Today was a time for keeping appointments and looking after a great-grandchild. My wife and I did the early morning shopping with the help of the little whippersnapper; then it was time for the first appointment at a local clinic for the optician to examine my wife’s eyes. While that was being done, the tiny lad entertained me at a play park by climbing frames, sliding on slides, swinging on swings and running for the sheer joy of it. Falling into mud and getting the bottoms of his trousers wet was all part of the fun. Sodden grass and mud were the complementary ingredients that made for a fine outing.
After lunch it was time for my dental appointment and the extraction of a very recalcitrant, rotten tooth that did not want to part from a jaw where it had lodged for more than seven decades. But the gentle maiden with the needle and pincers had a stronger will, and by brute force she levered the stubborn object to and fro until the root gave way. She placed a wad of encapsulated cotton wool into the cavity and told me to bite on it for twenty minutes, by which time the blood should have congealed and the anaesthetic worn off.
She was right. Feeling returned to my lips and gums, and the blood stopped flowing. I could talk again and look quite normal after having the appearance of one stricken with a stroke, the side of my face limp and loose and the corner of my mouth turned down. Back at home I gratefully removed the bloodstained wad that partially protruded from my lips while enhancing the grotesque image of a stroke victim.
I examined the instructions for those who have tooth extractions and bewailed the fact that I was to be denied hot drinks for the rest of the day and that I should have to rinse my mouth with hot salty water after every meal for the next five days. Avoidance of alcohol was not a problem, as I seldom drink it, except on special celebratory occasions, even then, just a wee dram. If pain should set in, I could take refuge by helping myself to Paracetamol tablets, and as a last resort I could phone the advice line. I wasn’t to rinse my mouth today, and avoid strenuous exercise, as if I felt like doing it!
And so the day flashed by, and soon it was dark. ‘Sharpy’, my boat in the making, would have to wait until an appropriate moment when I shall use my tools to continue her creation and shape her into a vessel with a joyful spirit.