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 Apr 23, 2021



Isn’t it lovely to see the sun and hide in sheltered corners of the garden to catch the warmth?  I can hardly believe it is over a year since the start of lockdown and approximately a year since I first started doing a regular blog/newsletter to you all.  Time flies and even thought it has been a weird 12 months it does seem to have passed in a flash, for me anyway.


I thought it might be nice to update you on the team and give you a snapshot of what we’ve all been up to during the current lockdown so each of them has written a little bit for you.  The blog was so long that I have split it and will do an update on the other team members next time.


I reached a great mile stone in the autumn, I turned 40 and they say this is when life begins don’t they? I guess they hadn’t anticipated 2020/21!

Although life hasn’t yet really begun again I am certainly busy.  My son Rowan is now 6 and keeps me very busy. We are always out and about on adventures, be it in the woods, on our farm, having days out or playing in the garden.

I have recently invested in a Dutch bike, so I can now be seen riding (badly) around Stockbridge and the surrounding areas (finding the odd pub on route) with him, it is bright orange so can’t be missed!  Beep and give me a wave if you see me.

It has been a successful year on the farm too, with lots of healthy calves being born as well as some chicks, from a handful of Chickens to loads over night! Rowan loves looking after them and takes his job very seriously.

As with all of us, we didn’t get to go on any of our planned holidays this year, but are feeling hopeful that we get to go skiing over Christmas, but who knows!

Cricket season is upon us, so I expect most of my Saturdays will be taken up with scoring for my husband Adams’ team and generally enjoying being outside. Rowan has just taken up football, cricket and beavers, with swimming on a Sunday too.  I escape to Gentle Dental for some peace and quiet.



So much has happened over the last 6 months. As many of you already know Craig and I are expecting our second baby at the end of July – another girl.  Pregnancy and juggling a 2 year old is definitely keeping me nice and busy.  I’m never short of things to do!  

We also moved house at the start of the year moving out of town to a village. Sophie loves being outdoors, whatever the weather, and going on lots of walks to find bugs and flowers! She recently made friends with a wiggly worm who had to have a “turn” on the wobbly toy horse at the local park!

I still manage to find time to make and decorate cakes for friends and family though I’m not sure how much longer I will be easily able to stretch to the cake. I think my arms need to grow along with the bump to allow me to do things.



Its official I now have a 3 year old! It seems like yesterday she ws a tiny baby. This year has been a tough one but being able to watch her grow has been amazing. She’s gone from a baby to a beautiful intelligent little girl.  One of the few good things about the pandemic was it gave me time to spend on potty training and getting rid of the dummy. What a sad life when time to potty train is a highlights

At the start of the first lockdown I couldn’t cook unless it came from a package.  I’ve now learnt to cook from scratch with fresh ingredients and have even mastered making sourdough and keeping a sourdough starter alive.   However, this is dangerous as it tastes sooo good that I can’t stop eating it.  Coupled with Easter and lots of chocolate eggs I think I need to restart my weight loss regime!




After some time living where I couldn’t exercise my green finger passion, I finally have a garden.  I’ve been enjoying seeing weed filled spaces take on some shape - if not always enjoying the effort it took to get there! I managed to find a greenhouse I could afford and am now very proud to show off my seedling.  I’ve recently become vegetarian so I’m hoping for a bumper crop of organic fruit and vegetables from my garden to keep me supplied for a while.

My cat Phoebe is also loving country living and has adopted a host of feral cats as friends.   It certainly does keep me on my toes keeping them out of the house  



The reception team have asked me to communicate with you about toothache.  It is their observation that Monday morning frequently brings a call or an email from a client who has been in pain all weekend but not wanted to call and disturb Rob.  They wanted me to remind you all that if you are in pain and need to be seen or at least to receive advice that we do an ‘on call’ service. (Basically, its Rob).  Now while Rob does appreciate this courtesy from you all he also hates to think you have been suffering the entire weekend.  Often, he can give advice over the phone that will sort the problem or if necessary, he will arrange a time to meet you at the practice to get you out of pain.  Simply call the practice on the usual number and it will tell you how to get in touch.

Also remember that as part of your membership plan you do have emergency cover as a benefit.  This means that if he does need to see you at the clinic, you do not pay a fee.  We simply claim on your membership.   Sadly, for those of you not on the membership there is a call out fee.  Feel free to contact the reception team to find out more details on the membership if you would like to understand more about this and other benefits.


Next exciting news - at least we think it is.  We are putting in another treatment room next door to the hygiene room and this will be completed by the end of August.   We ideally wanted a downstairs treatment room.  However, to afford the investment for this means we need an associate on board and already busy.  So plan B.  As you know we now have a stairlift to the corridor where my treatment room is so with very little structural work we can set up a surgery one room further along from mine.

We are currently advertising for an associate and have employed the services of a business planning company we work with to assist in the interview process.  The difficult we have had with our recruitment so far is that we choose nice people but are not making a great fist of sussing out whether they buy into our ethos or not. Fingers crossed for 3rd time lucky.

We will also be advertising for another hygienist two days per week to work in the new treatment room. We will not be cutting back on my clinical time and will in effect be providing six clinical days of hygiene per week rather than the current four.


Finally, I have also put together the promised blog on Phillips Sonicare electric toothbrushes.   I have to say that although I do rate them as a very good brush, I was surprised how little I really knew about them.  Researching them online I realised why.  The definitely market them on the sleek look and stylish design rather than the clinical capabilities.   Hopefully the info I’ve provided gives enough of a picture for you to make an informed decision but it certainly was more of a slog than the Oral B electric toothbrush blog.


I hope you enjoy your weekend and fingers crossed the weather is kidn to us.  We are making our first foray in our battered camper van.  Who knew you could get so excited about driving an hour down the road to a field and have so much fun planning different walks and cycles.  Happy days!

Keep well and safe.

Niamh, Rob and the Gentle Dental team. 




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