Friend stayed for weekend. We haven't seen her a great deal since we left the steaming metropolis. In intervening years, she has gone blind...completely blind. What was particularly noticeable was that though she was always a good conversationalist, she has now become an exceptional one. Her sentences and stories are all so finely nuanced and crafted. She listens to others with frightening accuracy and turns everything that comes her way into an opportunity for gentle irony and fun.
From this, I take it that all those injunctions to look people in the eye when you are talking to them, well, it is just a load of bunkum. It could be just as effective to sit around dinner tables blindfolded...or else with loads of time, money, proper Indian Tea and gin and tonics. This last bit because the only other person I've ever met who could match her for conversational skills was a magnificent friend of my mothers who was effectively HEed and raised in the last days of the Raj.