Monday, 26 March 2012


This morning I'm scheduled for a diabetic retinopathy eye screening at St Peter's Health Centre, Sparkenhoe Street. That's at the edge of Highfields so I take with me a bag of fliers and posters for REDP's forthcoming Choice Unlimited event so I can distribute them round the area.

What has slipped my mind is the fact that for a while after the screening, it's quite hard to see. The nurse puts drops in your eyes that dilate the pupils, making everything bright, glary and indistinct. That wasn't so noticeable inside the health centre, but outside it's a sunny day. I don't know why I didn't think this would impact on my ability to do this task. I mean, it's not as if it's the first time I've had this test done - I've only had diabetes for, like, 16 years.

Still, I can tell well enough, at a distance, the right places to ask if they'll put up a poster and/or take some fliers, such as the Ark World Arts Centre, incorporating Sparkenhoe Theatre (photo above). I spend a few minutes talking with a nice, receptive lady in there called Mel, who's keen to promote Choice Unlimited to their Saturday morning theatre group for young people with learning disabilities and their families. They should be exhibiting at the event, I tell her.

Towards the end of my walk through Highfields (and the end of the contents of my bag), I get as far as Wesley Hall Community Project, at the top of Hartington Road. I used to teach basic literacy here to two groups (one of staff members, the other of service users at their day centre) when I was an Adult Ed tutor years ago. By this point, you're leaving Highfields and heading into Spinney Hills. My legs are sore now - and so are my eyes - so I head back down the hill and who do I see but my friend and colleague Suleman Nagdi walking up it in my direction. Despite my fuzzy vision, Suleman's perfectly recognisable from a distance. When I tell him what I've been doing and show him what's left in my bag, he takes me back round the corner into Melbourne Road and opens up the office of the Federation of Muslim Organisations so I can leave a bunch of fliers there and put up a poster in the window (photo below). This was one of my goals for today - since I believe it lends credibility to the event for local residents to see the poster here. A bit of luck, bumping into him like that!

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