Town mouse on the joys of massage

I don’t know whether other people find this, but the body language of recession doesn’t half do for your back. I myself sit hunched or crunched before the computer screen, as if in an instinctive brace position, awaiting the next shock. Massage, once on a par with eating larks’ tongues, I am coming to regard as essential body maintenance.

The other thing about the recession is that one has time for it. And so it was that I found myself, on Friday, in the newly revamped spa of the Dorchester, undergoing the sort of treatment that Elizabeth I’s Lord Burghley might have used as the preliminary to extracting a confession. Marvellous. No sooner had the rack-like pulling started it was a Thai massage than tension flowed out of my fingertips in waves; my knotted trapezius became as springy as a trampoline.

My wife, meanwhile, had chosen a different recession-busting therapy: the caviar pedicure. There was much appalled speculation on the part of the children as to whether someone would have to eat the caviar afterwards, but it turned out only to be inside the unguents. How to get home, however, without damaging the newly decorated toenails? Simple: wrap the ends of your feet in Clingfilm. Just don’t try to run.