By Bernie Bell
I have bad eyesight, which means that I find it difficult to see the steps at either end of the concrete path in front of our house. The one on the left is concrete, to concrete – no difference in texture or colour to give me some clues! So, I thought it would be a good idea to have something to mark the edge, but not the kind of stripes which are usually used. I put my thinking cap on and came up with the idea of having a wavy line, with dots in between the whirls.
Mike made a stencil out of an old cereal packet, got some BRIGHT YELLOW paint – et voila –
I can’t miss seeing the edge of this one! The other end is easier as it’s concrete, to gravel, and I’ve put nice, rounded stones along the gravel edge, too – but I still get a wavy line, as it all helps me to see.
I then thought it would be a shame to throw away the shape which was cut out to make the stencil, so I stuck it along the end of the cupboards in the kitchen….
Not what everyone would choose as decoration, but it’s our house, and we can stick what we like on the walls and cupboards – and – we do!
I thought I’d write this up for TON, as it might be helpful for other folk who have trouble seeing edges – try whirly lines and dots – or the shape of your choice – instead of stark black and yellow or red and white lines? It’s an idea.
It’s not just a good idea it’s an inspiration. Perhaps you could put another a little further back to warn you that you had one step to the edge?
Thanks for the compliment Charlie! The yellow squiggles really are a big help. When they get feint, I have to stop, stare hard to find the edge – especially of the concrete/concrete one – then step very carefully.
It was team work – I had the idea, and Mike made the stencil – I would have made a right bodged job if I tried to do that.
The newly painted squiggles are ace – it all helps with confidence for someone who has wonky eye sight – and who is a bit wonky anyway!
I’m going to tell you a story…..
When we travel, because of how my back is, I’d have trouble getting in to and out of the car on the car deck of a ferry, as the cars are always so close together. So, I go as a foot passenger. A few years ago, on our pilgrimage to the Bru na Boinne, travelling via Belfast, when I arrived in Belfast and got off the ferry, there was a long flight of steps to get down, to get to where I was to meet up with Mike. So, I stolidly started off, one step at a time, holding on to the railing.
A couple of lads passed by me and one, being sarky, said “Them steps are awful steep” – snigger, snigger. I stopped, turned to him and said. “I have a bad back and bad eyesight. This is the only way I can get down steps on my own.” He was immediately contrite, and asked did I know that there is a lift I could use? I said yes, I did know about the lift and, one day, I might have no option but to use the lift. Meanwhile, while I can use the steps, I will use the steps. He said “Now that’s – what I call attitude.” And I answered ”And that’s – what keeps me going.” And carried on, plodding down the steps. I hope it taught them not to be so quick to judge.
One thing, when I was in the waiting room, on my own – I got chatted up! That doesn’t happen often these days – I was chuffed to bits!!! And – he was a nice hairy sort of chap, too – just how I like them!