For someone with my surname, I certainly know pain when I come across it
IT'S been an interesting last week or so for me personally. I visited the dentist near my home, which is a private practice, which in turn means it's going to cost a few bob.
I asked the receptionist the cost for removing a tooth. She explained that there were a few different options. "First, we offer the deluxe package, where on arrival you are offered some headphones which play soothing music, some warm towels during the dental procedure, and full back-up attention following the tooth removal, all for £200."
She then read me the second option classed as 'economy', which didn't include the music or the warm towels, but was half the price of the deluxe package. Finally, she described the basic choice which is simply the dental surgeon yanking the tooth out with a pair of pliers without anaesthetic, which only costs £20.
I said: "That's fine, I will go with the basic package, please".
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She arched her eyebrows and said: "That will be painful, you know?" I replied: "I'm not that worried – it's not for me, it's for my wife!"
I finally got to watch my team in action for the first time in what seemed like an eternity last weekend. I know that we were not alone; most other amateur teams have also been inactive due to the terrible weather we have encountered during the opening month of the new year. It was only down to the hard work put in by our reserve manager, Nick Fairers, who worked tirelessly on our pitch to make it playable. It was worth all his effort because we ran out 5–1 victors. Hopefully, now with the weather improving, all local football clubs can begin to catch up with the backlog of fixtures. This will be a relief, because with no games being played, many clubs are suffering from overheads with no income coming in from bar and food sales.
Someone who hasn't had a great week or so is Paul Gascoigne. The former football idol recently attended a corporate event, which people had paid good money for tickets to hear tales of his past exploits on and off the pitch. Apparently, when he appeared on stage Gazza was visibly shaking, and his sentences were slurred and littered with swear words.
His agent promptly ushered him away, and Gazza was reportedly in tears. It is common knowledge that Gazza has suffered from alcohol abuse over the years, and it must be distressing for him and his many fans to see how low he is at the moment.
I actually met Gazza when he was in his prime, at a Professional Football Association dinner held in London.
A former team mate of mine at Bath City, Bruce Haliday, who played alongside Gazza when they were both at Newcastle, introduced me to him.
I can still recall his words when he shook my hand to this day: "Who are you?!"
The press has reported that some of Gazza's old pals have paid for him to enter into rehab to receive treatment. Like everyone else who has fond memories of Gazza from his playing days. and I wish him well.