‘You’re meant to be having your dental appointment now!’ barked the receptionist, bringing my lie-in to an abrupt end.
Very unusually, I had left the builder boyfriend to do the horses on his way to work and I was lounging about in bed. Coffee at the luxurious hour of 9 a.m., spaniels sprawled on the duvet, sun lighting up the room… everything was feeling marvellously laid back, until I realised I had forgotten I was supposed to be having my teeth poked about.
‘Don’t worry, I can be there in 30 seconds,’ I gasped, falling out of bed and scrambling for a pair of jeans. I live four doors down from the dentist. ‘All right, if you come straight round that’s fine,’ she said.
I hurtled downstairs, out the door and round the corner of the short line of houses between me and the high street, throwing myself at the glass door of the dentist surgery only to bounce straight off it.
The door was locked. I peered in and the woman I had just spoken to was on the phone — possibly still finishing saying goodbye to me — while the woman next to her at the desk was dealing with a customer.
With one customer inside, I was not being allowed in. I knocked on the door to no avail. Then I stood in front of the window and waved.
The woman on the phone mouthed: ‘I’m on the phone!’ I felt like shouting: ‘Yes, to me!’ I had to wait until her colleague had finished dealing with the customer, who was ordered to stand aside, then leave, after I was brought in.
‘Place your bag in the box,’ she said, and made me put my handbag in a large plastic storage tub which she clicked shut.