Seems I fell asleep sometime back in December, as far as the blogosphere goes at any rate. Ah well, not much has happened/loads has happened/the Universe is a completely different place now (delete as you see fit).
Went to the dentist today. Well, I say 'the dentist' but it was the dental hospital, actually. I'm not registered with a practice in Sheffield: you can't find a NHS dentist for love nor money. This allowed me to volunteer as a patient for nervous final-year students to practice on. And it's all free! You donate your time and your teeth. They donate the expertise and the treatment. Mutualism, eh? Symbiosis. Reciprocal back-scratching.
Whatever, my ivory is in pretty decent nick, apart from a small cavity and my perennially loose crown, Left number 1 lower. It went in my mouth in summer 1981, after I damaged my teeth falling from the top of Swastika Crack, a climb on Simonside in Northumberland. I was soloing. Fell about 25-30 feet onto a pile of rocks. Knocked out, bruised and grazed but the only things broken were my teeth. Lucky boy. So lucky. Death came over, had a look at me and decided "nah.."
So yes, the crown. Loose and with an occasional foul discharge from the ugly hole it sits in. They could leave it, they said. I looked appropriately crestfallen. They could take it out, replace it with a bridge. I brightened and it was a done deal. September 14th, out comes the crown. I'll be sad to lose it, so might ask to keep it. It's been an honorary part of my anatomy for 28 years after all.
Out comes the crown, then out comes the truncated incisor it's been standing in for all these years too. Not looking forward to that, all the wrestling with pliers, blood and crunching, then the hole and the gap. The gap will be interesting. I will have to deliver training courses with it, lending me a hissing lisp like the cartoon Lancelot (Sssssire!). It'll give me a piratical edge, perhaps, and once the ugly hole heals over, I might quite like it.
Sometime before xmas though, they intend to fit me with a bridge; another kind of artificial tooth, fixed to one of its neighbours, to restore my smile to its flawed glory. My student dentist is called Sayeda (possible sp.)
Some folk hate the dentist, or the treatment anyroad. I like it, usually. Like the hairdresser or the masseur. I like to lie and be pampered. Being given attention. I came out of there relaxed and calm, therapised, and with a smile on my face.
On the way home, I found a buddleia with flowers of the richest purple, just up the road, much like this one above. I pulled off a heeled cutting and poked it into a pot of compost when I got home. As I watered it, direct from the water butt tap, I saw that the water was full of freshwater shrimps! Little amphipods, Gammarus. The water butt is full of them. How they got there, I have no idea. The only thing that's gone in there is rainwater, so somehow they must have come with the rain, perhaps washed off a bird's leg or something.
Above: a pair of freshwater shrimps yesterday
Soft bugger that I am, I feel sorry for them, as they end up being watered into the various tubs and pots on the patio, to die and dry in the air. I'm planning to run the water through a sieve and put the shrimps in the pond and stream, to boost the community diversity, and provide food for the fish I suppose.