Hazel Dawkins' Blog

I’m an editor-writer whose career began in London’s newspaper world. Later I worked in Paris and New York. For years, I was based in bucolic western Massachusetts. In 2019, I moved back to England, partly to research a book, partly to be near family.

My factual books on behavioral optometry, a specialty in optometry that is available in 40 countries, are published by (and available from) the OEP Foundation 
(www.oepf.org) the professional organization for optometrists. One of the handbooks, Focus Your Mind's Eye, case histories of people whose health and learning problems were helped by optometric vision therapy, is available from: teamdawkins
@aol.com; 1 copy is $10 (postage included), please put Book Order in the subject line; for 2 or more copies, $6 each. Checks or money orders only & be sure to include your snail mail address.

Below, you'll find more information about my books, as well as ordering links.

March 26, 2016.

Here's a photo of Hyde Park, specifically the Speakers' Corner, Dear reader(s), here are more thoughts from the UK, blended with real time in the US. (P.S., I know, a postscript doesn't belong at the start of communication, but when I Googled Speakers' Corner, I discovered that a few years ago, other Speakers' Corners were begun around the world (including the UK). The various photos were great fun, so I suggest that if you want to do so, you Google Speakers' Corner. End of P.S.)

The astounding and humiliating lack of collaboration and cooperation in Washington, D.C. was in full bloom––and in your face––as it had been for the last few years. It's possible that the death of Justice Scalia wasn't the last situation that puts antagonism and a deliberate lack of collaboration and cooperation front and center. We won't dive into the murky waters of the current presidential campaigning, except to suggest that folks may want to Google "Oswald Mosley." Back in the day, when I worked on a newspaper in London, a Sunday outing inevitably included Hyde Park to listen to people pontificating at Speakers' Corner (more Googling if you wish). Speakers' Corner was located on the north-east edge of Hyde Park, near Marble Arch and Oxford Street. In 1872, an act of the British parliament set aside this part of Hyde Park for public speaking.

June 2020 Sadly, in their wisdom, the government closed the Speakers' Corner at Hyde Park. Even in the 21st century, it was not unusual to find crowds gathering at Speakers' Corner on a Sunday morning to listen to enthusiasts expounding their views.I'm a venerable senior but still not old enough (honestly) to have seen or heard historic figures such as Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and George Orwell at Speakers' Corner but they were at the Corner frequently, demonstrating the right to free speech. It used to be that anyone could turn up unannounced at the Corner to speak on any subject, however, there was one caveat: as long as the police consider their speeches lawful. It's not clear whether the police would consider the speech of one specific US presidential candidate (yes, he's Republican) lawful. And yes, there was discussion about denying this individual's entry to the UK but upon consideration, it was decided that continuing the open entry policy was appropriate. No telling what would happen if that person had decided to share his appalling xenophobic braggadocio at Speakers' Corner.

Certainly, a visit to the UK by he of the hair did happen. UK media had a field day as well as great fun (rather than cry, we joked our way through the Blitz, that horrific time of strategic bombing of the UK by Nazi Germany during WWII and yes, I am old enough to recall the Blitz). Queen Elizabeth had her annus horribilis; in May & June of 2020, the US endured a plethora of anni horribilis packed into days of horrendous treatment of peaceful protesters decrying the death of George Floyd. The shocking figures are that each year, the US police kill over 1,000 people. No wonder signs exist like: STOP KILLING US. Change must come. Above all, vote & vote with clarity.

March 22, 2016

Mother Nature has gifted us two mornings in a row with light snow. I use the word "gifted" because although the lawns and housetops (I'm using the word 'housetops' because I'm caught between the UK & US language, is it roofs or rooves?) sparkled with white the roads are clear and even my car was free of snow when I went out yesterday (sunshine melted every last flake). Now I know I'm not supposed to be happy about this because obviously our freakish New England winter is a mega sign of climate change (yes, Donald T., there is climate change), but after the winter of 2015, it is such a relief not to have huge snowfalls, a lot of ice and temperatures in the low-low-low range. Interestingly, I receive frequent letters from my utility supplier exclaiming what a wonderful conservator I am, keeping my utility use so low. That is strange because surely their business is to sell lots of their utility. What's even stranger is that I followed the advice of a friend & keep my heat at a comfortable level (course, the two small oil-filled radiators I have mean I don't use the electric baseboard heat). It is surprising that I am apparently a low utility user because mostly I'm home, hunched over my desk, writing (OK, trying to write). Apart from popping out for yoga classes (useful for unhunching self) and shopping errands, I am mostly in my apartment (well, there are occasional meals out with friends, potlucks to enjoy, and game nights that consist of playing games such as "Wise & Otherwise," or "Boggle," plus all sorts of words games. You'd think that because I'm home so much, it would mean my utility use would be high. Of course, as a Brit., I much prefer to put on a sweater or two to turning up the thermostat. Heavy clothing & the occasional cup of tea help keep me comfy––so does running up & down the stairs in my building (in the spirit of accuracy, I add that doesn't happen too often).
I wonder how you, dear reader, keep warm & comfy? Perhaps you flee south? Or go snow-shoeing (feel free to let me know)? I grew up in the south...of England. Bournemouth. Lovely place. Eleven miles of sandy beaches (not to be confused with Brighton's beach, which is all large pebbles, they make a ghastly crunching noise when you walk on them). No, the Bournemouth beaches are sandy & we even have palm trees on the cliffs & elsewhere (truly). This is because of the Tropical Gulf Stream that tips the top of the UK, goes out to see & swings back in over the Bournemouth area to bring decent temps & some of the most sunshine-y days in the UK. Not until I moved away did I realize/realise (US/UK again) how moderate the climate was in my hometown. In fact, when I visited one of my sisters who had moved after many years in London to a small & charming village a few hours below Bournemouth, I discovered how c-c-c-old it was. I needed a hot water bottle for the August nights. Turned out the Tropical Gulf Stream hadn't visited the area around the village. More burblings from the diary (as in blog) of a Victorian, er, 21st-century person eventually. 

March 16, 2016

It's generally accepted that one picture is worth a thousand words. Here's one (eventually two) that I enjoy. Hope you do, also.

One glance at the photo & you can see it's of the National Arts Club, which is on Gramercy Park South in Manhattan. It's where Dr. Yoko worked (the night shift) when she was studying at the College of Optometry. It's an interesting contrast with the second photo that I'm posting. The New York photo shows city buildings. The second photo shows buildings in England, in the bustling town of Christchurch. You can see the 11th-century Christchurch Priory in the background of the photo. The nearby rose garden is where Dr. Yoko struggled for her life with a maniac determined to murder her. 

Let me explain that both the places shown in the photos (New York's Gramercy Park National Arts Club & Christchurch) are places where I have spent time. I lived in Manhattan for many years & I also lived near Christchurch, about 4 miles away. When I visited family & friends in England, we spent a lot of time walking in the countryside around Christchurch & often end up lunching at one of the many delightful eateries near the Christchurch Priory. The last time I walked with a friend across the marshy area toward Christchurch, a swan took off along the River Stour. We stopped, entranced by the sound of its wings and feet on the water as the swan launched its body into the air. For a moment, I felt a delicious sense of being airborne but I walked on into Christchurch on pedestrian feet.  

Book News

Just in the event you, dear readers, need links to my factual books on optometric vision therapy, here you will find both of them.

Since first publishing The Suddenly Successful Student & Friends, I have revised and updated it to keep pace with the innovations and changes in optometric vision therapy.

The Suddenly Successful Student & Friends, A Guide to Overcoming Learning & Behavior Problems 
by Hazel Dawkins & Drs. E. Edelman and C. Forkiotis

The current (4th) edition provides an overview of behavioral optometry––a specialty in the field of optometry that is available in forty countries. Read the facts about this valuable health care as well as case histories that illustrate how optometric vision therapy can help vision imbalances that are triggering learning, behavior and health problems. Whether it's difficulty learning to read, attention-deficit hyperactivity, autism, migraines, or depression––whether the patient is young or old, healthy or traumatic brain injured––when this therapy helps bring balance to vision, often the problems are reduced, even eliminated.

Optometric vision therapy has helped countless people whose eyesight was excellent but whose vision was not. Even individuals with excellent vision value optometric vision therapy: U.S. Olympic medalists and professional and amateur sports teams, including the New York Yankees, Chicago Black Hawks, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Mariners and the Dallas Cowboys. From the chapter, "Why Do Children Fail," to "It's Never Too Late," and the helpful "Your Infant's Vision, A Home Guide for Parents," this handbook offers a brief overview of a beneficial health care. 

(Reviews from pediatricians, general practitioners and best-selling author Allan Cott, M.D., a New York psychiatrist.)

Kindle ebook, with photos:

Paperback, 88 pages (available ONLY from oepf.org)
http://www.oepf.org/product/OEPSSS ($12, plus postage)

Focus Your Mind's Eye
by Hazel Dawkins

This concise paperback, published by the OEP Foundation in 2001, contains case histories of adults whose learning, health and behavior problems were triggered by imbalances in their vision system.

If you purchase this book from me, the cost is £6 or $10, postpaid (£4 or $6 each for 2 or more copies to same address).  
Email me at teamdawkins@aol.com (include words: "Book Order" in subject line), include your snail mail address, and I'll provide mailing address for sending payment by check or money order. 

Focus Your Mind's Eye is also available for $12.95 plus postage from: www.oepf.org: