Category Archives: Health

The benefits of tooth extraction

What benefits could be derived from an aggressive, partially unsuccessful, tooth extraction, you may ask.

Well, I’m now wearing a pair of jeans I’ve not been able to fasten for a very long time.

So flares* might not exactly be fashionable right now, but the important thing is that the jeans fit once more.

There’s another benefit too. Yes, really. I’ve now scientifically proven that excessive beer consumption does not in fact result in a proportionate increase in the size of a man’s midriff. The reduction in my own middle area appears solely to be the result of my two week diet of soup.

While I recognise that a continued soup diet would enable me to maintain my new physique, I fear that this pair of jeans will soon return to the wardrobe.

*they’re not really flares


Dentistry can be pretty barbaric, you know. After 50 minutes in the dentist’s chair, it was decided that I need to be referred to the hospital to have ‘some bone’ removed. That’ll be jawbone I’d imagine.

Meanwhile, I need to avoid hot drinks, solid food, cigarettes and alcohol.


1. I’m still numb

2. I brought a straw

The above is needed to address my post dental trauma shaking.

Beans on toast

Many years ago, I made baked beans from scratch. After the best part of a day in the oven, the beans were still chewy and, despite my best attempts at coercion, my kids refused to eat them. Well, they were pretty horrid.

The episode removed any desire to attempt baked beans again. Until recently. Fed up with cans of beans floating in orange-red, thin sugary slime, I began to think about making my own again.

Fortunately, since my last attempt, the internet was created. So, last night we ate beans on toast.

And they were delicious. Cheap too, a couple of quid and it’d comfortably feed four. Which means tonight’s evening meal will involve leftover beans.

This experience, and our new found fondness for chilli made only with beans, means that legumes will feature more prominently in my diet.


I’m quite enjoying our drive to improve our (disgraceful) state of fitness.

Yesterday’s bike ride, while a little shorter than last week’s, was more stretching.

We cycled to the Schooner this time.

After food, we cycled across the Tyne to the Tyne Bar. Then to Arch 2 and the Cluny.

After a short bike ride into town, we stopped off for a rest at the Town Mouse.

And the Head of Steam.

And the Bridge Hotel.

There might also have been a nightcap in our local.


My second in command bought me a watch for Christmas. I don’t like eearing a watch, but I do wear one for work.

But, last autumn-ish, I came across this beautiful thing.

Mine’s the one on the left, the middle one’s still in development.

Anyway, it’s pretty just a fitness-type watch, except it’s human powered. By body heat.

I started wearing it on Friday night, so one wouldn’t expect much activity. Wednesday was good, but I did walk across half of Manchester.

So, while Friday might have involved a crash after pressing the wrong buttons together, I think that Saturday may be typical for me

My walk around bars today is clearly my healthiest decision of the week.


I once lived with a smoker. It was horrible. Thankfully, I don’t live with one now.

I couldn’t do that again.

That might seem shallow, but the smell isn’t nice. To a non-smoker, it’s pretty disgusting.


I’ve come to realise that toes are underrated. After damaging one of mine with a large axe yesterday, I’ve found walking to be a difficult undertaking. 

Our plans for today have been modified to prevent further damage. 

Health Service

I went to see the dentist today; for a filling. When I was seated in the chair, she asked whether I would like anaesthetic. Or not. 

On observing my expression of sheer terror, she said that I could try a filling without an injection, but that I could signal for anaesthetic should I experience any discomfort. Since my new dentist is a five foot tall twelve year old, I felt it necessary to feign courage and decline the injection. 

She then pointed out that I only had to raise an arm if I needed her to stop. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stop myself from assuring her that, if I felt pain, I’d wave both arms in the air. 

And it didn’t hurt at all. Which meant that the experience was over very quickly. Much to my second in command’s surprise (she’d been in the dentist’s chair for forty minutes or so). 

Since I’d decided not to return to work, I went home to for lunch. Acknowledging that a trip to the dentist must be followed by a pint of beer, I had a walk to town, via the chemist. My visit to the chemist was non-tooth related; I needed to pick up stronger blood pressure medication. Yes, sadly my new drugs aren’t quite working as well as expected, so the strength needed to be increased. Once more my argument that I have a superhuman, highly evolved and efficient, vegan heart failed to persuade my doctor that I don’t need medication. 

While in Boots, waiting for the pharmacist to finish a consultation with a terminally ill man (he seemed to have a cold), I noticed the steady trickle of young men who appeared to be queue-jumping by securing service via a secret door. And then I observed one young man tear open his prescription bag, remove a small bottle and drink the contents in a couple of gulps. Ah, methodone. 

After my prolonged stay in Boots, I had a walk down to Station East, where I had a very nice pint of Budvar. 

Followed by the Central and an excellent Out There beer. I realise that’s two pints, rather than a usual single post-dentist pint, but there are reasons to make an exception. 

1. The post-dental pint traditionally occurs in the Isis (or Ship Isis, depending on which variant of the name you prefer), in Sunderland. The need for my second in command to return to work necessitated my post-dental pint taking place in Gateshead. 

2. The additional stress endured when the no anaesthetic option was presented to me could not be allieviated by a single pint of beer. 

3. There’s a direct correlation between the amount of beer I drink and reduced blood pressure. 

Oh, I did say I was walking to town didn’t I? The Box Social it is then. 

And why is it so commonly referred to a dentist’s chair, when the dentist isn’t the one in the chair?