Having got through the hectic Christmas month with so many non-stop visitors that I began to think I was running a guest house, I could no longer ignore the ache in my tooth and plucked up the courage to pop in at the dentist. Predictably, my previous dentist had long since left and gone to greener pastures in the UK. Relieved to recognise at least one secretary from the old days, I tentatively made an appointment with a new young dentist for ten days time. As an afterthought, I mentioned to the secretary that I was also free that day and the following morning in case of any cancellations. Then it occurred to me to mention that should anyone else phone who could be judged to be in greater pain than my own – they would be welcome to get the first appointment. In fact, I persuaded myself, perhaps I was making a mistake and didn’t really need to get my tooth fixed after all. Then it started to hurt. Perhaps it is just childhood memories of a monstrous, growling, menacing drill as big as those they dig up the roads with, that makes me scared of the dentist. I shall have to steel myself when the day comes. After all, by that time, the pain in the tooth will surely have the upper hand.