As a teenager I once spent a few hours abreast of a sensei.

I was in Florida at the time on a disappointing family holiday, and, seeking respite from the relentless heat and insufferable tourist herd, I had pitched up in the hotel’s noisy Games Room.  For several hours I’d immersed myself in mindless entertainment, pumping “quarters” into an ostentatious pinball machine, branded in line with the film Congo and replete with klaxons, whistles and strobe lights.

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