2011 printemps avril plantae plante nature pen...

2011 printemps avril plantae plante nature pensée-bio 2011-04-24 rosa rose rosa-canina rosier-des-chiens bords-d’oise étangs-de-cergy oise cergy val-d’oise france (Photo credit: Pensée Bio)

English: Port of Liverpool Building and statue...

English: Port of Liverpool Building and statue of King Edward VII at the Pier Head in Liverpool, England. This is a Grade II* listed building which is part of Liverpool’s UNESCO designated World Heritage Maritime Mercantile City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Old Customs House at Exeter docks. Built in 16...

Old Customs House at Exeter docks. Built in 1681 & the oldest surviving purpose built customs house in Britain. It is a Grade one listed building. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have landed on the south coast of England where there is a plethora of things to do and lovely people of all kinds.

It is fascinating to live in a three-sided square and look at how the sound travels around it. Maybe other people living here don’t notice but I am sensitised to sound as I think about it all the time.

I can hear wheel nuts being unscrewed at the garage which is at least thirty metres away as the crow flies. For someone with a hearing issue, even wearing hearing-aids, this is not only weird; I would have previously said it was impossible! I was standing at the kitchen window, looking through a gap between houses and saw it happen. I had thought it was next door drilling, or as described to a utility supplier:

Yes, next door seems to be building a new house.”

It sounds like drilling. What is odd is that the landlord living below does not notice the drilling, yet the lady in the ground-floor flat complains his family is noisy.

What if the whole of our Grade II listed house, (walls one metre thick), is sensitised to sound by the gap between the houses? Sound blasts from the garage through the gap and hits the back wall of the building.

There is also one of those mobile phone eyesore masts, planted in the garage forecourt. That may have nothing to do with the sound blasts from the wheel-nut drilling, or it may be amplifying it.

Do you know anyone who could explain this?

Thanks and have a great week!

Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join That Conversation’



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’



Type too much, your fingers fall off … concentrate on hearing so much, do ears drop off?


The quick answer is yes.  If you have to concentrate very hard on hearing, your body will put its energy into that.  If the body gets no help, it will start to wear out.    Your ears won’t drop off physically but the level you can hear today will not be as good in 2/5/10 years’ time.  It varies.

The main side effect is exhaustion.  Besides, to the ladies, wrinkles anyone?  We have all seen people who screw up their faces in concentration.  It’s because they cannot see or cannot hear.  Look at actors.  They must forever be concentrating on Directors standing at least 10 metres away, too far to lip-read.

If that’s not an advert for hearing aids, I don’t know what is.  Life is hard enough without putting added pressure on yourself.  When you have them, the relief is enormous.  And for guys, worried about hearing-aids being seen, ninety-nine percent of people speak to your face.  There is no way that you can help the other one percent.

Have a great week.


Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join That Conversation’



Airships to Spaceships - Innovation At Farnborough Airshow (CCL Hearing Wellbeing

Hearing – Some People Are Just Plain Grateful


A guy rang last week, desperate to try out a Listener before he bought it.  Yes, we understand that totally.  Can you try one out from one of the bigger hearing-aid companies.  Not a chance.

The demo model was the last one.  It went out to him andthree days later we received a call from the same guy.  he had taken it toa meeting where normally he heard nothing.  He could hear what they were sayin at the other end of the room.  He was telling the people sitting around him!

He even used it to talk to his wife. – Actually, guys, that is your first priority because partners / spouses /brothers and sisters  suffer.  The Listner was a Conversor Pro and the guy insisted on keeping and buying the demo. model.  He and I were both happy with the price and he is one happy man.

I’m just relating this story so you can see how easy it is to make your life better.  The other reason is that men don’t ask questions.  Isn’t that frustrating?  How do you ever get answers to anything?


Have a great week.

Debbie Jeffrey



Yes You Can Hear Great Music – Irish Pogues – Wonderful!

English: Shane McGowan of The Pogues early 199...

English: Shane McGowan of The Pogues early 1990s Womad festival Yokohama, Japan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Shared by screenwritinggoldmine.com ‘s newsletter, the lyrics are written.  We can read and hear  them.  Credited to Irish Singer, Shane Macgowan, whose music is a blend of punk rock and traditional Irish music, I loved it.
When you have a hearing issue, you can use Geemarc amplified headphones CLA3. (A small stock is currently on Ebay in the auction under the name ‘deafhearingwellbeing’).  They’ve got soft earpads and I wear them over hearing-aids.  You can have one pad above the microphone; you’ll get instant bone conduction as well!

Or there’s the Geemarc CLA7 mini-hearing loop, also on Ebay if you prefer not to have anything else attached to your head!
Enjoy!  This is the first one:

<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/27iJsZpQn3A” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

Happy listening


Debbie Jeffrey


How to talk on the phone – What? I’m a Grown-Up


Bluetooth Handset Video

Bluetooth Handset Video (Photo credit: mightyohm)

Put the  amplified phone to your hearing-aid and the squeal will be heard by the person standing next to you.

Accepted theory is that you should put the handset at 45 degrees to your head.  Have you tried doing that in an office?  Jokers abound.  There has to be an easier way.  So I try the new hearing-aid on the speaking clock:

“At the first stroke it will be ten, forty-nine and three seconds.”

Or something like that.  Then you hear three piercing beeps.  Actually if they are quiet, you should wonder about your hearing.

Pressing the handset into the side of your head hurts.  It hurts for long after you put the phone down and it leaves an imprint in the side of your head.  Bad hair day anyone?

So shimmy.  What?  It’s a cross between sliding the handset across your ear which will cause instant feedback and giving it tiny shakes as it passes about 2.5 cm above your ear.  It can be at the top, middle, side bottom of your ear.  Regrettably, you are on your own here as only you know the best place.  If you turn your head even slightly, you will lose it.  So it isn’t the best option.

Some people take their hearing-aids out to take a call.  The trouble is that their ears don’t process the sound well enough; that’s what the hearing-aid is for.  An Audiological Scientist must have thought about this and wondered why it worked for so many people.  It may be a combination of using bone conduction to amplify through the outside ear and gathering in sound more accurately.  Do you agree?

The resultant hearing-aid has a small tubing that leads off the mould.  It must be gently put into the shell of the ear on the outside world part of your hearing-aid.  I keep meeting people onvinced that the antenna is only for balance and keeping the tubing in place.  Rot.  It makes me hear better via bone conduction in the outer ear.  Tulip or mushroom mould?  Do you have one or know anyone who does?

Using your hearing-aids’ loop settings will minimise feedback and cut background noise.  But you should only have one hearing-aid on loop in case someone comes into the room and offers you chocolate, a flight with Richard Branson to the edge of space (to test our weightless hearing-aids) or the building is on fire and you haven’t noticed.

Practice is key, so that  you don’t look like you’re avoiding putting the phone to your ear.  Besides there is always some office wit who will catch you.

Best of luck.   How do you take a phone call with hearing-aids?


Personal Communication Assistant – why thank you!


“I’ve got one.  Had her for years.” he said and beamed proudly at his wife.

She sighed.  Repeating, even for someone you love must get annoying.

Your loved one deserves a life too.  Some people, who shall remain nameless, say they don’t mind repeating.  It is very naughty, when having a row, to say ‘pardon’?  They have to repeat the daft thing they just said.  Hopefully, they will realise and laugh.  Then the row is over.

It doesn’t work with those who don’t love you.  They promised in a rash moment to repeat ad infinitum and since they work with you, they want to keep the peace.  If they have ordinary hearing and work in a deaf charity, they feel even more obliged to keep repeating whilst pinning a smile.

Maybe there should be a little give here from those of us with a hearing issue.  If you insist on constant repetition, there is something amiss with your hearing.  With me a beginner, very gentle Audiologist took two points of reference on a hearing test and drew a straight line between them.  This led an infatuated Consultant to insist that my hearing hadn’t changed in 15 years.

It wasn’t till I had new hearing devices that the misdiagnosis became obvious.  I couldn’t hear my parents and my personal communication assistant was in a right strop, saying he had not signed up to repeat every word but also that, obviously, I had to give the new devices a chance.  Sometimes,  we have to rely on ourselves.  It is our hearing and only we know what it is like.  Have yours checked.  Make sure you see the audiogram.   In the UK , audiologists are for some odd reason, shy of giving out this information.  It’s just needed to match it to hearing-aids and equipment.

Everyone has to play fair.  It was an Audiologist with thirty years’ experience, who saved me.  There was also a new policy which meant a follow-up appointment: a first and in a recession as well  Often the government gets it right.  We should applaud those times.


One Of A Kind (CCL Hearing Wellbeing copyright 2012)

Non-Technie, Not Practical, Say It Differently

Today is one of those that started well and then all the machines in the place you are, have stopped working. It’s as though some man’s hand has turned off the knobs so tightly that you can’t get them to work. Except there are no men here. So you push and pull and tug and nothing happens.

In defeat, you wipe your hand across the tap and water splashes out. Yippee! Small snag is those taps were decorative after all.

So next time someone doesn’t hear you, don’t give up. Think of another way to say it. If you believe you are above this, say the sentence, whilst looking in a mirror and without hearing your own voice. Not a whisper. That’s cheating! Just waggle your lips up and down and see if you can lip-read yourself.

Nine out of ten people realise how difficult they just made life for a hearing-assisted partner.

Make their day. Life is too short for taps with design faults.


The Angel Islington London 2012 Hearing Wellbeing 2012)

Can’t Hear Your Own Voice?


Everyone has days where hearing is great.  Sometimes it drops slightly with a head cold.  Think of that slight drop and know that is permanently like that for some people.

What happens when your own voice sounds weird?  When you have ordinary hearing, you dismiss it.  When you have a hearing issue*, you think you have mispronounced the word.

Can’t Hear Your Own Voice?

Apart from managing hearing, I have not heard of a definite way to stop hearing loss.  No need to worry as it usually takes years.

One solution is to try to keep what you have now.  To make an audio dictionary, we want actors who speak words accurately.  Naturally we need one from every country and language on the planet.  Later we can do regional variations except we need an American and a British actor straight off as the vocabulary is different. You might say the same for Brazilian and Portuguese.  Your call.

Wanted: Speakers not Squeakers. 

Hearing loss happens frequently amongst the high notes.  Having said that, most actors and actresses can change the pitch of their voices.  Choose a man or a woman.

Which actor/actress speaks your language the best?

We will choose the top three and make in a poll for hearing-aid users.  They are also experts in language.

*Hearing only has to drop a tiny amount for you to mis-hear the beginning or end of words.

Please do this.  You will make a difference to someone’s life.


Orange (CCL Hearing Wellbeing 2012)

Postman Knocks Once And Jumps Up And Down

Gordonia axillaris (Fried Egg Plant) - cultivated

Gordonia axillaris (Fried Egg Plant) – cultivated (Photo credit: Arthur Chapman)

Weird postmen?  Possibly.  They wear plugs with long white leads which look like elongated hearing-aids.  You can imagine my stare at my first-ever ipod!

“I heard there is a deaf person that* lives here?” (*who)

“Who on earth told you that?”

Popping eyes, blank, somewhat panicked stare and  the usual incoherent burble that passes for talking when you’re concentrating on something else.

“No I’m not sorry. ” he said clearly.

“Excuse me?!”

He points at a letter with my name on.

“I had to attract your attention.”

There was not really any need for him to jump up and down outside.  He was of above average width and wore a fluorescent orange jacket, probably to stop him from being run over, although why you would run over a fried egg, I don’t know.

I apologised.  The new doorbell has arrived but the guy wants two and I insist on one.   Two looks stupid.  Oh and he wants me to sit between the alarm on loud – 90 dB max. and himself in another room.

Ah, when he’s here, he can have it in his outer office.  Blast his ears off.

I want it on minimum sound and prefer it to flash.  Great that’s sorted.   Now I just have to remove old doorbell.  Easier said than done.  I have been thinking to hit it with a wooden rolling pin, but smashed doorbell attached to office would not look good.  It would also attract unwanted attention and scare Mexican bean postman.  Any ideas?