Spoke to an osteopath friend down in London who spent most of her time on the phone slagging off chiropractors: "Did you have to sign a payment plan? There's a reason we all drive second-hand junkheaps and they all drive new cars straight off the lot, you know." (Or words very like that.) So I'll give a local osteopath a try.

This might make it sound like I'm made of money: I'm not. I've got a good stash of money set aside 'for emergencies'. Like, say, the giant electricity bill from January, or the sudden notice the lighting in the building was all getting replaced by the Council and we all had to fork out for it. The fact I can hardly walk, I think, counts as an emergency, therefore the osteopath it is. I've asked for medical advice, but the hope for a balanced outlook on it all is a touch dashed when a doctor of my acquaintance admits he doesn't actually 'know there was any difference between an osteopath and a chiropractor'.

Or possibly he was being sarcastic. Make that very likely. Things can't get much worse, I decided, last night: then a crown came out while I ate toast.

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