Archive | April, 2007

You get what you pay for

26 Apr

Today heralded a trip to the dentist, but not for any old routine check up. I had a check up just over 6 months ago back when I was living in West Hampstead where I was told I was fine and did not need to come back for a couple of years. However the other night I broke a little bit of my molar tooth biting down on some shell in a seafood mix from Tesco, and whilst it was in little pain, it seem prudent to get it checked out as it felt jagged.

The surgery I visited seemed awfully overblown in attitude – more of a “cosmetic enhancement parlour” than a simple dentist. However the interior of the building, like the dentist himself, was a little small and “pokey”. I felt at ease until I saw the price list – over 50 quid just for a checkup, with filling hitting around the 100 quid mark each. This was more than the 20 quid I throw down for a check-up in West Hampstead, but I guess you truly get what you pay for, as this dentist showed me x-rays of two fillings I required on opposite sides of my mouth.

Long story cut short, I was 250 quid down and feeling is just coming back to my mouth now. The check up and fillings took two hours, but was essentially painless due to large quantities of anaesthetic in my gums. How it that got there was a little painful, but feeling better for having a healthier mouth. Feeling a little lighter of wallet too 😦

Next year I might take up work’s dental insurance (only 120 quid a year…) although a gambler might say not to bother – after all I just had the fillings I needed, so the odds of needing more in the next year are lower than they’ve been for a while…

12 Apr

After straining my wrist quite badly on a London bus, I am on the road to recovery, having taken full advantage of my private-health care through work. God bless free Health and the NHS, but if your a neurotic accident-prone giant then I can heartily recommend Private Cover for getting your bits and pieces fixed up 🙂 How quickly the city can turn a boy away from his hippy communist roots…

Speaking of capitalist joys, with my wrist back in action, it’s been time to re-engage myself with the Wii. The game I’m mostly playing at the moment is Legend of Zelda : Twilight Princess. It’s a slow bloomer, with a little too much dialogue in the first hour and quite linear play for the first twenty hours as you discover new areas and powers. But those twenty hours of play are all good fun and the linear style introduces parts of the overall land to you in bite-sized chunks whilst teaches you dozens of tactics and tricks to get round obstacles and enemies. What this means as you get to the “now I have most of my basic powers” point, and the whole map is opened up for free exploration, is you can really get immersed into being part of the larger world, which is why Zelda games are great. Good, logical and immersive worlds to discover new things in. Only problem is all of this free exploration has left me somewhat lost of to what my overall mission was…

Some more quirky titles for the Wii seem to be set for release soon. A Greek software house has spoken (in Greek) about an upcoming game where you can use the Wii remote as a baton to conduct an on-screen orchestra ! Another title seems sets to take biometric readings as you exercise, and then upload them to a hospital for a fitness test. A little over-ambitious in my mind, but I applaud the idea ! Can’t see it working in the UK really, unless you have some form of well paid medical service in the country you live in… hmmm

Tonight sees a rest for the Wii (and my wrist) as we go old school gaming and pull out “Fury of Dracula” (see previous post). We shall see if the game mesmerises anyone into being bitten by the board gaming bug – it’s getting hard travelling 30 miles West every time I fancy a quick game of something 🙂