ISN’T it funny the way glue has a mind of its own? I always find it only sticks when it feels like it, and frequently defies the laws of physics by sticking when it isn’t supposed to.

I can remember trying to make an Airfix model plane and marvelling at the fact that while the glue provided could not be persuaded to stick the pilot into his seat, it would stick bits of unwanted plastic to the cockpit, as well as welding your fingers together for weeks.

Take the other day, when I was at Hexham General Hospital for the fitting of a heart monitor as part of the major inquiry into why I had a stroke when I had none of the risk factors associated with that distressing ailment.

Blood pressure, cholesterol, alcohol consumption and exercise were all well with acceptable bounds, so the medics wanted to check my heart to ensure it was behaving properly and not squirting out blood in inappropriate directions.

So it was decreed I would have to monitor my heart for 24 hours, recording the output on a dinky little tape recorder, via three little plastic tubes attached to my chest. My ticker may have been beating a little more rapidly than normal when I got to the hospital, as every available parking space within half a mile was occupied, and I was already running late.

I managed to squeeze into a gap vacated by an elderly lady, just beating two other glowering hopefuls to the precious berth by driving the wrong way round the hospital one-way system.

However, they possibly had the last laugh, as I had run out of change for the meter and had to pay £2 for a £1.20 ticket.

I dashed in 10 minutes late for my appointment, but still had to wait another 10 minutes before being summoned for what I thought might be a lengthy process.

Instead, the technician just stuck three sticky pads on my chest, with their plastic tubes attached, and linked to a black box recorder which was supposed to be either hooked on the belt or placed in the pocket.

I was in the consulting room less than five minutes and left to rue the expensive parking over-provision.

So I sauntered into Hexham for a browse around the shops, and became aware I was receiving some rather odd glances from passers-by.

Then I caught sight of my reflection in a shop window and saw that one of the sticky pads had come unstuck and several inches of plastic tubing was flapping suggestively from my shorts.

A few paces later, another lead detached itself. The recording device was now emitting urgent bleeps.

Now trailing several yards of tubing, I made my way back to the hospital and was soon back in the consulting room.

The technician did not seem unduly alarmed about the non-stick pads, but rummaged in a cupboard and emerged with two much bigger pads, which he zapped on to my chest with commendable alacrity

By the time I got home, the one remaining original pad had come off too, so it was time for Mrs Hextol to swing into action, opening up the Peek Frean’s biscuit tin which contains her unrivalled collection of medicines and medical aids, amassed over the past 50 years.

I am sure she could perform brain surgery without anaesthetic with some of the stuff in there, and her delving soon produced several strips of gauzy sticking plaster, which she applied on top of the existing sticky pads with some relish.

“It will really hurt when you pull these off – it will rip loads of those awful grey hairs off your chest,” she gloated.

The new adhesive was put to the test when I removed my shorts that night, quite forgetting that the black box was still in the pocket. The weight of the device certainly subjected the resilience of my chest hairs to a thorough work-out.

I managed to rip off another of the leads when I caught it on the handle of a dressing table drawer later that night, but Mrs Hextol’s plasters stayed in place – only the connector came off!

I returned the black box to the hospital after the specified 24 hours, but I fear the tape therein will give few clues to the state of my ticker!