Was I trying to do a job i was unsuited for - did I need more slender fingers or a more delicate touch? Should I have put in more planning, got a stool and a torch to get close and see what the problem was? Maybe I could have found an unemployed bulb elsewhere. I'm guessing as you read this you may well be thinking about which different line you would have taken. Is there a best way - possibly. Probably. But there might be several best ways depending on who we are an what suits us best; in the same way that there is not one cure-all midge repellent because different concoctions work for differently smelling people, so too there is more than one way to skin a cat or remove a bulb.
Next time I will pick my method a little more carefully to suit the skills and strengths that I have!