Peace begins with a smile

When I was around 13 I fell off of my bike (or perhaps more accurately, catapulted off my bike) and went face first into the curb.  I came off worst!  I’d fractured the roots of one of my front teeth, and done a fair bit of damage to a few others.  After many agonising trips to the dentist to have my teeth cemented back together and effectively glued back into my mouth, I felt lucky not to have lost any of my teeth.  One of the side effects of the fractured roots was that my front tooth became unbearably sensitive to temperature. Even walking outside caused a sharp stab of pain all the way up to the top of my head. So back to the dentists I went to have a root canal to remove the nerves and stop the pain.

I would not say that I was a vain person, but I do take pride in my appearance.  About 10 years after this incident, the damage I’d done was beginning to have a visible effect.  My front tooth was becoming much darker, and was clearly dead..   I started to smile exclusively with my mouth closed and cover my mouth when talking so to hide my now very notable black tooth.

They say that one of the first things that people notice about someone is their smile – and mine was making me incredibly self conscious.  I’m not really one to go in for cosmetic treatments (I haven’t the money, nor really the inclination), but after crying my eyes out after looking in the mirror one day, I realised that I needed to do something – and so off I went to the dentist to see what could be done.

I have a fantastic dentists surgery and they talked me through the options (removal of the root canal and then internal bleaching of the tooth, crowns, dental implants etc.) and recommended the best thing.  This was to be a crown.  I was scared!  Having a metal rod drilled into my tooth, then the exterior of the tooth drilled down to nothing then something glued on top!? Eek. But you know what?  It’s the best decision I’ve made in years.  The 2 appointments to get it done were a breeze – I can tell you honestly that I didn’t feel a thing!  They just drilled my tooth down, added in the metal rod, took some rather sexy photos (n.b: worst photos ever) and fitted me with a temporary crown whilst the real one was being specially made and colour matched! I must be honest in that I did request a few other cheeky changes so to improve my smile further.. 2 birds 1 stone and that..

2 weeks passed and the final crown arrived – I’m thrilled with the results.  It’s made a huge difference to my self esteem and confidence.  I now don’t think about how I should smile or if I should cover my mouth and I can now bite into foods and not worry about my tooth crumbling away or breaking.  What I’ve learnt is that if something like this is beginning to have the effect on your day to day life, and its easy enough to change – you should go for it. You will not regret it.

Was it expensive?  Yes

Was it worth it?  Immeasurably.











The Red Shoes

The 1948 film of The Red Shoes is one of my all time favourites.  Beautiful, tragic, and wonderful.  When I discovered that my favourite choreographer was turning it into a ballet, I was thrilled, and knew I had to get tickets to see it.

Matthew Bourne has been my favourite choreographer since I first saw his rendition of ‘The Nutcracker’ on DVD in 2005.  After that I devoured as much of his work as I possibly could, and have seen his versions of ‘Sleeping Beauty’, ‘Swan Lake’ ‘Edward Scissorhands’, and ‘Cinderella’ as Saddlers Wells.  I also have the DVDs of his ballet of Carmen (The Car Man), and the Nutcracker ready for me to consume at my pleasure.

When my other half surprised me with tickets to see The Red Shoes for our anniversary he scored some serious brownie points!  He’s not interested in dance or theatre so this was a super cute gesture from him (his interests are golf and football!)


We saw this at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff which is a perfect venue.  It is iconic and a great home for theatre, dance, and music in Cardiff.

The programme, to my utmost joy, is in Welsh and English, which hopefully means I’ll be able to use it to help my learning of Welsh, but perhaps best off to start smaller!

The ballet was enthralling.  Bourne swept us away into the world Lermontov’s ballet company, and we watching in awe as the passion, hopes, and despair of Vicky Page were played out before us.  The staging was perfect – with the central piece of set being a swirling and rotating proscenium arch that sweeps up the dancers and directs our glare between the front and backstage, and forces us to recognise the struggle behind producing such art.  The music was also, perfect.  It is not the score from the film, but instead re-orchestrations of the incredible Bernard Herrmann’s early scores. This was a masterstroke, and the score swelled and ebbed with incredible beauty and carried us relentlessly through the action on stage.

Bourne’s choreography was iconic and artful, as always.  The stamina of the company must be applauded as there was never a moment of rest throughout the acts.  My one thought was that the storytelling fell down very slightly in the second act, and it seems almost rushed to get Vicky’s demise.  The other half didn’t understand much of the second act, and found it rather hard to follow.  That being said, it was still an incredibly poignant and heartbreaking moment (not ashamed to say that I cried my eyes out).

The Red Shoes exceed my hopes.  This was a truly fantastic rendition of such a treasured film.  I cannot wait to see it again.