For several years, Mrs L has been trying to get me to the dermatologist. We live in a hot place, and I have Celtic skin. My base colour is blue, after a good summer I turn white and if I overstay my welcome in the sun by a single minute, I go red, before peeling blue. Getting my moles checked out makes perfect sense. Additionally, I have an annoying polyp thing on my back and a matching one near my left temple. Whenever I get a haircut, the clippers catch it.

The dermatologist is absolutely charming, and a complete flirt. I’m not gay, and he knows that, but with a twinkle in his eye he becomes as camp as Christmas and cracks the one liners while giving my moles the once over. It was all very safe and innocent, with a nurse and the Mrs L watching on. Good news - no moles of concern. Polyp on the back? Laser and cauterise. Temple? Laser and a stitch. I was sent to the next room, where two competent women awaited me. I was told to lie face down on the gurney. Rapid fire conversation in Greek whizzed above my prone body, with the occasional question to me.

“This is the painful bit.” I was instructed to take a deep breath on three, and sure enough, I felt a sharp pain as polyp one was blasted. A small dressing was applied. Now for the temple. I had to turn my head and the process was repeated. My nostrils were filled with the scent of my hair burning. A new experience for me. Again, the pain was perfectly manageable. In order to put the stitch in, gauze was placed over my head, a hole where the embroidery needed to be done. I could feel something going on, a pinching feeling. Then I felt blood pouring over my face.

“Everything OK?”

“Umm…sure, but could you wipe some of this blood away please?”


Some fevered mopping began. I wasn’t particularly concerned, I know from experience that cuts on the head bleed dramatically and profusely, whether serious or not. The technicians pinched away for a minute to two more and got everything closed up. Three stitches, no less. I was cleaned up, given a prescription for some magic spray and told that swimming in the sea was fine, but not in the pool for five days. The whole thing was done and dusted in less than twenty minutes. While I was getting stitched up, Mrs L had everything checked out, and got a clean bill of health too.

That’s us for another year. An example of Cyprus at its best. Stunning, unexpected efficiency.

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