…at the end of the hearing-aid.

I’ve been involved in the world 0f deaf and hearing-impaired people for over thirty years, much of that time from the managerial and technical side. I have lectured students, instructed, written technical papers, prepared audiology training courses, designed complex sound and inductive loop systems for major buildings, assessed and tested people,  fitted hearing aid systems and provided counselling.

All very worthy, and relatively-easy, as I felt I was in charge. Just over a year ago I was honoured when appointed a Trustee of the Board of Directors of Hearing Concern Link. It is a national charity devoted to helping people to survive socially and psychologically after the onset of hearing loss.

The early Board meetings had been tough with the reduction in Government and Council funding, and most of the talk has been about money (or lack of it!). Although we seem to have turned the corner with the help of some funding from grateful people who had been helped, we cannot rest on any laurels.

The necessity of the work we do was vividly made evident to me at an organised meeting of some of our members one Saturday in Glasgow. This is one of a series of regular courses providing an opportunity for many folk with severe and not-so-severe hearing loss, to get together and learn from a facilitator, and each other. I think it is fair to say that most of us were over 21 by a long way!

Many practical subjects were covered, including personal security, available equipment, frustration and anger. What we didn’t have the time to cover were the effect of losing the ability to appreciate music.

This is a season full of music, so can I ask you think of those who for one reason or another are not able to hear the wonderful music we so love during the Christmas period.

The luck of life

It’s been some time since I have attempted to amuse/entertain/inform/persuade/cajole fellow-bloggers with a posting here. I left you in the middle of Alaska when we were on a marvellous cruise trip from and to Vancouver. It was great and we arrived back home to get on with our semi-retirement, and to sort out the hours of video and hundreds of photos to recount the happy times.

………..and suddenly the BBC brought us news and photos of a liner beached just off Tuscany (a favourite spot of ours) and the loss of life, injury and terror involved. Whatever happened or caused it to happen may eventually be explained but things for those people involved will never be the same again.

How many times have we gone down a road where there had been a recent fatality, got on a plane after one of the same types had just crashed, or feared to get on a Pendolino train knowing what happened recently on the Edinburgh/London express?

I know that statistically travel is safer than it has ever been, and vast numbers of people traverse the roads, sea and sky of this earth of ours in perfect safety, but let us remember in our hearts those who set out on a journey and never arrived.