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Apropos nothing very much

This is hardly new

Specsavers opticians are failing to hand over copies of prescriptions to customers who want to buy their glasses elsewhere.

Customers are being asked to pay substantial administrative costs and denied email copies of their prescription, the Telegraph has found.

Industry experts said the problem was “endemic” as businesses tend to make money on selling glasses to customers rather than completing eye tests. Some offer eye tests at a loss in the hope of securing a purchase after the test.

The retail chain promised to review its policy of allowing individual stores to charge for prescriptions after the Telegraph raised complaints from customers who said they were being asked to pay between £5 to £15 for a copy of their prescriptions.

It’s also usual, when getting glasses, for the pupillary distance to be measured. Which it is – but they don’t tell you what it is. Not unless you buy your glasses from them.

Which does make the sensible way to do this more difficult. Which is, get the prescription then buy the glasses online from China. Which is what I do. Using Zenni Optical. No, not a paid promotion or anything. Just good sense. Entirely reasonable, prescription lens glasses, $8 a pair. OK, so there’s the cost of sending a parcel from Hong Kong, there’s the pain of clearing said parcel for VAT and so on. Varifocal lenses (or whatever they’re called) don’t seem to be much cheaper than physical stores. Adding extras gets expensive.

But as I say, perfectly reasonable frames plus prescription lenses, $8 a pair. My practice has been to buy a parcel of 6 to 8 pieces every couple of years. Under $100 including all the shipping, customs clearance costs, including tinted lenses for sunglasses etc.

Even if one is going to insist upon having the really right stuff, properly fitted and all that, for the main pair, even the backup, having emergency pairs, ones for the car glovebox, is so cheap that why the hell not?

Just to note, they don’t seem to get the prescriptions wrong, the lenses the wrong way around say, any more than anyone else.

Err, yes

An Italian woman has been mauled to death by her five pet Czechoslovakian wolfdogs, prompting a debate over the danger posed by the increasingly popular crossbreed canine.

Mariangela Zaffino, a 74-year-old pensioner, was attacked by her five pet dogs in her apartment in the town of Grugliasco near Turin.

She was found by her daughter, who said the dogs, a cross between wild wolves and German shepherd dogs that shares many wolfish characteristics, had never shown any signs of being dangerous in the past.

Neighbours, however, have questioned the wisdom of Mrs Zaffino and her daughter keeping five large dogs in a small flat.

I’ve met wolf/husky crosses before now. Lovely animals but there was always a bit at the back of the brain – perhaps below it – that was thinking careful here, careful, wolves!

And 5 in a small flat?

Do snails eat birdshit?

In one of my little wanders around the garden as an interlude I spotted a snail having a go ad some bird shit.

So, do they eat it? I’m not going to spoil speculation by trying to look it up, obviously. And given that it’s a snail I can’t quite insist that it found it to be fingerlickin’ good.

But I don’t know what snails do eat – something about their mouth being in their stomach or something – and thus whether bird poo would be on the menu. For all I know soon to be guano is sufficiently acerbic to melt them.