It was back to the local torture chamber yesterday. This would be the one with the tray of shiny pointy instruments, the dodgy glasses and the mouthwash which looks and tastes like what is left in the saucepan after I've strained the sprouts.
Yes, it was back to the dentist yesterday to start the work needed to give me back my smile, because for the last six months I have had a smile like a row of bombed houses after a contretemps with a corn on the cob.
So lying back in the dentist's chair, I prepared myself for what was to come. You might recall that I have spoken about my dentist before. He actually has a sense of humour, and is the most gentle of dentists I have ever had the fortune to know. Lying in the chair with my head at a 45 degree tilt to the right, a pool of dribble forming on my shoulder while three separate pieces of metal probed, sucked and poked, he chatted away about sunshine, Tuesdays, roast chicken and colour swatches (for my tooth, and not curtains or upholstery. Not too sure I'd want a paisley molar). Pausing, he laid one hand on my shoulder. 'How are you doing down there? Alright?'
Now we all know that conversation is nigh on impossible at the dentist's, unless you are walking into the room, or leaving it. I grunted something unintelligible back at him, and he nodded, and told me I was 'doing really well'.
So how the hell did he know what I was implying from my grunting? Was it 'Just fine thank you', or was it, 'I have been sitting here for half an hour while you talk nonsense. I have a numb tooth, a soggy shirt collar, and your dental nurse has a body odour issue which is very apparent when I am tucked into her armpit. My mouth has been open so long now that my jaw has started clicking furiously, and I'm frightened that when you're finished I'll never be able to close it again, living the rest of my life resembling The Wide Mouthed Frog'.
It took about five hours for the numbness to wear off. The husband was at home when I got back, and he said to me that 'as the worst was now done, I should be smiling'.
Oh I would have loved to, trust me...