Friday, 29 January 2010

Public sector pay restraint and toothache..... Oh, and some very interesting Californian wines

I just presented my pay slip (from my day job) to Diane. Frankly, I never look at what my pay is, as Diane looks after the finances. She was amazed to see I'd been paid almost £100 more than usual. "Oh", I said, "back-pay". All the way back to June 2009. Yes, the sum total of my 2009 pay rise (including 7 months-worth of back-pay) has presented us with a nett windfall of £100. So much for being an overpaid civil servant. Admittedly, I only work part-time these days (24 hours a week over 4 days, as opposed to my previous contract of 37 hours over 5 days) in order to give me a little more time to administer the wine business. But I ask you - what is the point in such an insulting pay rise? They might as well have told us we were getting nothing - or given it to charity or something. So thanks, Mr Brown and Mr Darling - not to mention our erstwhile bosses at the Land Registry. Thanks for (nearly) nothing.

Having said that - and as Diane quite rightly pointed out - this windfall might go some way to paying for the dental treatment I need. I am not fond of the dentist, having suffered from a combination of weak teeth (it seems to run in my side of the family) and bad dentistry over a great many years. The upshot of which is that I have a few missing and more than my fair share of crowns and bridges. Thankfully, we now seem to have a dentist we can rely on - and she's very pretty too! Nevertheless, on my recent visit I needed a couple of fillings. I was very brave and told her not to bother with any injections. No problem, I thought - until about a week ago, when I started getting sporadic toothaches, around the area of one of the new fillings. So I went back and she did a couple of x-rays. "Well, it's good news and bad news", she told me. "You have an abcess". I'm not sure what the good news was, as I am now on 500mg of Amoxycillin, 3 times a day, and am going back on Monday for the first instalment of root treatment, with what I am told is an 80% chance of the tooth being saved in the long run.

Trouble is, 4 days into the 7 day course, these bloody great horse tablets don't seem to be working very quickly. It might just be my imagination, but the toothaches - which come and go with little or no warning - don't seem to be quite as intense today as they have been for the last few days. So maybe - just maybe - something is happening. I certainly hope so, because the consequences (and the sheer unbelievable pain) of an out of control abcess just don't bear thinking about. And I am speaking from experience - though I'll spare you the gory details.

The one good thing is that I cannot see anything that says I can't drink alcohol whilst taking these antibiotics. So I have been busy over the last few days tasting my way through some very interesting new wines I am about to add to my list, including a handful of wines from Joseph Swan. That's right - Californian wines. Although I have in the past listed a few wines from countries other than France, they have always been odds and sods, which have come and gone. But these wines from Swan are wines that I very much hope will become a mainstay on my list. And if the current releases are anything to go by, they will become exactly that, because they are utterly lovely. I'll be emailing my customers and subscribers in the next few days, with news of these wines, plus some other very interesting new French wines. Watch this space.


AlanM said...

Stop tempting me Leon, as a public service worker myself I can't keep ordering more. Especially when my wife is off work after an operation and took delivery of your latest case this morning :-)

Andy Leslie said...

[homer simpson on] Mmmmm Joe Swan wine mmmmmmm [//homer simpson off]

AlanM said...

According to The Times Leon, Marseillan is the next big thing, the new St Trop would you believe. I sincerely hope not, damn them for picking up on the place

Leon Stolarski said...

I doubt that it is the first time Marseillan has been the subject of such publicity, Alan, and I doubt it will be the last. Having said that, Marseillan is relatively quiet, even in the height of summer, so there is plenty of scope for extra visitors. And, from what I have seen, the planning bods are doing a deccent job in making sure any new buildings aren't allowed to go too vertical. It is still a lovely place to be, and I think it will remain so for a good few years yet. Shame about all the work they are doing on the beach road, though, which means the days of parking your car and literally stepping onto the beach are numbered.

AlanM said...

We still managed that last year Leon, there were no signs that it was going to stop, they just put siome rails up. Having said that there was an English bloke being shown round the back of the beach about building houses. I really hope they stick to their guns and keep things to a minimum. It was great to be able to park there and walk along for a drink or meal along the harbour. It is quiet there, amazingly so bearing in mind Cap d'Agde just up the road.