I have to come to terms with this. Downshifting: no regrets, no stress, lovely part of the world, nice people, work on my own terms. However I am going loopy at the lack of human contact in my day to day routine.

My day yesterday:

Got up
Did laundry
Went to dentist
Worked at PC
Picked up newspaper
Worked at PC
Watched telly
Went to bed

As you see, this was an eventful day for me, as I went to the dentist. I think it summarises nicely if I say that I was quite looking forward to this, as it meant I would meet another human being.

I walk in to the waiting room, which is packed, neatly encapsulating the state of NHS dentistry in this country. I sit next to an old lady, who smells of wee. She constantly turns to her elderly husband and asks if she’ll be all right. Every forty-five seconds or so.

Over the twenty minutes that I wait, his replies escalate from “of course you’ll be all right”, through “will you stop worrying! You’ll be all right!”, reaching “look, I’m not going to tell you again. It’ll be fine” and finally “will you just sit there and shut it!” – which is when I’m called in.

Look – I know it’s cheap having a go at dentists. But honestly, I’ve never had a problem in the past.

He calls it a ‘descale’ but it feels like a drill. He starts on the delicate bits against my gums and I’m astonished at the speed at which he seems to develop an advanced form of Parkinson’s. Three minutes later and I’m out of there, a mouthful of blood, sandpapering the tip of my tongue along the back of my bottom teeth.

“Now. Can we book you in for six month’s time?” asks the receptionist sweetly, charging me fourteen quid.

“Great. Thanks.”