Recalling the “Wind in the Willows” and “The Odyssey” I was fascinated by the Stoats and Weasels who invaded Toad Hall in Toad’s absence, and the 108 Suitors who pursued Penelope until the return of Odysseus after 20 years absence (10 of them fighting the Trojan Wars and the 10 years it took to make it back home).

Both of these egregious groups trashed the joint, ate everything there was to eat, stole anything valuable, sent the place broke, and remind me very much of our current government.

The Stoats and Weasels were finally driven out. The Suitors, demanding she select a new husband from amongst them, were cleverly foiled by Penelope. She said she would choose a new husband after she had woven a funeral cloth for her ageing father. Every day she would weave, and every night she would undo what she had woven that day. Odysseus put all 108 of them to the sword when he returned.

I was only 17 and that’s pretty much the total of things I could have talked about. I had unwittingly performed a classical Ericksonian hypnotic informal induction, but it took me another 15 years to recognise this. It explains why I have never doubted the potential for hypnosis achieving what is hoped-for.