I miss my childhood doctor. You really felt he’d done a proper job after he’d peered into and probed every orifice, depressed your tongue with a wooden spatula leaving a splinter half way down your throat, and then sent you on your way clutching a bottle of medicine that tasted like a combination of nitric acid and cat’s pee and was the colour of a strawberry Mivvi.

It’s all computerised now. He tinkles on his keypad while firing questions at you.

“Have you ever sat near to a bonfire?”

“Have any of your ancestors ever died?”

“Have you ever eaten a doughnut?”

“Do you run a marathon every day, once a week, once a month, once a year or never?”

“OK, the computer says that you have a 10% chance of dying before you leave the surgery, a 20% chance of at least one leg falling off before next Christmas and a 50% chance of surviving the next meeting of the coven. My advice to you is …. dammit, the computer’s crashed … you’d better come back in a year’s time. NEXT!”