Posts Tagged ‘teeth’

W is for…


…my constant request whilst in Pompeii earlier this week. I had seen a programme about Pompeii a few weeks before going and the historian lady, strolling around looking at things, stopped behind some of the now-famous plaster casts of Pompeian people who were found when excavating the town. She said something like “This is the first thing that greets you when you enter Pompeii.”

Well, thought I, this will be excellent. I shall see the actual people. I will see their faces and can imagine what their lives must have been like and imagine them in these grand homes.

I find it fascinating, imagining the people going about their daily lives. It suddenly makes history a really alive subject that I can connect with because I can start to imagine myself in the past and how different my life would have been from the one I am now leading.

So we entered Pompeii, my eyes scanned for the Pompeians lying on the ground….




Eventually, walking into the Stabian Baths, we saw a few in glass boxes…



…and it was so strange. On the TV programme, they had talked about pyroclastic flows and ash falling and four different flows of something, which had meant that people had died almost immediately. There was no long drawn-out choking to death or disease or anything. They had been caught unawares and had barely any time to try and escape. So when I looked at the man in the top case, I imagined him seeing the ash falling and lying down and covering his face and being immortalised that way, forever. How strange, that the smallest action has defined his life forever. Of all the other things he did in his life here at Pompeii, he is forever defined by covering his face from the approaching disaster.

We kept walking but it was a long time before we saw any more people, which had become my obsession at Pompeii, a little bit.


Danda walking across the stones set high up in the road so people could still cross the road when it was raining.


Me ‘working’ in the Pompeian version of a deli.


Wall paintings


Floor mosaics


More people! The lady on the programme said that this position with the arms is typical of someone going into rigor mortis after a shock.


This one is strange in a totally different way. His exposed skull and two thousand year old teeth poking out from the plaster made me feel odd, like I’d accidentally seen someone undressing.


You can even see the shape of the belt he was wearing when Vesuvius decimated the town.


We found some more people in an area which seemed to be blocked off for archaeologists to work in, although there were none there at the time. In between all the wine jars and other artefacts, there were some more people.


The lady on the programme talked about how this person had probably crouched down and put their hands to their face to stop the ash going on it.


This person, it seems, dived on the floor and hid their face.


O and here’s one we found. Just in amongst the wine jugs on the shelf. Have you spotted him yet?

After looking at loads more buildings and reading in my little guidebook about what it used to be and who used to live there, we were back near the entrance, we had been there for five hours and were both knackered.

“But I didn’t see the people from the programme…” I said sadly.

Danda insisted we go and find them, even though I was tired and said it was ok. He reminded me that we don’t know if we’ll ever come back here so we mustn’t go home disappointed. So off we went, back into Pompeii, not much time to spare before closing, the tourists almost all gone, to find “the people.”

We trekked right back to the other end, near to the vineyards which, by the way, they have replanted and turned back into working vineyards (the wine produced there is called Villa dei Misteri) and eventually we found them! The people! The people lying on the floor! Hurrah!





And it was so interesting. I was enthralled, standing up against the glass case imagining who’s children they were, which house had been theirs, whether they had worked in the vineyards, as that is where these 13 were found during excavations or whether they had lived close by and just run there together to shelter.

Eventually, time and daylight were running out so we made our way back to the entrance, having added an hour on for “the people” and left, among the last few.

What a brilliant brilliant day. Damn planes and trains and the history of the automobile, give me some real people’s faces and clothes and lives to look at and I’m planning my future as an archaeologist/historian.

That’s inbetween my full time job as a farmer, my part time job as the world’s best baker, my hobby as an internationally renowned pianist and my ongoing project as a human rights lawyer.

I can fit it all in, don’t you worry.

300 posts!

That’s right. A whole 300 posts! And what fun it’s been. I was trying to think of something significantly 300ish to do to celebrate this feat but so far, since Yaya stayed over last night, I think the only 300s I have achieved today have been watching 300 kids programmes, putting 300 pennies into a piggy bank, making 300 play-doh animals and playing hide and seek 300 times.


So I checked in with the world wide web for some impressive 300-related world records. The first thing I came across was this brilliant record of having over 300 dogs’ teeth brushed all at once. What’s not to love?! Unfortunately, I am 312 dogs short of being able to even attempt this record so that’s out.

Another great 300 record is the British man who holds the record for putting on the most pair of pants. He wanted to be the first man to put on more than 300 pairs and he has achieved it in quite a spectacular way. Check out the photo of him. Unfortunately, I think I don’t own enough Y-fronts to even attempt this. Even if I wanted to just put all my clothes on, as a pretend attempt at this, I don’t think there would be 300.

My next thought was of food. What could I do that would be food related and about the number 300? I found this, in my Google search, which looks epic and, were I a fan of crabcakes, I’d be all ready to make my own 300lb snack. Unfortunately I am not so I shall remain, happily, crabcake-less.

And then I found the ultimate world record holder. In fact, he holds so many records, he has the world record for holding so many records, over 300! I thought that if I started on his list, then I could possibly get 300 world records too, to celebrate my 300th post! There are a lot of underwater ones, like pogo stick jumping, juggling and unicycling which, so far as I know, probably wouldn’t be allowed in my local pool. So those are out.

He holds the record for balancing a pool cue on his finger and walking the longest distance whilst at the pyramids in Egypt. As I’m in England, that one is also out. I did find a few I can attempt though. Here goes.

Attempt no. 1 – Walking up stairs for 1 minute while balancing a book on my head.

It was easier than I thought it would be, perhaps due to the fact that I had a soft back book, which flopped onto the shape of the top of my head and I hardly had to try at all. I got a bit cocky though and looked down to check where the step was and dropped it after 103. The record is currently 122 so I’ve got a bit of work to so on that one.

Attempt no. 2 – Most golf balls picked up with toes.

I spent the entire minute trying to grip any of the balls and wishing for longer toes. I ended up with a grand total of zero.

For my last attempt, I decided I would attempt to sit on the sofa reading Narnia for the longest time ever, for 300 hours! That is soon to be thwarted though, as I have work in two hours…. O well. I tried….

Au revoir, tooth

I know what you’ve all been thinking for the past few days…. How did it go, Laura, having your tooth out? Are you ok?

I know you’ve all been worried sick and I apologise for not letting you know sooner.

So, it went fine. I went there at 20 past 3 but wasn’t seen until 3.45 but I wasn’t really complaining. There was some super old cowboy film on in the waiting room that I was really getting in to. The damsel in distress was just being kidnapped by the baddie and ridden off into the distance when the dentist came and called me.

He was a nice dentist. It’s easy to have an inherent mistrust in dentists, given that they’re getting paid for each thing they do, so are inclined to advise you that you need loads of work doing. I went to a dentist last year who recoiled in mock fright after looking at my teeth, said I needed everything fixing and they were the worst teeth he’d ever seen. I then went to the hygenist a few days later, who said there was nothing wrong with them, she’d just give them a quick clean.

This dentist was nice. He said almost the same thing. I asked if I should book an appointment with the hygenist and he said I could if I wanted but it wasn’t urgent.

So already I feel ok. I’m in safe hands. As I entered the room, he was like “Ok, we’re going to take it out aren’t we? How are you feeling? Do you get nervous about needles or anything?”

I don’t, which I told him. But I also acted uber casual about the whole thing. “Yeah, I’m fine.” A bit more casual than I was really feeling.

He took his huge needle and put the anasthetic into my gum. It didn’t hurt as such, but it was quite uncomfortable. Shortly afterward, a time during which he told me he was going to see Derren Brown that evening, I did my best impression of a stroke victim and started dribbling. In a nice polite way, the dentist informed me of the dribbling, said the anaesthetic must be working and got started.

All manner of torture implements went in there – forceps, pointy things, clampy things, spannery things. He tugged and he pulled, he twisted and he turned. All the while I lay dribbling and trying avoid the awkward eye contact thing by looking at the light on the ceiling.

It went on. And on. And on. He tugged. I dribbled. He pulled. I dribbled. He tapped. I dribbled.

And eventually, probably only about five minutes later, he gave an almighty tug that made me worry my jaw might break and pulled it out.

“Do you want to take it with you? I can clean it up for you.”

My immediate reaction was no. What would I want with a back tooth? It’d only sit around gathering dust till I threw it away anyway. So I said no thanks. After I left though, I chatted (slurred) to a few friends who all said, “Let’s see it. Have you got it with you?” Is that the usual thing, taking it with you? Have I missed out on a fantastic opportunity to show my tooth off?

Anyway, it’s been ok since then. It aches a bit but not very much. I realised, with shock, how big the tooth was when I looked at the hole it had left. I was kind of under the impression that there were more teeth at the back there, so the very last one going wouldn’t be a problem. But actually, there are only two big massive teeth there. And I’ve had one taken out. That’s half of all my back teeth on one side. There’s quite a big hole there. Have I done the right thing, getting it taken out? Or was I far too hasty to be parted with it?….