Tuesday 25 February 2020

The Toothache Queen

On Saturday afternoon I developed slight toothache. By Sunday morning, during church, it had developed to a raging pain [Bob knew something was up, I wasn't singing the hymns with my usual enthusiasm] and I took some strong painkillers. It got no better so Monday, as we left Cornerstones I rang the dentist and got an emergency appointment for 8am Tuesday. The dentist  X-rayed, and thought it might be a cracked filling, but couldn't see it, her senior colleague was called in. He thinks there may be a problem with the root... So I have a 45 minute appointment booked with him for Friday, when he may have to extract the tooth. 
The pain comes and goes, with varying degrees of intensity - I feel like the Queen in that wonderful Chess Set from the Isle of Lewis.
I'm trying to avoid the pills, so Bob is being brilliant at distracting me with mental challenges.
When I mentioned the Queen, he posed me this question...
"If you were redecorating 'The San' in a Girls' Boarding School what pieces of artwork would you put on display?"
Now this left me wondering - when Bob was much younger, did he actually read those "girls' books", which I am sure were on his sister's shelf - Malory Towers, The Chalet School, Angela Brazil et al? Should I be surprised? after all, I read Biggles, Nevil Shute and John Buchan - previously labelled "boys' fiction" in the school libraries. However, it was a good question. I came up with three artworks [as well as the Toothache Queen] to represent 'female malaise'
Mariana, by John Everett Millais. One of the pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, this picture is always referred to as "Backache Woman" in this house. Many teenage girls [my younger self included] found the P-Rs deeply romantic
The Lady Of Shalott by John William Waterhouse [another P-R chap] just for that line from Tennyson's poem "The curse has come upon me!" said whenever we were trying to claim we were too ill for hockey due to monthly cramps.
Munch's The Scream might seem a little drastic - but teenage girls occasionally tend to be drama queens. [Art historians now believe that the violent, blazing red and orange sky was actually inspired by the volcanic eruption of Krakatoa ten years before Edvard did this painting. The atmosphere, even far away in Norway, was filled with flaming ash and debris]
So, what art would YOU put in The Sanatorium to encourage those "clever gels" to get out of bed and return to their jolly hockey sticks? And which books should go on the bedside cupboard?
[I should stress, I never went to a Boarding School myself, I just read the stories - but I did loathe hockey]


  1. Surprised the dentist is leaving you in pain until Friday! Sounds like an abscess to me and I've had a few in my time so know what the pain is like. Swilling with salty water might alleviate the pain if you don't want to take painkillers but personally,I would just take them and if the pain is worse by tomorrow, try and get back to dentist.Nowt worse than toothache, even if you are a chess set Queen!

  2. Good luck - hope the pain eases ASAP
    March 11th is the dreaded day for my next visit - getting too close.

  3. I am sorry about the toothache and having to wait until Friday to have it attended to. In the meantime, I suggest biting down on a whole clove (or crush it a bit and then, put the clove near the tooth that is aching) and keep it there. It is believed that cloves have an analgesic effect. I learned that from my step father, who was a dental surgeon.

  4. Sorry about the tooth. Hope they get it sorted without too much faffing. My appointment is Thursday morning.Malory Towers! How I loved it! Daryll and Sally-just loved them

  5. The Lady of Shallot is my favourite painting ever.
    As it happens we drove past the field where I used to play hockey yesterday. I went to an old fashioned grammar school which had no hockey pitch. We had to change into our kit at school and pile into a mini bus to be taken five miles away to the hockey pitch. We were dumped there with the teacher until the minibus returned, no facilities at all, just a field in the middle of nowhere, in all weathers. Horrible. I hated hockey!

  6. I forgot to wish you good luck at the dentist's. Hope the pain eases soon.

  7. I too hope the pain eases soon. The picture of "The Scream" always makes me smile, as someone pointed out that once you think of it as showing a spaniel, it never has quite the same impact again...Though it looks more spaniel like in this version https://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/dm59b6/newsflash_the_scream_has_always_been_a_floppy/

  8. Thank you everyone. My cheek is much less swollen and red now, and the pain has noticeably diminished. I suspect it will still be an extraction on Friday. Thanks for all comments re artwork, poery and hockey. Fat Dormouse - I followed your Scream link. I wish I hadn't. It will always be a spaniel now!!!


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