Filling groovy

If someone had told me forty years ago that one day I'd be standing in my house in Malaga with a digital camera in my mouth I would have taken a long, slow sip of my pint of mild, popped another pork scratching in my mouth and questioned their sanity in no uncertain terms.

Back then, I didn't even know where Malaga was, digital cameras hadn't been invented and it had never occurred to me that taking a photo of one's own teeth might one day become an actual thing.

Tomorrow, I'm going to see José, my outstanding dentist because during lockdown, one of my many fillings decided that it would be a perfect moment to cling to a Rolo I was chewing and desert its post without so much as a 'by your leave'. José's secretary answered the phone.


"Hi - a Rolo's run off with one of my fillings."

"Ok, we'll need a photo of the damage. Can you take one on your phone so we can assess the urgency."

Uh-oh. I never use my phone for anything but, well, phoning people actually. Awkward.

"Sorry, I don't know if it's got a camera and, even if it has, I don't know how to use it."

I think she whispered something involving the words 'old' and 'codger' under her breath at this point but I may have been mistaken.

"Don't worry," I said, "I can send you a photo."

It dawned on me that in a drawer somewhere, I had an actual camera. Phones for phoning, cameras for photos - those were the days. I dug it out, changed the congealed batteries, got distracted by some old pictures of, among other weird things, my right foot, and got down to business.

Taking a photo of your own molars isn't easy, let me tell you - lens angle, distance and lighting all need to be considered.

Anyway a good while later, having amassed a plethora of entirely useless tongue, gum and lip shots, I managed to take a definitive snap.

It just looked like a load of teeth and fillings to me but José's secretary said it was good and gave me an appointment for non-urgent dental shenanigans.

I can't arrive too early or too late apparently in order to avoid other patients. "11.40 on the dot," she said in a voice that reminded me of Mrs Battersby, the sternest of all my school teachers.

It'll be good to see José, although I must remember not to complain too much about this mask-wearing business. After all, he's had one of the pesky blighters on eight hours a day, five days a week for the last thirty-five years.