The wind howled through the rigging, as I checked my Contessa 32 on her mooring at the weekend. I was pleased to see the cockpit cover had not blown away and the boat sat sweet as a nut on her marsh sheltered chain in the ancient Essex Creek. ‘Safe’, as my chav milkman would say.
Then I tripped on a deckline and tapped my face against the rigging. A piece of shrivelled mercury fell from my mouth as a childhood filling gave up the ghost and left me with half a molar. Soon the pain set in and the left side of my jaw ballooned like a face from the Beano.
Once back ashore I called my dentist. The recorded voice of the sweet and phoney practice receptionist – who looks like a female Roger Daltrey – told me to call NHS Direct ‘Emergency Dental Service.’ I did so and a friendly Geordie lass took my date of birth, area code and addiction details down before giving me another number to ring. This one was an American voicemail which directed me to leave a message.
That was on Saturday. On Sunday I went through the same procedure. On Monday I went to the doctor, Krishna Chatervedi, who told me I should go to the dentist. I told him I had been trying. Good Sikh that he is he was caring and gave me the desired prescription for the anti-biotics required.
As a result of the doctor’s visit I was late for the office and it being production week – when dear reader we are working like billy-o to get you your favourite cruising read out on time – I took a taxi from Fenchurch Street to the Blue Fin Building. My cabbie was female and I regaled her with my weekend. ‘Hate to think of you being in pain,’ she said, and pushed a foil of anti-biotics through the cash window as I paid the fare. ‘I’m half Spanish,’ she explained, ‘my mother in Seville sends them through to me. In Spain you can buy them over the counter.’
They don’t nanny as well as we do in Espana.