Today I visited my new friend that I am volunteering with through the RNIB. It seems a bit cheeky to call this a volunteering role or work at all, because she’s so lovely that going for outings and helping her run errands is honestly not a chore in the least. We’ll call her G, and she is a sprightly, very bubbly lady around 60 years old. She had sight most of her life, but only recently lost most of what was left of her remaining vision. Because it was an overcast day, our initial plan of venturing out to the Botanics was scrapped, but she had plans for what she wanted to do. The next few hours were spent running errands and having some lunch at a lovely restaurant right alongside Portobello’s coast.
I was honestly impressed with not only G’s amazingly positive attitude and sense of humor towards her sight loss, but her spatial awareness. She knew exactly which direction my car was parked every time we came out of a store, and she oftentimes knew better directions than Google maps. Not only that, but even when she was asking shop attendants for helping finding certain things, she did it with a smile and a laugh, explaining at one point to someone that she was out “foraging for berries and nuts.” What a total sweetheart.
I did understand a bit more about what it must be like for people living with sight loss on the day-to-day. People just aren’t exactly sure what to make of you. Every place we entered people’s curious stares were soon to follow. Sometimes people who do know you will walk up and say hello without saying who they are, leaving them guessing long after the conversation is over! Not only that, but a helpful shop attendant scurried off to find something for G, leaving her talking to thin air without realizing it. It must be an incredibly disorienting and frightening place to find yourself, but the attitudes of those with sight loss I’ve met so far is nothing but forward-thinking. They’re made of strong stuff. I guess you would have to be, considering.
Regardless it was a foggy and typically dreich day. That’s your Scottish word of the day. Dreich means dreary, gloomy weather. I only snapped a few photos, but here’s alongside Holyrood Park as I was heading home. Dreich in a nutshell.