I can say that now because it's not looking so bad.
I wasn't really fishing for sympathy. Well, perhaps I was. I certainly received it in spades, for which many thanks. I don't deserve you all ('oh yes you do!' 'Oh no I don't!). The advice and kind words I received from you was wisdom, commonsense and compassion to the power of many.
The garagist didn't tease me at all. When he asked how I did it I said I was in the clouds, to which he replied, 'And did you come down from them then?'. 'Rapidly' I said.
Having a good garagist, I think, is probably as important as having a good doctor. At least if you have a car anyway. Once I was racketing along the Quessoy road with Monsieur Turbin in his tatty old camionette I began to feel already the situation was more manageable, that it would be dealt with and though it would cost we would not be ripped off for it. After a short struggle he got the wheel changed, and I was able to drive it very gingerly back to his garage with him following. It felt squelchy but OK (the spare was very soft anyway), no warning lights came on so the hydraulics must have been unruptured, and the brakes seemed to work.
As of this evening it's still unrepaired but should be done by tomorrow morning. The replacement of one tyre invariably necessitates replacing two; that on the other side was getting somewhat bald, apparently, so that's no bad thing. I still have a car and I will be able to visit Tom in hospital.
So, time to count blessings. What has cheered me today?