HELLO from Great Marton, here on the blustery Fylde coast of Lancashire. There is, in fact, bad as well as good news - but even the bad has its funny side.
A few days ago I regretfully lost another bit of myself - an upper left canine or 'dog' tooth. No, it wasn't in an altercation at my local, Blackpool's oldest inn The Saddle (see Books page).
"Don't worry," said my young dentist Jeffrey with a dazzling smile, "it's only a minute's job."
I must have looked like a man expecting execution not extraction.
But 10 minutes later he was still tugging and heaving without result. My tooth, like me, was hanging on grimly.
Finally a bit of surgery got the pesky peg out. As I'm rapidly becoming a public figure (see later), it was necessary to discuss how best to plug the remaining gap.
A bridge sounded like hard work, for me, and pricey. So we opted for a single denture, which I'm now wearing - my first.
It feels odd, like a stubborn boiled sweet stuck to the roof of your mouth.
"You'll get used to it," She Who Knows told me (not, I hasten to add, that she has any dentures - her teeth are A1). "It's an age thing, a learning process," she cooed.
Well, it's aged me fast. I'm now speaking with a slur, even without visiting the Saddle, and sounding like Michael Foot or old Bill Deedes (for those of you old enough to remember).
And I have some public speaking coming up . . .
The good news is that my first published novel, Where Angels Tread, is to be promoted with a 'Meet the Author' Signing Session at my favourite bookshop, Plackitt & Booth in leafy Lytham. The date is yet to be arranged but it will be soon and I'll update you.
Interested readers can also check out my other publications, now augmented by a humorous novel set on the Fylde entitled Life of Bliss (Books page).
Sales of Saddle Up! have also been cheering, while there is growing interest in thriller The Last Ghosts in Hong Kong (where it is set, see also Old Serial page).
Hopefully, by the time I'm addressing readers in person I shall have mastered my new appendage. Unlike contact lenses, which I could easily put in but couldn't get out, it takes me some time to fit my gleaming tooth in and I constantly fear it is about to drop out into my drink.
Still, I can now grin like Anton du Beck when doing our ballroom sessions, squiring She Who round a local dance studio (see also New Serial - Adult Beginners).
Tonight I'm trying my first tennis session with the new, gritted tooth - fortunately, with the gritty, old veterans of the Fylde's only indoor court at the Racquets & Whippets Club on the Moss.
But soon we will be outside and with those ladies who lunch, enjoying mixed doubles with cocktails at Lytham.
That's right, the best news of all is that spring is on its way.
See you soon!