This is generally a light-hearted phrase to suggest a short-lived loss of commonsense. But it can go deeper, become a lot more dark.

Take my vertigo. I’ve partially lost my sense of balance, to the extent that when it kicks in it feels as if the world is rotating. Like being pissed but without the fun involved in getting there. I can spend days with the twirlytwirly pits. It’s not good, not good at all, though my friend Susan is pretty good at stopping me from falling. In many senses of the word.

If you’ve been keeping up with events, you’ll know I’ve ended up in hospital a couple of times when I’ve keeled over and been found inert in the street. Credit to the ambulance crews. Imagine turning up and you have no idea at all what the problem is. Drink? Drugs? Fell and hit his head? They just don’t know, but I have to say they’re very caring and attentive. Ditto the A&E staff, and the staff on the wards I’ve spent a bit too much time in.

You may recall that back in December I did a proper job when I keeled over with vertigo and woke up in hospital. And again in January. And again this week. It’s getting to be a pain really.

But smacking my head a lot has taken its toll. I’ve got noticeable hearing loss in my left ear. I tend to fall to the left, and I suspect the loss is physical damage, since back in late last year I was bleeding from my ear.

The facial palsy may be physical. Nobody is too sure. But this is something distressing. I’ve lost my senses of taste and smell. Since these are linked, it means I can’t enjoy the sensation of eating. Textures are still there, but I can’t taste much at all. Salt, yes, I can get that. Acidic, eg vinegar, yes I can pick that up. Salt and vinegar crisps, yeah, got them.

But after that it’s pretty well a closed book. Not much at all. I don’t eat much at all, but I like to taste what I’m eating. Think about my raving about the meals out with Susan last year

I can’t taste cheese ffs. This is not good news. Raw onions, sort of. Otherwise it’s a bit like eating semolina.