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  • mbwatts

London. Speedboat Bar and being half blind.

Updated: Sep 4, 2023

Just an excuse to record a day out in London. And share some one eyed thoughts.

I've been stumbling into things, slipping down stairs, even knocking my face comically on the mantle piece. I'm a walking shit show at present.

My left eye is healing, but imperceptibly slowly from vitrectomy surgery after my retinal detatchment in Hungary and subsequent excellent Austrian treatment under Professor Bolz care at the Kepler University Hospital in Linz. (The eye blog - click here) I'm literally a poorly coordinated walking spirit level at the moment. A halfway point in my refilling eye will see me regaining my vision gradually. It's three weeks today and monocular mick is pretty fed up with the current state of play.

I'm at about 48% refilled, which doesn't give sight, it gives a level meniscal line just below half way. The inverted top half of the view is sloshing, nausea inducing, watery fluid. The bottom half of the vision is gaseous white finger counting nothingness. The midline is the issue! It's the top, or perhaps the bottom of the watery pool! And the sun catches on it with every slosh. A blinding headache inducing silvery line. Please note that I can see it with my eyes closed. Just below (or above) the surface are two tiny gas bubbles. The least useful spirit level ever. There is no respite except sleep. So, to say I'm a bit grouchy may be appropriate.

Nurse W has kindly arranged a day trip for us. Two days ago she was actually online looking for jobs, in a desperate bid to get out of the house. She has the patience of a saint, but having me at home 24/7 would test anyone.

Today, actually at my suggestion we are headed for the National Portrait Gallery. We do something's right here in the UK. And one of them is free galleries and museums. Some of the most incredible works of art, no charge. It's as gratifying as the 30% off rail travel with my Seniors card.

We head for Bond Street and enjoy a wander through London to Trafalgar Square.

I find myself holding my left arm slightly away from my body to prevent collision with the constant stream of screen absorbed ant people heading blindly in the opposite direction. I fear a direct collision with a mobile human iPhone might injure my poorly eye. Mrs W tells me off soundly for walking in an aggressive manner. She suggests that the arm posturing looks aggressive, and further, that it will hurt my eye much more if someone punches me. I lower the arm and screw up my face ready for the first collision. She's right of course, I am paranoid. But I feel physically scared. I can't see half the pavement without whipping my head from side to side like a demented lizard.

The Portrait Gallery is wonderful even with one eye. I fantasise about a self portrait through my blind eye. I might get around to it someday. For now the image I've generated above will do to explain the view. I don't think I shall ever forget the watery shiney blue and white view inside my left eye. Is this post traumatic stress?

We spent over two hours and still didn't reach the section on portraiture up to the current time. A great reason to come back.

Lunch venue was chosen from the musings of one of our favorite pod casts. Based upon a recommendation for Crispy chicken skins we head for the Speedboat Cafe in soho. It's boho soho with beer towers and a pool table. But the place is clean and the bar snack style Thai food was extraordinary.

A real find in my humble opinion. Good (London) value, great food. The freshest rawest prawn ceviche was a highlight, but the crispy pork in the Tom Yum was amazing. I suspect our afternoon walk was much easier for me simply because my super strong chilli and garlic breath cut a flame thrower swathe through the mobile pavement clones.

We wandered back to Covent Garden in search of a mythical ice cream festival. It seemed to have melted away by the time we arrived. Nothing for it but to continue the chilli theme with Spicy Margaritas in the square.

Jazz in the street and a glass of rosé in Heddon Street was a joy early evening. Then, and this is very much out of character for NHSontheRun, a classical piano music recital. Ooh, lahdibloodydah!!! We were intrigued by friends who had seen Mozart by candlelight at St Martins in the Fields, and are now in a position to say it's a really good hour and well worth the twenty pounds. Overall a very enjoyable day out with my carer.


David Price
David Price

Nice tip on the Portrait Gallery.

Speedboat is next to my favourite Blue Posts in Rupert Street. Open kitchen Michelin Starred tiny restaurant in the basement that we want to try. Sorry about the eye. X


Can tie up a great double whammy with great pub next to great cafe!!! Sounds like a must do!

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