When the insurance assessor for the March storms finally turned up last week, I was so thrilled I kept flashing him my best smile as I escorted him around the policies.
I was also, actually, a little further over-excited as he was the handsomest man I'd seen in a good few years around here.
At such moments I realise that I really should try harder to wash, dress and stick a bit of slap on before 3pm.
Not that it would have any impact these days, but at least I could give him a flavour of the woman I once was.
Frenchmen like that.
It didn't help that Roslyn, clutching her favourite French maid sheepskin duster, was pretending to frantically fan herself and faint through the sitting-room window watching our progress.
Frenchwomen do really mouth ooh, la la, while twitching their eyebrows and dropping to their knees below sill-level.
She ran to the end of the house to pretend to faint at the back window too.
He pretended not to notice but I knew he did. I saw it in his - perfect - half-smile.
Anyway it was too late, so a smile was all I had as I tugged instinctively at the too-long hair in a parody of "girlish" flirtation. Grotesque actually.
Even more grotesque when I belatedly remembered that my smile was that of a geriatric toddler.
The night before, as I chewed down on another bloody bit of baguette, a fake tooth from my small brace (it's a brace, OK?) on my top four teeth flew off.
So I was grinning away at this poor man with a huge gap in my upper gnashers.
This, tragically, is not a new experience.
Since coming here I have lost three, maybe four teeth thanks to old age and the little "toasts" or baguettes people serve up with aperos.
If it's a fake tooth, super glue is the answer. If it's real and, hopefully, further back in the mouth, a tighter smile is my solution.
But when I lost the middle tooth of my lovely bottom real set of teeth I, of course, went to the Lavit dentist.
To replace the tooth, which involved a fake one with bits of wire to hold it on to the ones either side, was £325 - for one bloody tooth.
I have not been back since, despite the three in the cheeks that shucked themselves free of their tenuous bindings.
In Glasgow, having had serious problems with bone erosion, I spent a fortune with a dentist who nursed my teeth with the care of a zealot. He fined me every time I failed to show and I thank him for that; and then he retired and I left.
Here, in the sticks, who cares? I made jokes about my farming neighbours and sharing teeth; about toothless locals and blank smiles with brown tombstones scattered through the mouth.
Now, I am becoming at one with my neighbours because I suddenly understand why - price.
A Scottish friend of mine living here has just had three teeth replaced in a d****re (sorry, I simply cannot spell it out) in his bottom set.
It has cost him more than £1000 and even worse, he was left lower toothless for a month before he got the d****re.
He cultivated a stiff bottom lip for the duration and a "who-the-hell-gives-a-toss" attitude.
I stared fixedly at his top lip, refusing to stare into the abyss of his lower jaw.
For all the wonders of the French health service, teeth and eyes are horrendously pricey and do not figure in the top-up insurance beyond very basic work, ie half a filling for a tooth.
There is, for example, no equivalent of Specsavers.
One has to go first to an ophthalmologist, then take the prescription to a spec shop and hand over a fortune for frames and lenses.
And dentistry is the financial equivalent of plastic surgery in the UK.
For the price of a few fake teeth here I could have my jowls sliced off, my lines filled in and my eyelashes given an extension to rival the Tate Gallery's
So, instead, I have now added two basic tools to my tooth armoury: a commercial concrete mix to stick my "brace" to my gums, and the superglue to stick the tooth or teeth back in.
The superglue worked well until just before the assessor's visit.
Unfortunately, the cap had, duh, super-glued itself on to itself, so I needed a new tube - after I'd tried puncturing it in the middle and ended up dribbling it all over the tooth, my fingers, the basin and everything else in reach.
After he'd gone I went, non-smilingly, to the shop and bought another tube.
So much has built up on the tooth and my "brace" that I now have the smile of a sabre-toothed tiger.
The tooth hangs below the rest and sits on my bottom lip.
My winsome anti-gravity smile is a disturbing parody of a long-dead creature.
The internet tells me a combination of acetone and a nail file might work.
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