They put me in a wheelchair and draped a shawl around my shoulders, a woollen, cellular one – the kind they use in babies’ prams. The chair wheels wouldn’t turn properly at corners, and it was unbearably hospital hot. There were posters about AIDS and shrivelled-looking men with pipes coming out of their heads.

I had only called in for a check-up on the way to work.

After X-rays, they shoved me into bed and stuck a three-way tap in my arm. A green television screen blipped over my head. Electrode jelly stuck to the hairs on my chest. If you jiggled the wires, the television blips jumped up and down.

A History