21 November 2008

Eye, Eye

I’m off down to Cannes with J today to get her eyes lasered. You’d have thought she could have got it done in a back street in Middleton when she was visiting Manchester last month but nope, I mean she’s only gone and picked a guy who’s ‘surgery’ is nicely located between Bulgari, Hermes and Louis Vuitton on the Cannes promenade.

In Cannes, the traffic is terrible as usual, exacerbated today by dozens of council trucks blocking the roads as they put up Xmas lights. Bah humbug! Parking the car is even worse as I cannot move for Porsches, Ferraris and Jags all vying for space outside their favourite designer shops. It’s strange. Just like Cap 3000 all the shop owners seem to recognise J and are shouting greetings to her!

I dropped J off in the middle of the road hoping she’d be mown down by a large truck so that I’d be spared the humungous bill which I know is coming my way but she managed to dodge them nicely – nothing wrong with her eyes! I went off to find a parking space. After a couple of circuits of the Cannes backstreets, I finally found a place on the seafront not far from the convention centre which is so absolutely lucky I cannot believe it. You could tour the 5 miles of Cannes seafront for a whole year and never see a space and yet, here’s one just outside Monsieur Laserleseyes. 

Before we’d left home this morning, I’d said to J that if she was a brave soldier I’d take her for a nice lunch whilst her eyes stopped smoking and knowing that she’d make a beeline for the Martinez or the Carlton, I put on my faded Levis which did the trick. ‘I’m not going to the Martinez with you dressed like that’, she said. ‘Result’, I thought. I’m sure we’ll find a sandwich bar somewhere. Anyway, she’ll be blind, she wont know where she is. I’ll be able to tell her anything.

After parking the car, I wandered up to Mr Laserleseyes establishment which was one of those large doors you would encounter in Paris. A door with lots of buttons, each one representing a different business. This place would once have been a magnificent Cannes mansion (it’s called Villa Denise), holding fabulous dinner parties with famous people wandering around in smoking jackets and expensive dresses, sipping chilled champagne and looking out from the balconies to the islands just off Cannes. Now it’s a collection of businesses, all charging exorbitant fees to pay for the upkeep of the place and the enormous rates I’m sure they have to pay.

Eventually, after pressing buttons repeatedly until my index finger hurt, I was allowed in. I entered Mr Laserleseyes ‘surgery’ (it looked more like a doctor’s waiting room) and there was the smell of something surgical happening. That unmistakeable smell of anaesthetic or whatever they put on you to stop your eyeballs falling out. I approached the receptionist’s desk and instead of grabbing her by the hair and asking why I was left outside buzzing for 10 minutes, I was niceness itself and said simply that ‘my wife is here’. ‘Which one’, she said. ‘Madame Cupples’, I say. ‘Non’. ‘Ah, Mrs Evans’, I tried. ‘Non’. ‘Mrs Hellon’, I said. ‘Ow many wives do you ave’, she enquired. I gave her the look that only a bigamist could and she relented. ‘Oui. Mrs Hellon is ere’. I waited about 20 minutes whilst J had her eyeballs measured and then we were told to go away for 3 hours whilst they tried to find a laser strong enough. Apparently J has ultra-thick cornea. I could have told them she was ultra-thick and saved myself the €160 for the initial consultation and measuring.

Anyway, we went off down the coast to La Thoule for lunch which was quite delicious and very reasonable until I worked out the likely cost of the whole trip and then I was sick.

Back we went to Dr Laserleseyes or more accurately, I dropped J off and  went plant shopping. I picked her up an hour or so later. Her eyes were watery and red but once she’d put on her new pair of Specsavers sunglasses (ha - Dolce and Gabbana or nothing) she was able to see better and indeed drive me home. We only hit 3 central reservations, 2 old aged pensioners and a white van, so it was a good test of the success of the operation…….none of those count!

More on the eyes in a few days but my big worry is that now she can see she might not like me!         


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