North Downs and beyond proprietor, Steven Gale (aged 54) has finally had to admit that his eyesight is deteriorating. The 60 year-old blogger was seen to be looking at small writing on packaging with bemusement, holding the offending box at various distances from his head until he could (sort of) make out what the wording read.
"I used to handle 6 point copy no problem", he told reporters today, "but now I cannot read anything that isn't in bold caps and in a clear san-serif font".
Gale (who celebrates his 67th birthday in December) has been observed using reading glasses on several occasions over the past couple of months. Reports have also reached us that his driving has become erratic, he cannot recognise his wife from further than 30m away and his field skills have plummeted even lower than were suspected.
One of his daughters (who wishes to remain anonymous) revealed that he uses a large magnifying glass to go through his moth trap in the morning. "It was so sad", she added, "he was identifying Heart and Darts as Pale Mottled Willows. I saw him totally overlook a Red Underwing, and they're big mothers!"
After squinting at our reporter for a few minutes, Gale did acknowledge that his body was slowly starting to lose its vigour. "It's no surprise that after 58 years my eyes are starting to weaken. But I've still got my hair, all of my teeth (give or take a crown) and I don't think that I'll need a hip or knee replacement for at least several months. For a man of 62, that isn't bad!"