Sunday, 23 December 2012

Getting away from it all in Norfolk

It seemed like ages since our last holiday, our trip to Iceland (you can read about that here), we'd both had a rough few months, plagued with illness and too much work, and so were in desperate need of a week away. We wanted somewhere away from the hubbub of modern life, where we could relax, curl up in front of a fire, read books and go out for a walk when we fancied. We decided on North Norfolk and found a cottage with some availability for the week in mid November when we both felt that work could manage without us.

We left home late morning and made the mistake of following the satnav, rather than common sense. After a journey along the M4, round the M25, up A roads and ending in crawling up unlit single carriageway roads in the dark for hours on end, we were very glad to arrive at around 6pm. As it was so dark, we struggled to find the cottage and then had difficulty finding the house where we had to pick the key up from. We managed to find house names with the light from our mobile phones and were soon unpacking the car and getting settled in.

The cottage instantly felt both cosy and luxurious as it had heated floors, a welcoming sofa, huge bed with cushions and a drench shower. We'd brought some food from home and were happy just to heat that up and settle down for the evening. 

Andrew is known for forgetting something nearly everytime we have a week away from home in the UK. First time it was socks, then pants. This time it was pyjamas. At least that meant we had something to do the next day, King's Lynn it was, to see what their M&S could offer him in the way of night attire!

Luckily our trip to King's Lynn was succesful, we parked easily, found M&S, purchased the necessary nightwear and then headed to Sainsbury's to stock up on food for the week. After stopping off for coffee, we headed back to the cottage to put our feet up.

Andrew loves steam trains, so when I read about the North Norfolk Railway, I knew it was something we had to do whilst we were in the area. As we were well out of season, it wasn't running every day, but as the weather forecast for the next day was good and the trains running, we made plans to do that as our Sunday activity.

We got up and drove to Holt (only about 15 minutes from where we staying) to get the train. Andrew headed off to take photos, whilst I grabbed a seat inside, he joined me just as the whistle blew to announce our departure. The journey to Sheringham didn't take long and the views from the window kept us entertained. On arrival, we headed down to the sea front and had a bracing walk, before the wind forced us away from the front. We made our way to the model boat lake where Andrew had spent many an hour in his childhood, as his great Aunt had a holiday flat there, which the family used to stay in. We decided to do a couple of geocaches whilst we were in the area, and so walked up to the cliffs beside the golf club. After taking in the view, we returned to the town, had some lunch and explored a little more, before taking the train back to Holt.


On the Monday, we finally did what we had planned for the week; very little. We relaxed, tried out the cottage's collection of boardgames, watched television and read books. It was good not to feel guilty about doing nothing!

That said, by the next day, we felt we needed to get some air and decided to go out and do a few geocaches. We found a circular set of twelve caches around the village of Mileham and set out to do them. It was a lovely day out, we bumped into some friendly locals, both four legged and two legged, took in some fresh air and got some exercise into the bargain. The sunset on the way back to the car was breath-taking.

On Wednesday, we decided to take a trip into Norfolk, for a wander round the shops. Whilst there we stopped off at the cinema to see Skyfall. We both really enjoyed it as we rarely get round to going to the cinema at home. By the time we came to head home the fog had rolled in. With the roads being unlit and mostly without cats eyes, the drive home was pretty nerve-wracking. I was very glad that we got back without incident.

By Thursday, we felt like we should be making the most of the fresh air and so ventured out geocaching again. I've blogged about our day here. It was fab, we had a really good walk around Castle Acre which was a lovely village, even if we did get rather muddy!

We got up early on the Friday to head home, this time over-ruling the satnav and avoiding the M25! We'd had a great week away and it set us up for the last six weeks of work for the year.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

My first brace adjustment appointment

With the exception of the first few days, when I was regularly counting what percentage of my treatment time had passed, the time between having my brace fitted and my first adjustment appointment seems to have flown by.

Once the first ten days had passed I reached the point where, generally, I'm not aware of my braces. Some foods are difficult to eat and I'm keen to rinse my mouth out after eating, so I don't have food visibly stuck to my teeth, but generally it's been a fairly easy journey so far. I have one molar with a pointy edge, which can cause me some issues by banging on the bracket on my lower molar, but that's normally only for a day once every ten days or so, my teeth seem to learn quite quickly and shuffle so they're no longer knocking together.

I've not suffered anything like as much with mouth ulcers as I expected to. I wore wax virtually constantly on one back bracket as the wire was catching my cheek, I had one ulcer on the other side of my mouth next to the back bracket, and a couple on my bottom lip. However, Bonjela Complete Plus seems to be a magic fix. I apply it once and by the time it wears off, my mouth seems okay.

I've also had little reaction to my braces. I'd told some of my colleagues in advance, but when I turned up to work wearing them for the first time, they couldn't see them unless I bared my teeth. I guess they were expecting something much more noticable. I've had a couple of clients clearly spot there was something different about my mouth and I catch them looking at my mouth whenever I look away, but, apart from friends and family, no-one has mentioned them. I've been in a shop or the hairdresser a couple of times and been served by another brace wearer, but again, it goes unmentioned. I'm glad I didn't go for the more expensive option of hidden lingual braces, when no-one seems to comment on my ceramic ones which are on full display!

Anyway, my adjustment appointment was six weeks to the day after my brace was fitted. I'd been hoping that my bite would be corrected by this appointment, but it seems I was slightly over optimistic. My right upper incisor has managed to come over hte top of my lower tooth, but the left incisor is still tucked behind.

The appointment itself took about quarter of an hour. We started by talking about how things had gone, and what changes I was aware of. The orthodontist had my initial pictures on a screen so he could compare the 'then' and 'now'. He was pleased that they were moving so quickly and that half of my crossbite had been rectified. He was confident that the other side would also be resolved by my next appointment. I then had my wires, powerchains and ligatures changed. It was a little uncomfortable, with just one tooth that was a bit sore when he changed things over. He was keen to straighten out my two lower central incisors as I was clearly struggling to clean in between those, he gave them a good clean for me whilst my wires were off and hoped that they would be straight by the next appointment to make cleaning easier. It was nice to leave with clean, white wires and ligatures again. I'd not been too careful about what I ate, and seemed to have mostly got away with it, but the curry I'd had on one occasion had certainly left its mark on my ligatures!

My teeth are already looking much straighter, it's nice to be able to track the changes, and once my bite is corrected, it'll be a case of more minor adjustments to get them looking right cosmetically. Roll on my next appointment in six weeks when my crossbite should be a thing of the past!

Click here to read about my initial brace fitting appointment 

Click here to read about my next adjustment and see my progress