Monthly Archives: December 2020

In stitches.

Having had what seems like a mouthful of stitches for the last 2 weeks.. I could tell that they didn’t need to be in there anymore… and also was sick of that ‘ foodtrap rotting food taste that you get ( if you know what I mean ) presumably from the bacteria that infest the end of the stitches… so with the help of Lizzy ( torch holder ) and a small mirror in one hand and a nail scissors in the other.. I just took my stitches out.

Well that feels better straight away.

Anybody need any amateur dentistry…?! 😂


Ok so I’m now reading that ‘ brain fog ‘ is a very common post COVID symptom. Having read the description it’s exactly what I’ve been experiencing for the last 6/8 weeks.

Having had a previous brain injury I’m at more risk of having a neurological problem post COVID than someone who hasn’t.
I didn’t notice any COVID symptoms, so this is conjecture, but I’ve never actually had colds, headaches, the flu etc etc ( unlike most people ) so i wouldn’t be at all surprised if I’d caught COVID and been asymptomatic… but now possibly have a ‘ long COVID’ symptom.

I wonder.. and it would explain my ongoing ( but improving ) brain fog that I definitely have.

This morning I was outside on my terrace, chatting to a friend that had socially distanced climbed over my railing to see me. We were about 10 feet apart ( obviously ).
Anyway… as we talked a fella out walking his dog, past my railings, called up to me and having got my attention said ‘ do you know that Carer of yours watches porn in your living room?
A little taken aback, I laughed and said ‘ oh really?’
He said yes, he does. And it’s hardcore, the sort of stuff that would make my wife’s eyes water ‘

At this point I’m still not taking him seriously, because for one my Help is female, not a ‘ he’.
Also she just doesn’t seem the type to be honest… not that you can tell though I suppose… but still I’d have put money on her probably NEVER having watched porn at all, and more money on it not being in my living room.

The thing is that I have a massive 75 inch telly, and no curtains… and any passer by could feasibly see exactly what was on the telly, from outside on the path. The tv is so big that it would be like watching a sex scene in the Odeon, even when stood outside. …

Then the penny dropped.
My lodger… the Butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth, respectful, deferential, wouldn’t say boo to a goose typa fella…. hmmm I think I’ll look him in the eye and ask him.

So I see him the next day and say ‘ Daniel… my neighbour said he could see you watching porn on my television…’

Porn, he says, what eees thees?

SEX I said… on my telly.

No? He says.

Well he saw you… I said ( calling his bluff … )

Ahhh he said, looking all mystified.. I just for one mineet connected my phone to your TV to try it …

( yeah right.. and porn just forced its way onto your phone at that particular moment, did it? And then once it came on you immediately turned it off… rather than sat down in my armchair and ‘ enjoyed yourself’ …? Hmmmm? ) But I didn’t say that.. I just laughed internally and told him to watch sex on his own ( bloody ) TV in future.

Hello !

Oh, and if my one time rugby coach cum fantastic maths teacher is reading this, as I’m told he might be…

I remember you so well, Mr Hodge, and I wanted to say hello and thank you. I’m with Leigh Jones at this very moment and we are remembering you very fondly.
Just so you know Sir !



When I was 19 I had my 3 front teeth knocked out, playing rugby. Actually not totally OUT, more broken and pushed back into the roof of my mouth. It was the ONE AND ONLY TIME that I’d EVER ( as in EVER EVER ! ) forgotten my gumshield, for either playing or training, and I’d played for 10 years by then. It’s not even that common to get a blow to the mouth whilst playing ( as in it’s hardly every game ) but of course that particular day when I didn’t have a gumshield ( and I’d even considered not going on the field ) I had a clash of heads with my fellow centre and broke 3 teeth…. Rod Lewis was his name. I think he’s a solicitor now. I haven’t seen him in decades, but I suppose he’s forever left his mark on me.
It was playing against Bristol Poly, and I did obviously have to come off, and then wait for an ambulance… to take me to hospital. Whilst waiting, a girl I knew called Lisa Collins ( rugby groupie material ) came up with her friend and expressed their concern… I was obviously spewing blood from my mouth, much to their horror.. and being of a Welsh Bravado persuasion I said to Lisa’s friend ‘ Do you fancy a French kiss …?’
Rightly so, she recoiled, but evidently thought it was humour in adversity… that girl went on to become my wife.. I wonder had I not said those words would that have happened?
Life is a series of Sliding Doors isn’t it? Had I worn a gumshield, kept my teeth, not come off the field, not tried to be funny to some girl, I’d probably not have ended up in London, not married her, not had the kids I had etc etc etc.
I wouldn’t have gone on a cycle trip with a bunch of school dads because I’d never have met them. I’d not have had a catastrophic cycle crash, and I wouldn’t now be paraplegic.

But maybe I would? Maybe I’d have had a crash doing something else altogether, maybe years sooner than I did. Maybe I wouldn’t have even got to my forties, who knows? It’s all impossible to say.

The above wasn’t what I was going to write in this post, but as I don’t ‘ plan ‘ posts it doesn’t matter if I write something different to my initial intention anyway. What I was going to write about was me going to the dentist today, which IS as a consequence of me knocking my teeth out that day.
That ambulance that afternoon took me to the Bristol Infirmary, where a doctor in A and E, without any anaesthetic, told me to open wide, then shoved his fingers into my mouth, and pulled my teeth back quickly ( with them amazingly not just falling out ) had a quick look and sent me out…. Not knowing any better, and ‘ trusting the Doctor’ I assumed they’d just be ok… but accepted the ( terrible) pain that I got whilst having to drink cold beer in the bar afterwards. It wasn’t like I could just go home to bed – we were in Bristol and I lived in Cardiff. It was an away game, and there was a coach ride back to Cardiff at 10 pm. What else was I supposed to do other than drink? It numbed the pain I’m sure, at the same time as being excruciating. I recall trying to drink my beer out of the side of my mouth, so it was less painful. Mmmm it all seems pretty stupid now, but hey.

Anyway, the next day I came to my senses a bit and took myself to Cardiff University Dental Hospital. The dental surgeon there pretty much said the doctor in Bristol should be arrested for what he’d done to me… ( but obviously that didn’t happen ) He treated my mouth over 2 weeks or so, and carefully repositioned my now crooked teeth, in the broken and splintered sockets, and made a dental splint ( like a gumshield- the irony isn’t wasted on me ) that I had to wear for 3 months, until the bone mended and the teeth were solid again in the sockets. After that he took the roots out, because he said they were all dying/ dead and my teeth would go black, and fitted veneers over the teeth. I had those veneers for at least 10 years.. and was quite happy with them. Yes, they weren’t a perfect colour I suppose, but I didn’t care. The only person that they seemed to bother was that girl I’d met the day I had em knocked out, who was by now my wife.
So I succumbed to her pressure and had the veneers changed, at great expense obviously… and some whitening stuff done to make them match better…

Since then it was probably every 2 years or so that one of the veneers broke … and then having been forced to change them to crowns … it has been every 2/3 years that one of the crowns broke off… until a few months ago that my daughter Lily made me a cake … and it was so hard that when I bit it and broke off my crown good and proper ( right in the middle of the pandemic when dentists weren’t available much ) that I had to have a single tooth denture …

A front tooth denture isn’t actually that great. The thing moves about and gets in the way of eating a lot. It’s far worse than the mildly discoloured veneers that I definitely should have stuck with. I’d have saved myself a good ten thousand pounds for sure too. … but hey you can’t turn back time.

So back to today then. Today I went to have a front tooth implant, or at least have the first part of the procedure. I didn’t know how complicated it was going to be. I had a molar implant about 20 years ago and I don’t recall it being a big deal … but wow, having a front one is fairly nasty I can tell you.
First the guy had to tear/ pull/ cut out a big chunk of bone from my jaw at the front ( I had about 20 …REALLY PAINFUL injections just before to numb my whole face pretty much ). He didn’t use a drill, just a sharp pliers that he forced into my jaw, applying substantial force ( I wonder how a less strong dentist, or a female dentist perhaps, would even be able to do it ? ) for a good 5 minutes non stop, kinda pushing and slightly twisting at the same time, to ‘ bore a channel ‘ into my jaw, eventually pulling out an almond ( out of its shell ) nut sized piece of jawbone, all bloody obviously, which he proudly showed me, as if to say ‘ that’s why it took so much effort’ ..

Then, between suctioning out all the blood that flowed profusely, he forced in lots of ‘ chemical bone graft material ‘, followed by the inner part of the implant. That’s the bit that’ll hold the peg in place, once that’s screwed into it in a few months time. The delay is to let the thing set, before the peg post is screwed in, before the false tooth is glued onto that. I listened carefully to that bit about having to let the bone set for 3 months before it’s deemed solid enough to be able to trust a tooth fixed to it … and then wondered how on earth I was told to move from bed to wheelchair 48 hours after having my whole spine rodded and bolted in 2016… with the disastrous consequences that entailed when the screws pulled out … somewhat predictably right ? Maybe I should have asked my dentist to do my back surgery…?

A few hours later and it’s started to hurt. The anaesthetic is evidently wearing off.. and I’ve been told to take the painkillers and the prophylactic ( infection prevention ) antibiotics for a week. Dental injections always make me feel a bit crap, they always have, so I’ll go to bed early today. I’ve not slept well for a while, which perhaps doesn’t help with the memory thing… which for sure is on my mind a lot ( when I remember..🤦‍♂️) I find myself testing myself. Can I remember this person and his her wife/ husband’s / child’s name etc etc? Half the time I can’t, but some of those times the names will them come to me and I think maybe I’m ok?
I wonder.
Writing this post has made me ponder the Sliding Doors of Life.. and made me wonder and question which doors I walked through. Post divorce it’s common to look back and wish you hadn’t ever gone there. Divorce is often bitter, and I’d be lying if I said all is calm even 3 years after, because it really really isn’t.
And the longer the acrimony continues, the more you wish you’d kicked that door shut and walked on through another.

Not again..

Right. For about a month I’ve had marked, and I mean MARKED memory loss. Also I’m just not thinking straight, I can’t think of words that should just spring to mind, and my incredible( ish… ) wit just seems to have completely deserted me. I think that’s why I haven’t written much in this diary for a bit – I just am NOT thinking normally..

As I can’t get an appointment with a GP, I’ll have to find another way to get an assessment.
As I had a brain injury in my crash ( from which I did seem to recover ?) I’m thinking perhaps there’s a knock on ( no pun intended ) effect.

I can’t remember long term events, people’s names, you name it. I go through my phone contacts and lots of them I don’t remember at all.
I mean that’s just not normal.

Oh dear.. now what have I got !?

A memory from my childhood.

As I was telling Lizzy yesterday, and I realised just how funny it is… I thought I’d write it here too…

My Nana Tess ( my Dad’s mum ) died when I was in my 20’s.. but of course my memory of her is still very much alive. She was a lovely woman, always smiling and laughing. A truly terrible ( and I mean really really terrible ) cook, we always dreaded having to eat anything at hers, unless it was biscuits, which she always had loads of.

Anyway, she had very funny expressions, and she used to tell funny stories when my brothers and I were small ( and often she’d tell them over and over ).

She’d call any relative ‘ Our’ followed by the name, so I was Our Russ. If for example she’d thought I’d farted ( as if I ever did ) she’d say ‘ ooh.. I think Our Russ has dropped his pocket money..?!’

She strongly advised that if you needed to fart, you always should, and said that she knew a woman who always held hers in, and in the end it killed her.
Nana Tess swore blind that the woman was buried in a church ‘ up the Garn’ ( that was a place a couple of miles up the valley ) and that on her gravestone were inscribed the following words ..




So remember those words folks when you need to let rip.
Not letting it go might cost you dear…

RIP Nana Tess.

I have had a new lodger for a month.
He’s Iranian, and is a barber. He’s a lovely, soft spoken ( but ridiculously over deferential ) guy. He’s so deferential that he insists upon calling me Sir.
I mean no one til him has addressed me that way… and I’ve been around for quite a long time.
Tonight he came in in the middle of me ( trying to cook, following the Hello Fresh recipe. I don’t know, but my brain struggles with recipe type instructions. I know so little about cooking that none of it seems intuitive to me at all, or at least not yet. I have to read every line about a thousand times. The cooking malarkey is ok for the first 5 minutes but after that all of a sudden you have to do about 10 things at the same time.
Being in a chair and having to wheel about balancing things in my lap ( that I can’t feel or grip with my knees or anything.. ) well anything could fall or spill if I’m not careful, and it’s ever so easy to bump into stuff all of the time.

My music is on really loud ( as I’d just downloaded Spotify onto my clever telly and it’s suddenly playing at REALLY high volume through my amplifier via a fire stick ) and in ‘creeps’ my deferential lodger, as though he’s Gollum and I’m the Dark Lord.
Now it’s like a nightclub in there, and he’s saying something to me. I’ve got stuff on my lap and 4 pans with stuff in all cooking.. I’m not a natural at this, I can tell you. I’m saying ‘ pardon!? ‘ as loud as I can and he’s saying something very quietly ( being deferential ) and sort of waving something brown around near the freezer.
Slightly exasperated I wheel over to the amp and turn it down, with stuff in my lap, and say ‘ what is it you are saying ?’

He says, quietly.. Sir can I put this in your freezer….? ( the ‘ this ‘ being a Magnum lollipop ) I mean seriously… he’s actually asking me that… seeing I’m pretty busy and it’s not easy for me?
I tell him to please not ask me such questions.. and that of course it’s ok … good grief…

I turn the music back up and carry on.

Five minutes later he’s back … speaking so quietly I can’t possibly hear him. Again I go to the amplifier and turn it down. Yes I ask him, what is it?
He says ‘ I have a KFC and I’m asking if you’d like some ?’

I say no thank you… but I’m thinking Who the Actual Fuck do you think I’m cooking for, with all these complicated pans… and who do you think is going to have to eat it … and who would seriously, given the 2 previous, want to also have a Kentucky..?

Well he’s a bit ‘ portly ‘ so presumably him I guess…

After that he offered me one of his little individual tiramisus… that he seems to have an endless supply of .. and that I do always say no to..

Are all lodgers a bit special or is it just the ones I get?

But seriously with this cooking thing… how can a meal for one EVER be worth about 10 pans / dishes / plates, with knives and forks and a grater, and then about 15 minutes of one handed washing up ..?

Give me peanut butter on toast in 2 minutes any day of the week… surely you can’t argue with that one?