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Author Topic: Dianne really needs to get some braces  (Read 10939 times)

Offline Sparky

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Dianne really needs to get some braces
« on: 26. September 2023, 13:46:30 PM »
Chapter 1


"Anyone fancy a cuppa?" asked Paige. She had just walked into the 'Music Room' with a tray in her hands, on which there was a large teapot, a jug with milk, a strainer, along with 6 mugs and a tin of biscuits.

"Oh, yes please!" replied Dianne.

This morning, Carol, Jenny, Dianne and Linda, along with Callum, were tidying up the Music Room: over the last year or two, it had got a bit cluttered, and become a bit of a 'dumping ground' for old musical instruments, cables, tech kit, and the like. And that box of old stage costumes they had found earlier. Plus another box of old 'merchandise' from their first tour.

Next week, the four girls from Northern Girls would be coming to stay nearby (they had found a rather nice AirBnB about 10 minutes away, with plenty of space for the four band members, their manager, plus a couple of others) for a few weeks, and whilst four of them could easily work in the Music Room, it was a bit tight with eight of them.

Linda lined up a table next to the big settee, where Paige put the tray.

"I see quite a pile of stuff outside, looks like you're making progress..." commented Paige.

"It's taking far too long: the girls keep finding stuff and start talking about it...." replied Callum.

"Well, we're not in a big rush, and it IS fun looking at the stuff!" added Jenny. "We actually found a few useful bits too. Callum found an old small mixer that he'd been looking for, plus a load of old cables that will come in useful."

"And we have a box or two full of stuff that we can give away to our fans...." added Carol.

Paige poured out the teas, and passed them around. "Hey, Paige, remember these?" asked Jenny, passing over a small bag with a handful of old CJD badges in it.

"Oh, wow, yeah, I do, and I still have mine: you gave us each one of these that day you first met us all in the park." said Paige with a big smile. She suddenly giggled. "I remember you turned up in your headgear, and you'd posted your first picture in it earlier in the day! Who would have thought back then that I'd end up working with you?"

"Yes, I'd bumped into Suzi the day before: I knew her from church, but she worked out that I was Jenny from CJD... I had to ask her to keep it a bit secret. I could tell she wanted to kinda 'show off' that she had met me, so I agreed to meet you all the next day..."

"I'm glad you did: we had so much fun being your 'SuperFans'!" replied Paige, picking up her cup and drinking her tea. "You know, that was the first time I'd actually seen someone wearing headgear."

There was a brief lull in the conversation.

"Thinking about braces..." said Linda, "I have a question for Dianne..."

"Oh gawd, here we go again..." mumbled Dianne.

"Actually no. I was going to ask whether, if I got braces, you might feel better about getting them?". Dianne just picked up her cup of tea, and took another mouthful. "Look, I'm not suggesting you do it for me, just do it for yourself."

Carol smiled, showing off her retainers. "Maybe I need to get some 'proper' braces again too?" she commented. That seemed to get Dianne's attention. "You know, it WOULD really look pretty cool if all eight of us went on tour with braces!"

"You... you... you guys would REALLY get braces to support me?" said Dianne.

"How long have we known each other, Dianne? And you question whether I'm willing to support you? Of COURSE I'm bloody well willing to support you: you're 'family', and that's what 'family' does!" said Carol. Dianne looked visibly shocked at this sudden showing of support for her.

"Look, Dianne, it's clearly your decision," added Jenny, "but yes, we're 'family'. We do what should be done to help each other. And besides, Carol's right, it really WOULD look pretty cool if we all had braces. Kinda sends out a good positive message to the world too! What do you think, Paige?"

"It sounds like a great idea, but don't expect ME to get braces too!" she replied.

"Oooh, you really should, I reckon you'd look really cute with braces" said Jenny with a big smile, making it very clear she was joking.

"You know, when Taylor told us about Meg's braces, I did sort of wonder whether to ask you guys if you'd do the same for me," said Dianne. "but I decided against it..."

Linda leaned over and put her arm around Dianne. "You know, it's odd: when you're on stage, you are such a positive person. Like when we were up in Leicester playing support to Darkest Knights... when they were doing their sound-check and a short rehearsal, you kinda muscled-in and almost insisted on playing with them - and I'll add that your drumming was absolutely excellent that night with them - but off-stage, you're... well... the best word I can think of right now is 'meek'".

"I guess that's just the way I am....".

"And I suspect that's part the reason you like playing the drums: you can kinda hide away behind them..." added Linda.

"The odd thing is that you never USED to be like that!" said Carol. "So what changed?" She thought a moment. "I also remember that you used to smile a lot more... and I'm starting to wonder if there's some sort of link there?"

Dianne diverted her eyes away from the group. "I've never really thought about it, but you're probably right. I am actually embarrassed by my lower teeth these days."

"Well, I don't know about the rest of you," said Jenny, "but *I* want my old Dianne back again, which means just one thing, and we'll be right there with you, supporting you!"


Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #1 on: 04. October 2023, 11:00:43 AM »
Chapter 2

The girl on the desk at Archway Orthodontics (Jenny's ortho, and now also Carol's) got quite a surprise when the four girls walking into reception. While she had met Jenny twice before, and knew who she was, this was ALL FOUR members of the group!

"Good afternoon, how can I help you?" asked the girl, trying to stay as composed as possible.

Jenny smiled, showing off her lovely metal brackets. "I think you probably know who we are, don't you. Anyway, we have a double appointment booked with David, under my name - Jenny Stevens - just in case you've forgotten!"

The girl on reception smiled back, revealing that she too had a nice set of metal on her teeth. "Yes, that's fine. Would you like to go through to the waiting room?"

"We can certainly do that, but I reckon you'd better get your phone out first, something tells me that you know exactly who we are, and would absolutely LOVE to take a selfie with us. Would I be right?"

"You don't mind me doing that?"

"Not a problem, but if you post it online, be a bit 'curious' of why all four of us are here together, will you? It will be a bit of fun for our fans to get wound up a bit! They'll find out the full truth probably next week.... Ok, ladies, let's get ourselves in front of the 'Archway Orthodontics' sign..."

With the selfie taken, the four of them went and sat in the waiting room.

"Tell you what" said Dianne, "This is a bit nicer than my previous ortho's place!"

"I have no doubt about it! I'm guessing you went to an NHS ortho as a teen... this is what you get with Private Practice! Although it DOES cost a bit more.... you sure you're going to be able to afford to get braces here?" said Jenny, teasing.

"Hmm, difficult choice: three new drumkits, or get braces? Which should I go for?" replied Dianne, which raised a chuckle from the others. "I mean, for Linda, it's gonna be more like 5 new guitars or braces! So what's your ortho like then?".

"David is a really nice guy, and so's his assistant." said Jenny.

"I'll agree with Jenny: when I came here for a new retainer, it was a MUCH nicer experience than when I was at school. You're seeming to be pretty calm about all this, Dianne, you ok there?"

"A bit nervous, but I think now I've accepted that I'm actually doing this, I'm feeling better. And I'll be honest, having you guys with me - and all of you getting braces too - is making me feel a lot better!"

"Well, it's alright for all of you," said Linda, "at least you have SOME previous experience of braces, this is something 100% new for me!"

"Well, you DID get looked at by an ortho when we were in Korea!"

"True, but there was never any plans on getting graces there. This time I know I'm going to get braces, one way or another, and it's not gonna be clear aligners, is it?"

"Yeah, sorry about that!" said Jenny. "But on a more positive note, it's not only gonna look totally awesome with all four of us in braces, but when we team up with Northern Girls, there's gonna be EIGHT of us!

Offline bracessd

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #2 on: 04. October 2023, 16:46:11 PM »
Looking forward to the treatments they get prescribed

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #3 on: 10. October 2023, 13:57:54 PM »
Chapter 3

"Hello there, Jenny, would you like to come through?" asked Angela - David Bright's assistant - who had just come in the room. She suddenly froze as she recognised the other three girls. Yes, she had met Carol before, when she had come in to get, and then collect, her retainer, so she was easy to recognise. Angela's brain worked fast, realising that if there was FOUR of them together, it was very possible that the other two might be Dianne and Linda: she quickly scanned her memories, and confirmed what she thought, and a huge smile came to her face.

"Hello Angela, you already know Carol... this is Dianne, and this is Linda.... although I have a feeling you already worked that out!" said Jenny.

"Yeah, ummm, wow, all four of you! What brings ALL of you here today then?" she asked as she led them back into the surgery.

"Oh, just listen in when we explain things to David!" replied Jenny.

As Angela took them into the surgery, she announced to David: "We seem to have all four members of CJDL with us today!".

David turned to see the four newcomers. "Jenny, nice to see you again, Carol too... erm..."

"Linda and Dianne" said Angela.

"And Linda and Dianne, nice to meet you too. Come and sit down, and tell me exactly why all of you are here today! I just noticed that you actually booked a double session..."

The four of them sat down, as did David. "Come on, Angela, do join us, I know you want to hear what's going on!" said Jenny. Angela looked at David, who motioned for her to join them all.

"So, you remember a little while ago I told you that we were over in Korea - that's when my bracket fell off!"

"Ah yes..."

"So not only did the lovely lady ortho fix my bracket, she took a quick look at all of us...."

"Ok.. do go on..."

"Unsurprisingly, she was happy with my progress, and she was very happy with Carols teeth too. Whilst she explained that Linda's teeth weren't quite perfect, they were plenty good enough. However, Dianne has some rather bigger issues. Dianne, maybe better for you to explain..."

"Well, I had quite a bit of braces treatment when I was younger. I had bad buck teeth, and started off with some twin-blocks and headgear, then had metal braces, elastics and so on. At the end of it all, my teeth actually looked pretty good. Until about a year or so ago, that is. My dentist explained that it was caused by my wisdom teeth coming in: there was enough space for them at the top, but not at the bottom, and that I should probably have my wisdom teeth removed. And if I wanted my teeth fixing, I'd inevitably need braces again."

"Have you had your wisdom teeth removed yet?" asked David.

"No, I'm still filled with wisdom!" joked Dianne.

"Ah, ok. That all makes sense. But I do have a question for you: why have all FOUR of you come in? I'm sort-of guessing you're here to support Dianne? So why did you book a double appointment?"

"Ah, right, yes. Yes, not only are we here to support her today, but we want to support her through her treatment: we ALL want to have braces!"

"You ALL want braces?" said David, rather surprised. To the side, Angela was smiling: she was trying to imagine what 'CJDL in metal braces' would look like!

"Yes. I mean, I already have them...." said Jenny.

"And I'm thinking that you could fit me with braces again, so they could work as my retainers" added Carol.

"And whilst I wasn't originally planning on getting my teeth fixed, if it helps Dianne feel better with HER treatment, then I'm up for it too!" said Linda.

"Yeah, I definitely need braces....." said Dianne. "Let me tell you a bit more: there's a Canadian group that we're going to go on tour with later in the year, and one of them needed braces, so the other three of them got braces to support her. As Jenny said out in the waiting room: it's going to look pretty awesome having all eight of us on stage in braces!"

Davis smiled: he finally understood what this was all about. "It sounds like I need to have a look at all of you then: Jenny, you're due for your regular check-up anyway, so we'll get you into some fresh ligatures, then I'll look at the rest of you too. How about we start with Jenny then Carol. Then Linda, and do Dianne last: from what you say, you're probably going to to need the most detailed treatment! And Angela, while I look at these ladies, maybe you can go and do some panoramic x=rays?"

"Of course. Who should I do first?" asked Angela.

"Why not start with.... erm, Linda, wasn't it? Then she'll be ready for me to examine. Then do Dianne."

Linda was slightly upset that she wouldn't get to see Jenny's braces in detail, but went with Angela, who took her along the corridor and into a small room. Amongst the many bits in there was a white machine mounted on a big pole that was braced against the wall, with a big arm on top in an inverted 'U' shape.

"Ok, Linda, let me put a disposable mouthpiece on the machine...". Mounted from the top of the 'U' was a frame that had a certain similarity to the machine you put your head into at the opticians, when they need to examine your eyes closely. "You need to rest your forehead here.... hold on, let me take it up a bit...". She pressed some buttons to adjust the height of the unit, so Linda could stand at it better. "That's right, now hold these two handles here, they'll help you to stay still. Now gently bite down on this bit. Perfect!" Linda wriggled a bit, to get a bit more comfortable.

"Are you ok there?" asked Angela. Linda used a hand to give a thumbs up. Angela walked to the far end of the room where a screen was mounted on the wall, and clicked the mouse a few times. A sort of panel, the size of a thick pad of A4 paper moved quickly around in front of her face, then slowly returned the same way as it took the x-ray.

"Ok, all done!" said Angela. Linda stopped biting on the plastic piece, and stepped out of the machine, and over to Angela.

"That me?" she asked, looking at the images on the screen. Whilst Linda had seen pictures online that showed a 'flat' picture of all of someone's teeth, this one was in full 3D.

"Yeah, it's pretty cool, isn't it? Here, let me show you...". Using her mouse, she rotated the 3-D view of Linda's jaws, letting her see how her teeth were in her jaws: it was just as if it were a picture of a skeleton's mouth.

"Wow, that is amazing!". Linda could see her teeth, with their roots, as well as the bones of her jaws, all shaded to give an amazingly realistic view.

"We can also zoom in to get more detail..." explained Angela, showing Linda her molars and roots in her jaw.

"Looks like I have long roots" commented Linda.

"Yes, and whilst I'm not the expert, I'd say they are looking really good, so no reason you can't have braces. Ok, let me just save everything, and remove that 'bite-stick', then we can go and see how Jenny is getting on."


In the meantime, David asked Jenny to sit in the treatment chair, which he reclined back, such that Jenny was lying more in her back. "Feel free to come and watch: as long as you don't actually get in the way, stand where you like..."

David fitted plastic lip spreaders into her mouth, and took a look around her teeth. "Yes, everything is looking good! Let's get your old ligatures off, then remove your archwires..."

David picked up a tool with a pointed but hooked end and used it to deftly remove all of Jenny's old ligatures, removed her two archwires, then took another look in her mouth. Next he sat the chair up. "You know where the floss is, do go and have a good floss!".

"You know, ladies, this is one of the best bits of coming to the ortho: getting to easily and properly floss your teeth!"

"While you do that, have a think about what colour ligatures you'd like me to put on."

"Oh," said Jenny, as she walked across to the sink, "show Dianne and Carol what you've got, they can choose today!"

Normally, Angela would have got out the selection of ligatures for him, but she was taking X-rays of Linda, so he got up, and got them from the drawer himself, and showed Dianne and Carol.

Both of them were quite familiar with ligatures, both having had braces as teens. For them, there were two questions: a mix of colours or all the same? And WHICH colour(s)?

"You know, I reckon it's time she went pink!" said Carol.

"Yeah, nice and bright... how about THIS one?" said Dianne.

"Mmm, yes, good choice!"

It didn't take too long for Jenny to floss her teeth. "Pink? Yeah, why not, not done pink before, usually shied away from it." Then she saw what Dianne and Linda had chosen. "Yes, that IS a bright pink, isn't it, but what the heck!". She was about to sit in the chair again, when David interrupted her.

"I was thinking that now might be a good time to scan your teeth again, just to update your records, and for that, I'll need Angela's help: so while we wait for her, why don't I take a look at your teeth, Carol?"

"Sure, no problem" she replied sitting in the chair. As David reclined it, she asked "do you want me to remove my retainers?"

"No, leave them in please, I'd like to check their fit...". With Carol reclined, he fitted another lip-spreader into her mouth, and started with a general look around Carol's mouth, then - having quickly referred to his dental records - specifically at the tooth which had needed moving. Next, David put his fingers into Carol's mouth, and gently pulled down her upper retainer. Next he took out her lower retainer "As I suspected, they've got slightly looser, I'll tighten them both in a moment.

With her retainers removed, David had a good look at Carol's teeth. "That canine looks to be in just the right place now, it just needs time for the bone to fully heal now, so keep on wearing the retainers for the moment... and something tells me that won't be a problem for you. Ok, let's make a few tweaks...". David picked up Carol's top retainer, and used some shiny stainless steel pliers to slightly bend the adams clasps and other wires so that they held on like they used to originally. He then put it back into Carol's mouth, where it seated with a nice 'click'. "Does that feel ok, Carol?" he asked.

Carol could feel that there was a tiny bit more pressure from the wires now, but it wasn't a problem, so she nodded.

"That's good, let me do your other retainer now." Once more he bent the wires a tiny bit, and put it back into her mouth, then removed the spreaders. For Carol the effect was a bit like removing then refitting a body harness: they seemed to fit in place a bit more positively.

"I'm assuming you've had no problems with your retainers?"

"Well, apart from the lisp to start with, no. My mouth is so used to them now that it feels odd when I take them out! And no speech problems, or singing either!"

"Ah, that's good news. Ah, they're back!". Angela had just walked back into the room with Linda.

"Oh, did I miss Jenny?"

"Nah, I'm not actually done yet, David needs Angela to help him scan my teeth. He just removed my ligs and archwires so I could have a floss, so took a look at Carol in the meantime."

Angela heard what Jenny had said, so went and got the scanning machine ready.

"Tell you what, Carol, as you're already in the seat, why don't I scan you first? I want to scan you all anyway."

"Yeah, no problems with that. I guess I need to take out my retainers?"

"Please!"

Carol put her fingers into her mouth, and pulled down on her top retainer: with the clasps and wires being a little tighter, she needed to apply a little more force, then the same with her lower one.

Angela passed the scanning wand over to David, who started to scan Carols teeth: as he did so, an image of Carol's teeth appeared on the screen. With the scanning done, he had a careful look at the image. "Yes, that looks fine!"

"You seemed to do that a lot quicker than last time!" commented Carol.

"Yes, I've been reading some helpful articles that gave some useful hint's and tips. The initial scanning actually takes a tiny bit longer, but I don't seem to need as much re-scanning to fill in any gaps I missed. Angela, can you get up Carol's previous scans of her upper teeth, and superimpose the new one?"

"Ah, yes, so you can see the movement of her canine....". About 30 seconds later, she had two images on screen, and spent a few moments moving and zooming them. At last she was able to alternate between the two images: all of her other teeth remained in the smae place, but you could see a small movement of her canine: originally it was slightly out of line, now it was nicely in place.

"Ok, Carol, that's all looking good. Jenny, would you like to swap places with Carol?".

With Jenny sat in the chair, and reclined, David started by scanning Jenny's teeth, as everyone watched the images appeared on the screens. David took a few moments to look at the scan: "Yes, you're doing very well.... ok, lets refit your archwire and new ligatures." Pink ligatures, of coures!.

"Oh, yes, nice colour!" said Linda "Who chose it?"

"We did!" said Carol.

"I had a feeling it maybe wasn't Jenny! But I will admit, it does look 'very Jenny'!"

A few minutes later, with all her ligatures fitted, Jenny took a look in the mirror, and smiled. "Definitely bright, but I do like it!"



[958/3]

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #4 on: 15. October 2023, 14:59:12 PM »
Chapter 4

"Angela, while I take a look at Linda, would you like to take Dianne for her x-ray, please?". While Angela took Dianne out for her panoramic x-ray (which I won't bother describing, it was just the same as Linda's!), David invited  Linda to sit in the treatment chair, which hye then reclined.

Before fitting another clean set of lip-spreaders, he asked Linda to smile for him, so he could see her teeth in a 'natural setting'. He then fitted the lip-spreader, and looked more closely. "So, yes, your teeth are, both dentally and orthodintically pretty good, and as you say, not perfect, but very acceptable. So, with braces, I'm sure we can give you that ACTUAL perfect smile! Your lower arch is generally very good, as is the front of your upper arch. The main issue you have is that your upper pre-molars are both slightly rotated, and at a very slight angle, and I can see that this has created a slight amount of wear on your lower premolars."

Just then, Angela returned. "Ah, excellent timing, we can scan Linda's teeth". It was clear that whilst the scanning equipment could be operated by a single person, it was a lot easier with a second person: David operated the wand, while Angela turned the scanning on and off as needed. The scan nicely showed the slight issues with Linda's teeth, and afterwards, David briefly highlighted her issues on the images.

"From a practical perspective, I need to spend some time looking at all of your scans and x-rays before I can definitively state that I can give you all braces, but after I've had a look at Dianne's teeth, we can all have a preliminary chat. So, while I look at Dianne, Angela, maybe you'd like to take Carol for her x-ray, then do Jenny?"

Linda got out of the chair, to be replaced by Dianne, who was feeling a bit nervous.

"It's ok, Dianne, this bit's the easy bit..." said Jenny.

"Oh, I know that, I'm just worried about exactly what David will see, and what my treatment will be: you know I was never over-keen on braces!".

Linda came a bit closer, and held her hand. "Don't worry, we're all here for you!"

Once again, David had an initial look at Dianne's teeth before he inserted a fourth set of lip retractors into her mouth. Over the next 5 to 10 minutes, David had Dianne bite down, open, move her lower jaw forwards and backwards, as well as side-to-side. All accompanied by the occasional "hmm"s and "ah"s as he tried to understand the orthodontic issues that Dianne had.

David's slow investigation of Dianne, linked with how quick Angela was as doing the panoramic x-rays, meant that as David finished looking at Diannes mouth, Angela returned, having done x-rays for both Carol and Jenny, which meant that they could now do a scan of Dianne's teeth.

As the image built up, Jenny was taking a close look. "Wow, I never quite realised how bad your teeth had got!"

With the final scan done, David asked the four ladies to go and sit in the lounge area, while he had a preliminary look at the 4 x-rays and the scans, then joined them all.

"So, let's start with the easiest first: Jenny, your teeth are looking good, probably another 6 to 9 months to go, then retainers... but from your reactions at earlier appointments, I suspect you don't have a problem with that. Carol, your roots are looking great, as are your teeth, so I don't see any problems letting you have braces."

"Linda, your x-rays are also good, and your issues are relatively minor, apart from your slightly twisted molars, your teeth have only minor issues, which metal brackets should fix quite easily. As for those two pre-molars that are a bit twisted: the way I'm thinking is that I would fit two tiny screws inside your mouth, and matching attachments on the inside of those two teeth, and use elastics to rotate the teeth... that's in addition to the force that an archwire will give on the outside."

"Is that gonna give me problems speaking... and singing? And will I need to have thos metal bands on my molars, Like Jenny has?"

"Jenny, you had an expander which was maybe 5 times worse than what you'll have... your comments, Jenny?"

"Don't worry, Linda, you'll soon get used to them! They sound like they're a LOAD smaller than my expander was!"

"And as for molar bands: no, there's no need for those... and Carol won't need them either. As for how long the treatment will take... I'm kinda guessing at about 9 months."

"Oh, that kinda lines up with when the tour is likely to finish."

"And finally Dianne...."

"Yeah, something tells me I'm gonna need a bit more than these guys!"

"Well, first of all, the reason for your problems: you had braces as a teen, so I'm assuming that round of treatment left you with good straight teeth. Yes, I think your dentist was right, most of the issues you have have been caused by your wisdom teeth finally dropping into place. There's almost enough space for them in your upper jaw - but not quite, and there's a distinct lack of space for them in your lower jaw. The result is that, whilst your upper teeth are actually still lined up pretty well, everything has moved slightly forwards, such that your front teeth now protrude a tiny bit more than maybe they should. On your lower jaw, you've not been so lucky, and the pressure has caused your lower teeth to become noticeably crooked, especially at the front."

Dianne nodded. "Yeah, that all makes sense... so I'm guessing I need to get my four wisdom teeth removed?"

"Yup, absolutely. So as for your treatment, we really need to get your remaining teeth pushed back a bit in your jaw - in effect to where they were before this all happened. If you were having your first round of treatment, I'd probably have suggested removing your lower pre-molars, but I'd prefer not to do that. So, you saw what Jenny had at the beginning of her treatment: how would you feel about wearing a headgear, along with a lip-bumper? The facebow on the headgear would be on your top teeth: whilst it wouldn't need to do much in itself, it would allow me to add elastics between your uppers and lowers, to help move your lower teeth back: that's in addition to having a lower lip-bumper, which would help move your rear molars back. Of course, that might need to change when I've looked at your scans and x-rays in more detail."

Dianne looked a bit worried.

"They way I see it" said Jenny, "is that there's maybe 3 options for you: do nothing, and I'm guessing things will get worse..." Jenny looked over at David.

"Yes, Jenny's right there."

"Second option, at least get your Wisdom teeth out, hopefully that will stop things getting worse, and they'll stay pretty much as they are now..." Again she looked at David.

"Give or take a bit, yes..."

"Or bite the bullet, and get them fixed. You KNOW you would like to have those lovely straight teeth you used to have back again. And headgear wasn't THAT bad for me... besides, I could have got away with not wearing it in public. The lip-bumpers push your lips out a tiny bit, but are actually quite comfortable. And remember, you're not doing this alone, we're all here for you, all wearing braces with you...".

"Yes, unsurprisingly you are 100% right, I really DO need to do this. And you don't realise how much it means for you to be doing this with me. So what's my timscales?"

"We can give you an appointment to have your 4 teeth out this week. The good news is that your roots look really nice and straight, so I think I should be able to remove them with only minor trauma. I'd suggest taking maybe 3 or 4 days off just relaxing afterwards. The extraction holes will take maybe 6 weeks to fully heal, but I could put your braces on two or three weeks after your extractions... you'll need to pop in for me to fit 'spacers' about a week before that though. And how long? I'll guess at 12 to 18 months, assuming the headgear and lip-bumpers do their job ok."

"What you REALLY mean is 'as long as I wear them enough' don't you? Don't worry, I'm sure I'll cope"

"Yes, I do... but before I do anything, I need to look at all the scans and write up formal treatment plans for the three of you: Carol, yours should be quite simple! Dianne's will be a bit more complicated. And knowing who you are, I'll assume the price is not going to be a big issue... don't worry, I won't 'rip you off'! And you all want to have medium-sized metal brackets? Or do you want to go large?"

"If we go large, do we get extra fries to go with it too?" asked Linda, joking.

David smiled at the four girls. "I wish more of my patients were so positive about getting braces!"


[1279/3]

(just corrected a couple of - hopefully obvious - mistakes)

Offline bracessd

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #5 on: 16. October 2023, 18:42:49 PM »
Good job @sparky

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #6 on: 16. October 2023, 21:50:23 PM »
I'm enjoying the continuation of the CJDL series of stories. Maybe someday I'll get around to listing them all together in TheArchive.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #7 on: 17. October 2023, 09:43:15 AM »
I'm enjoying the continuation of the CJDL series of stories. Maybe someday I'll get around to listing them all together in TheArchive.

The nice thing for doing the writing is that the story-verse already exists, so I can quickly dive into the story....

In case anyone isn't sure, the timeline here pretty much continues after the Carol storyline....

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #8 on: 24. October 2023, 12:53:05 PM »
Of course, one of the issues of having and re-using an existing universe are that occasionally 'continuity mistakes' happen. Unlike a professional writer, I don't keep a full database of everything every character does... I do keep certain details, and try to look stuff up if relevant, but they are just fun stories for me, so it's no big deal to me if there's mistakes occasionally.

The first one I found that isn't an issue yet (and I might be able to hide away!) was in the 'Linda J' story, where, soon after joining CJDL full time, she meets a guy called Dave. I'll get around that one by simply saying 'it didn't last long so wasn't important'!

The other one comes from my 'Asian Braces in London story', which I was looking at yesterday to get certain references from: in Chapter 51 Danny (the protagonist) meets up with Ben, and they go out clubbing with Jenny and Linda. At one point Linda dances with Danny, and they have a short braces chat:


"You think I'm coming out clubbing with a guy, and not having a nice dance with him?" So I put my arms around her, and she put hers around me.

"So, is that retainers or actual braces?" she asked me after we'd been dancing a while.

"Retainers. You sound very knowledgeable!" I replied, phrasing my words carefully.

"Ah, yes. I still have my retainers somewhere" she said, "although it's been a while since I wore them!"

"I'm guessing you had probably braces as a teen then?" I asked carefully. I had to assume that Linda wasn't like me.... or Ben for that matter....

"Yeah, my teeth were a bit of a mess, and I had several different braces... I started off with a pair of chunky removeable ones to help push my bottom jaw forwards". Ah, twin-blocks then, I thought. "It also had a screw thing in the top - boy that used to hurt when it was adjusted. Then I had brackets - like Jenny has - for a while. Then the retainers". So twin-blocks with an upper expander, then simple brackets, then a pair of Hawley retainers! It was fun trying to imagine Linda with all of those braces!

"Which you don't wear any more! But your teeth look ok to me, so it probably doesn't matter too much any more"



So, I'm gonna explain that away by saying that whilst the 'Asian Braces' story-verse is amazingly similar to this one, it differs in the fact that Linda never got braces in this one! Or maybe I just call it a retcon? Interestingly, the treatment there has similarities to what Dianne seems to have has when she was younger.


Just finished watching a new K-Drama, "Doona!",: it stars Bae Suzy, it's about an ex-KPop star... Bae Suzy is of course still a KPop star and actress, so has a very relevant background for the series. There were a few IMDB reviews that said the way that Doona behaves in the story wasn't credible: I'd say it is actually very credible.... Luckily my CJDL girls seem to be a lot more pleasant (probably because they weren't brought up in the strictly controlled KPop environment!).


One storyline I'd love to do, but can't work out quite how to do it, is to have CJDL meet up with Baby Metal!!! The issue is that the sort of music that CJDL probably do is nowhere near the sort of stuff that Baby Metal do!  Maybe Baby Metal teams up with Darkest Knights, and the girls meet them that way?

Offline braces37

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #9 on: 24. October 2023, 18:03:13 PM »
Don't worry about the continuity errors, most pros don't use databases either and they make all kinds of mistakes. Much more important is the prose and characterization, and you're doing very well there, as per usual.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #10 on: 31. October 2023, 11:05:59 AM »
Chapter 5

All four girls went back to their own flats for the weekend: it gave them the chance to spend some quality time with their other halves. Not that they didn't often meet up with them during the week, it was just a longer drive for Ben, Mike or Tom.

Three of them had a large letter sitting on their doorstep waiting for them: their treatment plans - Jenny was the odd one out, as she didn't need one, of course.

Carol's was very simple: it clearly stated that whilst she would be fitted with upper and lower metal brackets, there would be no active treatment, but she should still attend for regular appointments just to be sure, and, of course, to have her ligatures changed.

Linda's was relatively straight forward, apart from the couple of mini-screws needed. She had a look online, and smiled: she had just thought they would get screwed in in some random place, completely forgetting about the roots of her teeth: yes, the screws would have to be carefully positioned, to be between the roots of her teeth. Obvious when you think about it really! Looking at the pictures she found, she could see that they might get a bit annoying, although she was sure she's quickly get used to them. As for the braces... yes, she knew from others that they would hurt her lips and cheeks for a while. And whilst it was easy to say 'it's a lot easier getting braces as an adult', she was still a little apprehensive. At least Jenny had made it easier for them by being SO open about her braces, but she did wonder what their fans would say when they revealed that they ALL had braces!

Dianne's treatment was the most complex. She already had an appointment for Monday to have her wisdom teeth removed: even if she completely bottled out, and didn't get braces, she knew that her wisdom teeth just had to go. At some point, she would need a very short appointment to have spacers fitted: Jenny had told her all about them, and to make sure she was dosed up well with pain-killers, as it was very likely they would hurt, albeit only for a day or two! A week later she would get her braces installed, including molar bands (which is why she needed the spacers, to make space to fit the molar bands.

She would need to wear a headgear for her upper teeth, as well as a lip bumper on her lowers. Again, this was something she'd spoken with Jenny about. Jenny had said that she should expect actual pain for a few days, but after that, it would become more of an ache, and that the more she wore them, the less painful and annoying it would be for her.

And in addition to all that, she would need elastics on the sides: these would need to be worn in conjunction with the headgear, to apply a backwards force onto her lower teeth.

The good news was that their tour was still a few months away, so by the time they hit the road, she would hopefully be 100% at home with her braces, although there was a lot of work to be done between now and then: rehearsals of their new music, recording the new album, as well as rehearsing for the tour.

Dianne went into her kitchen and made a coffee, glancing up at the clock as she did so: Mike would be over on an hour or so.

Hmm, Mike... Things with Mike hadn't been going so well recently. Their 'new couple honeymoon period' ended ages ago, and now they occasionally exchanged cross words. It was hard for Dianne to say exactly what the problem was, but she had a feeling that the fact they weren't seeing as much of each other during the week wasn't helping. Over the last couple of months, the four girls had been spending most of the week at their shared house, working together on their music. After their second tour, they had started spending a lot of time apart, and as Carol had said, it was affecting the band's dynamics, and things had greatly improved since they started spending more time together.

Ideas were flowing a lot easier, and Dianne had spent some of the time working with Linda: since joining the group as a full member, she had discovered that she was indeed able to not just write music, but the words to go with it too, and in that respect, she was probably more able than the other three of them. Dianne was great at writing lyrics, and was quite able to tweak the music that Jenny had created, but she found it quite hard to come up with a brand new tune. Also, Linda had shown a strange ability as both writing and performing a different sort of music: music for anime's, and had been working on a few advanced ideas for a possible upcoming new anime series being created in Korea. And whilst it was a slightly different style of music, all the girls actually liked it: it was different, and it had its own challenges musically. They had all had a go singing the lead, but only Linda was able to have the voice needed to sing it.

So, back to Mike. Yeah, things were a bit 'shaky'. They had never actually had a full-blown argument, it was more just odd comments, and actions. In principle, Dianne was really happy going out with Mike: being a part-time musician, he understood better than most what being a musician was like. But recently things had been strained. She didn't think... and really hoped... that Mike wasn't seeing anyone else, although she had wondered about it many times. Maybe the two of them just needed to sit down and have a good chat, see if they could work things through. Work out what the problems were, and try and fix them...


[2417/10]

Offline bracessd

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #11 on: 31. October 2023, 16:34:52 PM »
Maybe Mike will be pleasantly surprised by Dianne getting braces and it will bring them closer together...

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #12 on: 05. November 2023, 17:40:33 PM »
Chapter 6

We jump forward a couple of weeks: Dianne had her wisdom teeth removed on the Monday after the weekend in the previous chapter, and she took the rest of that week gently, staying at home for the first couple of days. The following week her extraction sites were doing well, so she had her separators installed: the whole appointment lasted under 15 minutes, and that included David checking out her extractions!

Today, they are all getting their braces installed. Ok, so Jenny isn't, but she's gone along anyway!

So, let's remind ourselves what's going on... Jenny: no change. Carol: getting brackets fitted that will simply act as retainers. Linda, getting active braces, 2 micro-screws and 2 buttons on inside of two molars, but no molar bands. Dianne: metal brackets, molar bands top and bottom, headgear and lip-bumper.

Carol was first in the chair: David suggested that, as she had had braces before, it would be useful to let mainly Linda - but also Dianne - see what needed to be done. Carol had already given her teeth a good brushing before getting into the treatment chair. With her reclined back, Angela gave Carol a pair of 'sunglasses' to wear: they were to protect her eyes from anything that might accidentally happen, as well as reduce the glare from the bright light that would be shining in her face. Next, David inserted the lip spreaders that Angela gave him, holding Carols lips out of the way of her teeth, thus allowing David - and the others - to see Carol getting her braces. Angela also inserted a suction tube into Carol's mouth: this would remove excess saliva, and any water that got sprayed into her mouth.

The first thing that David did was to pick up a syringe that contained something blue, and pointed the needle at the middle of one of Carol's teeth: as he pressed on the end of the syringe, a blue gel came out of the end. As he repeated the process on her other teeth, he explained that the blue gel was acidic, and was used to 'etch' the tooth surface, so that the glue used to bond the brackets to her teeth would have a better surface to attach to. About 30 later he rinsed it off, before applying another liquid to the teeth from another syringe.

"This is what's called a bonding agent, it 'primes' the tooth - kinda like with gloss painting - so that the resin I'll be using to hold the brackets in place will adhere better". He then used an air gun to dry it.

"So, these are the brackets I'll be fitting: you'll notice that they all have slightly different shapes, that's just to make them fit better on the different teeth" explained David

"So, how do you make sure you don't get a bracket for the right hand side on the left?" asked Linda

"Oh, see the coloured dots? They indicate which quadrant of the mouth they are for. The dots wear off after a few days.... So, next thing I need to do is to put some adhesive onto each tooth, add the bracket, then use a UV light to 'activate' the adhesive. Different people do it in different ways, I like to do the brackets in groups, then activate them, before doing the next ones."

David took the syringe that Angela passed him, and put adhesive on Carols top front six teeth, then placed the brackets. Using a special tool, he made sure the brackets were the same distance from the bottom of Carol's teeth, before letting Angela use the UV gun to set the adhesive. Before moving on, he picked up a pre-formed archwire, and slipped it into the 4 brackets.

"Normally I wouldn't need to do this, but I don't really want to apply any pressure to Carols teeth if I can help it, so just need to check that everything lines up correctly as we go...." explained David. He continued adding the three brackets to Carol's upper left premolars and molar, then did the right hand side. Once again, he checked that the archwire fitted easily.

"Same again for the lower brackets: the brackets are a bit smaller, simply before lower teeth are smaller."

"So Carol's brackets - and Jenny's too - seem to be pretty much in the middle of her teeth, but I've noticed in some pictures that the brackets are right up against the gum... why's that?"

"One reason can be if the teeth haven't fully erupted. But some orthodontists simply seem to prefer doing it that way. Remember that your teeth have long roots, so it's not like they're at the other end of the tooth! Another reason can be - mainly for the front lower ones ones - that if the patient has a deep bite - so top teeth come down too far - it keeps the top teeth from hitting the brackets. Of course, if that's not possible, then you have to use either 'bite stoppers' or a bite plate.... they both just stop the jaws from fully closing."

"That must be very annoying... for the patient I mean!"

"Oh, it is to start with, but there's no other real choice in most cases. If a tooth hits a bracket, one of two things can happen: if the adhesive is strong, then the bracket can damage the tooth where it hits. If the adhesive isn't quite as strong, then the bracket gets knocked off, which we don't want."

As David continued fitting Carol's brackets, he explained things more, and answered Linda's questions.

"Of course, you and Carol aren't getting molar bands, as you just don't need them. Dianne will get 4 molar bands - just like Jenny has, and for the same reason: so that she can wear headgear and a lip bumper: that's why she's been suffering from wearing separators! How have they been, Dianne?"

"As annoying as I remember them from the first time around!" replied Dianne, "but they were only sore for the first few days."

"And how's the wisdom teeth? Or should I say the LACK of wisdom teeth?"

"They seem to have settled down quite nicely, although I'm still getting used to having a bit of extra space at the back of my mouth!"

David removed the lip-spreaders, and let Carol have a rinse, and a look in the mirror. "So, what colour ligature is Carol getting today?"

"Well, I think we should all have matching ligs!" replied Jenny, "so that means pink, as that's what you all chose for me last time!". There was a bit of laughing all round.

"I'm up for that" replied Carol, "as long as you two also go pink..."

"Oh, ok.... " said Dianne. "Linda?"

"Well, it's a bit bright...."

"Look, given how visible we four are, it's not gonna matter WHAT colour you get!" replied Jenny. "Besides, it will get rid of all those worries about 'my braces are too visible' a lot quicker, trust me! Next time I vote we go neon orange!"

While the discussion was going on, David had re-fitted Carol with the lip-spreaders, and had inserted the upper archwire. He took the pink ligatures from Angela, and fitted them, then repeated it all for her lower brackets, finally removing her lip-spreaders.

"How does that feel, Carol? There should be no pressure on any of your teeth?"

"So far it all feels ok... well, apart from that lovely feeling of the brackets digging into my cheeks, which I know is going to get worse for a few days, before it gets better. At least I'll not have to be on soft foods for the next week like these two..."



(2879/11)

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #13 on: 07. November 2023, 12:36:54 PM »
Chapter 7

Carol got out of the treatment chair, and spent a minute looking at her new metallic smile. Already, memories were returning as the brackets caught on the inside of her cheeks. The first time she had braces, she was younger, and she was so much more self-conscious of her appearance. What an irony: as a teen pop icon she was less bothered by her looks compared to when she was a teenager. Back then, having braces was a really big deal, whilst this time around, it was closer to 'meh!'... Besides, she wasn't alone: within a couple of hours, she would be just one of a group of four girls, all in braces with pink ligatures!

Memories also started to come back about the hassles of cleaning your teeth with braces. However, she had one thing that Jenny reckoned would make her experience a LOT more pleasant: a water pik. She's already tried it out, cleaning between her teeth: how had her parents deprived her of such a useful device when she was a teen in braces?

It was now Linda's turn to sit in the chair: like Carol, she would not be getting molar bands, but she did, however, have 2 extras lined up for her: 2 micro-screws needed. For this, she would need a local anaesthetic.

"So, which would you prefer?" asked David. "You have a choice of 'just a little prick'?, or 'I just need to stab you with a 3 inch steel needle'? Completely your choice!". Clearly not a tactic he would have used with younger patients, but he knew that the four adult girls were all pretty chilled, and enjoyed a bit of humour.

"Stab her! Stab her!" called out Jenny.

"Can I just have the 'little prick' please?" replied Linda

"While this kicks in" said David, injecting the lidocaine into her upper jaw, where he needed to install the micro-screws, "I'll start doing your brackets, plus I can glue on the buttons too."

With the injections done, he leaned Linda back in the chair, fitting a clean lip-spreader. Next he acid etched the outsides of all the relevant teeth, plus the insides of the two molars that would have buttons. Then, it pretty much the same way he had done with Carol, he fitted the metal brackets to her teeth: glue, bracket, shine light, repeat.

"Ok" said David, prodding the inside of her mouth with a sharp needle-like device. "Hopefully you can't feel that?"

Linda shook her head, and grunted a 'no' as best she could with the lip-spreader in her mouth. David picked up his high-speed dentists drill, and fitted a small drill bit that Angela had just passed him. 'Bzzzt' went the drill as he tested that it was working. After referring to her x-rays on the screen, he put the 'work end' of the drill into Linda's mouth, spent a moment lining it up, then 'bzzzt! bzzzzzt!'. Then a short pause, and another 'bzzzzzzt'.

"Hopefully that's the drilling done, I'm hoping you felt nothing? So, next I need to install these tiny screws, which shouldn't take long" said David, showing everyone the screws. "By the way, if you ever feel that either of the screws has become loose, get in touch straight away. It probably won't happen, but best to be aware."

Having fitted the two screws into Linda's mouth, he then fitted the two buttons to the insides of her two molars, then cut a couple of short lengths of 'powerchain', and hooked them between the buttons and mini-screws. "If these bits of elastic come off - possible when you're eating - then I'll give you some spares, and a little tool, and you can try to put a new one on. If you have problems, then just ring up, and we'll slip you in, it will only take a minute to do it here. Ok, let's fit your archwires and ligatures - something tells me you'll also be having the neon yellow ones?"

"But of course!" said Carol, "We wouldn't want her to stand out from the crowd, would we?"

Fitting the archwire took a little longer: whilst Carol's brackets all perfectly lined up, such that the archwires applied as little pressure as possible to her already 'perfect' teeth, Linda's teeth actually needed to be moved. With the archwires in place, David fitted her ligatures, and clipped the excess archwire off.

Having braces was, of course, a brand new experience for Linda: unlike the others, she had never had braces before, so she spent a little while looking at her new smile in the mirror that Angela had passed her.

"You know, the braces suit you!" said Jenny.



(3124/12)

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #14 on: 12. November 2023, 21:39:23 PM »
Chapter 8

Linda's tongue had new toys to play with, and she couldn't stop running her tongue over her metal brackets and the strange screwheads and 'buttons' in the inside of her mouth - in fact, it was the screws and buttons that her tongue found the most interesting. Even if she relaxed her tongue in her mouth, she could still feel them, pushing her tongue out of the way a little.

As she talked to the others, she detected a bit of a lisp in her voice. Not the traditional 'th" one, when the tongue has something in the way at the front of the mouth: this was a more subtle lisp.

"Don't worry, you'll be ok in a week or two" commented Jenny, "I mean, even now it's not a big deal."

Luckily Linda was pretty good with pain: not only did she seem to have a higher than normal pain threshold, but when it happened, she wasn't worried about it... in fact, she almost savoured it, whilst at the same time being able to use sheer willpower to just ignore any pain. But, not knowing QUITE how bad any pain might be, and what sort of pain it might be, she had been sensible, and taken some painkillers just before coming out. What she was interested in finding out was how bad the pain was for the next few days when she had to eat.


At last, it was Dianne's turn to sit in the large comfy treatment chair, to have her braces fitted. David could sense that she wasn't quite as relaxed as his two previous patients had been.

"Don't worry, I'll try and make it as pleasant as possible: the most difficult bit for you is probably having your molar bands fitted.

He leaned Dianne back in the chair and inserted some fresh lips spreaders. The first thing that David did was to remove the spacers which had made small gaps between the molars ready to fit the molar bands.

"Well, the spacers seem to have done their job, there's nice spaces where we need them!" commented David. "Let's see how the bands actually fit...."

Angela passed the molar bands to him, one at a time, so that he could test their fit. Three of them fitted perfectly, whilst the other one was a little bit tight and he spent a few moments working to make it fit better. With the molar bands now ready to fit he etched around the four molars, rinsed, then applied glue to the inside of the molar bands, one at a time, then pushed them firmly onto Dianne's teeth, using the small UV lamp to set the glue. The good news for Dianne was that this went very easily: there was plenty of space for the molar bands to fit between her teeth.

Next, and just like he had done with both Carol and Linda, he etched and rinsed the other teeth ready to receive their metal brackets. Then, with glue waiting on her teeth, he fitted the metal brackets, carefully lining them up in the correct position, ready to take the arch wire, which would help pull her teeth into the correct position.

With her molar bands and metal brackets finally all now in place, David gave Dianne a short break to rinse her mouth and relax, before the next part.

"So, next I need to fit your archwires, this is likely to take a bit longer than with Carol and Linda, as I need to put some bends into them."

"Yeah, I remember this bit far too well. It's where my teeth start to ache and feel very tender for the next week." Like Linda, she had taken some painkillers, although quite expected the pain to push through the meds. "ok, let's get this done...."

Once more Dianne was laying on her back, lip-spreaders making her bracket-covered teeth visible to everyone, ready for David to fit her archwires. It took a little longer than it had for both Carol and Linda, and she still had a bit more to go. Finally, Dianne completed the 'set': four girls, all with metal brackets, and all with yellow ligatures.  However, David wasn't finished with Dianne just yet!

"Next your elastics....". It didn't take long for David to fit the elastics. He then got Angela to take her over to the mirror, and coach Dianne in how to remove and add elastics. After that, Dianne was back in the chair, to have her headgear fitted.

"Ok, so I'll fit your lip-bumper first. So, let me re-explain how this all works: First of all, the lip-bumper uses your lower lip muscles to push your lower molars back, and I'm hoping you'll be able to wear it pretty much most of the time. It's the same thing that Jenny had to wear at the start of her treatment, so she's probably a lot more qualified to tell you what it's like, and give you some hints and tips. Your headgear, when we fit it in a moment, has two purposes: first of all, we could do with moving your upper molars back a bit too, but more importantly, the elastics I'll fit between your top and bottom teeth will assist the lip-bumper to pull your lower teeth back... as such, the headgear becomes a bit of an anchor, to counteract the forward pull from the elastics. Which means that you need to think of the elastics and the headgear as a pair: wear one, you need to wear the other. Ok, let's get this done!"

To make the lip-bumper fit, David had three things he needed to set up. The first was to simply have the ends of the thick wires both pointing in the right direction, such that they slid easily into the two tubes of her lower molar bands. Then he needed to bend the u-shaped wires to adjust the gap between Dianne's front lower teeth and the lip-bumper. Too large, and it would be too far forward, making it both uncomfortable and making her lower lip protrude stupidly. Too close, and it would soon touch the teeth, and become ineffective. Finally, he had to make sure it was positioned low enough to be comfortable. It took David several attempts to get it right: as he made one adjustment, something else would go out of true.

"Ok, now your facebow and headgear..." David explained that he liked to fit the headgear such that the welded join at the front fitted between the lips, and thus closer to the teeth, and that most patients didn't have much of a problem with it like that, as long as it fitted naturally between the lips. And after some adjustment, it too fitted nicely.

"So, this is an interlandi headgear. The reason for choosing this particular headgear is that I need the forces on your teeth to go straight back: the high-pull headgear kinda does what the name suggests, and applies a force that's both upwards and backwards, whilst the cervical headghear pulls downwards. The alternative would be to have you wear both - a combi headgear - but I think you'll find this is more comfortable." He adjusted the straps to fit comfortably over Dianne's head, then selected suitable elastics to connect the headgear to the facebow.

"So, you have 2 sizes of elastics: these big ones are for the headgear, these small ones are for in your mouth. You may be able to eat with them in place, but more likely you'll want to remove them... so just change the elastics whenever you eat, so several times each day. The ones for the headgear will last longer, so change them daily. Angela will give you several bags of each, but just ask for more if you need them!"

Angela passed the hand mirror to Dianne, to take a look at her face with her headgear: to be honest, she was a bit shocked with what she saw.

"So, how long do I need to wear this then?" she asked.

"It would be great if you can manage to wear the headgear 12 hours each day. Wear it more if you wish, it will help to speed things up a little. But wear the lip bumper as much as possible, 24/7 would be great, but I appreciate that you may need to remove it for practical reasons.

"Well," thought Dianne, "Jenny managed to live with headgear ok, and I'm not gonna let her be better than me!"

Yes, a little bit of competition can often encourage people!



[3411/13]

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #15 on: 18. November 2023, 17:17:27 PM »
Chapter 9

After Jenny took a look at Dianne's braces, Jenny suggested that they should post pictures of the four of them online.

"Not in this headgear you aren't!" said Dianne quite emphatically!

"Aww, Dianne, such a spoilsport..." replied Jenny with a big smile. "Tell you what, let's start with a picture of me, then we can do some pics of you guys."

Dianne took a picture of Jenny, then Jenny did pics of the rest of them, then got Angela to take one of all four of them. She started by posting the closeup picture of her mouth, without any comment. Very quickly they got a few comments.

"Ah, Jenny's got new ligs..."

"They are bright!"

.. and that sort of thing.

The four girls were chatting with David and Angela (this is PRIVATE orthodontics: you pay loads, and if there's still time, you get to have a nice chat!). A few minutes later, Jenny posted a similar picture of Carol.

"Hey, that's not Jenny..."

"Well, who is it then?"

"I'd say Linda"

"Nah, that's not Linda, looks more like Carol to me"

"But Carol has retainers..."

Then the third one, of Linda.

"Now THAT looks like Linda. I bet Jenny is playing with photoshop!"

Then the one of Dianne...

"Well, Dianne needs braces..."

"They are playing with us...."

By this point, the chat was starting to get busy. Finally, Jenny posted the four pictures of each of them, full-face and smiling, showing off their braces. This one definitely confused everyone.

"Ok, time to put you out of your misery...." posted Jenny, along with the picture of ALL of them.

"No way!"

"What's going on?"

"They ALL have braces?"

"Like the bright colour though! All the same!"

"So, today was the day for Dianne to get braced, and the rest of us decided that we needed to support her... so we ALL now have braces!" posted Jenny.

"Don't you DARE mention the headgear!" said Dianne.

"Don't worry, you can do that in your own time. You'll have to come clean at some point, and it's not really THAT bad, honest. I've been there!"



[3747/14]

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #16 on: 21. November 2023, 03:10:33 AM »
Chapter 10


"Hello, this is Eleanor... who's that?". Eleanor Rigby is the secretary of the CJDL fan club.

"Hi there, Eleanor, it's Dianne, from your most favourite girl group!" said Dianne, with a very slight lisp. She'd had her braces now just over a week, and was getting quite used to them.. well apart from the the lip-bumper and headgear, that was going to take a bit longer. For a phone call like this, she took them both out anyway.

"Oh, hi there.." replied Eleanor, excitedly. "Sorry, I obviously didn't have your name in my contacts list, so I just saw the number! So, what can I do for you this evening?"

Whilst Eleanor had met all the girls at their 'Fans Evenings' (the first one having been in Birmingham, and was detailed in Carol's story), and had also chatted with them all on other occasions, she didn't have all their private numbers.

"You've never been to the 'CJDL Mansions' have you?"

"No, I haven't...."

"Well, you busy this weekend?" asked Dianne.

"Umm... no!". Eleanor guessed, quite correctly, that she was about to get an invitation!

"Well, we thought it would be fun for you to come and join us here: we were thinking you could come over either before or after lunch on Saturday, then we can all go out for a meal in the evening. You then stay over, and join us for Sunday lunch, going back either Sunday afternoon or evening. Interested?"

"Hell yeah! It would be nice to see you guys again. Anyone else coming?"

"No, just you. We'll all be here, and I have no doubt that Callum and Paige will be around at least part the time. I'm assuming you don't have a boyfriend?"

"No I don't... just me!"

"Ah, that makes it easier for everyone! You're out near Slough, aren't you? Do you have a car?"

"That's right, and yes, I do..."

"We're in South London, so I'll guess that's what? 45 minutes to an hour for you?"

"Probably about that."

"Ok, I'll email you the address here - I don't need to tell you that such info is NOT for public use, do I?"

"Of course not..."

"And let us know if you'd like to join us for lunch, we don't mind either way."


[3981/15]

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #17 on: 22. November 2023, 01:03:33 AM »
Chapter 11


"Hey, Paige, Eleanor from the fan club is coming over on Saturday and Sunday, want to join us, it could be useful?" asked Dianne. Paige knew that they were asking Eleanor over for more than a social event.

"I can make Saturday... Family luch on Sunday, doesn't happen that often, so I daren't miss it, if I don't want to get written out of mum and dad's wills!!"

"Oh good. Either dress smart-ish, or bring something nice with you: we're going out for dinner."

"Oh nice!"



[4152/16]

Offline acornjohn2001

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #18 on: 22. November 2023, 07:49:53 AM »
You are such a teaser, Sparky!!! I love your stories!

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #19 on: 26. November 2023, 18:20:48 PM »
Chapter 12


It was a little after 2pm on the Saturday when the doorbell rang: Eleanor had decided to come over after lunch. Callum answered the door.

"Hey, Eleanor, great to see you, come on in! The girls are working on something down in the music room. Want a coffee?"

"Oh, yes please! Boy, the roads are busy today, so a coffee will be VERY nice! My bag's in the car, shall I bring it in now?". Eleanor was looking around: from outside she had realised that the house was fairly big and impressive, and the inside was similar.

"Yes, if you like... I can show you up to your room. I'll be in the kitchen - making your coffee - which is through THERE... just drop your bag here, and come on through."

Eleanor went out and got her bag, which she left in the hall, then joined Callum in the kitchen.

"Nice place.... Dianne jokingly called it 'CJDL Mansion' when she called me, and from what I can see, it's not that far off..."

"Yeah, we have eight bedrooms, although one of them's a small office at the moment, and an acre or so out the back. The main reason we bought it was because of the music room: the previous owner had an informal recording studio built, although we don't do that, we just use it as a very nice rehearsal space. Anyway, do you like your coffee black or white? Sugar?"

"White with one sugar, please...". The coffee making machine was gurgling away, making the second of two coffees, and Callum added milk and sugar to the first. When the second one was done, he led her back to the hall, putting the two coffees on the table. He then grabbed Eleanor's bag, and led her upstairs.

"So, your room is this way" explained Callum, as they went right at the top of the stairs. "That's Jenny's room... then there's Dianne's...". Finally they reached an open door. "You're in here."

"Thanks. Where's the bathroom?"

"Ensuite, that door over there. Just leave your bag for the moment, you'll have plenty of time later."

"Ok, just need to go in there a moment..." explained Eleanor, popping in to use the loo. Callum waited outside the room, and didn't have to wait too long.

"Come on, let's go meet everyone else!". Callum took Eleanor downstairs, then along the corridor to the music room. With the music room's door closed, you could hear just a bit of noise: the room had been well designed to keep the noise in. Callum opened the door: the four girls were actively working on a new song, so were able to stop pretty quickly.

"Hey, Eleanor!" shouted out Linda. "Come on over and say hello!". As Eleanor walked towards them, she saw Dianne sitting at the drums, wearing headgear, and couldn't help staring at her. She knew as well as all the other fans that all four of them had braces, but they hadn't said anything about Dianne wearing headgear!

"Yeah, it's headgear, have a good stare!" said Dianne. The comment was made half-jokingly: whilst she was pretty relaxed about it in close company, she was still a bit embarrassed about it when someone new saw her in it. "Sorry, I shouldn't have said that, should I? I'm still getting used to it. I will admit that my respect for Jenny went up hugely when I started wearing this!"

"Sorry, I shouldn't have stared like that in the first place, it's just strange seeing an adult in it. My little sister had headgear for a bit, she hated it, only ever wore it at home, and even then, not if we had visitors. How's it feel? I'm guessing you must be pretty used to it by now..."

"Used to it, yes. Still self-conscious of it though. The stupid thing is that I had headgear when I had my first lot of braces, over 10 years ago, so you'd think I'd be ok with it!" replied Dianne.

"Yeah, she's a LOT more relaxed about it than when she first got it." commented Jenny.

"So, you all have braces now... what's the REAL story behind that then?" asked Eleanor.

Jenny explained how the three other girls in Northern Girls had got braces to support Meg. "So, We all decided to do the same for Dianne!"

"So, Carol, I'm assuming your braces aren't really doing anything?"

"That's right, just acting as retainers."

"Ok, Jenny already has braces, so what about you, Linda? Your teeth always looked ok."

"They weren't all that bad, actually, but I do have a slight issue. Although I wouldn't have bothered getting them if it weren't for wanting to support Dianne. So, we're gonna be 8 girls, onstage, in braces!" said Linda.

"That is going to be worth seeing!"

"Well, I think Eleanor deserves to be allowed to take a selfie with us four," suggested Jenny, "You know, maybe it's time for you to go public with your headgear: what do you think, Dianne?"

Dianne gave Jenny a bit of a dirty look. "Look, Dianne, one day someone will catch you in a picture, maybe in the background without you realising it. That's the whole reason I went public about mine: it was done on MY terms... I was in control."

"I'm not really convinced..." said Dianne. Eleanor was about to say something, but realised that it would be better to just leave it to the girls.

"You know, Dianne, it's not really THAT big a deal. Hell, I remember when you had bright pink hair for a while..." said Carol.

"Yeah, well THAT was a fashion statement!"

"So make THIS a fashion statement too!" suggested Linda. "Hey, I have an idea: when Eleanor posts the picture, she could ask others who have headgear to post pics of themselves - in their headgear - to show their support..."

"I'll bet no one will...." commented Dianne, still being a bit negative.

"You won't know if you don't try, and I'll bet they will!!" said Linda, being far more positive.

In the end, Dianne let Eleanor take a picture of them all, with Dianne in her headgear. Of course, the fans were a little surprised, but with Jenny having historically 'set the trend', there were no negative comments, and a small number of fans DID post selfies with headgear.

So, what were you guys playing, I didn't recognise it."

"We've been writing quite a bit of new stuff, you'll probably spot of few changes of style, because Linda has been writing some of the songs... So we're practising the stuff we're pretty happy with, and actively working on some others. Plus we've been working on some songs for all eight of us to play: Northern Girls are coming over again in a couple of weeks, so we want to have something to work on with them!"

For the next hour or so, Eleanor watched and listened as the four girls continued to work on some of their new stuff.


[4498/18]

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #20 on: 28. November 2023, 13:01:24 PM »
Chapter 13


It was just after 3 when Jenny's mum, Lisa, came in to the music room: on seeing her, the girls stopped playing. "Just done some tea and scones, it's in the lounge." said Lisa.

"Oh, thanks, mum!"

The girls put down their guitars, and everyone went into the lounge. Jenny helped her mum pour the tea and hand out the cake.

"So, what do you think of 'CJDL Mansions' then?" Dianne asked Eleanor.

"From what I've seen, it's rather nice, I think you're lucky to live here!"

"Well, we don't ACTUALLY live here, we all have our own places, although we do live here when we're working on stuff" said Dianne, "like we are at the moment."

"Yeah, but you're right, it's a nice place to 'work' too. I'll be honest, back when we were looking for a place, when we first saw that music room we all realised this would just work for us so well. It's so much better than having to rent a rehearsal room!" added Jenny

"So who actually owns it then?" asked Eleanor.

"It's joint thing... mum and dad, Carol, Dianne and me." replied Jenny. "The thing is that, whilst it's home for mum, dad and Callum, it's an 'office' for us all too."

"I wish I worked in an office like this!" said Eleanor.

"You know, I don't know exactly what you actually do, work-wise...." said Dianne, grateful that Jenny had managed to get the topic onto 'work'.

"Oh, I work in the office at the warehouse for one of the big supermarkets, making sure the stuff we order actually arrives, and then schedule it all onto the trucks going out to the stores. And it's DEFINTELY nowhere near as nice as your office!!"

"Oh, ok. So...do you like your job?"

"It's 'ok'. Gets a bit busy at times, other times it can get a bit boring... I just feel I could do something... well, more interesting"

"Ah, so that's why you enjoy doing the fan-club stuff then? Something different, more interesting?"

"Yes, it is a bit different, not that it doesn't get a bit stressful at times. I mean, most the time it's something I can easily do what's needed in the evenings, but occasionally - like when you wanted me to dig out the longer-term members for Birmingham - I spent part of a weekend doing that. There's lots I think we ought to do, it's just that there's not enough time to do it. I mean, Paige has been a great help on a few occasions..."

"What if we could make a bit more time for you?"

"What? How you gonna do that?"

"Ok, here's a leading question...". Dianne held up her left hand, palm up: "Working for the supermarket". Then her right hand: "and working for the fan-club". She moved her hands like a balance. "Which do you enjoy more?"

"Well, the fan-club, no question!"

"Any particular reason why?"

"Well I get to chat with you guys occasionally. And the fans too, they are a really great bunch... And I get to do stuff at my own pace most the time."

"Ok. You see, we have a few ideas for the fan-club, and that's going to mean quite a bit more work for you, so we were wondering... how would you like to change your job?"

Eleanor looked at Dianne, clearly a bit confused.

"How would you like to come and work for us, full-time, running the fan-club?"

"You kidding me?"

"No, not at all. After those special fan meetings - you must admit, they WERE fun, weren't they? - we realised that we can monetise the fan club a lot better than we have so far, and more than enough to pay for you to run it. Originally we were thinking part-time, but we quickly realised it needed someone full-time."

"Monetise it? As in charging people to join and that sort of thing?"

"No, I don't think we want to charge anyone to actually join. We want to sell 'bonus stuff'. Some can be simple: custom signed stuff for example: we came across some stuff from our old tours, I'm sure some of the fans would love that, and be willing to pay to have it. Then we could do premium fan meets. Back-stage tours. Come to the sound check.... We're pretty certain people will pay for that sort of stuff. It's not charging people for what we already do, it would be new stuff."

Eleanor had a big smile on her face. "I like it...."

"We thought you might. The thing is, you know how the fan-club already works. And I'll be honest, part the reason for getting you here was so we could interact with you in a more relaxed setting, and see how we all got on. You're a bit like Paige: once you got over that initial 'hey I'm meeting my heros' stuff, you seem pretty relaxed around us, and that's what we need. So, would you like to change your job?"

"I guess part of it would be what I get paid, but yeah, I'm definitely interested..."

"Ok, so, when we've all finished having tea, you have a chat with Brian, work out how much we need to pay you, then go away and have a think. I'll warn you now, it's not going to be a 9 to 5, Monday to Friday job, you're occasionally going to need to do stuff in the evenings and at weekends. Kinda like today. But when that happens, you just take some time off some other day to balance it. Oh yeah, how would you feel about being away from home for a bit?"

"Away from home? Staying and working here, do you mean?"

"Well, yes, that too, but if you come and work for us, we'd want you to join us on tour. There's gonna be a lot of fans to talk to! Look, speak to dad. Also speak to Paige, she understands how things work. Think about it, and only say yes if you want your life to change!"

Dianne was normally the quieter one of the four of them, but the others had managed to persuade her to take the lead with Eleanor, and she felt good about the way she had just handled it all. She just hoped that Eleanor would actually say 'yes'.



[4715/19]

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #21 on: 30. November 2023, 03:44:23 AM »
Chapter 14


"Paige, would you like to stay with us too, please?" asked Brian. They had finished their tea and cakes, and Brian needed to talk with Eleanor... and Paige it seemed. The others left the lounge to go back to the music room.

"So, Eleanor, you like the idea of working with us then?"

Eleanor was smiling again. This was a BIG decision for her to take: she needed to go and have a chat with her parents for a bit of a sanity-check, but she had a good feeling about things. Of course, a lot would depend on how much they would offer her. "Yes, the idea appeals a lot. It would be quite a change..."

"I was a little hesitant when they offered ME a job," commented Paige, "but, if I'm honest, it's the best thing I ever did.". Brian had asked her to share her experiences with Eleanor: they had substantial plans for the fan-club, which would need someone working full-time. They knew Eleanor did a good - and more importantly, conscientious - job, had always seemed very able to do whatever they asked her to do, and they had no doubt that she would be able to get up to speed very quickly with any new stuff. "Yes, you'll end up working weekends... I mean, I'm sort-of working this weekend, but don't worry, there's plenty of flexibility, take days off in the week. Much of the time you'll be able to do a lot of your stuff from home, at a time that's good for you. But when we're touring, or do other stuff, you'll have to accept that your normal life just goes on hold. I mean, when we went up to Birmingham at zero notice and the girls played with Darkest Knights, well that was just full-on and crazy, but it was so much fun at the same time!"

Paige and Eleanor chatted for a few more minutes, and as they did so, Brian felt even more so that Eleanor would be a really good fit for the team.

"So..." said Brian. "Paige and I took a guess at the sort of salary you're on now, so if I were to offer you this much..." and he mentioned a figure, that was probably about 25% higher than what they thought Eleanor was probably on now. "... then I hope we can persuade you to join us."

Paige looked at Brian, as she realised that the amount he had said was more than she was paid. Quite a nice amount more.

"Of course, the problem with offering you that much is that it's more than we pay Paige. So Paige, you've been with us a while now, and everyone agrees that not only do you fit in really well, and you do a great job, we'd all be sad if you were to leave us, so how about I pay you the same amount as Eleanor too? Whilst she's not as experienced, she is a bit older, so all in all, I'd say that's fair..."

Paige smiled: this was completely unexpected, and the extra money would come in very useful. "Thank you, Brian!" said Paige.

"So, Eleanor ignoring everything else, is the money good enough for you?"

"Oh, the money is absolutely fine, it's definitely more than I'm on now. It's all just a bit of a shock that you're offering this to me, I need to think about it, and speak with mum and dad, get their take on it."

"Of course, and I have no doubt they will warn you all about getting involved in the pop industry! And yes, who knows where we will be in 5 years time, but you could say that about many 'more stable' business these days! They are very welcome to call me for a chat, if that helps. But on the other hand, the job IS for you, not them!"

They talked a bit more about the practical aspects, like making sure she updated her car insurance for business use, and getting her a laptop.. all assuming she wanted to join them, of course.

"Well, Eleanor, it's been nice to be able to meet you in a more relaxed environment. I hope you enjoy the rest of this weekend!". Paige took her back to the music room. As they walked in, the girls stopped playing.

"How did it go?" asked Carol.

"Yeah, fine, I just need to have a think: as I told Mr Stevens, it's a big decision for me..."

"Absolutely, but for goodness sake, call him Brian will you! So, we've got an hour or two before we need to get ready to go out: would you like a proper look around the 'CJDL Mansions'?". Jenny smiled as she called the house 'CJDL Mansions': whilst the house was a reasonable size, to be quite honest, it was nowhere NEAR big enough to be a mansion. Or creepy enough!


[4855/20]

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #22 on: 06. December 2023, 13:04:25 PM »
Chapter 15

They all chatted as they walked around, ending up once more in the music room. "So, Eleanor, can you sing? How would you like to sing along with us to something you know?"

"Umm, well, not 100% sure on my singing, but I'd love to sing with you...".

"Ok.. Paige, want to join in too?" Often if Paige was at the house, and things were a bit quiet, she would go and listen to the girls rehearsing, and she had sung along with them on a few occasions. Ok, so she wasn't a great singer, but that didn't matter, it was still fun.

They played a couple of their already-released songs that they could both sing along with: it turned out that Eleanor was actually a slightly better singer than Paige.

"Hey, I have an idea" said Eleanor, "you could charge fans to sing karaoke with you, on stage, at your concerts..."

"Interesting idea" replied Linda, "although the big problem is that a lot of people THINK they can sing, but really can't, and that would be embarrassing - for us and them. Hard for us to say 'sorry, you're crap!' You're lucky, you're not too bad....  No, we'd need to somehow pre-select who sings with us"

"Tell you what," said Jenny, "it could be a great way to thank our tour team, let them sing something with us. That way, not only can we check them out, we could actually rehearse with them..."

"The problem with that is that you end up stirring up some resentment... 'why does he get to sing with you?' sort of thing."

"Of course, so maybe we could make a sort of competition of it..." suggested Dianne.

"In what way?"

"Well, get 3 or 4 of them on stage, and randomly choose one of them, you know, pull a bit of paper out of a hat..."

"Hey, we could play a song that's NOT one of ours, and one of us randomly does a duet with them... so select them randomly, and select one of us randomly. There's no reason that they can't pre-select a song, then we can rehearse it with them. The others that don't get chosen have another chance the next day."

"Do you think the fans would go for it?"

"No harm in trying, if it doesn't work, we could just drop the idea. But I'd like to give the idea a try, it could be great fun!" said Jenny. "But Eleanor, keep coming up with ideas like that. You probably know a lot better than us what our fans would like us to do. Same with ideas for the paid-for 'value adds' for the fans."

They had just started to play again, when the music room door opened, and Ben and Tom walked in. This weekend was a bit of a strange one: most weekends, the girls would have gone back to their own places, to spend time with Mike, Ben or Tom. Yes, some weekends would be spent at the 'Mansion', in which case the guys would have arrived on Friday and stayed the weekend. But the girls had decided to treat this Saturday as pretty much a normal 'work day', as they wanted to spend time with Eleanor, to decide if they were REALLY happy with her joining them. So they had told the guys to come along late afternoon. Tom and Ben went over to the girls, giving their respective girlfriends a hug and a quick kiss.

"Hey, Eleanor, nice to meet you again!" said Tom when he spotted her. "I heard you were coming today." He turned to Carol. "Did you?"

"Yes, we offered her the job...."

"And? Did she accept it?"

"Not yet, but she hasn't refused yet either!"


[5231/21]

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #23 on: 09. December 2023, 16:41:28 PM »
I know it's time to get on an post another episode when there's already another TEN threads above this one!!!!   :)

--------------------------------------------------

Chapter 16

Mike turned up around half an hour later: Dianne went over to him and gave him a welcoming kiss, although Linda could see that their interaction wasn't as 'friendly' a kiss as you might have expected.

"So, had a good afternoon?" he asked.

"Yes, actually. Eleanor has come up with an interesting idea: doing karaoke on-stage with some of the road crew..."

"I could see a few of them liking that idea, although don't limit it, I bet some of your other support staff, like the ladies that do your hair and makeup, might also be good." suggested Mike. "You ladies need so many extra staff compared to us men! So, what you been up to?"

"Well, earlier we were working on some new stuff, but we were just doing a bit of 'karaoke', with Paige and Eleanor providing the vocals! Hey, want to join us for a quick song?"

"Yeah, why not!" Luckily there were still 2 drum kits in the room, one acoustic, one electric. Whilst Dianne tended to use the electric kit, sometimes the others would use the acoustic set, for example, if Dianne was coaching one of the others.


"Hey, Callum, what's the time?" asked Carol when they finished the song.

"Hmm, I would say it's time to stop playing, and go get ready: I know how long you lot can take when we're going out!"

"Cheeky bugger!" said Jenny.

"How is it cheeky, when it's true? Look, I can be showered and dressed and ready in maybe 20 minutes: I can't remember the last time it took you less than an hour!". Jenny glared at her brother, but at the same time knew that he was absolutely right! But she had longer hair than him. And if they were going out, her makeup needed to be 'just right'. And it takes AGES to choose all the accessories - ear rings and that sort of thing! For a moment, she had a very strange and worrying vision in her mind: Callum with long hair, dressed up in a cute dress, with earrings, necklace, bracelet and so on. She quickly cleared her mind!


So, 4 girls in braces: it was an amazing sight when they all smiled at once. Whilst Dianne had been wearing her lower lip bumper, headgear and elastics earlier on, there was NO WAY that she wanted to wear them when going out for a meal! So she just looked like the other three girls, with a simple mouth full of metal braces. Everyone had dressed up reasonably smartly, the ladies probably more so than the men, and they were now all in the mood to go out for a meal together: it had been a while since so many of them had got together to do so, so it was a bit of a special occasion.
 
In total, there were 12 of them (4 girls, 3 boyfriends, 2 parents, and 3 others!), so Lisa - that's Jenny and Callum's mum - had ordered two large taxis to take them to the restaurant (and bring them back later). The restaurant was one of those slightly-up-market ones, not in the town centre, so it was suitably quiet and discrete, allowing them to have a reasonably interruption free evening. Yes, one table nearby was a family with two teenage kids, a boy and a girl. The boy, probably about 16, was definitely looking over at the table of 12, and was whispering to his younger sister.

Dianne spotted them, so got up, and quietly went over to the kids. "Hi, guys! Something says to me that you think you know who we are....". The boy had a big smile on his face. "So, I'm Dianne, does that help you confirm who we are?" The boy nodded: he was too star-struck to actually say anything! "Look, you are both very welcome to come over for a minute or two and say hello, and I'll bet you'd love to take a selfie or two, wouldn't you?"

"Yes please.... mum, can we? Please?". He looked pleadingly at his mum and dad.

"Go on, but don't be a nuisance!". Two very happy teenagers went over to the CJDL table, and the girls introduced themselves. "And this is my dad and mum, they are our managers. And this is my brother, Callum. Hey, you a member of our fan club?"

"No, I'm not..."

"Shame on you, you should join: so this is Eleanor, she actually runs the fan club!"

"Hello..." said the girl.

"You should join up, we're planning to do a whole load of new stuff" explained Eleanor. With a couple of selfies taken, two very happy teenagers returned to their table.

"You guys are just too nice to your fans!" commented Eleanor.

"Yes, I know," replied Dianne, "but when you see smiles like those, two or three minutes of our time is a very small price to pay!"


[5415/22]

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #24 on: 12. December 2023, 13:35:15 PM »
Chapter 17


It's the following weekend: Eleanor got in touch during the week to say that she WOULD take on the full-time job, and that she was on 4 weeks notice, so would be joining them in a month's time.


Linda had been over to her parents for Sunday lunch, but now, mid- to late-afternoon, was back at her own flat, and she was taking the opportunity to give it a bit of a clean and tidy up. Yes, even pop starts have to do that sometimes! Although, like the others (and probably as a result of the other 3, she DID have a cleaning lady who came in once a week). Her phone buzzed, to tell her she had a WhatsApp message. It was from Dianne, asking if she was at home, and whether she could come over.

'Yes, I'm home, and you're very welcome to come over. When you gonna come?'

'Pretty much now, if that's ok?'

'Sure, see you soon!'.

Something felt odd: why would Dianne want to come over on a Sunday afternoon? Surely she'd be with Mike? Well, she'd soon find out. About 25 minutes later, Linda's doorbell rang. She pressed the button to let Dianne into the main door downstairs, then opened the front door of the flat. Normally, when they met, Dianne would be smiling, but not today.

Dianne was wearing her headgear, elastics and lip-bumper, and was not looking very happy.

"You ok? Braces getting to you?" asked Linda. Dianne said nothing, just shook her head. Were those tears that Linda saw in Dianne's eyes? "You look like you need a hot drink - or would you prefer something stronger?"

"A tea would be lovely..." replied Dianne, in a not-so enthusiastic voice.

With the tea made, they both went into the lounge. Dianne sat on the settee, so Linda sat next to her. Dianne unhooked her headgear strap, then removed the facebow, putting them both on the small table next to her, where she had put her cup of tea. She picked up the tea, and took a sip.

Linda leaned over, and put an arm around Dianne. "So, kiddo, what's going on?"

Dianne took a deep breath. "Mike and I have decided to split up...". Linda had guessed that Dianne and Mike were going through a bad patch, but this still came as a shock. She put her other arm around Dianne, and hugged her.

"I am SO sorry, Dianne...."

"Thanks... It was a pretty mutual decision..."

"Anything in particular cause it?"

"No, I think we've just fallen out of love. We've been talking about it the last couple of weeks, and decided last night to finally split up. He's around my place collecting his stuff together, which is why I wanted to get out..."

"Yeah, makes sense. Well, you can stay here as long as you need to."

"Thanks. I was actually going to go over to 'CJDL Mansions' later on, I think I could do with people around me..."

"Would you like me to come over too?". Recently, the 4 girls would go over to 'the mansion' on a Monday morning, after spending the weekend in their own places, with their respective boyfriends. Well, except Linda that is, she's not actually had a boyfriend for a while. Most of the time she didn't mind, she was happy with her own company, and would go and see her parents, or even meet up with some of her friends from school or college - although she'd not done that recently. 

"Yes, that would be nice, thanks!"

Anyway, Dianne and Mike hadn't actually been a couple all THAT long: she remembered back to how it all started... it was shortly after Jenny had sung with Three Play, and they were having a meeting with them at Jenny's place, to see if they were interested in taking their music a bit further, going into a recording studio and stuff. She had chatted with Mike a couple of times, and she had been looking at him in the meeting. Jenny had spotted her looking at Mike - now what was it she said? Ah, yes, '... looking at Mike like a bloomin' puppy dog!', and had told her to ask him out to the pub! She smiled at the memory.

"Ok, what you smiling about?"

"I was just remembering how it all started, it was before you joined us..." While Linda had heard the story of the Three Play gig several times, and had seen the video, she hadn't heard about what happened after, so Dianne explained about how, back then, not only had all three of them jammed with Three Play a few times, they offered to help them get a record deal, but the guys eventually decided to stay as they were - probably a good decision. And how she had asked Mike out to the pub.

"You know, I'd often wondered exactly how you and Mike actually got together, I knew it was after Jenny met Ben, and she had played with Three Play. Awww, that's so sweet!"

They chatted for a while, mainly about Mike and Dianne.

"Hey, wanna help me make some scones?" asked Linda

"Scones? You bake?"

"Yeah, of course I do. I'm assuming you'd like to stay for tea: I have some bread in the freezer, but if there's two of us, it's worth making some scones."

"It's been a while since I made scones, I must have been what? Fifteen, maybe sixteen!"

"Come on then!" said Linda, and lead Dianne back to the kitchen. Before doing anything, she got 4 slices of bread out of the freezer. "There's a bag of flour in that cupboard up there" she said, as she turned on the oven, then got the butter from the fridge. "Ah, scales up there..." she said, pointing. Linda opened another cupboard, and got out a large mixing bowl.

"Ok, we're gonna just do a half-amount, so 4 ounces of flour...." She put the bowl onto the scales, zeroed it, and added the flour, then some sugar. She went to another cupboard. "Baking powder....".

"How much butter?" asked Dianne.

"An ounce, but nicer to be over than under!". Dianne cut off the butter. "Just shove it in the bowl!" Linda took the knife, and used it to chop up the butter, then started to rub it into the flour.

"Hark who's looking all domesticated! Hang on, I gotta get a picture of this!". She went and found her phone, took a picture of Linda in her apron, and posted it online.

"Ok, put the butter back in the fridge will you, then grab an egg and the milk..."

"Egg...." said Dianne, passing it to Linda.

"Thank you!". She made a well in the middle of the flour and butter mix, then broke the egg into it, followed by some milk: while she did this, Dianne took more pictures. After adding some more milk, she finally had a dough. "Right, I reckon it's time YOU did something.... third drawer down is a pastry sheet, the rolling pin and some cutters..."

Dianne put the pastry sheet flat on the worktop, then put her hand into the flour, not only putting it over her hands, but sprinkling some over the sheet and rolling pin. She took the dough from the large bowl, and put it onto the sheet, and started to roll it out.

In the meantime, Linda had quickly washed her hands, and got her phone out to take a picture of Dianne doing the rolling.

"Big ones or little ones?"

"Oh, big ones!". Dianne took the cutter, and cut out several scones, which Linda put onto the baking tray. She then gathered up the excess dough, and re-rolled it. "This brings back a few memories, mum loved baking..." said Dianne with a smile. Linda posted a few more pictures of the scones, about to go into the oven: of course, their fans were making all sorts of fun comments.

"Right, into the oven with them... and while we wait, you can wash your hands, and I'll get the kettle on..."

Just over 10 minutes later, Linda took the scones out of the oven.

"Wow, they look amazing!" said Dianne, taking a picture. The scones were well risen, and slightly brown on the top.

"Shame I don't have any clotted cream, but I do have some nice jam...."


[5656/23]

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #25 on: 20. December 2023, 14:28:45 PM »
Chapter 18


With a couple of sandwiches and the scones (along with butter & jam), and a fresh cup of tea, they went back to the lounge.

"So, did you tell the others yet?"

"No, I guess I should..."

"And then what about the fans? And the press, for that matter? You need to be in control of the news. We could just do a live stream..."

Dianne finished messaging the rest of the team. "So, you really reckon we should do a live stream? Like now?"

"Why not? And DON'T worry if you start to get emotional, it will just show that you're human, like the rest of us. I'll do everything, and I'll ask you questions..."

CJDL had proven so many times now that being in control of their news, and being proactive, was the best way to do things. It stopped so much speculation, which meant they had a lot less stress in their lives. Good or bad, they knew it wasn't worth hiding stuff, it WOULD be found out.

Dianne took a sip of her tea. "Now?"

"Why not, we can start by letting them watch us eat our sarnies, and putting jam on the scones!"

Linda had a quick sip of her tea, then got out the tripod, and set it up to hold her phone. Next, she got her tablet, logged into their stream, and put up a message to say they would be streaming soon. Same on the phone, but she initiated the stream, leaving it on the "stream will start in 5 minutes" message.

They both started eating their sandwiches, as Linda watched the countdown on her tablet.

"Ok, you ready?" she asked.

"Bit late now...."

"Hi everyone!" she said as the stream started. "Tell you what, these sarnies are good.... Ok, let's start with the 'rules for todays stream'. First of all, it's just Dianne and me here, and I have a tablet, so it's no use going mad on the chat, we won't be able to keep up... so if someone else has asked a question, don't let's have another 50 of you asking the same thing!"

Carol had a quick look at the comments, which, mainly because the number of people watching was still quite small, she was actually able to keep up with. Lots of hearts being posted, and a couple of people asking what the stream was about.

"Someone is asking why we're streaming... well, we do have an announcement to make in a few minutes, but Dianne and I thought you could all drool and watch us eating the scones we just made!"

Dianne picked up the plate with the scones on, and cut it in half, then spread some butter on both bits. Linda opened the jam, and passed it over, letting Dianne dig in, and get some jam for the scone...

"Tell you what," said Dianne, "I'm VERY impressed with Linda's baking skills. They look yummy....". She took a bite of the scone. "Oh my god, this is delicious!"

"I bet they're all gonna want the recipe now... I'll try to remember to post it for you all."

They spent the next couple of minutes finishing their sandwiches, and eating a scone each. By now the number of viewers had gone up. Dianne's phone beeped.

"Ah, hi Jenny and Ben... they just joined us!" said Dianne, waving. They both had some tea to clear their mouths.

"Ok, thank you all for joining us. Ok, first a message aimed at the TV and press guys: you are very welcome to use the contents of this stream in your news, you know the normal terms and conditions, copyright CJDL and all that stuff."

"So, Dianne, I believe you have an announcement to make?" prompted Linda.

Dianne paused a moment, and took a breath. "I just need to tell you all that Mike and I have split up...". Linda and Dianne sat silently as the comments went wild, a combination of shock, plus sending love to Dianne.

"Ok, so you and Mike have split up..." said Linda. "Did you guys have a big argument or something?"

"No, not at all... I guess we just 'fell out of love' with each other. We've been chatting through things the last couple of weeks, and finally took the decision to split up last night."

"Oh, no.... it sounds very civilised, but I'm sure it still hurts?"

"It does! Look, can I just make one thing clear: Mike is NOT at fault in any way, so please, no nastiness towards Mike!" There were tears in Dianne's eyes.

Linda passed a tissue over, then took Dianne's hand. "There's a LOT of love for you coming through on the chat...."

"Thank you all so much!".

"I just saw a question wizz by, it was something we talked about earlier... how you first met Mike. That's if you're ok talking about it..."

Dianne smiled. "That's fine. So, we need to go back to just after our first major tour, so several months before Linda here started to work with us. Jenny had met Ben, then a couple of weeks later Carol and I went around to Jenny's to work on some new stuff: that was the Saturday when Carol, me and Ben were in the audience at the pub, and Jenny did THAT song with Three Play."

"I've seen videos of it..."

"Yeah, so you have to imagine the scene, a load of people into rock, and this girl comes on the stage in a white frilly dress, not to mention the headgear! Then takes Dave's guitar, and plays a blatant rock song. So, later that night, Jenny told Ben who she REALLY was..."

"Hey, how did Ben react - he must have been a bit surprised?"

"He just took it in his stride. I mean, you know Ben, he's just a normal guy, but isn't phased by our strange life... I guess that's why Ben and Jenny just work. Anyway, back to MY story..."

"Sorry, yeah, go on..."

"So, following day, we all went over to 'the mansion' for lunch, and in the evening we three met up with Three Play, told THEM who we were, and ended up jamming together. Over the following couple of weeks, we all got together a few times, then we all had a meeting at Jenny's: so Dave, Johnny and Mike, Jenny and me. Carol, Brian and Lisa were on zoom, and we we talking about whether Three Play needed a manager, whether they wanted to go into the recording studio and so on. So I'm sat there, eyeing up Mike..."

"My imagination is going crazy... go on..."

"Well, you have to admit, he IS pretty good looking. So yeah, with both of us playing drums, we'd practiced together a bit, and I DID kinda fancy him,. So there I was, looking at him, and Jenny looks at me, accuses me of looking at Mike like a forlorn puppy, and pretty much TELLS me to invite him to the pub..."

"Which I'm guessing you did?"

"Of course. It was the first time we'd been together but alone, if you see what I mean."

"Yeah... I'm just so sad for you that it didn't work out so good..."

"I'm not going to complain, Mike was actually a great person to be with, and he understood our lifestyle to a greater extent than most people would... Yeah, I'm gonna miss him: Mike, if you're watching this: THANK YOU! Thank you for some really great memories!"

There was a bit of a pause. "Maybe time to move on: there's a few people here asking how you... well we, both of us... are getting on with our braces? And properly describe what we have."

"Must I?"


[5940/24]

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #26 on: 27. December 2023, 00:16:01 AM »
Chapter 19


"Yes, you must! Look, why don't I start?". Linda turned to the camera. "So, my teeth weren't actually all that bad, apart from these two premolars on the left: they are a little bit twisted." She got up, and was going to try and show people on the phone's camera while it was in the tripod, but instead removed the phone, and passed it to Dianne. "Ok, Dianne, start by getting close to my mouth."

Linda smiled, letting everyone see her teeth with braces on. "Unlike Dianne, I don't have any bands on my back teeth, just brackets." She pulled back her cheek to show her molars. "Now, these top molars here...." Dianne tooke a close-up of where she was pointing. "... they aren't quite straight, so inside my mouth I have a couple of tiny screws with some elastic stuff between them and the teeth... wanna see if you can show them?"

Linda tilted her head back, to allow light into her mouth, and Dianne managed to show the screws and pieces of powerchain. "So they are there to help rotate those two teeth."

"Doesn't it feel a bit weird having those in your mouth?" asked Dianne. By now she was just holding the camera, and pointing it at Linda.

"For the first couple of weeks I couldn't stop playing with them, with my tongue. But my mouth seems to have pretty much accepted them now. It's still a bit odd when I eat, and yes, food does get stuck in them."

"It doesn't seem to have affected your speech..."

"I think I had issues for a few days, nothing major, and I'm pretty much used to them now."

"How did you find the brackets when you first got them?" Dianne asked Linda.

"Yeah, you were lucky there, you knew what to expect. In my first week I used a ton of Bonjella to kill the pain, where I cut my cheeks and lips with the brackets. But it's not so bad now... Ok, must be your turn now! Why don't you start by explaining what happened to you as a teen."

"Oh, ok.... so I had braces when I was about 12: I had bad buck teeth back then, and I ended up having removable plates for a bit. And, yes, with a headgear to go with it! Then I got metal brackets, like we both have now, then the dreaded retainers."

"Removable plates? I'm guessing something like the retainer that Carol had?"

"Sort of, but a lot more plastic, It wasn't all that nice to wear, and made me sound like a complete dork! The retainers I had weren't great, but were a lot nicer."

"So you ended up with nice straight teeth... so what's happened that you need braces again?"

"Our ortho said it was partly general facial growth, but mainly the effect of my wisdom teeth coming in."

"So you had to have your wisdom teeth out? How was that?"

"Not as bad as I feared... they're pretty much healed now."

"Was it painful?"

"Not really, just 'discomfort', which painkillers seemed to fix. Then a couple of weeks later, I got those tiny separator things, so she could fit my molar bands, they were actually worse than having the teeth out! You and Carol are so lucky, not having molar bands!"

"So your braces - anything special about them?"

"No, not really, take a look...". As she smiled, Carol took some close-ups.

"Molar bands?"

"Oh, ok...". She pulled back her lips, letting Linda see the metal bands on her front molars.

"Of course, you also have something else. In fact two something elses..."

"Must I?"

"Yes, you must!!! Come on, everyone already knows that you have it. Just be brave!"

Dianne leaned forward, and picked up several bits from the table. "So, first of all, I have this thing: it's called a 'lip bumper', and goes in the bottom...." As Carol filmed her, she put the lip bumper into the two tubes on her lower molars.

"So, what does that do then?"

"My lip pushes on it, and it is pushing back on my bottom molars, to try and make some more space at the front for my front teeth." Dianne's voice had changed a bit as a result of her having something in the bottom front of her mouth.

"Does it hurt?"

"No, it doesn't. It felt really weird to start with, but it DOES have the advantage of keeping my lip away from the braces. Ok, I guess you want me to show them all the next bit now, don't you?"

"Of course! Don't be shy!"

"Ok, so this is my facebow, it goes in like this..." Dianne had put the facebow in enough times now that she no longer needed a mirror. "And this is my headgear, it has a load of straps on it, doesn't it!"

"Yeah, why one like that, most of the pictures I've seen are just a neck strap?"

"From what David explained, the neck straps pull down a bit. And the other ones, the ones that go over the top of your head, they pull up a bit. But this one is set up to just pull straight back... let me show you."

Dianne put the interlandi headgear over hear head, with the two plastic 'c-clips' just in front of her ears. She found the two elastics with her fingers, and stretched then, fitting them over the hooks at the end of the facebow.

"And don't you have some other elastics to go with that?"

"Ah, yes, half a moment..." Dianne stood up, and went over to get her bag, out of which she pulled a small plastic bag, filled with tiny elastic bands. "So my headgear does two things: not only does it move my top teeth back a bit, but it pulls againsy these, which in turn help to pull back my lower teeth, but a couple of teeth forward from where the lip-bumper is plugged in. With Linda continuing to film, Dianne pulled out two fresh elastics, and fitted them.

"So what's wrong with the ones you took out earlier then?"

"Oh, they tend to stretch, so don't pull as well. These things cost nothing, so whenever I take them out, I just throw them away, and put new ones in. And I only wear the elastics if I have my headgear in...".

Linda panned back, showing Linda with her headgear on. "Smile, so they can see your elastics!". After that, Linda put the phone back on the tripod.

"Question from online: 'we could hear the lip bumper affects your speech a little, what about the headgear and elastics?' Well, from what I'm hearing, no, almost not at all - Dianne?"

"Yeah, I think you're right. The lip bumper gets in the way a bit, and whilst the facebow is kinda between my braces and cheeks, it doesn't seem to have the same sort of effect. As for the elastics, they seem to make no real difference... although you could argue that I can't open my mouth so easily, and that has a slight effect."

"Another question: 'how do you keep your braces clean?'. That's easy, we both have water-pics, don't we? Jenny told us about them, they make it so easy!"

"Yeah, I remember as a kid always needing to floss, but the water-pics make is so much easier! Any more braces questions there?"

"Yeah, 'how long will you need them?' Well, mine should be under a year, then retainers. What did he say for you, Dianne?"

"Oh, about six or eight years, wasn't it?" They both laughed. "No, luckily not THAT long. He said about 18 months or so, depending on how cooperative my teeth were!"

"'What about Jenny and Carol?' asks someone else. From what I remember, Jenny's treatment is almost done, and Carol only has her braces acting as retainers, so I'm rather assuming they'll both get them off after our tour. To be honest, I wouldn't have got braces, and Carol would have just kept her retainers, except for the fact that we wanted to all support Dianne!"

"'Eight of you on stage in braces - that's gonna be quite a sight' says someone. Yeah, that's gonna be fun, and I'm sure we'll get plenty of publicity out of it too. Ok, I think we've talked about braces enough. Now, can you all slow down there on the chat, so I can actually read your questions!". The chat quietened down a bit.

"Ah, someone here asking if we're working on some new music yet, and another asking if we're looking forward to working with Northern Girls. Yes, we've been writing some new stuff, some for us, and some for us to play with Northern Girls..." said Linda.

"What Linda hasn't told you is that SHE has written several of the songs herself. From my perspective it actually feels a bit strange..."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, historically, Jenny tended to come up with the music, leaving Carol and me to sort out the lyrics. But you, you're doing both. Ok, yeah, sometimes we also work on the lyrics with you, but with Jenny, we're having to pretty much do the whole job. Your lyrics are pretty much there, just need a tiny bit of polishing. You know, when you started with us, you'd hardly written anything, but now you seem to have found your 'writing voice'!"

"Yeah, I know I wrote a few bits at college, but I went on to be a session musician, so I just played stuff that other people wrote. But recently, I've discovered that I actually enjoy the writing. I guess it kinda started when we were over in Korea, with Braces Buddies."

"So, to answer the first question: yes, we've been busy writing and practising a load of new stuff. And yes, I'm very much looking forward to playing with Taylor, Erin, Kate and Meg. It's a bit of a challenge, because their music is a bit 'rockier' than ours, but I think that's half the fun of it, it's making us think a bit different" answered Dianne.

"Oh, yeah, but as some of you know, my *personal* music choice is more their stuff than ours."

"Of course, you're an anime and a BabyMetal fan, aren't you?"

"I would LOVE to play with BabyMetal! That would be so cool! Although, pedantically, I'd be playing with the 'Kami Band'! Not 100% sure I could keep up with the girl's dancing!"

"Please explain...."

"Well, the guys playing the music are known as the 'Kami Band'... there's actually TWO Kami Bands, one for when they play in Asia, another for when they play in Europe and over in the US, although I believe that the members are session musicians, and seem to come and go over time."

"Session musicians? You'd fit in well! Ok, so who's BabyMetal?"

"Some places seem to call the 3 girls and the Kami band together as BabyMetal, others seem to think of just the girls as being BabyMetal, with the Kami Band being their backing band. But who really cares, I love their Kawaii music."

"I read yesterday that they are playing at Donnington Park later in the year: got your tickets yet?"

"Really? Hadn't picked up on that yet. I need tickets!!! Gimme tickets!! We just missed out on their last visit, it was when we were in Korea. Tell you what though, I'd love to have a stage costume something like what they have!" They both smiled at the idea. "Hey, any idea if they are planning on doing Glasto? If so, maybe we could persuade them to let me play with them? But I guess I need to answer the question: yes, I'm very much looking forward to playing with the Northern Girls girls!"

"Ok" said Dianne, "I reckon it's time to wrap things up. Maybe we can do one more question... here, let me take a look!". Linda passed the tablet over to Dianne. "Ok, guys, cut out the noise for a moment, just want to see one last question from you!". Several questions flew up the screen. "Ah, here's one: 'any idea when Jenny and Ben are getting married?' You heard anything Linda?"

"No, nothing. Knowing Jenny, it wouldn't surprise me if they got married at Glasto, that would be so her, wouldn't it?"

"It would, but I think I read somewhere that you can't ACTUALLY get married at Glasto."

"Really? Oh, that's a shame, that could have been fun! So apart from that, sorry guys, we have absolutely no idea when those two will finally tie the knot, although I have no doubt that they WILL! Ok, so on that note, I think we need to say goodbye!!!".

The tablet's screen went mad with 'goodbye's' and hearts etc.


[6275/25]

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #27 on: 02. January 2024, 14:44:36 PM »
Chapter 20

Dianne was actually smiling. "I enjoyed that, it was fun!"

"You didn't mind about the question about how you and Mike got together then?"

"No. As I said, I don't really have bad feelings towards Mike."

"So, what next?"

"Well, I had been thinking about going over to 'the mansion' tonight. Wanna come with me?"

"Yeah, why not. Need to tidy up, and quickly get packed, not forgetting to leave a note for Joan." Joan was an older lady who went to all four girls places once or twice a week, to keep their places tidy.


A couple of hours later they were back at 'the mansion', and after quickly unpacking, and chatting with Brian, Lisa and Callum, headed down to the music room.

"You know, it's been a while since just you and I had the chance to play together like this" commented Dianne. "Hey, want to have a go on the drums?" Whilst Linda had learnt the basics of drumming and a lot more about keyboards at college, she had spent pretty much all of her time with the guitars, and unlike many others enjoyed playing bass as much as the more normal 6-string guitars.

"Sounds like fun..." Linda sat at the acoustic drum set, while Dianne was at the electric set. "Hey, weren't you going to get a new drumkit sometime?"

"Yup, it's on order, should arrive early this week!"

"Oh, nice. So what's going to be different?"

"To be honest, probably not a lot. I tried it out in a shop, and it seemed to be a bit more 'responsive'... I'll be able to do some really delicate stuff that I don't seem to be able to here. And a few new 'voices' too. Luckily the interface isn't that different from this one... Oh yeah, comes with a small keyboard too, which lets you trigger stuff like gongs and so on from the keyboard."

"Ah, right, a musical keyboard, I was thinking of a PC keyboard!"

Linda started to play a very simple rhythm on the drums, and Dianne joined in on the bass: whilst they both had the ability to 'play a tune', they had both spent a lot of their time setting down a 'backing beat' with the drums or the bass, and that's what they did now.

As they played, Dianne called out a few ideas for Linda to try on the drums, which Linda enjoyed trying.

"Hey ladies... you seem to be playing the wrong instruments!" said Callum with a smile as he came into the music room. "Mind you, it IS sounding good!"

"Some join us if you like..."

"Yeah, why not!". Whilst Callum was nowhere near as good a musician as any of the girls, he did enjoy jamming with them occasionally.



[6561/26]

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #28 on: 03. January 2024, 21:23:21 PM »
Chapter 21

In preparation for their upcoming tour with Northern Girls, as well as their new album, the girls had been busy writing some new songs... some just for them, some they were working on jointly (currently online, but soon in person) with Northern Girls.

The four girls had been rehearsing for about an hour, Callum and Paige were both there too, Callum looking after the tech, plus both of them giving bits of advice on the songs. Dianne had noticed that Brian had walked in, and had gone and sat down on one of the settees. This was a normal thing: Brian didn't like interrupting the girls when they were rehearsing, so was happy to sit and listen to them until they either finished the runthrough of the song, or simply decided to stop. Besides, he liked hearing the progress they made as they developed their songs.

"Hi dad!..." said Jenny a few minutes later when they finished playing, "want us to come over?"

"Please! Paige and Callum too..."

Dianne could see that Brian had what seemed to be 'official papers' in his hand. "So, what's up?" she asked, once they had all sat down.

"It's a solicitor's letter, claiming copyright breach."

"Ah, right, serious stuff. So, what have we allegedly done?". Dianne had seen this before, and knew that copyright issues were never a 'done thing'.

"They claim that CJDL have used words from their client's song..."

"Ah, so lyrics for a change, rather than the music. Which song?"

"That's the problem, it's your current single, 'Get working'"

"Oh crap, I did most of the lyrics for that" said Dianne. "So, what have I copied then?"

"Fiona Lewis, 'Escape the city'... they claim you pretty much copied the whole of the third verse..."

Carol got her phone out, searched for, then played, 'Escape the city'... While it was playing, Jenny was using her phone to find out about Fiona Lewis. As they listened to the song, Dianne's jaw dropped, and she put a hand in front of her mouth. She was silent for a few seconds as she realised what she had done."Oh f***... in fact double f***". Everyone looked at her.

"Dianne!!!" said Carol.

"I'm sorry, but yeah, now I hear that again, I realise where I got the words from..."

"What do you mean?" asked Linda.

"So, that song's from what, 5 years ago? I listened to it when it was in the charts... ok, it didn't get especially high, but I liked it. So when I was working on 'Get Working', I felt the words I used in the third verse felt good... but I never made the connection. I can't deny it, I lifted pretty much the whole of the third verse from her song...

"So, sounds like we need to pass it over to Amanda, get her to negotiate?" said Jenny. "Look, Dianne, don't worry, it's a worst nightmare for all of us, it happens..."

"Yes, I'll call Amanda. Any background stuff you can dig out might be useful..." replied Brian. They talked for a moment.

"Guys, would it help us if we just had a word with Fiona Lewis herself?" suggested Linda.

"I like the idea, but how on earth we going to get in touch with her? As soon as her manager knows it's us, he'll do everything to stop us speaking to her. Unless you 'just happen to have' her private phone number?"

"Actually, I do!"

"What?"

"I have Fiona's personal mobile number...". The others looked puzzled.

"How on EARTH do you 'happen to have' her private number?"

"Well, about 18 months ago, so a bit before I started working with you guys, I toured with her for about 3 or 4 weeks, I played bass and did some backing vocals."

"And you're now gonna tell me that you propped up the bar with her too?"

"Yup, I did. Whilst she's a little older than us, we just seemed to get on pretty well, so we socialised a bit during those 3 weeks."

"Ok... think she'll remember you?"

"Depends if she saw the news when I joined CJD, and made the connection. Look, what's the worst that happens? She tells me to speak to her lawyer and hangs up? Anything else is a possible win for us. And I know you Jenny, it's not just about not paying, or paying the minimum possible, it's about getting a better outcome, where both sides actually gain from it. That was the idea behind your copyright agreement with 'Young and Easy' wasn't it?"

Jenny smiled, remembering what had happened the year before last: yes, THAT sort of solution was a much better one. "You know, Linda, I'm so glad you joined the band, in SO many ways! Yeah, call her...."


Linda got her phone out, found the number, then dialled it. With her phone on speaker, they all waited for a reply.

"Hello? Linda?" answered Fiona.

"Hey, Fiona, hello there, long time no chat!" replied Linda.

"Yeah, must be getting on for 2 years, when you toured with us! Hey, I hear your life has changed a bit - how's it going?"

"Yeah, I'm part of CJDL now, it's a bit different from when I was doing backing guitars and vocals! And I've also started writing some stuff of my own now!"

"Oh nice! So, something tells me this isn't just a social call..."

"Umm... no.... Fiona, do you have 5 minutes?"

"Yes, sure, go on..."

"We - that's CJDL - just got a letter from your lawyers."

"Oh, don't know anything about that yet, what's it about?"

"Ah, ok... Fiona, I'm gonna let Dianne explain... Dianne?"

"Hi I'm Dianne..."

"Hello there, Dianne, what's the issue then?"

"Well, remember your song 'Escape the city' from about five years ago. It seems that, when I was writing the words for our current single, 'Get Working', I managed to steal some words from your song."

"Oh... how many words?"

"About a verse's worth. And I am so sorry, and it goes without saying that we'll settle up with you...."

"Oh, right.". There was a slight pause. "As I said, I actually don't know anything about this yet, I assume my manager must have done it."

"Hello, Fiona, it's Jenny here! Look, whilst we could simply just 'pay you off', I'm thinking we could get a much better outcome for ALL of us..."

"What do you mean?"

"Ok, let me ask a very blunt question: how's your music career doing right now? Would it help if we could give it a bit of a 'boost'?"

"Ok..." replied Fiona, "I'm starting to see where you might be going with this, do go on..."

"Well, I can think of a few ideas, depends on what you're up for. Joint TV appearance? Sing with us? Do a guest appearance on our tour.... To be honest, I think we just need to get together and work things out."

"Hmmm, yes... Look, let me call my manager, and find out what's going on, and I'll call you back, definitely within the hour."

"Thanks, Fiona!". Linda pressed the red button to end the call.

"Well, that went pretty ok!" commented Paige.

"Yes, it did, all things considering." replied Brian. "I just hope she's as positive after speaking with her manager.



[6718/27]

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #29 on: 11. January 2024, 15:05:04 PM »
Chapter 22

About 40 minutes later, Linda's phone rang: it was Fiona calling back.

"Hi Linda, it's Fiona..." said a voice that sounded pretty friendly.

"Hi Fiona, thanks for calling back. I guess you've had time to have a chat with your manager?"

"Oh, yes, and he was pleasantly surprised to hear that you had called me directly. More importantly, we both think that we should get together with you all, and talk things through."

"Absolutely!" replied Linda. As she was talking, she was walking back to the music room where everyone else was. "So, would you like us to come to you, or you're both very welcome to come here..."

"Well, my place here is a bit small... I don't suppose you guys happen to live in a large mansion, do you?"

"Not quite THAT big, but plenty of space for you to join us!"

"Ok, so where are you?". Linda explained roughly where they were. "Oh, that's not too bad, it's only about 20 minutes from here. When's good to come over?"

By now Linda was sat on one of the settees, next to Brian.

"Hold on a second!" She put the phone on speaker. "Brian, it's Fiona on the phone: I suggested that she could come over here with her manager to talk with us all... when's a good time?"

"Hello again, Fiona, Brian here, I'm the band's manager. To be honest, you can come any time you like..."

"Ok, in that case, why don't we come straight over? We'll be coming over separately, and my manager, Jim, will take a bit longer to get to you."

"Sure, you got something to take a note of the address...?"


After receiving the first call from Linda, Fiona had spoken with her manager, then spent some time reading up about CJDL. Whilst there wasn't a lot of details available, she saw about the two copyright cases that CJDL had been involved with, and that they had been solved amicably. She also read that Jenny especially was quite a vocal supporter of artists rights regarding copyright, which possibly explained Jenny's earlier positive attitude.

She was very interested to hear what ideas they had: her career had slowed down a bit in the last 3 or 4 years, and a boost right now would be very welcome, especially if it was from a band like CJDL who seemed to be doing really well.

Jenny had mentioned a tour, and it didn't take long for her to find out that, in a few months time, CJDL were planning on doing a joint European tour with a Canadian band: one or two guest appearances at their UK appearances would be rather nice, and might up her approval ratings... and that would mean the posibility of a new single to go with it.

She also briefly read about CJDL's visit to Korea: they certainly seemed to enjoy working with other people.


While they waited for Fiona and her manager to arrive, they organised cups of tea and coffee (come on, it's England, that what the English DO!) and went and waited in the music room. It wasn't long before the doorbell rang.

"I guess it's probably better if I go and meet her, as I'm the one who knows her!". She walked back into the main part of the house, and opened the front door. "Hi, Fiona, lovely to see you - sorry about the circumstances though! Come on in!"

"Hello Linda, you are looking good! Nice house...."

"Yeah, it is, isn't it? Sadly it's not mine, it's owned by the otehrs, plus Brian and Lisa... they're Jenny's parents, as well as being our managers. Anyway, we're all down in the music room..."

"Music room? Sounds nice!"

"It is actually, it's a lovely place to rehearse in." As Linda took her into the music room, she could see Fiona's eyes light up.

"Wow, this is nice.... I guess you can stay here too, in the house?"

"Yeah, so much better than having to rent a rehearsal space and travel every day. Anyway, let me introduce everyone. So, this is Brian and Lisa, our managers - and Jenny's dad and mum. Jenny. Carol. Dianne... so we four make up CJDL. Then we have Callum - he's Jenny's brother, and looks after technical stuff - and looks after us more generally. And finally this is Paige, she does all sorts of stuff to help us out. Hey, did you see the Netflix series about our trip to Korea? Paige did most of the camera work for that! Everyone, this is Fiona!"

After introductions, Callum poured her a cup of coffee from the still hot cafetiere.

"So, do you do any recording here?" asked Fiona.

"The previous owner used to, but no, we just rehearse here. It's so nice being able to just 'live' here while we're working on new stuff though." explained Jenny.

"I see you have a tour coming up, so I'm guessing you're working on some new stuff?"

"Definitely. We'll be in the recording studios in.... two weeks time, isn't it?" replied Linda.

While they spoke, Dianne noticed that Fiona was looking at them all. Well, not Paige or Callum. Or Brian or Lisa for that matter. Just the girls. Looking at their faces. Dianne smiled, letting Fiona get a good clear view of her braces.

"Fiona, can I start by apologising again for stealing your lovely lyrics! I loved 'Escape the City' when you released it, so I don't know how I didn't spot what I'd done!" said Dianne apologetically.

"Well, you know what they say: 'imitation is the sincerest form of flattery', so I guess I should be very flattered by the fact that you used my words. I listened to your song on the way over, and I must admit, the words fitted the song so nicely. So, I am very happy to accept your apology, thank you! And thank you all for not trying to 'wriggle out' of what's happened."

"I guess I'll need to speak with your manager" said Brian, "but it goes without saying that we will pay you suitable copyrights. However, I believe the girls have some ideas they want to share."

"Fiona..." said Jenny, "before we start coming out with ideas, maybe I should ask a very fundament question: what do YOU want? What's important to YOU?"

"Well, on the phone earlier you made a rather hard hitting comment - actually it was a question - but it kinda summarises everything."

"Oh, which bit was that then?"

"You asked 'how's your music career doing right now?'"

"Ah, yes, that one... sorry to have been so blunt!"

"That's fine, but it rather concentrated my mind. Yes, things HAVE been rather quiet recently, and I'll be blunt too: I could do with a bit of a boost, so any ideas you have would be appreciated. I would love to release a new single, but without 'a bit of assistance' I don't imagine it would do too well."

Jenny picked up a piece of paper. "Funnily enough, top of my list was 'Joint Single'. You've probably realised that we quite enjoy working with other artists, so a joint single would be a lot of fun for us to do. However, from a purely practical perspective, I don't think we'll be able to do anything with you until after our tour. Right now we're working on a load of stuff for our new album, and we're in the studios in a couple of weeks time to record it, then it's gonna be full-on tour prep with Northern Girls until the tour starts. However...."

"I'm ok with waiting a bit, so what's the 'however'?"

"Second on my list was some sort of 'come sing with us on the tour'. So, a bit further down the list is 'TV appearance to talk copyright': if we do something to stir up interest, then maybe you sing 'Get Working' with us, or we sing 'Escape the city' with you.... or even both!"

Fiona smiled: these were great ideas, all of which would make her more visible, and visibility equals performance opportunities equals income. "So, I know you have a big European tour, I'm assuming you'll be doing a few UK dates?"

"Well, in effect we'll be starting with a UK tour" explained Linda. "A couple of nights at the O2, then around the country, including Scotland, Wales, and we're hoping maybe even Ireland. Not forgetting Leicester..."

"Leicester?" asked Fiona.

"Yeah, my sister lives there: we've never played Leicester and I promised we'd do a full gig there for her!" explained Carol.

"So, after that, around Europe, then finish with a couple of nights at Wembley Arena. So there's gonna be plenty of chances for you to come and appear with us without having to go abroad." suggested Linda. She knew that Fiona's main following was in the UK.

"Ok. Jenny, you mentioned TV..."

"Yeah, so with a new album coming out, and a tour happening soon, we'll be able to get onto TV quite easily. If we add in a 'copyright controversy' into the mix, there's a few more possible appearances!"

"You probably haven't heard about what happened as a result of Jenny sueing 'Young and Easy' when they stole some of her music. She ended up working with them, then we all invaded one of their stage shows as 'the copyright police', which was great fun! Hey, you could do that to us! But Jenny went on TV with them a couple of times, talked and sang with them, did them all a lot of good."

It was then that the doorbell rang again. "Sounds like your manager just arrived" said  Linda starting to get up. "What did you say his name was?"

"Stuart."

"Ah, yes, I remember now, I'll go let him in: would one of you like to get the kettle on again?". Linda had met Stuart when she had toured with Fiona a couple of years ago.


[7010/28]

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #30 on: 12. January 2024, 17:21:39 PM »
Chapter 23

"Hello again Stuart!" said Linda with a smile, as she opened the door.

"Ah, right, Linda, I remember you now! You became Fiona's drinking partner on that tour, didn't you?"

"Boy, you make it sound like we got pissed every night, but it wasn't anything like that!"

"I know. But I do know that Fiona appreciated having your company. Anyway, I guess you've already been talking with Fiona..."

"Don't worry, we're not trying to talk her OUT of anything... in fact, I think we've been talking her INTO doing things! Anyway, come down to our music room.... someone is organising some fresh hot drinks for us."



"So, Fiona, what have they talked you into so far?" asked Stuart as he went and sat down with everyone. Stuart had been looking at the house and the music room as he came in, and was suitably impressed.

"You know, Stuart, it makes a change when something like this happens to meet a group of people who want to do what's good for everyone, rather just pass it on to their lawyers!"

"Oh, don't worry, we'll be getting Amanda to make sure all the i's are all dotted, and the t's are all crossed..." said Jenny smiling widely, showing off her silver smile. "But only when you're happy with our ideas. I'd much rather our money - and your money for that matter - stays in our own pockets. I mean, Amanda is a lovely lady, but..."

"Anyway, Stuart, I guess I should introduce everyone...." suggested Linda. After the introductions, they shared what they had already been talking about, and continued bouncing ideas around.

"Ok, is there somewhere Fiona and I can have a short chat together?" asked Stuart.

"Sure, let me take you to my office. Maybe after you've spoken, you and I can sit and start talking about a few more details. I have no doubt that the girls will be happy to entertain Fiona!"



"So, if we're all going to sing together, how about we start now. I'm thinking you could have a go at singing 'Get Working'... I mean, you already know some of the words!" suggested Dianne.

The whole group had spent the last hour or so having an amazingly positive conversation. The girls had very quickly warmed to Fiona, and Fiona had clearly warmed to them, and both sides were looking forward to working together. Whilst CJDL's main priority for the next few weeks were to get ready for the tour, if they put off a joint single until after their tour (and, from the public's perspective, if Fiona had appeared with CJDL on tour, the timing would make sense), there wasn't actually a LOT more they would need to do before the tour.

Callum went a printed out the words and music for Fiona, and the girls started to play. When they got to the third verse, Fiona smiled, recognising her words. By the third verse she had picked up the tune, so joined in the singing.

"Ok, guys, how does it sound with Fiona singing?" asked Dianne.

"Surprisingly good, actually." replied Callum. "Tell you what, why don't you run through it another couple of times, but you guys hold back, and let Fiona lead the vocals?".

"I'm ok with that..." said Carol. Callum grabbed an audio recorder, and set it going. It felt a bit strange for the girls to let someone lead the vocals, it wasn't something they did very often. Ok, yes, they had done it with Jelly Fish, but that was a bit different.

Callum played the recording back to them all. "Ok, so I need to practice it a bit more...." said Fiona, "but it seemed to work fairly ok..."

Dianne smiled. "You kidding? That was actually pretty amazing, you picked it up really well. I guess we're going to have to learn 'Escape the City' now."

"Hey, I already know the bass part, as well as the backing vocals!" said Linda, also now smiling.

Fiona stood there, looking at the four girls. Four girls all wearing shiny metal braces. She HAD to say something. "Ok, ladies, I'm going to bite: what IS it with all four of you having braces?" The four girls started to laugh, and were quickly joined by Callum, Paige, and Jenny herself.

"Well, I got braces over a year ago, so they're nothing new to me..." said Jenny.

"We'd been trying to persuade Dianne for some time that having braces wasn't a big deal, and after being over in Korea, where it so happens that an orthodontist looked at all of our teeth, and then prompted by Northern Girls..." started Linda

"Hang on, you what?" said Fiona.

"Ok, so over in Korea, one of the girls in the band we were working with, Jelly Fish, she needed braces, and we sorted out for her to get them. A few days later, one of Jenny's brackets came off, so we all went to see the same ortho on the way home. While we were there, she looked at all of our teeth." explained Carol. "I was already wearing a retainer - one of my teeth had shifted a tiny bit - so clearly my teeth were fine. However, Linda had a very slight issue, and Dianne..."

"Yes, I desperately needed to get my teeth fixed" continued Dianne. "I had some rather extreme braces as a kid, and the idea of having braces again as an adult wasn't an especially nice thought... So I wasn't planning on doing anything..."

"So, then Northern Girls came over to visit us" explained Jenny, "and all of THEM had braces: it turned out that one of them NEEDED braces, and the other three got them to support her. A few days later, these two offered to get braces too, to support Dianne. You have to admit, it does look pretty cool, when we all smile together!"

"Of course, it DOES raise a big question..." said Linda, "I mean, can we actually let Fiona sing with us if she doesn't have braces?". Fiona had a bit of a worried look on her face. "Joking, JOKING!" said Linda. "So, yeah, now you know why we have braces. And I'm really looking forward to the publicity shots with Northern Girls in a few weeks time! Should get us a few extra column inches in some of the papers!"


[7111/29]

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #31 on: 15. January 2024, 14:42:14 PM »
Chapter 24

They had all decided to 'park' the copyright claim for a few weeks, to let the four girls get their new album recorded, and then Brian called a very short press conference (without the girls) to simply announce that they had received a copyright claim against the band's recent single - 'Get Working'- and that they were already in tough with Fiona Lewis' management with a view to discussing a suitable settlement. All of which was 100% technically true, just a few weeks out of date!!

This conveniently lead to a TV chat show appearance a week later, where the four girls and Fiona discussed the whole topic of copyright, and then they sang 'Get Working' with Fiona on lead vocals: the press reports were VERY favourable, both about the way the whole thing had been handled, but especially praising the performance.


Also, one day sometime about now, Jenny walked into the kitchen, where everyone else had also just arrived to grab some lunchtime sandwiches.

"Umm, need to run an idea past you all.... Actually TWO ideas..." said Jenny.

"Yeah, go on..." replied Carol.

"Well, I've been talking with dad. And Ben. And we were wondering how you'd feel about Ben joining 'the management team', maybe with a view of him taking over as our manager in the longer term, if things work out..."

"Wow, that's a bit out the blue..." said Linda.

"Not really... well not for me and Ben, it's something we've been chatting about for a while, and he thinks he up for it. Our thought was that he's going to on the tour with me anyway, so why not work with mum and dad, and learn about what the role entails, and help them do stuff. Let's be honest, there's gonna be plenty to do on the tour" explained Jenny.

"In concept, I'm ok, I have a lot of time for Ben, he's surprisingly level-headed and sensible" replied Dianne. "My only question is whether he's actually up to the job, but I guess he and we will all know when he's been part of the team for a bit."

"Oh, right, yeah. He's not gonna want to do it if he's not feeling up to the job. Ok, let's split it into two bits: are we ok with Ben becoming a full-time member of the team? And if things go right, any worries about him taking over as our manager? The first one needs to happen  reasonably soon, the second is quite a bit away."

"What's your mum and dad think?"

"Dad has said that he's like to hand over the reins at some point, but he needs to be sure we've got the right person, and he likes Ben, he thinks it will work. The tour will give him a chance to see how well Ben can cope too."

"I must admit that I'd feel a LOT happier if Ben was actually married to you... you got a date for it yet?"

"I have, and I can pretty much guarantee that we'll be hitched by the end of the tour. Which nicely leads me on to the second idea....."



[7258/30]

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #32 on: 16. January 2024, 23:04:11 PM »
I'm finally getting caught up on all my reading. Things are really progressing for the girls and things are getting ready to happen. I like the direction things are going and there are hints of some exciting things in the future.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #33 on: 17. January 2024, 03:13:00 AM »
Yes, many seeds are being planted. Some may grow bigger, some may never happen. The 'Dianne' thread will pause soon, to be taken over by a bit of Linda's story... I was going to write up the TV appearance, but decided that getting braces into it might be hard. However, when the Canadian girls join them, they can have a much more fun interview with all 8 of them!

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #34 on: 27. January 2024, 16:26:51 PM »
Chapter 25


Another day in the life of a top girl pop-group... this day is something like a month or so after their original braces fitting appointment.

The four girls will be going for their first braces appointment since getting braced, and the appointment is at 2:30pm. So, this morning they've all been working on the words for a new song, when Brian walked in to the music room.

"So, just had an interesting email...."

"You always reckon that your emails are interesting..." said Jenny, pulling her dad's leg.

"Ok, so I just got a BORING email... which I followed up with a short BORING phone call." He paused a moment, if only to see the girl's reaction... "Would you like to do some adverts?" asked Brian.

"Let me guess... cosmetics? Perfume?" suggested Jenny

"No...."

"It would be nice if it was for a car, and we all got brand new cars..." said Dianne, hopefully.

"Sadly not as exciting as that. It's for breakfast cereals."

"Breakfast cereals?"

"Yes, a brand new range of healthy and eco-friendly cereals."

"Not a certain brand that used to have a green and red rooster, is it?"

"No, the other one...."

"Ah, that's not so bad then... do go on...".

Brian explained what he knew about the product. "I think it fits your image well. And they are offering a pretty good package. They are looking initially for a couple of video adverts for TV and online, then a load of pictures they can use in print and online. Then, assuming the ad campaign goes well, more in the future"

"What's the timescales? I'm assuming it would be pre-tour?"

"Yes, they understand that we are going to be pressed for time, and reckon we could probably do the videos in a single day, and the pictures in half a day, if not on the same day. I think you can manage that."

"Any mention of sponsorship or product placement?" asked Jenny, smiling. She clearly had an idea...

"You thinking of maybe in song videos?" asked Brian.

"That's one possibility, but I was thinking more for the tour... there's gonna be tour adverts, so there's clearly an opportunity for sponsorship there. But I was also thinking of during the tour itself."

"I can't see them paying much for you to just eat their cereals at breakfast!"

"Oh come on dad, use your imagination. Northern Girls just finish their set, we're on next, and then, say, Carol walks onto the stage, a dish in one hand, a pack of cereals in the other...".

Brian smiled. "Jenny, you have too vivid an imagination! But I must admit, the concept is interesting.... although you might alienate your fans..."

"That's a good point." Jenny took a breath, then continued: "How about we give the money for THAT bit to charity, make it obvious on the backdrop? Come on, it would be a fun thing to do! What do we think girls?"

----

I realise that, whilst telling the story, I have neglected to comment on Dianne's braces, and the reason is actually quite simple: despite having metal brackets, a lip bumper, upper headgear and elastics, Dianne has not made a fuss about wearing them, and the others have not been at all negative about them either. Which means that whilst Dianne is wearing the headgear and so on a lot of the time, it's just become the 'new normal'. She finds it hard to sing with them all in, so when she's doing any singing, the elastics, lip bumper and interlandi headgear all get taken out, and put into a safe place over at the side of the music room. Plus she has to remove them when eating too.

Dianne's comfort with wearing her 'extras' has even extended to her posting a small number of pictures of her wearing her headgear. The fan response was surprisingly positive: for a long time, the fans had made gentle comments about Dianne needing to get her teeth fixed, and now she was actually getting them fixed, her fans had rallied around and supported her. The fact that Carol and Linda were now also sporting braces no doubt helped a lot too!

So, this afternoon was their first visit back to their ortho for a check-up and 'tightening'. Linda had recently got herself a new car.... well, not actually 'new', but new to her, so she volunteered to drive them all off to the ortho.

"Good afternoon!" said the girl on reception. She was a lot less surprised than the first time they had all visited. The fact that Dianne was wearing headgear didn't phase her at all - if you're a receptionist at an ortho, you're going to see all sorts of strange 'stuff', including headgear, so it kinda just becomes 'normal'. "You're a little early, so why not go through to the waiting room. Would you all like coffees? Or teas?" Yes, definitely NOT an NHS practice!

She took their order, and a few minutes later brought them through. "I just checked: I'm afraid Mr Bright is running a few minutes late today" she explained.

"That's ok..." replied Jenny.

"So what do I expect today then?" asked Linda. "It's alright for you three, you've all done this before."

"True" said Carol. "A lot of people call it a 'tightening', but it's not really. It's partly a checkup, to see how well your teeth have started to move. More importantly, changing your ligs... and in your case, the elastic that's inside your mouth... they lose their 'stretch' after a bit. The problem is that new elastics means the pressure returns, so can make you sore. That's why we reminded you and Dianne to 'pop some pills' earlier, to reduce any pain. It's not going to be an issue for me, my teeth aren't being moved"

"Yeah, mine have don't most of their movement" added Jenny, "so I'm not getting much discomfort when my ligs get changed either. So, do you reckon there's been any movement yet?"

"It's hard to tell, but I think so. What about you, Dianne?" replied Linda.

"Oh, my teeth have definitely started to move: I have a gap where I didn't have one before, and another gap has got smaller..."

"So, I guess the 64,000 dollar question is 'how you feeling about having actually got braces?'" asked Carol.

"Only 64,000 dollars? What about inflation...." replied Dianne, smiling. "I'll be honest, the responses I've had to having braces have been loads more positive that I thought they would be, even this headgear. I'm starting to understand why you never seemed to have a problem when you wore your headgear... and in your case, you were even MORE open about it!"

"I was thinking that 'being a bit of a show-off' would be a better description!" commented Carol. "The thing is that, being who we are, if we can make wearing braces a bit more acceptable, and not something to be nasty about, then we've done something worthwhile! So, Linda, your braces aren't as 'obvious' as Dianne's, plus it's your first time... how's it going for you?"

"Apart from the initial pain and soreness, they are ok. No bad comments yet... And you're right, if we can be 'braces ambassadors', then we are doing some good."

The conversation went quiet for a moment, then Linda started to hum the tune of 'Braces Buddies', and it wasn't long before all four of them were sing the song out loud. In fact, Angela, David's assistant, was wondering what was going on as she approached the waiting room, and heard the singing, and got quite a pleasant surprise when she opened the door. A few seconds later, the girls ang the last notes of the song, and Angela applauded. "Wow, I just got my own personal performance! Anyway, David is ready for you, if you'd all like to come on through..."


[7876/33]


Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #35 on: 30. January 2024, 14:37:16 PM »
Chapter 26

"Ladies, it's good to see you all again! I've not heard from any of you, so I'm assuming none of you have had any problems?" asked David.

4 girls with beaming metal smiles looked at David. "No, I think we've been ok. Even Dianne seems to have coped ok with all the metalwork you gave her!" commented Jenny.

"Oh, good. So, I guess the important things I need to do is see how Dianne and Linda are getting on with their treatments. But why don't we start by taking out all of your old ligatures and archwires, so you can all have a good brush and floss. Knowing Jenny, I'm sure she has encouraged you all to bring your toothbrushes along today?"

"I treated us to a set of 4 new toothbrushes, and a fresh tube of toothpaste" said Dianne, taking them out of her bag.

"Ok, well, Dianne, why don't I start with you....". Dianne got into the chair, which David reclined. Before removing the ligatures, he took a quick look at her teeth and braces. "Ok, now can I ask you to remove your headgear and lip-bumper, and pass them over to Angela?" Davis watched as Dianne took them out, her elastics too, then looked again at her teeth. "You seem to be managing to keep your teeth well cleaned, so well done..."

"I persuaded her to get herself a water-pik, like I have..." said Jenny. David deftly removed all the ligatures, and then the archwire. Clearly Angela had been warned what was about to happen, as she had line up 4 metal trays, each with one of the girls names on. She had already placed Dianne's facebow and lip-bumper into the first one, and now added her two archwires.

"There's some floss over at the sink too" said Angela, "help yourself."

"Oh, my, I'd almost forgotten how much easier it is to floss without the wire in the way!" commented Dianne, as she started to brush her teeth. Linda was next in the seat.

"Mmm, you've been cleaning yours well too. How have you managed with the two screws in your palate?"

"Oh, annoying as hell to start with, and the brackets hurt my cheeks the first week or so, but I almost forget about them now. But as Dianne just said, flossing isn't easy!" David started by removing the elastics between the buttons on Linda's two molars, and the two mini-screws. After that, he removed the yellow ligs from her teeth, finally taking out her archwires, which he passed to Angela. After she had been sat up, she got out of the seat and joined Dianne at the sink.

"You know, it's not that often I get to treat so many patients at the same time!" commented David. "Yes, I'll often have a mum or dad with two children. I even have a mum with two daughters being treated. But for together is quite rare. I mean, I can treat you individually, if you prefer..."

"That would be SOOO boring!" said Jenny. "Go on Carol, you go next...."

"Well, I'm assuming your 'treatment' has been pretty uneventful..." said David.

"Absolutely. No pain or discomfort, except for the brackets digging into my cheeks: it's that sort of thing that you forget from your earlier treatment" commented Carol.

"And, like Linda and Dianne, you are brushing well" commented David as he removed her ligs and archwires. "Ok, Jenny, your turn... I KNOW your teeth will be beatuful and clean, they always are!". Jenny got into the chair, where her ligs were removed.

"Oh, that feels nice" said Dianne, returning from giving her teeth a good floss between the teeth, and then a brush. With Dianne replacing Jenny in the chair, he proceeded to do a scan of Dianne's teeth, so he could compare it to the initial visit.

"I think we should take some pics for our fans" suggested Linda, who had just returned from flossing brushing her teeth. She got her camera from her bag, and went over to Dianne, still in the chair, being scanned. She expected Dianne to try and stop her taking pictures, but she actually said nothing, so she took a wide angle of Dianne in the chair, then got closer, then took a couple of pics of the scan on the screen.

"I guess I should let you take some close-ups, shouldn't I?" said Dianne once the scanning was done. It was interesting how Dianne's attitude to her braces had change over the past weeks: before getting them, she was very apprehensive, but now she seemed to have fully accepted them, being very chilled about pictures being taken.

The girls gathered around as David showed them all Dianne's progress on the screen: you could see slight movement of her lower teeth. "Something tells me that you've been wearing your headgear and elastics quite a bit, your lowers have been moving well. I hope you took some painkillers before you came, because I'm going to upgrade your archwires to something slightly bigger, which is likely to cause a bit of soreness"

"Oooh, yes, I remember that many months ago!" commented Jenny.

"But otherwise, keep doing what you're doing. So, are you all having matching ligatures again? If so, what colour are you going for this time?"

"Funnily enough, we talked about that on the way here." said Carol. "When we go on tour, we'll need you to give is something a bit special - in fact, we may bring in the four ladies from Northern Girls, to get their ligatures changed for the tour too. But this time we'd like to go with that blue neon colour you had last time, if you still have enough?"

Angela went and got the ligatures out. "These?" she asked.

"Yep, they're the ones!"

"That fine, we've got plenty of them!"

Dianne sat patiently as David fitted her with new archwires, and add the ligatures. No pain yet, but she remembered back to when she was a teen, and how the aching or soreness would usually take an hour to kick in.

----

"Ok, Linda, cam I take a look at you now, please?". Linda got into the char, and opened her mouth, letting Jenny take some pictures. Then, David scanned Linda's teeth.

"I'm not expecting anywhere near as much movement from your teeth, but I'm hoping that those two molars have started to rotate...let's take a look... Ah, excellent, it's not a lot, but if you look carefully you can see a slight change." David refitted the same archwires to Linda's teeth, holding them in place with fresh neon blue ligatures, then, after checking that the two mini-screws were still secure in her palate, fitted the two small lengths of powerchain between them and the buttons on the inside of her teeth.

"If you want, you can come in sooner for a 5 minute appointment, and I can just change those elastic powerchains I just put in... the elastic looses its stretch fairly quickly, so changing them would help yout two molars to rotate a little quicker. Your choice... just phone reception. I can often squeeze a 5 minute appointment in the same day too."

"Ok, I'll keep that in mind. You done with me?"

"Yes, I am. Who wants to go next?"

"I will..." offered Jenny. David lay Jenny back, then scanned her teeth.

"Well, as expected, just a tiny bit of movement. To be honest, there's not a lot left to do to your teeth, so maybe between now and next time you can take a close look at your teeth to see if you're happy. If there's anything you think needs doing, then we can discuss it.... after all, from what you said last time, you're not actually desperate to get them off, are you?"

"No... something tells me I'll be done in... about 5 months, when the tour is over!". David fitted her archwires back, held in with more of the bright blue ligatures.

"Ok, Carol, just you to do! I won't bother to scan your teeth, as I'm assuming that nothing has moved."

"No, not that I have noticed."

"It's not very often that a patient goes from having retainers and straight teeth, back to having metal braces." David leaned Carol back, and re-fitted her archwires and new blue ligatures.

"Angela, would you like to take a couple of group pictures, like you did last time?" asked Linda

"Sure... You know, I love it when you guys come in, it's so much more fun than most people!"

As Linda posted the pics of them all with their new bright neon blue ligatures, Jenny asked David "So, when's your next patient due in?"

David checked the computer. "In principle, as soon as you go, they already checked in."

"So, who are they? As in age and sex?"

"Her name is Mari, and she's 16. She'll be with her mum, I guess"

"Can we wait here and surprise her? We'll go as soon as we've said 'hello'?" asked Jenny.

David smiled. He knew Jenny well, having treated her for over a year now, and knew that they would probably relax Mari, who he remembered was often a little nervous.


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Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #36 on: 31. January 2024, 08:14:08 AM »
I'm looking forward to what they do with the cereal ad campaign, and how the tour goes with Northern Girls.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Dianne really needs to get some braces
« Reply #37 on: 08. February 2024, 20:11:08 PM »
> I'm looking forward to what they do with the cereal ad campaign,

They will have a bit of fun with that!

> and how the tour goes with Northern Girls.

All I know is that the girls will be quite exhausted after the tour, and some of will be going 'dark' for a bit... but that is ANOTHER story to be told.

So, back to this story...

================

Chapter 27

So, this chapter is a short "round-up" chapter, before I move the story to another thread, "Linda"... where we'll be looking at things from Linda's perspective.

So, here's a list of stuff that happened over the next week or so:

- When they got back from the orthodontist's, Dianne's new drumkit had arrived. So that kept Dianne busy for a bit, what with setting it right, discovering what clever stuff it could do, and setting up a load of 'user profiles' so the others could press a couple of buttons and have their own setups available.

- They went on TV with Fiona, and talked about their copyright issues.

- Linda and Callum went to the airport to meet Yu-Eye: she was staying at 'the mansion' with the others. They gave her a gentle first day, to let her body and brain get used to the time shift, but after that, she started working with the girls, getting them ready to go into the recording studios.

- Following earlier discussions between Brian and Andrew Fisher from BD Media Production, a man with a camera started joining them to video what they were up to. He set up several cameras in the music room to capture them as they rehearsed, plus followed them around a bit with a more portable camera. For the moment, the filming was quite low key, but once the girls started rehearsing with Northern Girls, he would do more. Of course, on tour, he would be with the girls quite a lot: whilst they could easily use the front-of house recordings for their actual performances, what the fans would REALLY want to see is the girls backstage, at the hotels, and whilst travelling.


We'll see a lot more in the next story, as I said, from Linda's perspective.


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