Down in the mouth

WELL I know it hurts, and not even a gallon of red wine seems to ease the pain in my tooth.So later this week I shall be having root canal work - whatever that is - at the dentist.

WELL I know it hurts, and not even a gallon of red wine seems to ease the pain in my tooth.

So later this week I shall be having root canal work - whatever that is - at the dentist.

I'm not sure what to expect really but I've heard its going to hurt.

The problem is that at my time of life (early to mid 20s - honestly), things start to go wrong:

Once-thick hair thins alarmingly

An aching back can be stiff in the morning.

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Hangovers take longer to get over.

Eating too much late at night isn't pleasant.

Falling over isn't funny anymore.

It was the merest crunch of breakfast cereal, you see, that destroyed my molar. One minute I was munching happily, the next half my tooth had disappeared.

And now, after an emergency filling I have to return to the dentists chair and face more fiddling about in my mouth. To be honest the more I think about it, the more it fills me with dread.

I am highly strung at the best of times, and I can feel the waves of anxiety lapping over me as my date with the drill approaches.

At least colleagues have shown concern. Colin, a top bod at The Evening Star with his own briefcase, asked me when my appointment was.

“Friday Colin,” I replied.

It was at this juncture that news editor Jessica piped up with the words that cut through my heart, like a Norwegian harpoon through a whale.

“With any luck they'll sew your mouth up at the same time,” she announced, to peals of laughter from the assembled crowd.

Naturally I laughed it off, but I was destroyed inside I can tell you.

Hurt and humiliated I retired behind my computer screen and sought solace in a chunky Kit Kat.

Getting old isn't much fun is it?

“I haven't had any death threats yet,” said the editor Nigel Pickover- known in the newsroom to his face as Nigel - as he looked at the comments readers had written about his blog on

“No,” I replied as I took a butchers, “but some fairly personal comments nonetheless.”

You see it was the subject of football, a game I know little and care even less about that elicited so much response.

Enthusiastic tractor boy fan Nigel, had - during his discourse on game - referred to the Watford fans as “allotment men”- this is because, I believe, their ground's stand is like an old shed.

Someone even felt compelled to comment: “Nigel, Please can you tell me how old you are?

It's just that you write like a 15-year-old boy. You opinions about football and your apparent immaturity regarding the Watford game are not too far off playground jeering.

“Allotment Men”? - my 13-year-old niece could come out with something a little more constructive than that besides, if you had actually attended the game you will not have seen the allotments.”

To set the record straight Nigel was at the game and remains unabashed by the comments made - both pleasant and otherwise.

He tells me: “That's our job James. Make sure you get a reaction.”

Well he's certainly done that.

If you want to have your say why not visit the website?

And write to me about my column at Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail

NOT just a minor celebrity on the streets of Ipswich, not just a talented journalist of high repute, not just a handsome lad about town with film star looks, not just a brilliant raconteur and dinner party wit, not just a generous host and magnificent cook, not just any of these things.

No I also play the piano.

Not brilliantly I admit, but not too badly either, and while I'm no Sergei Rachmaninov I can finger my way through a few show tunes and a bit of lounge without too many halting cadences.

So in my search to keep myself challenged at the keyboard and my fingers adept I have taken to internet shopping. There is a website you see where you can buy sheet music, they deliver it to you and it saves so much effort trawling around shops. Also I've noticed shopping on the web isn't like you're spending money at all.

So, as a result I'm expecting to drop through the letter box on the floor of my little Ipswich sitting room is a song about old fashioned millionaires and fences made famous by Eartha Kitt. I'm a bit of a fan you see.

She's still alive as well in case you were wondering. Purrfect.