My first session at the hideously named Artificial Limb and Appliance Centre, which sounds like a cross between a hospital and branch of Currys. Frankly, what they don't know about false limbs ain't worth knowing -- and by the time they're done with me I'll probably know it too.
Did you know, for example, that Dame Heather Mills-McCartney or whatever she calls herself nowadays buys her bespoke nail-varnished tootsies from Dorset Orthopaedic who are, it would seem, the Rigby and Peller of the amputee scene. Neither did I. Their website's bizarre -- a mixture of Sir Hardy Amies, Douglas Bader and Ann Summers.
According to another company, "amputation can be very stressful for the amputee as well as family and friends." No shit. I'm glad you warned me.
It's a whole different world, one I couldn't even have dreamt of being part of just a fortnight ago. But here I am. I was never one for sports cars or state of the art titanium golf clubs but I'm finding myself spending hours looking at brochures for Carbon X prostheses with Truly Active Heel, Active Tibial Progression and Proportional Response. I really REALLY want one -- all my friends have got one.
My hero du jour is Van Phillips, inventor of the magnificent Flex Foot. He's a revolutionary in the field of lower limb prosthetics, don't you know. Sorry, am I boring you?
Discuss Northern Iraq -- and Beyond