Teeth seem to have played an important part of my life ..  which is surprising since I have a phobia about dentist and will suffer untold pain until I am forced to go.  This being due to a school mobile dentist drilling down into my nerve without giving me an injection (I kicked him and ran all the way home!).

My gran was a tough auld bird, a farmer and a strong character and personality.  I loved my gran.   To me she was most wonderful woman in the world and could do no wrong.   She loved me back .. but inadvertently terrorised me.

My gran had no teeth .. just gums .. these were mighty powerful gums and she could eat an apple no problem.  She did have false teeth (that she never wore, not even for special occassions!) and these lived outside of the kitchen on the window sill.   My cousins Linda and Anne and I were often running wild together at the farm and no doubt drove my gran mad.    We knew when we had gone too far .. the threat that scared us beyond all others was offered to us with a scowl and a wave of a wooden spoon “any more of that nonsense and the teeth will get you” … we were petrified.   The worst of it was she had a broom store under this window, and when we were sent outside for a broom or mop we had to develop a “run past and grab” technique .. just in case those mighty teeth gave us a bite.

Things to do with teeth didn’t improve much for me when I was around 7 years old.   I was told to go and brush mine (thankfully they were and are still attached to me!) .. and I duly obliged.   However I mixed up toothpaste and deep heat and ended up with huge stinging lips and gums.   A trip to the doctor was duly hastily arranged and off we went.  My gran hauling me by the arm up the road to get the bus into Dunfermline.   The doctor advised that my mouth be kept out of the sun and protected for a week or so.  Fine.. or so I thought .. until I got home and had to wear a black barlaclava .. it should be said at this point that this was the summer … so imagine the picture .. shorts, t-shirt, wellies (on a dairy farm we wore wellies all year round due to the amount of cow poo! see picture above!) and a barlaclava ..   my mum has a photo of me and my cousins standing for the camera… the sad thing is I bet I am smiling under that barlaclava!

Roll on 30 years or so .. my dad dies.   Very suddenly, in the car outside the house.    I was living in Croydon at this time and flew up first thing the next morning.   At home I decided I had to be practical (I’m good at being practical!) .. so I offered to clean the inside of the car for my mum.    As I was washing the seat one of the neighbours approached me to say that while they had been waiting on the ambulance a couple of them had tried to revive my dad and in the process had taken out his false teeth and put them in the glove compartment.

Problem.   False teeth in glove compartment.  Me.    What to do.

I tried to remedy the situation by getting a plastic bag and picking them up that way.. but I couldn’t do it .. no way .. so I asked my sister to do it for me.   Margaret had been standing beside me the whole time watching my failed efforts to pick the teeth up and promptly refused.  The result being we were having a sister hissy fit argument outside the house.

Something caught my eye .. it was my mum at the window laughing at us .. eventually Margaret did pick up the teeth for me .. and we trotted back into the house to find my mum crying … with laughter .. she said my dad would have laughed his socks off at the pair of us .. and you know what .. she was right!

The saga of my dad’s teeth doesn’t end there.   I hadn’t seen my dad for 3 months before his death (due to me being down south) .. so I wanted to go to the funeral parlour to pay my last respects.  My mum didn’t feel she could go so I was all ready to go myself when she handed me a really scabby looking plastic bag… “whats this” said me … “it’s your dad’s teeth, can you hand them in at the funeral parlour”

I was frozen to the spot .. me .. alone in my car with a pair of false teeth beside me .. could I do it … it was for my dad .. I had to do it .. I had to …

I put them in the boot and locked it!