Eureka! What a difference a year - and some quality hearing aids - made to my sanity. Not that I am yet in need of one of these devilish little devices but my magnificent parents were, even though they have long professed loudly (but still barely audible over the excessive volume of the television, which could have been helped using a TV listener) that there was absolutely nothing wrong with their hearing. One of the corniest jokes about being hard of hearing runs thus: Three retirees, each with a hearing loss, were taking a walk one fine March day. One remarked to the other, "Windy, isn't it?" "No," the second man replied, "It's Thursday." And the third man chimed in, "So am I. Let's have a drink." The trouble is that last Christmas resembled a constant version of that joke on a loop - not quite so funny. Then at last, having missed conversation, strained to hear the television and retreating into afternoon snoozes and books they agreed they needed help. So, forced to acknowledge the inevitable - step in Hearing Direct. Fast forward to this Christmas and wow - they heard me, they heard my sister, they joined in on the after dinner games, played a part in the conversation, laughed at the jokes over what at last could become - and did become - a relaxed and very long lunch. It was a completely different Christmas experience, and, as the baby daughter and the hostess I have to say it was actually a complete joy to have the aged ones to stay. Now, before I progress further I must declare my interest - I speak as 'girlfriend of' Hearing Direct. I am the one who does a little mental cheer each time there is a sale (thank you one and all) as little by little it proves that my beloved's dream of doing business a different way and cutting those massive overheads and deliver savings to you the customer is vindicated. Trite I know but it makes me proud although I did vow to keep him supplied with cheap Rioja and cheese if his dream prove unfulfilled and I stick by that hugely generous offer. So, if you are having a look around the Hearing Direct site and have chanced upon this blog I urge you to buy; not because of the difference it will make to your life and the sanity of your family and not because I know I can vouch for the quality and commitment of the team that wait to help you and indeed the products they stake their reputation upon. Buy because my beloved really loves Rioja and it will cost me a fortune if I have to honour my pledge!