Monday, 10 December 2012: Sydney, the dentist

Monday morning, Kathy had to go to work, so Buz dropped her off at the train station while I conferred with David. He couldn't talk because the swelling had pushed the tooth up so far that it struck the tooth above painfully any time he tried, so he had to write notes. I made him some cornstarch pudding, which was about all he could eat. After Buz and I took Milo for a brief walk, Buz called his dentist, who was able to see David that morning. He took an x-ray, confirmed the diagnosis of abcess, and was absolutely scandalized to find a broken off piece of a dental file embedded in one of the tooth's root canals! He dentist confirmed that amoxycillin was the right antibiotic and that he would have to be on it for at least a week before anything could actually be done about the abcess. He changed the painkiller to the nonnarcotic "neurofen," which I think is superstrength acetominophen—he said it should do a better job, and David was definitely motivated to try it, because taking neurofen, he would be able to drink wine. The dentist did shave the crown of the tooth down so that it didn't keep hitting other teeth as David tried to talk, and he administered a novocaine shot so that David could eat lunch before the neurofen kicked in. He was able to eat a frittata at a little place called the Oatley Cottage. I had fish and chips.

[Note: In defense of our regular dentist back in Tallahassee, with whom we are entirely happy, David was aware of the broken file embedded in his tooth. The dentist had discussed it with him when it happened over a decade ago, during the tooth's original root-canal job. It could not be removed, short of extracting the tooth, so they decided it should be left in place, entirely sterile and cemented in as part of the root-canal filling. It was not the cause of the abcess. David tried to explain it to the Australian dentist, but was too loopy on oxicodone at the time to make himself clear. That's why he wisely sent the dentist out to talk to me about the medication regime—he knew he wouldn't be able to keep it straight in his own head at the time.]

pies pies Next door to the Oatley Cottage was Buz and Kathy's favorite pie shop. They make large pies, but their specialty is individual-sized savory pies.

Some of the flavors shown in these two photos (of just one of their cases) are all-vegetable, potato, mushroom and potato, satay vegetable, spinach and cheese, lentil and shallot vegetable, beef mushroom, chunky beef, chickpea and sun-dried tomato, chicken, Mediterranean chicken, cajun chicken, chicken and asparagus, mango-walnut chicken, mushroom and cheese chicken, chicken and corn, chicken and pumpkin, spicy chicken Mexicana, spicy Moroccan chicken, and spinach and feta Wow. And each and every different variety has a different decoration on top, so that they don't get mixed up if the labels get moved.

Then it was back home to monitor David's pain relief, making sure we didn't need to go back to the narcotic. Fortunately, when the novocaine wore off, the neurofen had taken effect and proved sufficient. He felt enough better that we could go out to the Lugarno Restaurant, in the Sydney suburb of the same name.

bread water The meal started with with nice crusty bread, to be dipped into the mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Very good indeed.

It was accompanied, as was the rest of the meal, by Laurentana bottled water, which boasts, as you can see on the label, of being "Europe's lightest water." I have no idea whether they intend that statement to mean that is contains a particularly low percentage of deuterium, whether it is claimed to be particularly transparent, or whether it contains fewer calories than other bottled waters. The waiter was not able to enlighten us (as it were).

crabs lamb First course, me: soft-shelled crabs, the same little beige paddle crabs I've seen in several markets. Served in this crispy tangle and described on the menu as salt and pepper flash fried with pickled cucumber, mixed greens, sweet chilli rosemary dressing. Yummy.

First course, David: Grilled tenderloin of lamb served over arugula with a creamy dressing and some sort of red fruit relish.

carpaccio john dory First course, Buz: carpaccio of fish of some sort, drizzled with dressing and sprinkled with tiny slivers of herb (basil, I think).

First course, Kathy: None, I think, mor maybe just a salad.

Main course, David: Grilled filet of John Dory (Zeus faber) with spinach risotto and beurre blanc. David loves risotto and will order just about anything with beurre blanc on it.

snapper veal Main course, me: Grilled whole baby snapper (whatever that means, a nice fish-shaped, fish-flavored fish anyway). Accompanied by delicious steamed vegetables.

Main course, Kathy: Sautéed veal topped with asparatus, a scallop, "bug meat" (the meat of some sort of slipper lobster, I think), veal jus, and béarnaise.

blue cod Main course, Buz: Blue-eye cod, served with salad, chips, and lemon-infused olive oil. Blue eye cod is probably Hyperoglyphe antarctica but could be Schedophilus labyrinthica. I hate comon names.

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