As part of a massive public health survey I go for a cognitive text. This involves a lot of counting backwards in multiples of seven. I can’t help feeling that having to do that quick translation in my head from 76 to sixty-ten-six and 97 to four-twenties-ten-seven in French puts me at something of a disadvantage. The words I am given to remember are slightly unusual but not too outlandish: accordéon, oseille, buffet, bronze, cravate, couturier, palmier, peluche, framboise, aviron, mouette, maquereau, begonia, flamenco. When I am asked to give as many words as possible beginning with P, my brain runs amok and comes up with some truly unusual words. Disappointingly, he psychologist is impassive rather than impressed.