Inside my head


I went to the dentist this morning, here in France. Everyone was very friendly and efficient, and if I had cinq minutes, the receptionist would have a quick word with le docteur. Deux minutes later (I told you they were efficient) I was in The Chair. He is clearly a happy chap, singing away to himself. He poked around a little and said he would need un radio - (x-ray) and showed me through to another room. Here was a floor-standing apparatus with which I soon became intimately familiar, clenching part of it between my front teeth and gripping other designated parts with either hand. Monsieur le Docteur and his assistant left the room and closed the door, after which the major portion of the equipment roared and whirred and rotated about my head.

The upshot of all this is that the crown won't go back, I need a bridge. This is something I have to look forward to when I get back to England. However, I have a 'panorama numerique' of my head (well, my jaw), which Monsieur le Docteur kindly put on CD for me to give to my own dentist.
He's more machine now, than man.


By way of a stark contrast with the panoramic x-ray machine, once outside the limits of the little town there is just forest and farmland. I saw a pine marten loping back into the trees. This would normally be enough to brighten my day, but then, just before the turning to the house, was a young deer grazing at the edge of the road. I stopped the Landrover. The deer lifted its head, looked at me for a moment, then continued to graze. The second I reached for my camera it must have remembered that it is supposed to run away. Off it trotted - quite casually, frankly - into the trees on the opposite side of the road. With part of me disappointed that I didn't get a photograph, and part of me surprised I even had half a chance, I put the car into gear and set off again. As I drove past the spot where it went into the woods it was still there, staring back at me over its shoulder.

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