Chris Markiewicz's Blog
Every Monday – thoughts, observations and ideas that hold up a mirror to who & how we are

Archive for the ‘Visual impairment’ Category

Nigel Roberts

August 31, 2015

“If you haven’t grown up by age 50, you don’t have to” (Recent Facebook meme) Last Monday evening I was performing my stand up routine at a club called The Hideaway, just down the Northern Line from me in Archway. I was there on my own as Ingrid had to tend to Murphy, our dog, […]

So brave!

August 24, 2015

In recent months, my work has had me travelling to places as diverse as Bulgaria, Czech Republic, India, US and even Croydon. This has prompted a number of people to say how brave I am to venture out to such places on my own, given my visual impairment. On the one hand, hearing such plaudits […]

My friends in the North

June 8, 2015

This weekend I took a trip up to the wilds of the north east – Newcastle to be precise. It was to be only my second ever trip to that city and the reason was a tad unusual. I’d agreed to do a stand up comedy set for a meeting of the Northern Alliance Ushers […]

The eyes have it

March 30, 2015

The writer, Aldous Huxley, in his book The Art of Seeing, asserts that, if we treated our bodies like we treat our eyes most of us would end up in wheelchairs. Huxley had a rare eye condition and sought ways of improving what sight he had. He became a disciple of William  Bates, a New […]

Separate worlds

January 18, 2015

“There doesn’t happen to be any RP specialists on here does there? “ This quote probably leaves you a little baffled. It’s actually a comment that was posted on the retinitis pigmentosa (RP) Facebook page. People who have this eye disease (including myself) have the opportunity there to share experiences, post questions, read up on […]

That certain sneer

December 15, 2014

It’s a little over twenty four years since I left my last full time job. I left just in the nick of time. Very soon after I moved on, the company I’d been working for introduced new technology with a view to there being “a PC on every desk”. I know that I would have found […]

The eyes have it

September 29, 2014

So there I am, sat on a Piccadilly Line train on my way home from the airport. A man gets on and sits opposite me. He is wearing dark glasses and, try as I might, I can’t help but feel uneasy. The tiny incident made me realise just how fundamental our eyes are when it […]

Abuse? What abuse?

June 9, 2014

I was speaking to a friend a while back who told me he had listened to a radio phone-in about abusive behaviour, and even violence, towards blind and visually impaired people. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to hear the programme myself. However I have heard of this before, yet still found myself astonished at the fact […]

Bowled over!

February 10, 2014

“We’ll have Fatty Braun, you can have Markiewicz” These are words that have rung in my ears for over 45 years since my secondary school days. They take me back to the young me standing on freezing cold football/hockey/rugby pitches, nose running and knees clacking, as teams were picked for matches by surly, cocky “captains”. And […]

Shoulders back!

December 2, 2013

A couple of years ago I was on a tube platform in Central London. I spotted a tall, elegant man with white hair standing with a Transport for London (TFL) employee next to him. They were chatting – I guess making small talk whilst awaiting the next train. The tall man was holding a white […]

“Letterbox” days ahead

September 23, 2013

“Autumn is a season immediately followed by looking forward to spring” Anonymous I awoke this morning at six o’clock. It was still dark. It was the first real sign for me that autumn is well and truly here and part of me loves it. I’d say that it is my favourite season, with spring coming […]

So, why am I not blind?

July 8, 2013

I can recall that day 32 years ago almost as if it were yesterday. I remember the consultant at Moorfields Eye Hospital uttering words like incurable, disease and blind as he told me of my diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa (RP). He made no bones about it, there was every likelihood I would lose all my sight in […]

Oh, for a simpler life!

April 22, 2013

I went into a bank recently in order to pay a bill. It wasn’t my usual branch, so they didn’t know me. Also, I’d not filled in my payment slip as I didn’t have my reading specs with me. I arrived at  the cashier’s window and, white cane in hand,  passed over the payment and slip […]

Walking home

November 26, 2012

I was on the train the other day, travelling home after a day’s work. I spotted, across the carriage a neighbour of mine sitting, reading. I’m not certain whether he saw me, but I was keen not to engage. So I decided not to and kept my head down all the way back. Was it […]

Seeing

October 15, 2012

This week has me schlepping down to the City Road in Central London to see a Mr Webster, who is my consultant at Moorfields Eye Hospital.  I catch up with him every year and, each time I come away reminded of how much I can see as well as how much I can’t. I can […]

Everyday heroes

September 3, 2012

So, the paralympians are currently out there doing their stuff and awe inspiring it certainly is. Hardly a minute goes by where someone on the TV, radio or press doesn’t enthuse about the impressiveness of the achievements on the sports field, in the pool or the arena. Much is made of what amazing role models […]

The trap

August 20, 2012

I have a pal who runs a small business. Things haven’t been too great for him lately business-wise and, like many others he’s feeling the pinch. The last couple of times I called him on his mobile, his voicemail was switched off and I got a recording of an anonymous woman’s voice declaring that I […]

Chris the contract breaker

July 9, 2012

When we sign up to a contract it is a serious commitment. We are duty bound to honour the agreement for the good of both parties and hopefully to the rest of the community. However, there is one contract that I have repeatedly broken throughout most of my life. Now, before any of my business […]

What a relief

April 16, 2012

I had something of a scare this week. I discovered that the vision in my left eye had suddenly gone blurry and virtually non-existant. Now, when you have restricted vision anyway, any further impediment is no laughing matter. That evening, I hot-footed it to Moorfields Accident & Emergency, who had a look and suggested I […]

Dignity, perfection and Mr Flap Flap

February 13, 2012

Thinking about an incident some years back has provided me with an interesting insight into the nature of humour. I was on my way to a business meeting with an important client based in Bond Street, Central London, accompanied by a colleague, Sarahjane. As we were walking from the tube station down Piccadilly, I happened […]

Hanging up the car keys

November 14, 2011

As some of you will already know, I don’t drive. My peripheral and night vision just aren’t up to it.  I stopped driving almost twelve years ago. I remember it well. The very last occasion I drove, I was returning on a rainy Friday night from seeing a friend down in Kent. I had my […]

Slow down, you move too fast

October 3, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered that I am now a “VIP” – this was how I was referred to whilst travelling to Birmingham with Virgin Trains. In this case VIP stands for “Visually Impaired Person”. It can be difficult to think of any significant advantages to having  VIP status. Yes, I enjoy some benefits such […]

From the mouths of babes

September 4, 2011

My partner and children were away a couple of weeks back visiting her mother in Wales. Being as I’m just a boy in grown up clothes,  I grabbed the opportunity to go up the road to the supermarket and stock up on a few “goodies” to help fill the hole left by their absence.  As […]

Adventures with my skinny white friend

June 6, 2011

Firstly, if you are expecting to be appalled by the suggestion that this article is in any way racist or weightist, then I’m afraid you are going to be disappointed. So, who is my skinny white friend? In fact, we’re talking about an inanimate object here, yet one that is my companion, my guide, even […]