Monday, 29 September 2014


I have these really hooded eyes. My father’s were the same. I quite like them actually. Our new next door neighbours include two Sharpeis, and we definitely have something in common. Folds of skin.

When I go to the optician for my regular check, I have the Optimap scan done, where they photograph the inside of your eye. As well as my eyes being hooded, they have mega-long eyelashes (once black, now faded), so on the Optimap pics there’s always a ring of sharp spikes!

This last time I went, the optician spotted a tiny ‘event’ – a little bleed, not a carnival or a circus or anything – on the outer field of my retina when she inspected the photos, so there ensued a lot of peering into an eye dilated by drops etc.

And it’s amusing because the skin round my eyes has to be kind of held aside – like when the curtains go up at a theatre so you can see the play.

I said to the optician, “I’m sorry my eyes are so hard to get at – I think they must be a cosmetic surgeon’s dream!”

To which she replied: “You can get them done on the NHS if it gets bad enough.”


You know, I have never been renowned for my tact and diplomacy, but even I can tell that’s not the right thing to say to a lady about her eyes.

“Thank you,” I said. “I’ll bear that in mind.”

Our conversation slid gracefully into the mud at that point. What I mean is, it stopped.


Rebecca said...

:) I'm so delighted to have you "back"! Wish you knew how many times I've returned to see if you have a new post up....

Hmmmmmm. I wonder if MY eyes are hooded? There's SOMEthing peculiar about them. I spend so little time in front of the mirror that I give little thought to their features. And as with my grey hairs, I spend no time wondering how to change them.

Thankfully, there WAS surgery to repair the damage to my hip when I fell last March and now to address the pain and growing deformity in my knee!

Pen Wilcock said...

Oh no! Have you got more surgery to be done? I do hope it goes well. Yes, Bean was in touch with me after your last surgery, alerting me to pray - which I did, watching for your blog posts as you gradually got better. Make sure you let me know if you decide to have your knee done, so I can be praying.
I don't know if you ever check out the blogs in my side bar, but a while ago my friend Julie in Minnesota had the knee op, and she posted in detail about her recovery - which could be of interest to you in preparing for yours.
Her posts were around this one (date-wise):

gail said...

Well I think you have a lovely face and I never noticed your eyelids till you mentioned it. We are about the same age and I have more skin now intruding on my lashes as well.
There is something very special about your face Pen. I think it's that "almost smile" you have in the photos on your blog.
I'm getting to know you more through you books and here on your blog. I've just started reading "The Wilderness within you" (sorry I know it's meant for Lent) and I'm finding it so hard to only read one day at a time. I just want more.
This is a very comfortable place to visit and like Rebecca I check in most days to see if you have written. I love the honesty I find here.
Blessings Gail.

Pen Wilcock said...

Hello, my friend :0)

I'm glad you like the Wilderness book! The one I'm working on now, for an end-of-November deadline, is similar in some ways. It's a book of 52 fictional dialogues between a husband and wife, covering every week of the church year, looking at some of the saints days and sacred festivals - including the quarter-days and cross-quarter-days of the old year, before the British church voted in the the acceptance of Roman Catholicism, at the Council of Whitby.
As with the WIlderness book, writing it is quite a marathon, but I think it will be worthwhile.

Paula said...

Oh, Pen,

I'm sorry you felt hurt by the optician's remarks. Please remember that she has a job to do, and she was probably letting you know that some day it might not be a bad idea to have a little tuck done on your lovely hoods.

I feel a need to tell you this, because I had a neighbor who had such work done, and it made her life easier and eased muscle tension. She realized that in the previous few years, she had gradually adopted a rather "surprised" expression, forehead lifted and eyes bugged wide open. This expression was due to her trying to lift those eye hoods out of her way so that she could see better. When she had the hoods surgically tucked, all the stress of the forehead and eye muscles went away.

Again: this was NOT just a cosmetic surgery but a quality of life surgery. You are so beautiful just as you are, but this information is now passed along to you "just in case" for continuing health.

Pen Wilcock said...

Thanks, Paula! Don't worry, I didn't feel hurt as such - I guess I'm just a bit . . . er . . . English middle-class, or something; it seemed rather going beyond the bounds of what was required of her.
I'm so glad your neighbour found a sympathetic surgeon and that her life has improved so dramatically.

LANA said...

Glad to see your new post. My eyes are also hooded, minus the lashes, which after menopause just sort of disappeared. My problem is it always makes me look like I am scowling, which I am not, it's just my face.

Anonymous said...

Hehe - it wouldn't have occurred to me to find that rude. I'd have been curious and asked her about the sort of situation in which I might need it done, and whether hooded eyes can impinge on one's health, etc. I'm sure there must be a health/vision reason why people can get it done on the NHS, rather than it being cosmetic.

I've noticed your hooded eyes, but not in a negative way - I always think hooded eyes look nice and soft and relaxed. My eyes are the opposite, where you see my whole eyelid curved around my eyeball, and I tend to think it makes me look a bit bug-eyed! I also have really short eyelashes, but opticians still have difficulty getting to my eyes, because I blink and flinch every time they come near!

Pilgrim said...

Yes, like the orthodontist who told me I'd be a lovely
lady when he was done. (I was having braces and jaw surgery to alleviate TM joint pain!)

Pen Wilcock said...

Ooh this is interesting. It's all got me imagining what it would be like to have a different kind of face. Yesterday I stood in front of the mirror and tried to lift skin out of the way to imagine what my eyes would look like without it all. The thing is, without the skin my eyes are quite small and also my gaze is rather intimidating. I think if I had surgery I'd look like a psychotic pig on amphetamines.
I can imagine your eyes, Gail because my neighbour has the same sort of shape eye - she is very slim with a round face, very contoured; I always think she looks so pretty.
Lana, I have to go and look at your profile pic in a moment - see if I can bring it up big and peer at your eyes.

Pen Wilcock said...

Haha - Pilgrim - I just spotted your comment! Almost deleted it by mistake (they stack in my Gmail). Exactly so.

Julie B. said...

I've read a quote by Lauren Bacall: "I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that."

If one's health or vision were negatively affected, then it seems reasonable to have a little surgical help.

You would just want to make certain that your surgeon isn't the same one who did Kenny Rogers' eyes. :O (Yikes, did I just say that?)


rebecca said...

I DO check out a couple of links in your side bar now and then (have sort of added them to my "routine")....I shall go to Julie's per your suggestion.

Yes, I had knee replacement a week ago TODAY! I'm dealing with it :)
Begged for Jesus' peace and presence to replace my pain during the night past. Finding Him faithful.

Pen Wilcock said...

Hi Julie B - if you have any spare head-space, please pray for Rebecca commenting here - she has just had the same knee surgery you had! Kenny Rogers? I'll have to go an have a look . . . xx

Hi Rebecca - for sure I shall be thinking of you and praying for you. xx

Jeannie Harlen said...

I have hooded eyes & the folds annoy me when I get overly tired or sick & droop over my vision or *stick* somehow. I know my stare was quite ferocious because my MIL commented that Cait was a terribly scowly baby ~ only she wasn't. She had learnt to imitate my short~sighted look of intense concentration! lol She has stopped doing that but my hoods now make mine worse! :D

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) I like your gaze. It just looks to me like you're paying attention. xx