Hearing – Can We Talk About It?


As I went to open a sash window, a couple of weeks ago, I saw a young guy, about 20 years old, tanding on the ridge of a roof.   From where I was standing, I could not see how wide the ridge was, but two rooves along, there was a seagull standing on it.

He walked along and wobbled.  My mothering heart leapt into crisis mode.    That ridge did have a long bar on top but still no clue as to how deep it was, a slope of tiles and then a small wall.  It did not bear thinking about and I acted on a first thought.  I yanked open the window and shouted across the square:

“Can we talk about it?”

This may be the daftest thing imaginable to say because I was at least forty metres from him and slightly lower.  There was no way that I could hurtle down the stairs, run across the square and then be faced with an entry system.  Mine has a number.  So I called the police.  They were very prompt, but apparently they tried to get someone to answer the doorbell!  Excuse me?  That’s far too slow.  I only learnt this when they came up to me to ask for details.

After the shout, the young man turned and went to a chimney braest perpendicular to me.   He seemed to sit down.   I had to leave the police to find a way up to that roof.  I hope they did; they seemed competent.

The point of telling the story is that I think the young man heard me.  This is a similar happening to the previous post where sound appears to travel across three-sided objects.  In this case it is a three-sided period building with a garden of trees in the middle.  What is it about the construction that meant he could hear me?  It is not important whether he could hear the actual words, although he did appear to listen, because he stopped and went to lean or sit against the chimney breast.  I want to understand how the sound travels.  Maybe knowledge of it will inspire other thinkers and inventors in other fields.

Do we need an Architect to explain it or a Sound Technician or both?Image


People Know How To Help Your Hearing

Library book sale 2013

Library book sale 2013 (Photo credit: Christchurch City Libraries)


Yesterday, a friend I hadn’t seen for ages, came over for the day.  We were walking down the street and suddenly she swopped sides so that she was walking on the outside.

“You’ll hear me better if I’m nearest the traffic.”

Such a simple gesture, so profound its impact on me; I was happy all day.  She just thought about my hearing and her natural compassionate instinct told her what to do.

If you’re hard-of-hearing, you know that the result depends on your hearing level that day, where you are and what else is going on around you.  Another person blocks the noise as the sound  has to go round them and you are effectively in their shadow.  For me, it was the thought that meant the most.

So to the husbands out there, never mind the coat over a puddle.  That’s been done, so old hat.   Go on make your loved one’s day.

Have a great week.


Debbie Jeffrey

Hearing Wellbeing

The Angel Islington London 2012 Hearing Wellbeing 2012)

Switch Off The Fridge. It’s Too Noisy!

I love language,  writing it and hearing it.  Often people are surprised.  Why?  Does a sight issue rule their lives?  You could say it depends on how much you can see or hear.

In hearing, you lose a tiny bit in the high notes and suddenly the edges of words do not sound as sharp.  If you have just been diagnosed with a hearing issue and someone has arranged for hearing-aids, it is the start of an adventure.  You will hear things you have not heard in years, like birdsong.  🙂

When you clap your hands over your ears and ask your family to please switch off the fridge, be ready for argument!  It’s hard but try and relax.  Stay away from the fridge as much as possible for a few days.  (I can see this would be impossible for teenagers.)  You will learn to tune it out.  People with ordinary hearing do that automatically.  Be prepared for them to be disappointed.  They think your fantastic digital hearing-aids mean you are a superbeing, so when you complain about noises their reactions are the following:

a)       The hearing-aid is not working;

b)      It did not fix the hearing issue;

c)       They have failed you in some way.

Reassure them as well as yourself.  It takes a month at least to get used to them.  A colleague was on the point of taking his back after two months and then it was suggested he try the ones he had before.

“I had no idea.” He said. The aids were in and out of his ears in two minutes, back forever in the box.

“Can I have that in writing?”

We never did get his comment in writing but he did see the point.  You don’t realise what you have until you don’t have it any more.  He persevered with the hearing-aids and even took his life into his hands.  He went into the bank.  He went through the rigamarole of having the loop system switched on and went to the loop setting.  He said it was so peaceful without the background noise.  He was so pleased that people in the office, who have ordinary hearing, are envious.  An advantage.  Yippee!

Have a great week!


Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join That Conversation’



Balloon Tower Farnborough, Hampshire UK (Copyright to Hearing Wellbei ng 2012)

Tinnitus – Central Hearing Oops Heating Systems


My grandparents have had oil central heating for forty years.  The boiler still works the same as it always has, according to Granddad.  Grandma insists she can hear it rumble at night, even though she is not wearing her hearing-aids.  That is interesting in itself as Granddad has worked out that the system does rumble at a certain time in the morning.  it always wakes her up.

On the other hand, Granddad reckons the rumble calms his tinnitus.  Instant marital discord!

Grandma goes downstairs to switch it off and Granddad, he switches it back on!  The only thing that I can suggest is Charley the Sleeptime Bear from Sound Oasis in the US.  It is made for getting babies to sleep yet works brilliantly for tinnitus.  We renamed him Tinnitus Ted but Granddad is still refusing.  The purple lavender beeping machine has also been refused.  Any suggestions?  All gratefully received!

Heartfelt thanks


Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join That Conversation’



Help At Hand To Hear On London Underground

The round white help-points on every Tube station platform are heaven-sent.

Anytime you have a concern, just stand by it.  great for women at night, the red emergency button is easy to reach.

I’ve used it twice.  The first one was deep in the network where the Piccadilly, Victoria and Bakerloo lines crisscrossed in every direction.  I was retracing my steps  and came across one.  A little voice faraway said “hello?”  I went to loop and then it was easy.  I stand by it now when I go onto the platform.  The man was very nice.  I did just wonder how many times a day they get someone playing a joke.

It’s just like a usual telephone conversation where I have to consciously remember to say ‘goodbye’ otherwise they don’t know you’ve gone.  I don’t want to embarrass them, especially when they are the ones offering help.  The more the staff respond, the easier they will find it.  it is a way of summoning help fast as well.  A great innovation for people with a hearing issue and easy to use!

Happy hearing!


Debbie Jeffrey


It Is Emotional Tsunami Weekend


It doesn’t matter how sceptical you are but at the moment, everyone is very emotional.  Relationships will break up or reach new understanding this weekend because of planet and star alignment. I was sceptical about this stuff for three years!  Switch off if you like but the emotion ripples.  Here’s what you do.

Stay adaptable.

Focus your brain on how to get out of it.  People in a strong relationship can stay in one by doing this.

Do something fun like go to a party, Paris or please, do something you love.  And if you’re lucky enough to have found that one person whom you love, appreciate him/her.

Does this have anything to do with hearing?  Of course.  It’s about communication and with a hearing issue, I try to make absolutely sure that I’ve understood the words.  The meaning is something else!  The trouble is that we miss things and did I miss something huge with someone I just met?  I may never find out.  Please don’t let this happen to you.   There’s a song.  I don’t know the singer or who wrote it:

“Walking by …

Tucked away by you …

I’m so confused, my heart feels

I was never loved by you

… I never had your heart …

I can see there’s a life out there for me.’

If you know who it is, please tell me, because I’d like to find it again.  I think it’s going to be a musical weekend.  What do you mean you can’t hear the lyrics?  Make them up.  My children go mad when I ‘sing’ a different ending to some song because I’ve made it up.  I say ‘sing’ as I didn’t know I couldn’t sing until my children told me!  But singing is good for you as a release of pent-up emotion and hey, if we can’t hear ourselves well, it gives us an excuse to sing louder!  This is the hearing tip for Saturday.)  By then you’ll have made your plans and this is in advance.  Did I say plan?  Just go for it!  Spontaneity works!

If this upsets you, just please forgive me and the hearing tips will be back forever.  if it helps just one person, then that is what communication is all about.  And we bionic hearing people communicate!

Election Expenses for Candidates And Their Carers

Do you know anyone who may be interested – UK only. Seen on deafjobs:

Advisory & Appeals Panel Members – Access to Elected Office
Fri Jul 6, 2012 11:27 am (PDT) . Posted by: “Alison Bryan” alisonbryanuk

The Government is launching their Access to Elected Office strategy
this summer to provide practical support for disabled people who want
to become an elected representative.

As part of this strategy, Convey has been commissioned to administer
the Access to Elected Office Fund
http://www.access-to-elected-office-fund.org.uk/ , which will offer
individual grants of between € ¦£250 and € ¦£10,000 to disabled people who
want to be selected as candidates for an election, or who are standing
for election.

The grants will help disabled people meet the additional costs they
may face compared to a non-disabled person in standing for election,
such as extra transport costs or sign language interpreters.

If you are interested in applying to the fund yourself or you would
like to help promote the fund to disabled people you support, please
send an email to enquiries@convey.org.uk with your name and contact
details and we will get in touch with you with information and
resources when the fund is launched.

Diamond Jubilee Yippee!

Northumberland Avenue

Northumberland Avenue (Photo credit: Ollie T.)

English: A perspective corrected image of Traf...

English: A perspective corrected image of Trafalgar Square in London, England. Taken by myself with a Canon 5D and 17-40mm f/4L lens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

pimm's cup

pimm’s cup (Photo credit: rossination)

In London we basked in a happiness shared amongst visitors and natives.  The normally reserved British were dressed in Union Jacks, wore red, white and blue bowler hats with great style and cheered and waved every time a little boat passed us.

We were standing on the Embankment ten metres (30 feet) from the river in what is normally a raised dividing line in the middle of the road.  People stood on buildings that you never knew had balconies.  Whilst some people declared them snipers,  everyone else just laughed.

And it didn’t rain, at least not while we were there.  With Londoners, we arrived 2 ½ hours before the flypast and never has time passed quicker!  We loved every minute as we watched the big screens and peered through a gap between the bottom of the Bridge and the top of the passing boats.  A foghorn blasted from our bank, was answered somewhere else and we cheered.    Some clever people sat in the London Eye – what most of the day?  And when the Queen’s boat passed, we cheered.  She stood up all the way so she could be seen by people in the water  – at 86!  And she looked amazing.  Loved her coat dress in white with gold stars and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall beautiful in cream and Princess Catherine was stunning.  Her red dress with flirty skirt to the knee for decorum and a matching long-sleeved jacket was a masterpiece.  If there are not a million copies sold, I’ll eat my hat.  And her shoes were a clever touch, don’t you think, in nude?  They are all icons of British design.  We’re all so proud and happy!!!!! 🙂 🙂

And after the flotilla had passed, we were swept up Northumberland Avenue (Monopoly Board) and arrived in Trafalgar Square with thousands of other happy people.   Covent Garden is the opposite side to the three arches – every restaurant imaginable.  Great fun.  Water fell from the sky  so up went the umbrellas and we dashed into a restaurant.  Happiness bathed us all weekend and we’re still on a cloud.  We had our street party, which turned into a garden party and then a house party as the drought of the previous month ended.  Pimms anyone?

Here’s the recipe.

1 bottle of Pimms, Lemonade, pieces of fresh strawberries, orange and most important, thinly sliced cucumber.   Handful of fresh mint – we grabbed some from our garden and ice.

Method:  Take 1 part (cup) Pimms to 3 parts (cups) lemonade.  Add the fruit and cucumber.  1/2 ice cubes in a tall glass.  Wow!

How much does it make?  It depends how big your cups are.

Any variations you have tried and liked?

Happy Summer! 🙂


How hearing loops can help – (The Washington Post)

http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/how-hearing-loops-can-help.html (posted on an article by The Washington Post)

Hearing Loop Conversor Pro

Conversor Pro Hearing Loop

If you’ve read the article you know it’s about hearing loops.  If you haven’t, please read it even if you don’t live in the States. Hearing loops in buildings seem to be put there by people who ask for them.  You’re best placed to ask. In 2004 the UK Disability Discrimination Act made local Councils put hearing loops in some public buildings, but not in hospital Audiology Departments!  Politicians are not known for asking advice from those who know so they missed the obvious places.  You could think about the best place in your town where a hearing loop should be.  If it suits you, it may suit other people.  Talk about it, start a community initiative.  Who will be grateful?  You and the old who can’t be bothered but want it.  This blog is about getting the best service for hearing everywhere.

1) The idea of having static hearing loops is state of the ark (not a typo).  See the blog about ‘bobbers and swayers’.  Besides a portable hearing loop with extra receivers may be the cheaper option.  In the picture, the receiver is at the top.  The transmitter can be placed either at one end of the room or you can hold it and point it at people.  Have the advantage in a conversation for once.

2) The best position for the wire of a fixed hearing loop is at your ear level when you’re sitting down.  Why do electricians still persist in putting them tidily under carpets?!  Walking on them won’t do them any good either.

Nobody will fix a hearing loop unless you ask.  In 2009 at an Audiology Conference no less, in the UK there was guess what, a cheap wire stuck to the floor with masking tape.  I had brought with me a state of the art hearing loop.  It meant I could sit at the back and hear  every word :faints gracefully:  Take your own  radio hearing loop and be independent of any public building.  This is what to do if you can’t persuade TPTB.   You can use it discreetly with hearing-aids or with headphones for a mild hearing issue.  Radio hearing loops are designed for hearing aid wearers.  You can also use it with headphones.

Putting loops tidily? – you just have to watch the installers 100% of the time!