Having had the amputations almost exactly a year apart, I find it very hard to remember what happened which year and who knows what. We’ve received Christmas cards from people who don’t know I’m missing any body-part, people who think I’m still recovering from the below-knee amputation and one or two from those who are hedging their bets by addressing the card to “Alastair and family”. Just before Christmas I ventured into a clothes shop I’ve frequented over the past few years. An assistant I thought I recognised greeted me with, “Happy Christmas! How are things now?” I watched her eager expression transform to one of abject horror and embarrassment as, too late, I realised hers was a generic cheery salutation and she very definitely hadn’t anticipated a detailed description of the latest amputation, the tricky rehabilitation process and my loathing of American tan Velcro leg attachments.