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When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad....

PUBLISHED: 09:18 26 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:10 27 June 2017




Crossed off my list this week – pork crackling.

I’ve still got raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens there... but none of those favourites breaks my teeth.

It was Fathers’ Day lunch last Sunday, c. 1.45pm. As usual, I timed it for 1pm but, as usual, it was three-quarters of an hour late. We sat down to pork loin with crackling, tied up with strings – which had been one of my favourite things. But as I munched a piece of crackling, two lumps 
of tooth fell away like icebergs from glaciers except for the slabs of silver filling. I retrieved one nugget of tooth but, as for the other piece, I must have 
swallowed it.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if both teeth had been in the same area of my mouth but one was a bottom right molar and the other a top left molar, rendering me unable to chew on either side. I can nibble but not very effectively, as my top and bottom teeth do not engage at the front. They never used to be out of alignment; they’ve been secretly shifting position like that forest of walking trees in Lord of the Rings.

It’s not the first time I have shed part of a tooth. The first time, I was eating lettuce, which just shows how an innocuous-looking green leaf can harbour hidden menace.

On Monday, I rang the dentist, who managed to fit me in with an emergency appointment after lunch – a repast I was forced to suck into submission. Dr Tooth (names have been changed to protect the innocent) temporarily fixed me up pending a proper appointment... when he gets back from his holiday, next week. In the meantime, I suppose I should be grateful that I’m not whistling or lisping. I’m just hungry.

Until then, I have limited ability to grind, which as any omnivore worth his or her salt knows, is a necessity. The weather, however, means soup – except for gazpacho – is out of the question. My diet for at least the next 10 days will consist almost entirely of food that disappears when sucked. Crisp apple strudels are out, as is schnitzel with noodles. I have, instead, a new and close relationship with Cheesy Wotsits. Today’s special is vanilla ice cream with banana and maple syrup... just like yesterday. Many foods are now inaccessible unless swallowed whole. A box of Toffifee was tempting but I had to discard the hazelnut in the middle. Other things beyond my bite are crusts, raw vegetables, toast, Yorkshire puddings, burger buns, crisps... many of the things that make eating fun. Within my range are custard, rice, yoghurt, dunked biscuits and porridge. I shall not be liquidising salads.

My teeth are not great, although (at time of writing) I do have them all... except for the broken bits. I don’t mind going to the dentist, although I tend to grip the arms of The Chair so hard that my knuckles go white and I have been known to bite down onto the dentist’s fingers. It’s just nerves.

My mood is affected by the ambience in the surgery. I had one dentist who had a picture of happy people in what I took to be heaven on the ceiling, above the chair of doom. I would gaze at it through my plastic goggles. A picture of the afterlife, however joyous, is not conducive to relaxation.

My next dentist played chamber music; mostly soothing... although violins occasionally produce similar notes to the dentist’s drill. Currently, it’s a popular music radio station – maybe the same one that really gets on my nerves in the doctors’ waiting room. When I am feeling a little anxious, the last thing I need is the additional misery of having to listen to current pop songs. If silence is golden, speech is silver, then Drab Playlist FM with intermittent commercial breaks for double glazing is lead balloon. I know. Yes, I know I can be a difficult woman.

What I want to do in the dentist’s chair is... run. No, seriously, I want to concentrate 
on wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings and silver white winters that melt into springs.

Yes, I want to be Maria in The Sound of Music.

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