WHISPERING SMITH: Not wishing to turn a deaf ear to good advice

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I WAS chatting to an old friend the other day and admitted that I did not hear so well these days, too many Sunday mornings shooting without ear defenders when younger or, maybe, just getting old.

She suggested a hearing test and an aid. I baulked at that, did not like the idea of it.

Her following remark that ‘they are practically invisible’ only reinforced my reluctance. What was the virtue of its invisibility? In any case, she had a good head of hair to hide the thing.

Then she asked me something that really made me think. “How come people wear glasses with pride, even think they look better in them, especially scholarly-looking horn rims, as effected by you?”

Was having a vision impediment more socially acceptable than having a hearing defect? Should she be ashamed of having to wear an aid and be better off to have to keep saying “Pardon?” Would I be better off bumping into things if not wearing glasses?

She is right, of course. But I still resisted telling her I was learning the ukulele and my hearing was pretty good. She told me that she had heard me learning to play the uke and based on that fact alone, I definitely needed my hearing tested.

I capitulated and made an appointment with a Littlehampton-based hearing specialist for next week. Eh?

CONSTANTLY being asked my thoughts on the future of Rustington’s Cooperative site, following the popular store’s closure.

The answer in short is that I do not know, but think you can rule out Wetherspoons, Aldi, Lidl or Morrisons.

Were I a betting man, which I am not, I would guess a food store of some kind, though, and I might venture a few bob on a Marks & Spencer, which would benefit Littlehampton shoppers as well...

PERSUADED by my daughter to have a tattoo and being a bit obsessed with crows, their aloofness, their darkness, savage independence, idle attitude and seeming indifference to humankind and in particular to Littlehampton Prom and beach-walkers, I decided on one small shoulder tattoo of a black crow.

Should the Branston pickle not work and I forget who I am, my corvid will help identify me and enable me to be guided home.