How was your weekend? Mine was pretty nice. For a start off, having my teeth uncaged on Friday meant that I could finally indulge my desires for fizzy drinks and random snacking. So far I’ve had cranberry juice, coke, hazelnut syrup latte and a caramel Wispa. No apples as yet; I’m a little scared to bite down on things, as I have this irrational fear that my front teeth will fall out and I’ll be back to square one, but give me a week or two and I’ll get over it. I am still conscious of the effects on teeth of too much sugar – even without the brace – so I will be trying to keep up the good work and not indulging too much. But it’s great to know that if I do fancy an afternoon flapjack, I can do so without any guilt, and it won’t result in unsightly brown staining on my teeth. My sugar-sacrifice for the last six months has paid off though, as there’s not a hint of decalcification to be seen; in fact, my teeth are so white and straight, it’s like looking in the mirror and seeing Donny Osmond. Or Simon Cowell. Actually, no, they’re better than that as they look really natural, not too perfect. But I am no longer a contender for the Big Book of British Smiles for which I offer up a nightly prayer of gratitude to the NHS and Cosham’s QA hospital.
The actual removal was better than expected; I had geared myself up for 45 minutes of poking and prodding in the dentist’s chair to get them off, but was pleasantly surprised when they were all off and done in 10. What then did take longer was having my teeth “sandblasted” with some kind of greenish-grey crap (which consequently dribbled all down my chin and made me look like I’d been trying to eat liquorice and missing my mouth) in order to glue a bonded retainer behind the back of my front teeth to stop them moving again.
I also have a set of lovely night braces to wear, pretty much for the rest of my life. They’ve moved on since the last time I had them, though, and are more like a gumshield than something that covers the entire roof of the mouth. I can actually speak when wearing them, which is a step forward, and you can hardly see them as they’re so clear. I have to wear them every night for a year, and then can go down to once every other night. The irony is that on Friday I was so pleased not to have a fixed brace on – transfixed by the novelty of running my tongue along my teeth and not snagging it to shreds – that I completely forgot to put on the night brace. Whoops! (I’d better not mention this to my orthodontist.) Luckily, it still fitted the next night and I will make sure I don’t forget in future, as I have no desire to go through all this tooth business again – twice in ten years is enough, thanks.
In order to celebrate my new smile, S decided to take me out for dinner on Saturday night. He has been embroiled for the last 12 weeks in a complicated purchase of a new titanium frame mountain bike (I believe this is good because it’s lighter, but I tend to zone out when listening to bike tech specs), which has developed into a highly contentious issue between him and the owner of the company. The originally delivery time was 3-4 weeks, but three months on, the frame is still in China and waiting to be shipped – and there’s not even the excuse of an ash cloud to justify the delay. In the end, frustrated with the wait and the fact he couldn’t ride or train for a race he has at the end of May, he agreed last week to take one of the steel frames which had arrived, rather than waiting an even more indefinite period for the titanium. This steel frame also has the added bonus of being a lot cheaper, so he decided to splash some of the spare cash on a meal for me and my new teeth. We ended up going to local Caribbean restaurant Plantations where we hit their buffet in style – jerk chicken, curried goat, callaloo, aubergine with scallions, rice & peas, Creole salad, fried plantains, dumpling and coleslaw. God, it was good. And god, I was full afterwards. That’s the trouble with buffets, it’s difficult to know when to stop. We had to roll ourselves delicately home and slump on the couch, watching Leon (another one on the list of S’ must-see films for me) whilst waiting for our stomachs to deflate.
Sunday saw S taking out the bike for the first time and so I was relegated to my usual bike widow status. Despite the rubbish weather (it’s May! Where is the sun?) I decided to go along with friends and support our local city farm’s fundraiser event. As well as helping the farm’s financial future, it also provided me with an injection of cute in the form of watching baby chickens and fluffy yellow goslings all cheeping and running over each other. Our entry fee included food, and I have discovered that I appreciate nature a lot more when I have a half of Thatcher’s Gold in my hand and a delicious sweetcorn and chickpea frittata with wild garlic pesto and plum sauce, courtesy of Café Maitreya (which is next on the must-go-to restaurant list).
I also spent time poking around the garden, something I’m getting more and more into. A few weeks ago I did a big planting – rocket, lettuce, chives, sweetcorn, courgettes, squash, mint, strawberries and sunflowers – and so I like to potter out there, checking the seedlings’ progress and ensuring that they’ve got the right amount of water and light. My approach to gardening is a tad experimental but, touch wood, nothing untoward has happened so far and I’m confident this year of beating last year’s crop of four courgettes and six strawberries. Here’s hoping, anyway.