Watch your step

Wednesday November 10, 2004

To Boston, to keep my deferred appointment at the bank, and to take Graham for his appointment with the dentist.

I got to see the outside of the NHS clinic only, for he was done before I got back, but it looked pleasant enough, and neat, and Graham observed that they did the best they could with the resources to hand. Before digging into his jaw, the dentist wisely decided a full-scale x-ray was needed, and sent him off to the Pilgrim Hospital to get it done. We’d not been there before, either.

“I wonder why they’re sending you to the hospital rather than doing it themselves?” I said as I manoeuvred the car back into the slow-moving traffic jam that is Boston.

“They don’t have the equipment, so it seems. But it doesn’t matter—getting an x-ray at the hospital is free, where you have to pay the full price at the dentist’s.”

“Ah. I hope you said thank you nicely.”

“Of course.”

The Pilgrim Hospital is an impressive place, quiet and business like. And when I looked at the x-ray plate I saw the real point of having it done by professional radiographer with state of the art equipment. It shows the full jaw-line, and all the teeth in one full-plate crystal-clear film. Apparently you stand in a frame while a laser-generated grid is projected on your head, then the x-ray camera revolves right round you. I was quite envious, having only ever had those rather silly card-wrapped jobs you grip between your teeth while a little camera snaps a tiny segment of your jaw and the receptionist makes out a bill for an extra fifty quid.

We shall be taking the plate to the dentist for another appointment on Friday, which is fine, because it’ll give me another chance to plod over the river bridge and through the lesser-known alley-ways of back-street Boston on my way to the market place and a decent cup of coffee.

I like trudging through the back-streets of very old towns, where the ancient alleyways are too narrow for cars, and where, if you’re not careful, history will rub on to your coat from the walls. Or onto your boots, if you’re not wary where you tread.

It was cold today, and I kept my camera in my bag and my hands firmly in my gloves. I shall wrap up warmer on Friday, and see if I can’t get some pictures.


Be careful
You may not think it
when you see me walking
but I am hurrying,
going as fast as I can.
And when, impatient,
you wait behind as I swerve,
be careful… It’s likely
I’m avoiding a turd.
John Bailey, Lincolnshire, 2004



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