It was the new i-phone that did for me. Sorting out my contacts list for twenty minutes with my head at an angle. And then: CRUNCHKKK! Sort of whiplash without the car accident, and precious little sympathy (“What, an i-phone? Hah!”) So, some pain, admittedly diminishing, over several months, until it’s all jammed up again around the cervical vertebrae – the muscles all tensed up and squeezing the nerves, and not exactly helped by my typing this account. In fact, probably caused by sitting here at this computer, head at wrong angle (on top of a lifetime of slumping and slouching).

Lin, the osteopath, spends an hour massaging, heating, ultrasounding, and gently pulling my head away from my body, and asking “Is that tender?” (Tender, in medical language, usually translates as ‘beastly painful’), but this is that positive pain, a hopeful pain, almost pleasurable, and I come out optimistic, with a small repertoire of small exercises. Later that evening, Gill applies a huge charity-shop vibrator to my neck, held together with peeling gaffer tape. The vibrator thing, that is.

Sunday morning 11am: instead of staring contentedly at my bedroom ceiling, I’m on my back in Kingston Village Hall, doing Pilates exercises to gentle classical music. I used to go to a class with loads of other people within easy reach of each other’s mats, faces, arms, legs, but here there are just a few of us, moving to Tabitha’s quiet instructions, and no jungle panpipes muzak. This borders on pleasure…

Curse you, modern technology!