Wednesday, 12 April 2000

Stories of the blind

Listening to:

Brahms, symphony #4 in E minor, op 98. More great Brahms. I guess I could have said in my previous entry that I have become quite a fan of his.

Writing a diary entry last night, I realised that I didn't mention probably the most interesting and affecting part of the Granta issue that I read on Saturday. This was an account of a journalist and his increasing blindness caused by cataracts and a dodgy retina. His description of the way in which the world around him faded from view was really very powerful. There was a happy ending too; a doctor did the required operation, and lo, his sight was restored.

I’m quite willing to believe that the reason I didn’t remember this part of the issue when writing on Monday was because the censorious part of my brain didn't want me to think about such scary stuff. The truth will set you free and all that, but you might not like it.

It reminds me of a funny thing that happened to a lab-mate of mine. He was doing a web-site for someone, and had to explain at one point that putting real text into the page instead of graphics which had that text in them was a good idea. He mentioned that it made searching and indexing better, and that it wouldn’t prevent people with Braille readers from accessing the site. Impressed by this, the clueless client gave way.

A little later, lab-mate was contacted by someone else within the generally clueless organisation: I hear you’re doing some Braille web-pages for us...