a dry tissue.
John, in Wolsingham, had experienced similar problems in church – “I couldn’t see the service book; it works wonders” – while Alex, Darlington Cricket Club’s bespectacled No 6 bat, had even more urgent need of a solution.
“From bitter experience,” he adds, “there’s the danger of a nasty sting if it’s applied too liberally, or not rubbed in properly.”
Bob Rogers, grandson of Northern League founder Charles Samuel Craven, lives in Hong Kong where masks were familiar long before the virus. Similarly, he recommends “a little detergent” applied to the lens.
Playing misty, I also contacted Jean Foster, who with her husband Geoff was my Willington-based optician before retiring to the Scottish borders. Jean has the same trouble in shops, supposes it must be a “nightmare” at football.
“We used to have some excellent stuff that came in a solid stick, like a lipstick, but that was donkeys’ years ago and I haven’t seen it for ages. The sprays you can get are fairly useless in my experience.”
From her researches, however, Jean recommends shaving gel – the foam should work just as well, she supposes. “Just smear it over both surfaces of the lens and wipe it off with a tissue. I don’t know how long the effect lasts, but it’s worth a try.”
The plan’s to take in Newton Aycliffe v Billingham Town on Tuesday evening, but first with an application of Gillette Fusion Proglide (no less) to the essential eyewear.
Foam at last, a further report in a couple of days.
*Mention of Darlington Cricket Club prompts a further salute to dear old Jonny Barnes, described by Wisden as a “parsimonious dobber” and mentioned a couple of times recently hereabouts.
The truncated North Yorkshire and South Durham League season at last over, Jonny finds himself top of the league bowling averages – by no means for the first time – with the remarkable stats of 153.5 overs, 75 maidens, 216 runs and 43 wickets with an astonishing average of 5.02.
Mr Barnes is 50. He doesn’t wear glasses, though.
*Jean Foster, bless her, is also mentioned on page 25 of Unconsidered Trifles. During one eye test, she’d made the immortal observation that I was “colour blind as well.”
“As well as what, Jean?”
“As well as everything else,” she said.
It was a real bolt from the green.
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