You’ve only got to get a small injury – no, nothing serious, really, thanks for asking – and it calls everything else in your body out on strike. At first, the new injury puts your other little aches and pains into the shade: you don’t notice your shoulder-ache, twinge in your hand, catarrh etc because you’ve got a new complaint. But after a while the foot is a dull ache, and you realise that you’ve now acquired a back-ache, and a hip- and leg-ache, because you’re not walking properly.

But you start to suspect that this was just what your major condition needed, to become full-blown: your hypochondria. Ouch, there’s another twinge – guilt. I’d go to the doctor with my portfolio of (all right, minor) ailments, and go through them, one by one. But then I would be using up at least nine people’s allotted 10 minutes (there’s a sign up saying you’ve got 10 minutes).

Perhaps I’m imagining them all: I’m so in touch with my body I can generate a twinge just by extreme ‘mindfulness’. Outside it, people are slaughtering each other with the usual enthusiasm, public services are being cut and sold so that the Markets can respect UK plc again, and the poor (and not quite poor) are getting poorer.

Ouch – where did that headache come from?

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