The “pictures” included a front-page one of the torturer dressed in a pink nurse’s outfit that stopped just above the tops of her black stockings

For those of you not up to date with the PooterGeek soap opera, having been made redundant from my first permanent job in science (when the Medical Research Council closed down my place of work), I now make my living taking pretty pictures with outdated technology and giving people advice on how to store things digitally, from biomedical data to news articles to old documents and, of course, photographs. For a number of reasons, including my wanting to get away from academic science and disappointment, I moved from Cambridge to Brighton and Hove to do these things. You don’t have to be Alanis Morissette to see the irony in my accidentally moving into a street with a scientific recruitment company at one end of it.

Now, the irony has, as ironies often do, compounded itself. The office of that tech agency has been taken over by a weight loss franchise, and joined on the premises by a homeopath and a “therapy centre” offering reflexology, massage, and “nutritional therapy”—for which I read: “fad diets”. Sometimes I feel a stab of nausea when I pass by their stacked wall plaques. Perhaps I should see a crystal healer about these attacks.