Apart from the ponytail, Muriel's most attractive feature was the way she held one's gaze in a very direct and significant manner. Remembering the spectacles worn whilst she played the piano I realise now that this was not a subconscious signal, but an attempt to focus.
Deficiencies of eyesight were very common among our group -- a surprising number had eyes which operated independently. Jean from number 14 was a very lively girl and self appointed spokesperson for members of that gentler sex. Like her mother, the typical stance was with hands on hips. She wore spectacles all the time, one lens covered with a pink plaster. In conversation she would tilt her head so that the clear eye was higher than the plastered eye. A complementary tilt in return was not appreciated.
Her claim to fame was selection as 'Lockhurst Lane Co-Operative Society Pageant Princess 1948'. She was horse-drawn in a parade through local streets sitting on a throne of milk churns covered with a blanket, and attended by the local church Brownie troop. On this most auspicious of occasions she did not wear her spectacles and must have been almost completely blind.
Another generic weakness was the condition of teeth. Any problem with a tooth, however slight, and automatic treatment seemed to involve its extraction. Fillings were virtually unknown. Among adults a common philosophy favoured losing the lot in one visit, saving subsequent time and trouble.
My visits to the dentist are deeply etched in memory. Refusal to open the mouth for injection meant application of the dreaded Mickey Mouse face mask under physical restriction until submission to gas. That sense of clammy rubber and suffocation are with me still.
Maybe some things have improved ...