Today I went to visit the dentist. This is my first checkup since before the lockdown started. We came back from Spain in March 2020, probably in the plane that brought a lot of Spanish football fans for a match which now people say should not have happened. A few days later I had a checkup at the dentist’s, with more checks on where I had been, who I had been in contact with, whether I had a temperature, etc. than had happened at the airport.
Dentists were just not seeing anyone during lockdown, except for serious emergencies. When things finally started to open up again, I decided that perhaps it was time I booked an appointment. This was a few months ago now. When I rang, the receptionist told me, “It’ll be October!” It’s a good job I rang when I did. I might have had to wait until 2022!
As it was I had to fill in a whole collection of online forms before I could turn up and see a dentist this morning. My regular dentist has taken advantage of the hiatus in service to opt for a reasonably early retirement. Good for him! But it meant I had to see someone new. My previous dentist has been in my mouth for more years than I care to remember! However, all went well. I had the usual reminders to use interdental brushes, fiddly as they are! And I had to submit to the legalised torture known as scale and polish. You come away with super-clean teeth but at the cost of almost drowning with the water spray, intended I think to keep their equipment cool! “Just raise your hand if you want us to stop!” they say! I swear that if I had any secrets I would reveal them at once!
And then it was all over, bar the paying and making an appointment for six months from now. I got my diary out to note the date and time, only to remind myself that I now need to get a 2022 diary! Where does the time go?
Not far from my dentist’s surgery I was able to catch a bus to Uppermill. Well, eventually I was able to do so. The first to come along only went as far as Grotton, in the middle of nowhere between Oldham and Uppermill!. It’s no good boasting about a bus service that runs every ten minutes if some of them don’t complete the journey! Fortunately the every ten minutes boast is reasonably accurate.
As I hadn’t cycled there earlier this morning I wanted to see if any of the Uppermill market stalls were still open. I knew already that the fishmonger was away. By the time I arrived, having detoured via the small Tesco in Greenfield, the fruit and veg man was long gone, but I was able to get what I needed from the Italian fruttivendolo, including figs yet again! The cheese and biscuit lady was back in business. We now have gluten free oat biscuits ready for a visit from my brother in law. And I have replenished my supply of muesli.
The bakery shelves were a little depleted. I asked about the rye loaves I usually buy, and was told that the baker has decided to stop making them! Shock! Horror! It seems that they were throwing a lot of it away as people weren’t buying it - apart from me, of course, but there’s only so much bread a person can eat! People want plain bread, explained the young assistant. Really, it’s not that rye bread is fancy, just very tasty! So I bought wholemeal but I may need to rethink my bread-buying habits! Imagine people not buying my favourite bread! There’s just no accounting for taste!
Laden with apples, bread, muesli, olives from the deli, and various other purchases, I checked the times of buses back to Delph. There were two possibilities within minutes of each other: the usual 350 which does the long Ashton to Oldham run or the smaller 356. Originally this latter bus ran from Denshaw to Greenfield Station, coordinating nicely with the Manchester train service. During lockdown it has morphed into a service that runs from Ashton to Oldham via Mossley, Greenfield, Uppermill, Diggle, Delph, Denshaw, Sholver, Moorside and any number of out of the way housing estates that rarely see a bus from one week to the next. Goodness knows how long each complete circuit takes!
The 356 arrived first. I hopped on board because the 350 is notorious for being delayed by ten minutes or so. The 356 driver proceeded to turn off his engine, get out his lunch - a rather healthy-looking collection banana slices and berries, by the way - and eat it while checking his phone. After a minute or two the 350 turned up. I checked that the 356 was going nowhere in a hurry - it would be just my luck to have the 350 pull out around the 356 just as I got off and then for the 356 to depart as well - and successfully got onto the 350. Of course, this manoeuvre was really only possible because ai was travelling on my free bus pass. Hurrah for old biddy bus passes!
That’s enough adventuring for one Wednesday.
Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!