Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Fifty Cent Mirror
This post comes to you from Rome, where we are on a flying visit to see my youngest daughter Nicola and her family. This is the first time we have seen them this year as they were "between houses" for so long. The person they were buying from died of a brain tumour. This immediately stopped the house purchase because of the inheritance laws in Italy (similar to those in France, which divide property up between the surviving partner and any children). Fortunately that is all now sorted out. Nicola has cleared a space amongst the boxes so that we can have somewhere to sleep while we make a quick visit.
I don't know how many of you have heard the expression "fifty shilling washtub". An old friend of mine said his mother used to refer to people this way if they were a little broad in the beam.
That is as may be, but the picture above is of a fifty cent mirror. I have been moaning for some time in this blog about the difficulties and dangers of traffic overtaking other traffic, ostensibly on the other side of the road, but behind me, on my side, and putting me in mortal peril. I have tried various ways of being able to see what is happening behind me. Last week I hit on the wheeze, with the help of Chris Goddard, of buying a mirror to mount on a walking stick. I am still waiting for that mirror to arrive, but events have overtaken it.
The one shown above was bought by me on Sunday at a vide grenier, or what is known in Britan as a car boot sale. It is lightweight, plastic backed, convex, just like a car rear view mirror. It has a clip on the back, with a ball socket connection, so it could itself be carried on a stick. But the socket folds flat and the whole thing is so light that it easily slips into my shorts pocket and, when needed, can be held in the palm of my hand so that I can clearly see the traffic behind me. I have road-tested it and, held at the right angle, it is the answer to my problem. I don't know where it came from originally, but all walkers on roadsides should have one of these.
This one cost me the princely sum of 50 cents. Not only a life saver, I hope, but at virtually no cost.