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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Gran Canaria Molar rebuild 27 January 2011

Normally a visit to the dentist would not maybe be considered worth writing about. However, this visit was particularly interesting. Probably 25 years ago, I had a gold crown placed over the remains of a molar in my left upper jaw. All was well until a few months ago when I noticed a hole in the tooth between gum and crown. The dentist said there was a chance he could save the tooth but would not guarantee a successful outcome. I agreed to risk it and he then did the following.
He first removed the crown, then performed a root canal treatment and put the crown back on with temporary cement. A week later after an antibiotic treatment (Amoxicycline) he removed the crown once more , drilled a bigger hole in two of the root canals and screwed in two Titanium screws with a cement. This was necessary as there was not much tooth left to support the crown. He then put some teflon tape in the old crown, filled it with a special cement which has a silver colour when set and placed the crown over the screws. After 5 minutes of biting on the crown to ensure that it was in the right place while the cement set, he removed the crown , removed the Teflon tape, put some glue in the crown and replaced it permanently. After another 5 minutes biting on the crown, procedure was complete.
Hopefully it is successful, but in any case I am very impressed with my dentist's skill. As an added bonus he explained in detail in English what he planned to do and gave a commentary as he did it. If anyone needs a good dentist, I can highly recommend Jose R Fernandez Velazquez whose practice can be found at Avenida Juan XXIII nr 7, Las Palmas.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gran Canaria Wrist Fracture Update 26 January 2011

26 January 2011 went back to Clinica San Roque for scheduled checkup.
The new X-Rays unfortunately showed that one of the securing pins has worked its way about a centimeter out of the bone.
However, the surgeon declared that the fracture repair progress was perfect and that the callous forming around the fracture was sufficient to prevent any displacement so the pins had done their job and were becoming redundant - relief all round.
Next checkup and possible pin/cast removal scheduled for 16 February.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Gran Canaria Las Palmas 13 to 25 January 2011

The last couple of weeks we have been enjoying life in Las Palmas . One of the highlights was meeting up with old Kemer friends Gerrit and Frieda on their Grand Banks M/V Houdoe who we had not seen since 2004. We went to see the musical Chicago in the recently renovated Teatro Perez Galdos which was built in 1919.

Took the 312 bus to Tafira Alta and had a stroll around the very extensive Jardin Botanica Canario Viera y Clavijo named after the botanist (1731 to 1813) who wrote the Canary Islands Dictionary of Plants. The gardens include examples of plants from all over the Canaries and other places in the world.
Jeannette and Mike in Dragon Tree Avenue

Lots of cactii

Another day we took the 80 bus to Telde, a town in the foothills which used to be the seat of the local King of the Guanches. Visited the Basilica of San Juan Bautista

which is adjoined by the Plaza de San Juan

Telde was the birthplace of the renowned Leon y Castillo brothers. Their house is now a museum

Fernando de Leon y Castillo (1842 - 1918) held many important positions in the Spanish Government including Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was largely responsible for the regeneration of Gran Canaria including the development of las Palmas Harbour.

A few days ago, the Las Palmas marathon took place.

Last Sunday we had a stroll along the northern promenade and came across some folk dancing in front of the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium

There were still places over for the lunchtime family concert by the Pagagnini string quartet (just 6 euros a seat)

As their brochure suggests, the show was hilarious with the three violinists and a celloist, playing classical pieces whilst leaping around the stage in a humourous manner without missing a beat - highly recommended.
The lady ushers were smartly dressed as usual but in their afternoon colours rather than their usual black uniforms.

The Auditorium is a superb building with the possibility to allow views of the sea behind the stage.

During the intervals one can enjoy a breath of sea air on the platform overlooking the bay.

It is not all play , however, and with Mike still unable to do much with his fractured wrist, Jeannette has ably assumed even more roles - this time as plumber installing a new tap.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Gran Canaria Yoga with breaking waves 13 January 2011

13 January woke to beautiful sunny day so decided to do some more exploring. took the 41 bus to Las Coloradas, a small town on the La Isleta peninsular which forms a natural protection for Las Palmas harbour. Had intended making a circumnavigation of the peninsular but found our way quickly blocked by rusting barbed wire with notices telling us this was a military area - keep out!
So made our way down a loose rocky path to the rugged lava coastline where the waves were breaking magnificently over the rocks. Decided this was a great picnic spot and Jeannette could not resist a yoga session with the crashing breaking waves in the background.
Please click on arrow bottom left to start video clip.

After some more scrambling across the lava, we reached the Bahia del Confital, a favourite place for surfers when the tide is right.

A newly constructed walkway led past the nudist areas via Los Caletones to the popular golden sand Playa de Las Canteras. Here the electronic Thermometer readout showed a comfortable 27 degrees C - not bad for mid January!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Gran Canaria Las Palmas 12 January 2011

It is now 8 days since the operation to reset my fractured wrist. During this time the swelling has reduced and there is hardly any discomfort. From the internet I understand there are typically 4 stages in the miraculous self healing process - I guess I have passed from the Inflammation stage to the Soft Callous Formation stage. Apparently "Fibroblast cells that are present in the Granulation tissue begin to form Cartilage and Fibrocartilage. This is a spongy material that fills the gap between the two fracture fragments, although it remains quite weak to external stresses for around six weeks." is what is now supposed to be happening.
After another few weeks I should enter the Hard Callous and finally the Bone Remodelling stage. Reading about this process makes one realise how amazing our body processes are.

Meanwhile Dutch Link lies quietly in her mooring with the step one of our neighbours kindly placed at her bow to facilitate boarding.
Have done a little exploring around the old part of Las Palmas with its maze of streets and elegant buildings.
Visited the Casa Colon - the house where Christopher Columbus stayed before his historic voyage in 1492.
The house is built around a beautiful central courtyard
Amongst other exhibits are some Portolan charts from the 16th century - the type of chart which was used mainly for navigation in the Mediterranean and Black Sea but would have also been used by Columbus.

Cathedral of Santa Ana

In front of the Cathedral are two groups of bronze dogs, presumably in recognition of the origin of the name of the Canaries Island group. It seems that the islands were not called the Canaries because of the Canary birds that live here but because of the dogs (latin canis) kept by the Gaunche tribes who lived here before the arrival of the Spanish. It is possible the birds get their name from the fact that they live here.
Afterwards we could not resist our favourite icecream parlour

Another walk took us through the Parque Doramas just behind the marina where many Dragon Trees were in fruit.
and past the bronze group of Guanches
and past the elegant Hotel Santa Catalina, built in 1890
Climbing steeply through the formal gardens behind the hotel one quickly starts to get suberb panoramic views of the city and harbours.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Brighton Gran Canaria New Year 2011

30 December succumbed to temptation to ice skate on the temporary ice rink in front of the Brighton Royal Pavilion
Unfortunately, after 45 minutes enjoying the realisation that could still more or less remember how to skate, a collision with another skater resulted in Mike falling to the ice and instantly changed our plans for the next few months.
An Xray at the Royal Sussex County Hospital confirmed a Distal Radius Fracture with displacement of Mike's right wrist.

The duty doctor injected the damage area with 10 mls Lignocaine/M.. local anaesthetic (a Haematoma Block) and after 15 minutes, tried to reset the radius by pulling on my fingers while another doctor pulled my upper arm. After hearing a couple of clicks, a nurse put a plaster cast on my wrist , tension being applied until the plaster had set.
Unfortunately, a second Xray showed that the attempt to manipulate the wrist had not been successful.
As there was no chance of further treatment in the UK till 4 January due to the holidays, we made a decision to return ASAP to Las Palmas to have the follow up treatment done there. This unfortunately ment cancelling visits to several of our friends - we are very sorry to have had to cancel.
1st January saw us on the Easyjet flight from Gatwick to Las Palmas. We were asked several times by airline staff whether or not the cast was split including on entering the plane - presumeably we would not be allowed to fly if the cast is not split in view of the risk of deep vein thrombosis.
We contacted the Clinica San Roque at 0830 Monday 3 January. By 1400hours Mike was on the operating table under general anaesthetic in the capable hands of surgeon Dr D I Siva Rossi. By 1800 hrs we were back on Dutch Link with two steel pins holding the fractured parts together - Dr Silva had managed to drill and insert the pins without having to cut the skin - very clever.
A control Xray today 5 January thankfully confirmed that the joint is still correctly pinned.

The two white lines on the Xrays are the pins.
Not having the use of one's right hand when righthanded is an interesting experience - to start with one needs assistance with the simplest things - as time goes by alternative ways of doing things are found.
All being well, the plan is to remove the plaster cast and the pins in 6 weeks time on 22 February - after which Mike has a lot of washing up to catchup on!

Xmas 2010

15 December Jeannette flew to Eindhoven with Transavia to spend time with family and have a few days dobbering with her sister Margreet in their favourite spa in Nieuwe Schans in the north of Holland. 22 December Mike flew from Las Palmas to Luton with Ryan Air - despite the snow the flight was only 3 hours late - J flew same day from Amsterdam to Stansted on time - amazing as there was chaos that week all over Europe.
Spent a very enjoyable Xmas with family - eating too much

Geoff produced yet another icing masterpiece
Had the traditional Boxingday walk - this year over excellent snow
Opened many, many presents
More excellent food
Played many of the old favourite party games - Pit, Umbrella Bird etc plus some new ones
More excellent food
and crackers
and flambeed Xmas pud
Went to Brighton and had excellent walk with Chris & Tasha followed by pub lunch
All in all, a supper Xmas.